Last chance availability on popular trips: Browse here


South Downs Way Short Break

4 Days & 3 Nights 4.4 Read 57 reviews
  • Walk the last two sections of the South Downs Way over a long weekend
  • Hike over the iconic white chalk sea cliffs of the Seven Sisters
  • Stay in the medieval village of Alfriston - full of picturesque timber-framed buildings
  • Enjoy panoramic views from Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain
  • Explore Lewes with its castle, historical attractions and quirky antique shops
The South Downs Way is one of Britain’s classic national trails and stretches for 100 miles. This hassle-free short break itinerary offers a taste of the trail over 4 days and 3 nights. Covering the undisputable highlight of the way, the magnificent Seven Sisters - a series of bright white chalk sea cliffs - this itinerary is perfect for those looking for a weekend getaway. Wander through fields brimming with wildflowers and enjoy coastal views over the Channel and the Isle of Wight. Your mini-adventure culminates with the steep hike up Beachy Head, the tallest chalk sea cliff in Britain. Stay in carefully chosen B&B’s and hotels in Lewes, Alfriston and Eastbourne; all unique stops with their own charms and attractions. Reward yourself after a great day hiking with some classic pub grub and a pint of locally brewed beer.
If you only have a weekend to spare, or are looking for a sample of a long-distance path then this is the itinerary for you. The rolling hills of the South Downs, and its proximity to London, make this the ideal escape from city-life. This tour is rated easy-moderate as it is a short trip, and follows good paths. The walks are undulating though with a couple of short steep sections. Stay in welcoming B&Bs and finish your days in traditional cosy pubs.

Tour Type:

Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!


Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Short Break

Activity Level & Terrain

This trip is rated ‘easy-moderate’ overall. The path is on good surfaces with gentle and gradual gradients, other than a few moderately steep sections. The walk to Eastbourne is particularly undulating, but since there are only two days of walking, this trip is manageable for all walkers.


The South Downs Way Way is very well waymarked and easy to follow. Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation on this tour will be made simple and you cannot get lost.

You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.


One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the Inns, Guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We always try and book your accommodation as close as possible to the trail. Occasionally walkers may need to venture a mile or so off the trail as the availability of quality accommodation can become scarce.

Single Rooms

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.

  • Bed and breakfast accommodation in ensuite rooms wherever possible
  • Door to door baggage transfer
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • All your trip documents provided digitally through your online Macs “My Account”
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Entrance fees (where applicable)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Additional nights

When To Go

This walking holiday can be enjoyed from April to September.  Summer can be hot on the South Coast and very busy, especially over the school holidays. We would advise walking in the Spring to see the wildflowers that coast the fields you walk through. Please note we recommend not starting the tour on a Monday as a lot of the attractions in Lewes are closed.  

NOTE: This trip is not available to start between the 20th and 31st of August. 

Getting to the Start

Lewes has a train station and is about 1 hour train journey from London. Leaving from London Victoria train station, there are direct trains with Southern Railway up to twice an hour. For more information please check the Southern Railway website.

We recommend travelling by train as it is straight forward and more environmentally friendly. However, if you prefer to drive, there are numerous public parking options in either Lewes or Eastbourne. More information can be found here. It may be possible to park your car at your accommodation for the duration either in Lewes or Eastbourne but this cannot be guaranteed, and there may be an additional cost involved, please ask us about this when booking. There is a train between Eastborune and Lewes which takes about 25 mins should you need to travel back to Lewes at the end of the trip to pick up your car, or you can leave the car in Eastbourne at the start of the trip and travel to Lewes by train for your first overnight.  

Getting from the End

Eastbourne has a train station and is about 1.5 hour direct train journey to London. For more information please check the Southern Railway website.

Luggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes.

Walking Direction

Our standard itineraries describe the walk in an West to East direction. Prevailing winds at your back and a finish at the white cliffs near Eastbourne generally dictate that this is the best direction. If however you wish to walk East to West we can arrange this for you.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

How fit do I need to be?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?
When is the best time of year?
How do the baggage transfers work?
Am I able to take my dog?
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?


Day 1 Arrive in Lewes and overnight Day 2 Walk to Alfriston 11 miles / 18 km Day 3 Walk to Eastbourne 12 miles / 20 km Day 4 Onward travel

Blog Articles

The Macs Way

  • Tried & Tested Adventures Tried & Tested Adventures
  • Freedom Freedom
  • Book with Confidence Book with Confidence
  • Expertise Expertise
  • Positive Impact Positive Impact
Built with our expert knowledge, to suit you.
  • Knowledgeable and helpful specialist trip planners
  • Wide variety of tours to suit all interests and experience levels
  • Start on any date that suits you
  • Choose your ideal trip length and difficulty
  • Range of accommodation comfort levels
  • Choice of trip styles
Authentic adventure travel experiences on your own terms
  • Choose your own travel companions
  • Walk, cycle and explore at your own pace
  • Make your own decisions
  • Choose your own path
  • Indulge your passions
Feel secure in making the right choice for your precious adventure time
  • 18,000+ unbiased trip & service reviews
  • Feefo Platinum Award 2023
  • 25,000+ travelers trust us each year
  • As featured in the Guardian, Times, Nat Geo Traveler
  • Founder owned & operated since 2003
  • 100+ passionate team members across the US, UK & Europe
You can be confident that every detail of your journey has been expertly planned
  • Carefully planned adventures
  • Quality, hand-picked accommodations
  • Seamless and reliable arrangements
  • Comprehensive trip information & insider tips
  • Detailed maps, route notes and mobile GPS app
  • Helpful 24/7 support should you need it
Travel the right way and make a positive impact
  • Travel responsibly
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Support locally owned businesses
  • Engage with local communities
  • Minimize your impact
  • Maximize the benefit of your travel
  • Challenge yourself & grow
$ - USD - US Dollar
Country/Region name: