Cotswold

Cotswold

Oxfordshire

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With 3 million acres of natural beauty to explore in South East England, it's the perfect place to escape those four walls and enjoy great open spaces and fresh air.  Discover the National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, country parks, nature reserves, glorious gardens, waymarked walks and more.... there's no better place to fall in love with the great outdoors.

South East England has two National Parks covering over 2,193km2 between them.  The New Forest in Hampshire, known for its ponies, heathland and forest trails. The South Downs which stretches from Winchester to Eastbourne, through the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex, and is the newest National Park in the UK.

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 the 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 St Catherines Hill, near Winchester, Devils Dyke, near Brighton, Cissbury Ring, near Worthing, Beachy Head, near Eastbourne to enjoy.

The South East also benefits from nine Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  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.

The South East is also home to two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves at Brighton and the Isle of Wight - there are only 7 sites in the UK. These Biospheres bring together rural, marine and urban environments, to take care of these special places for both nature and people. 

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, but anywhere away from the lights of urban centres is a great place to start.

Number of results:

Number of results: 224

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Petworth House & Park

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Petworth

    The beauty and drama of this 17th century palace inspired the artist JMW Turner time and time again. Petworth became Turner’s favourite retreat and he was a regular guest of the 3rd Earl of Egremont. Today a world famous art collection fills the…

  2. West Green House Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Hartley Wintney

    West Green House Gardens is an historic garden with a contemporary twist.

  3. Mote Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Maidstone

    Mote Park has been a popular place to visit for both visitors and locals being a huge green open space in the heart of town. Its vast number of mature trees create a landscape of tranquil beauty.

  4. Pelham Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Hastings


    Hastings' main beach backs right onto the seafront of this established seaside resort town so you are never far away from the town's facilities and attractions.

  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. Worthing Pier

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Worthing

    The Pier offers plenty of opportunity to stop and watch the world go by and enjoy all that the seaside has to offer.

  7. Hayling Island Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Hayling Island


    Hayling Island has over 3 miles of beaches along the seafront facing the Solent and many more miles of shore around the Harbours of Langstone and Chichester. The three main beaches of the Island have won both the European Blue Flag and the Keep…

  8. Leysdown Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Sheerness


    Leysdown is a beach located at the eastern end of the Isle of Sheppey on the north Kent coast.

  9. British Wildlife Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Animal Collection / Zoo

    Lingfield

    The British Wildlife Centre is the best place to see and learn about Britain’s own wonderful wildlife, with over forty different species including deer, foxes, otters, badgers, pine martens and red squirrels.

  10. Itchen Valley Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Eastleigh

    Itchen Valley Country Park is an unspoilt area of water meadows, ancient woodland and grazing pasture situated beside the River Itchen, between Eastleigh and Southampton.

  11. Ventnor Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    VENTNOR

    Ventnor beach is the southernmost holiday beach on the Isle of Wight and is well-loved by locals and visitors alike.

  12. Yateley Common Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Yateley

    476 acres of heathland, woodland, grassland and ponds providing walking, cycling and fishing in natural surroundings.

  13. The Chapel Down Winery

    Type

    Type:

    Vineyard

    Tenterden

    The best wines in England available in the shop plus excellent local and regional produce. Guided tours during summer, wine tasting and bistro.

  14. Chesworth Farm

    Type

    Type:

    Farm

    Horsham

    This 90 acre (36 ha) farm is managed as a livestock farm, with numerous footpaths around the site, incorporating grassland, the River Arun, wet meadow, ancient hedgerows, and access to the greater countryside.

  15. Kilkenny Lane Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Carterton

    Set within 50 acres Kilkenny Lane Country Park is an ideal location for playing, walking, jogging, or simply relaxing with a picnic. There are 2.5km of paths (suitable for wheelchair access) and bridleways, as well as an adventure play area

  16. Royal Victoria Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Southampton

    Once the site of one of the largest Victorian military hospitals, view images & information about Royal Victoria Country Park, set in 200-acres of parkland

  17. Minster Leas

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Sheerness

    Minster Leas is a Blue Flag award winning (2017) beach on the north coast of the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

  18. 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.

  19. Springvale Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Seaview

    Springvale Beach stretches from Puckpool to Seaview on the north coast of the Isle of Wight and is made up of a mixture of shingle and sand.

  20. 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.…

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