The latest National Park to be created in England for over 60 years, the South Downs stretch west over 100 miles from the magnificent white cliffs at Beachy Head in East Sussex to Winchester, the cathedral city of Hampshire.
The national park boundary not only includes the South Downs but also encompasses the Western Weald which has long been recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty. This includes many pretty villages such as Selbourne, Alresford, Fernhurst and Lurgashall great locations for a cottage holiday break in a beautiful rural setting.
The Downs are diverse with open chalk downland to the east and the far west with more heavily wooded areas in the middle around the West Sussex and Hampshire border. Steep escarpments are spectacular with deep folds, contrasted with gently sloping hills to the south that run down towards the Sussex coastal towns and the English Channel.
At their highest the Downs reach 886 feet (270 metres) at Butser Hill in Hampshire. Notable landmarks include Devil's Dyke, Ditchling Beacon and where the Downs meet the sea at Cuckmere Haven the spectacular scenery of the Seven Sisters one of the most recognisable places in England.
The South Downs Way is the recognised national trail, in addition there are over 2,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways that cross the Downs many linking downland villages from north to south.