The South Downs

A fascinating place, truly a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. An area rich with geological, historical and cultural reminders of the past as well as being a vibrant living landscape today. The new National Park with it’s stunning scenery, the South Downs Way and multitude of other bridleways offer some of the best rambling and off road cycling in the country. Breathtaking views of the Seven Sisters from Birling Gap to Cuckmere Haven, perhaps taking in Beachy Head, is but one of the unique byways with local hostelries en route. Drive up to Firle top for a bracing walk with amazing panorama; or mountain bike to Alfriston returning along the Old Coach Road, taking lunch at the Cricketers at Berwick or at the Rose Cottage Inn at Alciston.

Picturesque villages include Alfriston, a beautiful Medieval village boasting a fantastic church, St Andrews, ‘The Cathedral of the Downs’; The Clergy House next to St Andrews was the first building acquired by the National Trust (for £10). Firle’s narrow village street looks much as it did a century or more ago. Litlington, with a flint church dating back to 1150, West Dean, probably founded in Saxon Times, where Alfred the Great had a palace, nestles at the foot of the downs adjoining Friston Forest; and close-by at East Dean is the Tiger Inn. There are countless country pubs. Also take time to explore the picture book towns of Lewes, Arundel, Midhurst and Petworth.

Alternatively experience the great outdoors with high adrenalin activities such as Hang Gliding and Paragliding, SHGP at Beddingham or Airworks at Glynde offer tuition and taster days