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South Downs National Park, Visitor & Tourism Guide



The 'South Downs'
The South Downs is an area of chalk downland close to the south coast of England running from the east of Hampshire through West Sussex to East Sussex.

The National Park stretches from Winchester in the west across to Beachy Head and Eastbourne in the east.

It covers two existing Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: East Hampshire AONB and the Sussex Downs AONB.

The Park boundary ends short of most of the southern coast but major towns and cities such as Portsmouth, Brighton, Winchester, Eastbourne and Chichester are within a short drive. Clearly, these are great places in which to book accommodation and from which to explore the Park.

The South Downs Way National Trail starts or ends at Winchester Cathedral.

The UK's most visited National Park
In the region of 40 million visitor days a year are made to the area enclosed by the National Park. That's some 25 million more than the Lake District National Park, the UK's second most visited Park. Hardly surprising given the population density of South East England and its close proximity to London, but still a staggering number.

Beachy Head and Seven Sisters
The Park's most famous natural attractions are Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, a famous section of white chalk cliffs that runs along the coast to the east of the South Downs National Park. Birling Gap Beach is great.

Moving west, near Fulking, is the wonderfully named Devil's Dyke and an impressive downland scarp face. It's fine walking country.

Arundel
Arundel is simply magnificent and is dominated by its cathedral and castle and we'd very much recommend it as a base from which to explore the Park. Other towns and villages to consider when in the Park include Lewes and Alfriston, Midhurst and Petersfield.

Other attractions
For history and culture, try Uppark House and Bignor Roman Villa, Boxgrove Priory and Fishbourne Roman Palace (on the fringe of the Park). Visit the National Trust's Petworth House, too.

New Forest National Park
Last, if you're in the area, drive or bus a short distance west to New Forest National Park. It offers great walking and Beaulieu is a fine day out.

External Links
www.southdowns.gov.uk

Top 10 Recommendations

Top 10 Hotels
Selected from the best Hotels in South Downs National Park we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Things To Do
Selected from the best Things To Do in South Downs National Park we've listed our top 10.

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Local Attractions  [See more Attractions]

Cowdray House, Midhurst, West Sussex

Located in Midhurst, West Sussex, South East England, England

Less than a mile away.

A Tudor ruin located on the outskirts of Midhurst. Once home to the Browne family, (later Viscounts Montague). Gutted by fire at the end of the eighteenth century. Restored and re-opened in 2007. Located in beautiful Vic...

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Sutton St. John Baptist's Church, Sutton, West Sus

Located in Sutton, West Sussex, South East England, England

Approximately 6.9 miles away.

Located in the proposed South Downs National Park. A short drive south of Petworth...

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Uppark House

Located in South Harting, West Sussex, South East England, England

Approximately 6.9 miles away.

A seventeenth century country house. Located in the East Hampshire AONB and the proposed South Downs National Park. H.G.Wells's mother was a housekeeper at Uppark, the great writer spending time in his youth here. Manage...

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Local Accommodation  [See more Accommodation]

Spread Eagle Hotel And Spa, Midhurst
© Owner
Star Rating

Less than a mile away.

Total Rooms: 35; Rates: 99 - 221 Per Night

Set within its own picturesque grounds, this former coaching inn, dating back in parts to 1430, provides traditional accommodation and a luxurious spa in the historic Sussex market town of Midhurst...

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Halfway Bridge, Midhurst
© Owner
Star Rating

Approximately 2.9 miles away.

Total Rooms: 6; Rates: 74 - 185 Per Night

Conveniently placed on the A272 in the middle of Sussex countryside, this historic country inn encapsulates a balance between modern sensibility and rustic charm...

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The King's Arms Guest House & Restaurant, Fernhurs
© Owner
Star Rating

Approximately 3.9 miles away.

Total Rooms: 6; Rates: 65 - 120 Per Night

Rich in original historic charm and with free Wi-Fi, free parking and en suite rooms, this traditional English country pub offers fine wines, real ales, delicious food and a warm welcome...

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