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National Trail AcornSouth Downs Way National Trail

161 km / 100 miles

E Sussex, Hants, W Sussex
This National Trail follows the northern escarpment of the chalk Downs from where there are extensive views across the Weald to the north and over the rounded hills and dry valleys to the sea in the south. There are several steep ascents when crossing the valleys of the Rivers Cuckmere at Alfriston, Ouse at Southease, Adur south of Bramber and Arun at Amberley. It visits Jevington and passes Iron Age hillforts and barrows.

Between Eastbourne and Alfristion there is a coastal alternative to the inland route, running along the scenic cliff tops to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters (pictured) and turning inland at Cuckmere Haven along the Cuckmere Valley to rejoin the inland Way route at Alfriston. Here there is a connection to the 1066 Country Walk that leads in turn to the Saxon Shore Way - see E-Routes (E9).

The Jubilee Way (East Sussex) (12 miles circular route) used some of the South Downs Way at Eastbourne and that part of it not on the South Downs Way is waymarked with a crown symbol. A publication is no longer available for it.

The LDWA National Trails Register offers certificates for completers of several British National Trails.

See also E-Routes (E9)


Path Type: National Trails (England & Wales)
Waymark: National Trail Acorn Waymark: National Trail Acorn
Attributes: Horse Ride (Multi User); Downland/Wolds
TV600972 - Eastbourne (Holywell), E Sussex
View on StreetMap
SU483293 - Winchester, Hants
View on StreetMap
Open Date: 1972
Web Sites: South Downs Way National Trail
  South Downs National Park Authority
  South Downs Way
  South Downs Way Annual Walk
  Southern Walks - South Downs Way
  South Downs Discovery - South Downs Way
  GPS Routes - South Downs Way
  Contours - South Downs Way

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Certificate: Certificate for National Trails (Long Distance Walkers Association - 2009)
Guidebook + Map Flap: South Downs Way (Rucksack Readers - 2011)
Paperback: South Downs Way (National Trail Guides) (Aurum Press - 2010)
Hardback: Walkers Britain (AA Publishing - 2011)
Illustrated Map: Map of the South Downs Way (Arty2 Ltd - 2010)
Paperback: South Downs Way: Eastbourne to Winchester (Cicerone Press - 2005)
Paperback: South Downs Way: Winchester to Eastbourne (Trailblazer Publications - 2012)
Book: Companion on the South Downs Way (Per-Rambulations - 2006)
Hardback: South Downs Way (Frances Lincoln - 2008)
Booklet: Accommodation Guide to the South Downs Way (South Downs Way National Trail Officer)
Booklet: South Downs Way: Public Transport Guide (South Downs Way National Trail Officer)
Leaflet: South Downs Way (South Downs Way National Trail Officer)
DVD: South Downs Way: DVD (TV - 2007)
Paperback: National Trails: The National Trials of England, Scotland & Wales (Cicerone Press - 2007)
Paperback: Big Walks Of Great Britain (Summersdale Publications - 2007)
Paperback: Big Walks of the South (Summersdale Publications - 2010)
Illustrated Map: Map of England and Wales Walking Routes (Arty2 Ltd - 2010)

Click to show 14 more Publications, Badges and Certificates


Show OS Map
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps (path is named on OS maps):
OS Landranger: 185197198199
OS Landranger Active: 185197198199
OS Explorer: 119120121122123132133
OS Explorer Active: 119120121122123132133
Other Paper Maps:
Harvey Map (Stripmap): South Downs Way (Harvey Maps - 2010)
Harvey Map (Stripmap): South Downs Way: DVD & Stripmap (with Saxon Shore Way) (Harvey Maps - 2008)
Digital Maps:
Downloadable Digital Mapping: South Downs Way National Trail (Anquet Maps - 2009)
Digital Mapping (25k Scale): MEMORY-MAP V5 NEW FOREST & SOUTH DOWNS OS 1:25,000 (Memory-Map Europe)
Digital Mapping (25k Scale): South Downs Way 1:25k & 1:50k (Satmap - Jan 09)

Walking Support Providers:

Support Providers: Baggage Handling and Self-Guided Walks (Load Off Your Back)
Support Providers: Self Guided Walking Holidays (Beks Treks UK)
Support Providers: Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Macs Adventure)
Support Providers: Baggage Handling and Self-Guided Walks (Footprints of Sussex)
Support Providers: Coach Assisted Walking Holidays (Bobs Walking Holidays)
Support Providers: Guided Walking Holidays (HF Holidays)
Support Providers: Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Contours Walking Holidays)
Support Providers: Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Instep Walking Holidays)
Support Providers: Walking, Hiking and Cycling Holidays (Explore Britain)
Support Providers: Baggage Handling and Self Guided Walks (Walk & Cycle Britain Limited)

Click to show 7 more Walking Support Providers

Group Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:

Hostel Accommodation: Eastbourne YHA, East Dean Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex 2 Km
Hostel Accommodation: Alfriston YHA, Frog Firle, Alfriston, Polegate, East Sussex < 1 Km
Hostel Accommodation: Alfriston Youth Hostel, Frog Firle, Polegate, East Sussex < 1 Km

Click to show 5 more Accommodations

Connected Paths:

Path Highlights: South Downs Way Highlights
E Routes: E-Route 9 UK Section Dover to Plymouth
Paths Marked on OS mapping: Allan King's Way; Clarendon Way; Downs Link; Hangers Way; Itchen Way; Mid Sussex Link; Monarch's Way; Pilgrims' Trail; Rother Valley Walks; St Swithun's Way; Staunton Way; Sussex Border Path; Three Castles Path (England); Vanguard Way; Wayfarer's Walk; Wealdway; Wey-South Path
Click to show 14 more Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths: Arun Way; Brighton Way; Coast to Coast - Southern England; Games Way; Goring to Goring; Greenwich Meridian Trail; Meon Valley Churches Walk; Meon Valley Trail; Midhurst Way; Nelson Way; New Lipchis Way; Pilgrim's Way; Shipwrights Way; Socratic Trail; Socratic Trail - Eastern Varient; St James Way; Sussex Coastline Walk; Sussex Ouse Valley Way; Three Downs Link; Walking the Castles of Sussex; Walking the Disused Railways of Sussex; West Sussex Literary Trail
Click to show 19 more Other Paths


GPS Exchange Format Route File: South Downs Way National Trail GPX Exchange Format Route File Login to Download
(Members Only)
MemoryMap Route file: South Downs Way National Trail Memory Map Route File Login to Download
(Members Only)
Tracklogs Route file: South Downs Way National Trail Tracklogs Route File Login to Download
(Members Only)

Route Profile:

161.4 Km (100.3 miles)
3,852 m (12,638 ft) ascent
245 m (804 ft)  maximum height