Discover South Downs Way
Why Book your South Downs Way Walking Holiday with Macs Adventure?
Macs Adventure has been organising self-guided walking tours on the South Downs Way since 2010. Being one of the UK's classic National Trails, the South Downs Way proved popular from the outset. The trail is favoured by National Trail 'baggers', solo walkers, first-timers, and those who are simply looking for a walking holiday in a peaceful yet historical corner of England.
We offer flexible, tailor-made South Downs Way trips staying in comfortable B&Bs, guesthouses, and inns. We carry your bags to lighten your load so you can concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying all this delightful corner of England has to offer. You can book with confidence that we have it all covered for you.
We want to showcase our expertise, by giving you all the resources you will ever need. Our Destination Specialists are waiting to answer your questions. On the route, we use high-quality digital mapping to make sure you find your way, as well as a host of tips, facts and recommendations to enrich your South Downs Way journey. With over a decade of experience in organising walking vacations in the South Downs, and over 30 customer reviews on our tour pages, you can be sure that we are the ideal people to book your adventure with.
South Downs Way FAQs
Q. When is the best time of year to walk the South Downs Way?
A. This tour is available to book from late March until the end of October. The summer months of July and August tend to be pleasantly warm on the south coast, and the towns along the trail can be bustling during the summer, particularly over the school holidays (usually mid-July until the end of August). Spring is a lovely time to walk the South Downs Way as you will experience an abundance of wildflowers. The fall months of September and October offer a peaceful walking experience.
Q. How fit do I need to be for the South Downs Way?
A. The South Downs Way is one of the easiest and most accessible of all of the UK's National Trails. That said, there are a number of ascents and descents - most noticeably where the the path crosses rivers valleys. There is often a descent at the end of the day to the towns where you will be staying and therefore an ascent out of it the next day to rejoin the trail. Also, the trail can be harder or easier depending on the itinerary you choose. Our most relaxed itinerary is our 10 days & 9 nights itinerary which is also our most popular. If you would like to cover more mileage each day, and challenge yourself, we also have a 8 night and 7 night itinerary. Whichever itinerary you go for, it helps to have done some multi-day walking before and regular cardio to increase your fitness levels and your enjoyment of the walk.
Q. Will I need a map and compass?
A. The South Downs Way is a national trail and therefore very well signposted. In addition to this, we provide you with high-quality digital mapping and GPS tracks to help you find your way. You may wish to bring your own supplementary map if you are so inclined. This trip is low-level with easy-going flat terrain and signposting, so a compass is not required.
South Downs Way Facts
The South Downs National Park
The 100 mile South Downs Way is the only National Trail that is completely within the bounds of a National Park. Unsurprisingly, this National Park is called the South Downs National Park. It is the UK's youngest National Park, having been founded in 2010. Despite its relative youth, the trails in the park, and those that make up the Way are ancient, with some sites dating back over 5,000 years. The National Park is just a 1-hour journey from London, making it an easily-accessible escape to the countryside. Much of the Park's trails follow a chalk path ridge, with its elevated position, the ridge offers walkers fantastic views over the English Channel and the Isle of Wight.
The South Downs Way starts in the historic city of Winchester. Famous for its Gothic cathedral, one of the largest in Europe, it is also the resting place of novelist Jane Austen who died in Winchester in 1817. The city is home to the UK's largest farmer's market. Browse over 100 stalls selling artisan bread, cheese and ice-cream, just to mention a few of the goodies on offer! The market takes place twice a month, usually the second and last Sunday of each month.
The Seven Sisters
The Seven Sisters is the name given to a series of white chalk cliffs. Located within the Seven Sisters Country Park, which in turn is located within the South Downs National Park. The final stage of the South Downs Way follows a path across the top of the chalk cliffs, offering stunning panoramic views of the cliffs and the Channel. Being largely unspoilt compared to similar landscapes, The area is a popular recreation spot for walkers, photographers and bird watchers, amongst others. The cliffs are being naturally eroded by the sea, and every year they shrink by about 30-40 cm, meaning these cliffs won't be around in their current beauty forever!