Publisher: Bradwell Books
Released: Spring 2017
Size: 220 x 120mm
Walks for all Ages South Downs National Park features 20 circular walks of up to six miles that have been carefully chosen to deliver an enjoyable day or half day for all the family.
Describing the local area at the start of each walk, the book then provides a detailed description of the walk with snippets of information as you go along.
Including Ordnance Survey mapping and superbly priced at just £5.99, Walks for all Ages - 20 Circular Walks in the South Downs National Park is the perfect accompaniment for a stroll in the area.
The South Downs National Park is England’s newest national park, covering over 600 square miles of chalk downland in Hampshire and Sussex and the wooded hills and vales of the western Weald. The park was fully created in 2011 after many years of campaigning and negotiation, to preserve the sensitive geology and ecology of the chalk downland, woods and heathland. It encompasses towns such as Lewes, Petersfield and Midhurst along with a wealth of smaller villages and hamlets, some of which you will visit during the walks in this book.
The route along the tops of the chalk highlands was one of the few that were safely passable by Mesolithic Britons some 8000 years ago, above the densely forested valleys of the Weald and less hazardous and drier than the wetter lowlands. Since then the tracks and trails have been used (and fought over) by Neolithic, Iron Age, Roman and medieval peoples, all leaving evidence of their presence and their passing in the landscape and the archaeological record.
The area abounds with natural and social history, containing protected habitats rich in rare species as well as hillforts, Roman remains, battle sites and abandoned medieval villages – all alongside the thriving communities who make their homes here today. Many of the historic buildings and sites are owned or managed by national conservation organisations; the introductions and ‘The Basics’ sections for each of the walks will give you some pointers for what to look out for along the way, with abbreviations indicating ownership where applicable (NT: National Trust; EH: English Heritage; and HHA: Historic Houses Association).
The South Downs Way is one of Britain’s 15 national trails, following a 100-mile route along the high chalk ridges of the national park. It was officially opened in 1972 as an 80-mile trail from Buriton in Hampshire to Beachy Head above Eastbourne in Sussex, and was extended some fifteen years later; it now starts in Winchester in Hampshire and concludes with a loop around Eastbourne, and is waymarked along its length by distinctive acorn signs indicating its national trail status. It involves just over 4000 metres of ascent and descent along its undulating 100 miles, and is popular with walkers, runners, cyclists and riders alike. For the most part the route follows bridle paths, with some sections on footpath and occasional short distances on roads or byways.
Many walkers plan through-trips from one end of the South Downs Way to the other, taking around 8 or 9 days to complete the 100-mile route with accommodation and camping opportunities plentiful along the way. However, walking short sections of the trail can be just as rewarding; many of the walks in this book include a section of the trail on their routes. The twenty walks, spaced along the trail and throughout the national park, have been carefully selected to give you a taste of all the different habitats and landscapes that the South Downs have to offer.
Walk 01. Beachy Head - 3 miles
Walk 02. Seven Sisters Country Park - 4½ miles
Walk 03. Wilmington - 6 miles
Walk 04. Southease and Rodmell - 3 miles
Walk 05. Firle and Alciston - 6 miles
Walk 06. Lewes and the Caburn - 4½ miles
Walk 07. Stanmer and Ditchling Beacon - 5¼ miles
Walk 08. Hurstpierpoint - 5¼ miles
Walk 09. Steyning - 2¼ miles
Walk 10. Washington - 4½ miles
Walk 11. Burpham - 3½ miles
Walk 12. Arun Valley - 5½ miles
Walk 13. Slindon - 4½ miles
Walk 14. Duncton - 2¾ miles
Walk 15. Singleton - 3¼ miles
Walk 16. Hooksway - 2¼ miles
Walk 17. Droxford - 4½ miles
Walk 18. West Meon - 5¼ miles
Walk 19. Meonstoke - 5½ miles
Walk 20. Winchester - 3¼ miles