The South Downs

The South Downs

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Getting out and about to exercise is a welcome escape from the four walls at the moment and is proven to improve our health and wellness.  South East of England has a wealth of countryside to get out in and explore, and with lots of space, social distancing is easy. 

South East England has two National Parks covering over 2,193km2 between them.  The New Forest in Hampshire and South Downs, which stretches with rolling hills from Winchester to Eastbourne.

The Countryside Code

We encouage you to enjoy the countryside at every opportunity, it is so good for our well being. However, whilst you are out and about remember to follow the Countryside Code.  RESPECT - PROTECT - ENJOY. This code contains advice for the public and landowners, making it easier for visitors to help respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors. 

Both our national parks have an excellent selection of walking and cycling routes, and their is plenty to keep the children entertained to. Looking out for ponies, horses, cows and even pigs roaming free around the New Forest while the South Downs has a selection of stunning viewpoints including Devils Dyke, White Cliffs of Dover and Beachy Head. 

The South East also benefits from nine areas of outstanding natural beauty.  These areas have been recognised for their exceptional landscape, character and natural beauty, and are prized enough to be protected for all to enjoy. 

  • The Cotswolds, Oxfordshire
  • North Wessex Downs AONB, Berkshire
  • Chiltern Hills AONB, Buckinghamshire
  • High Weald AONB, Sussex
  • Kent Downs AONB
  • Surrey Hills AONB
  • Chichester Harbour AONB, Sussex
  • Dorset AONB
  • Isle of Wight AONB

Half the Isle of Wight is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it an ideal escape to the country. A varied terrain includes dramatic coastline with heritage status, nature reserves, woodlands, chalk hills and stunning views that'll test the memory of any smartphone camera.

South East England's countryside also includes leafy Surrey near London. Newlands Corner, Box Hill and Leith Hill offer outstanding viewpoints around Guildford while the Wey and Arun Canal Trust offer the chance to discover the countryside from a different perspective.

Highdown Gardens in Worthing, created out of a chalk pit over-looking the Downs, offers a beautiful collection of unusual plants and trees including the National Plant Collection introduced by Sir Fredrick Stern. A visit to Worthing's countryside isn't complete without a trip to Cissbury Ring, the largest hill fort in Sussex and history dating back 5,000 years.

The Test Valley runs from the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty right down to the New Forest National Park in the south, with walkers and cyclists being able to enjoy parts of the 44 mile Test Way, nestling between Winchester, Salisbury and the New Forest

The rural geography of South East England makes for ideal star gazing spots to wonder in the night sky. Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire is one such location, along with the South Downs National Park which is the world's newest International Dark Sky Reserve and the Isle of Wight a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, but anywhere away from the lights of urban centres is a great place to start.

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Number of results: 220

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  1. British Airways i360

    Type

    Type:

    Sightseeing

    Brighton

    Take to the skies to see Brighton and the South Coast as you have never seen them before!

  2. Buriton Literary Walk Inspired by W H Hudson

    Type

    Type:

    Walking

    Petersfield

    This walk starts in the village of Buriton and explores parts of the South Downs National Park. W H Hudson was an accomplished, self taught field naturalist. His first book was published in 1885 and his twenty-third a year after his death in 1922.…

  3. Joss Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    A surfer’s paradise, this popular 200-metre long bay is known as the best surfing beach in Thanet.

  4. Minnis Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Margate

    A long stretch of sand coupled with ample free parking and children’s outdoor play area near by.

  5. Hawk Conservancy Trust

    Type

    Type:

    Animal Collection / Zoo

    Andover

    The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a visitor centre and conservation charity that works in the fields of conservation, education, rehabilitation and research of birds of prey.

  6. Fairytale Farm

    Type

    Type:

    Animal Collection / Zoo

    Chipping Norton, Chipping Norton

    Mixing classic fairy tales, animals and adventure play, children will love Fairytale Farm. With our exciting adventure playground, an enchanted walk with a surprise around every corner and a chance to meet our amazing animals, there is so much to…

  7. King John’s Nursery & Garden

    Type

    Type:

    Formal Garden

    Etchingham

    This plant nursery, shop, garden and tearoom is a hidden gem in the High Weald.

  8. Southwater Watersports

    Type

    Type:

    Activity Organiser

    Horsham

    Southwater Watersports are based in the beautiful surrounding of Southwater Country Park and have something for everyone. Whether you’re a family looking for something fun to do, a club who wants an exciting sport for your members or want to become…

  9. Ryde Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Ryde

    The beaches at Ryde lie on the north east coast of the Isle of Wight and offer miles and miles of sandy shores.

  10. Royal Military Canal

    Type

    Type:

    Waymarked Trail

    RYE

    The scenic route this canal takes is perfect for walking and cycling. Dug by hand in the early 19th century, the canal was designed as a defence barrier on the low-lying land between Winchelsea and Hythe.

  11. Denbies Hillside

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Dorking

    Dramatic and stunning chalk escarpment with panoramic views

    With amazing views towards Leith Hill, the highest point in south east England, Denbies Hillside is a great spot for wildlife-watching.

    Named after John Denby, a 17th-century farmer,…

  12. Arundel Wetland Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Reserve

    ARUNDEL

    A stunning nature reserve with guided boat trips through reedbeds, secluded spots to watch wildlife and a collection wildfowl from around the world.

  13. St Mildred's Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Westgate-on-Sea

    A beautiful cliff lined sandy bay with promenade and tidal pool.

  14. Farley Mount Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Hursley, Winchester

    A large area of beautiful downland and woodland, including West Wood. The Park is ideal for walking and picnicking, with fine views over central Hampshire, particularly from the interesting monument at Beacon Hill. Several car parks serve the area.

  15. Brighton Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach


    Brighton's popular shingle and sand beach in one of Britain's most famous seaside resorts. And boasts a refurbished pier, fun fairs, arcades, local boutique shopping in The Lanes.

  16. Yaverland Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Sandown

    Yaverland Beach is one of the Isle of Wight’s best beaches, providing a long stretch of sand and great swimming waters for children and families.

  17. Stockbridge Down Wildlife and History Walk

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Trail / Watching

    Stockbridge

    Explore this isolated island of characteristic chalk downland set in a sea of intensively farmed land.

  18. Merriments Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Hurst Green

    Merriments’ stunning 4-acre RHS Partner Garden is one of the South East's hidden gems. The garden has deep meandering borders, a rich tapestry of colour, texture and scent. 

  19. Abinger Roughs and Netley Park

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Trail / Watching

    Dorking

    Hidden woods with ancient trees and flower-sprinkled grasslands, just off the North Downs and Pilgrims Ways

    Abinger Roughs, above the village of Abinger Hammer, is an area of grassland and mixed woodland - some of the mighty oak trees are over…

  20. Ashdown Forest

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    East Grinstead

    6,500 acres of beautiful countryside located between East Grinstead and Uckfield, West Hoathly and Tunbridge Wells. Ashdown Forest is so much more than a walk in the country. Visit our new website www.ashdownforest.com

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