The South Downs Way
Helpful information for walkers, riders and mountain bikers
South Downs Way GuideOur Step-by-step guide to the South Downs Way in West Sussex will show you what to look out for on every leg of the journey. The guide has loads of photos and notes on the route and the interesting places you'll pass along the way.
South Downs Way - where to stayWalkers, horse-rider or cyclist friendly accommodation is noted in our West Sussex bed and breakfast guide, which is as good a place as any if you're looking for places to stay close to the South Downs Way.
South Downs Way BusesGood places to access the South Downs Way by bus include:
- Harting Down, Uppark and Compton. Regular buses from Chichester to Petersfield.
- Cocking. Frequent buses from Bognor and Chichester to Midhurst.
- Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Regular buses from Havant to Petersfield.
- Storrington. Regular buses from Ashington to Horsham.
- Washington. Regular buses from Horsham to Worthing.
- Bury. Daily buses from Chichester to Pulborough
- Graffham, Bignor and Sutton. Prebooked buses from Chichester to Petworth.
- Upper Beeding, Bramber, Steyning and Washington. Regular buses from Pulborough to Burgess Hill.
- Brighton Buses
- Steyning. Buses from Brighton and Shoreham. An hourly service.
- Devil's Dyke. Buses from Brighton in the summer.
- Ditchling Beacon. Buses from Brighton on Sundays in the summer.
South Downs Way RailwaysThe best rail access points for the South Downs Way are the stations at Petersfield (Portsmouth to London Waterloo line), Amberley (Portsmouth to London Victoria line) and Hassocks (Brighton to London Waterloo or London Bridge).
South Downs Way Air TravelThe nearest airports to the South Downs Way are London Gatwick Airport and Southampton Airport.
Some private flights also use Shoreham (Brighton City) Airport, which is only a few miles south of the South Downs Way.
South Downs Way CampingThere's a camping barn at Gumber Bothy, just below Gumber Corner.
South Downs Way Youth HostelsThere's a Youth Hostel on top of Truleigh Hill which is right next to the South Downs Way.
Further afield, there's a youth hostel at Arundel which is a few miles south of the route.
South Downs Way WaterThere are water taps at Manor Farm Cocking, near the A24 crossing at Washington, by the Adur crossing near Botolphs and in the village of Fulking, just north of the Shepherd and Dog pub.
South Downs Way Disabled AccessThere are several roads which lead up to the top of the South Downs Way, with car parks at the top. Try Kithurst Hill, Chantry Hill, Beeding Hill, Harting Downs, Cocking and Clayton Hill.
Most of the South Downs Way is chalky and rutted, but the sections around these car parks have easier going than some of the more difficult parts of the route.
Further useful info for cycling the South Downs WayBy the way, if you're thinking of cycling the South Down Way, I thoroughly recommend the excellent Bike Downs website which has a cyclists' guide to the South Downs Way - it covers Hampshire and East Sussex too, so it augments this guide for anyone looking to cycle the full 100 miles.
If you're wondering about how to break your journey into manageable chunks, the South Downs Discovery site has some well thought out suggested cycling itineraries along the South Downs Way.
Baggage and South Downs WayFootprints of Sussex offer a full baggage carriage service for people walking the South Downs Way.
Places to visit close to the South Downs WayAmberley | Arundel | Ashington | Bepton | Bignor | Bramber | Bramber Castle | Burpham | Bury | Chanctonbury Ring | Charlton | Chilgrove | Clayton | Cocking | Compton | Cootham | Devil's Dyke | The Devil's Humps | Didling | Duncton | East Dean | East Harting | Edburton | Findon | Graffham | Harting Down | Heyshott | Houghton | Hurstpierpoint | North Marden | Parham House | Poynings | Pyecombe | Rackham | Singleton | Slindon | South Harting | South Stoke | Stedham | Steyning | Storrington | Torberry Hill | Treyford | Trotton | Truleigh Hill | Uppark | Up Marden | Upwaltham | Upper Beeding | Washington | West Dean
You might also like
- Walking the South Downs Way in Sussex - a guide
- Some walking and hiking equipment shops in Sussex
- The Downs Link - a flat walk from Shoreham-by-Sea to the North Downs in Surrey
- Best places for West Sussex walkers
- New Lipchis Way - a footpath from Chichester to Liphook
- Walking the Monarch's Way in West Sussex
- A flat family-friendly walk from Chichester to the Beach along Salterns Way
- West Sussex Horse riding resources
- West Sussex Mountain Biking information
- Cycling and Horse riding on the bridleways of West Sussex
- B&B Midhurst
- Hotels Midhurst
- B&B Chichester
- Hotels Chichester
- Hotels Petworth
- B&B Arundel
- Hotels Arundel
- B&B Worthing
- Hotels Worthing
- B&B Haywards Heath
- Hotels Burgess Hill
- Butser Hill to Harting
- Harting to Cocking
- Cocking to Upwaltham
- Upwaltham to Amberley
- Amberley to Washington
- Washington to Upper Beeding
- Upper Beeding to Devil's Dyke
- Devil's Dyke to Ditchling Beacon
- South Downs Way Tips
- Cycling in Sussex
- Bike repairs
- Bicycle hire
- Mountain Biking
- Sussex Walking
- The Ramblers
- Other trails
- Horse riding
- Bognor Regis
- Burgess Hill
- East Grinstead
- Haywards Heath