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South Downs Way Short Break

4 Days & 3 Nights 4.5 Read 35 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 the market town of Lewes; a ‘transition town’ with its own currency
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 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 Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.


Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers, First Timers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Coastal & Island
  • National Parks & Trails


  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

Itineraries on this walk are graded Moderate as the path is on good surfaces with gentle and gradual gradients, other than a few moderately steep sections. The highest point on the trail is only 245 metres– reached at Butser Hill and again at Ditchling Beacon.


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 March to October.  Summer can be hot in the South Coast and very busy especially over the school holidays. We would advise walking in the Spring to see the wild flowers that coast the fields you walk through. Please note if your itinerary has a night in Buriton, you are not able to start on a Friday as there is no-where available to have dinner on a Sunday in Buriton. 

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.


Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

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.

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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

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