The South Down’s Way

If you are looking for a National Trail which is both easy to get to, and wonderfully sceneic, then the South Down’s Way is worth your attention.

The start in Winchester is easily reached from London, and once you are on the trail, you will feel a million miles from the capital.

The path features an abundance of beautiful English villages, with a fine choice of B&B’s and Inns, and also some camping options. The trail is ideal for beginners and a great way to discover long-distance walking in a comfortable, safe way.

In This Guide

  1. Route Map
  2. Trail Stats
  3. Itinerary
  4. Accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the trail
  6. Trail Merch
  7. Guidebooks & Maps
  8. Articles

Route Map

Trail Stats

Distance: 99 miles / 160km
Start: Winchester
Finish: Eastbourne
Duration: 7-10 Days


For most experienced walkers, and those with legs strong enough to take multiple back-to-back days of up to 15 miles I recommend the 7 walking day itinerary below. It does have some ‘transfers’ if you are staying in B&Bs due to the lack of accommodation between Upper Bleeding and Alfriston, but for the remainder of the trip accommodation options are in relative abundance.

All distances are approximate, and the itinerary below is credited to Contours Walking Holidays.

2ExtonSouth Harting1625.5
3South HartingAmberley19.531
4AmberleyUpper Beeding1320.5
5Upper BeedingKingston-near-Lewes17.528

Please make note of the following helpful points:

  • Accommodation in many small villages on long distance routes is often limited, for busier trails, such as the South Down’s Way booking ahead is essential.


The South Down’s Way has a great selection of accommodation to meet a range of budgets. Wild camping is not permitted by law in England and Wales, however, if you are careful, you will find enough spots to camp out for the night on the path. B&B’s, Inns, and hotels are abundant, both near the trail, and using short taxi or bus transfers.

As this a busy trail booking ahead is strongly advised if you wish to stay in accommodation close to the trail.


There are approximately 10 hostels on the path, most of which are within walking distance from the route, and well-spaced out. For budget travellers, a combination of campsites and hostels (for hot showers and mixing with walkers) is often a good choice.


There is an abundance of campsites along the whole length of the trail. If camping is your preferred choice of accommodation then you will enjoy the choice available. There is a bit of the trail between East Meon and Hayshot where camping options are limited.

Hotels, Inn’s and B&B’s

There are a number of hostels directly on the trail, including some YHA hostels. Be aware that between Buriton and Bury there are no hostels, and quite long stretch without so plan accordingly.

Getting to and from the trail

Details coming soon

Guidebooks & Maps

Details coming soon

Trail Merch

Have you finished the walk, and want to remember your time on the trail?
There really is no better way to remember your walk than with a Trail Print from Distance Hiker. Each trail print supports us into growing this website.


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