The Beautiful Countryside - The South Downs
Stretching for over 90 miles between Winchester and Eastbourne, the chalk and flint
South Downs has to be one of the most beautiful features of East and West Sussex, with fantastic
views across to the sea to the South and across the County to your North. The scenery can be
spectacular. The average height is about 500 ft (150 m), though some summits exceed 700 ft
(210 m), and Ditchling Beacon is over 800 ft (240 m)
The South Downs Way, stretching 100 miles over a rare large area of Outstanding natural
Beauty in crowded Southern Britain, generally follows the chalk (soft limestone) ridge just to
the north of the popular seaside towns on the Sussex and Hampshire coast. At intervals the chalk
down is broken by “Wind gaps” - river valleys, breaking the ridge walking with some meandering
visits to beautiful rivers such at the Cuckmere.
Most of the route is ancient, made up out of the
old droving roads that took animals and goods between the market towns of the region. There are
many historical features, including a few remaining round towered Saxon churches, ancient
“Dew Ponds” providing water on the high Downs for cattle, Cross dykes and tumulus burial sites,
Bronze Age Hill forts and rings.
A network of footpaths and bridleways also criss-crosses the
Downs and it's on these less populated tracks where you can often go for miles without
meeting anyone or hearing anything except the wind in the trees and bushes and the sound of birds.
For the South Downs Ranger's View to see what to look out for in the Downs this month.
For more details please view South Downs Virtual Information Centre.
The George Inn
Telephone: 01323 870319
Fax: 01323 871384
How to find us? View Map