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The South Downs

The South Downs

Countryside

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There are two National Parks in South East England with the New Forest in Hampshire and South Downs, which stretches from Winchester to Eastbourne.

Both have an excellent selection of walking and cycling routes. Look out for ponies, horses, cows and even pigs roaming free in the New Forest while the South Downs has a selection of stunning viewpoints including Devil's Dyke, Ditchling Beacon and Beachy Head.

Other stretches of beautiful countryside in South East England include:

  • 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

A review of the countryside in South East England wouldn’t be complete without reference to leafy Surrey near London. Newlands Corner, Box Hill and Leith Hill offer outstanding viewpoints around Guildford while Hatchlands Park and the Wey and Arun Canal Trust offer different countryside perspectives.

Half the Isle of Wight is designated an 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.

Highdown Gardens in Worthing, created out of a chalk pit over-looking the Downs, are a beautiful collection of unusual plants and trees including the National Plant Collection of the Plant Introductions of 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 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, but anywhere away from the lights of urban centres is a great place to start.

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Number of results: 276

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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. Birling Gap

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Seaford

    Situated at the base of the chalk cliffs called the Seven Sisters. Shingle giving way to sand with areas of rock pools. A voluntary marine nature reserve. MCS Recommended, Encams Seaside Award. Sit of special scientific interest (SSSI)

  3. Sandown Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Sandown

    Sandown lies at the heart of 'The Bay' and is renowned for its beautiful beach and safe bathing.

  4. 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.

  5. Ramsgate Main Sands

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Ramsgate

    Ramsgate offers a popular long stretch of sandy beach situated right next to the only Royal Harbour and Marina in the country.

  6. Grand Union Canal

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Milton Keynes

    The Grand Union Canal runs from London to Birmingham crossing straight through the Chilterns. Linking two of the UK’s biggest cities, it is a popular canal route, passing through a variety of surroundings and many picturesque settings.

  7. Runnymede and Ankerwycke

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Windsor

    Runnymede is a pleasant patchwork of history and habitats; an area of water meadows, ponds, grassland and broadleaved woodland rich in flora and fauna. It was on this site in 1215 that King John sealed the Magna Carta, an event commemorated by the...

  8. Emmetts Garden

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Sevenoaks

    This peaceful garden, at one of the highest spots in Kent, is noted for its rare trees and shrubs.  Emmetts offers beautiful colour throughout the seasons as well as spectacular views.  18 acres of grounds and woodland to visit.
    For the latest...

  9. Staunton Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Havant

    Discover tropical glasshouses, gardens, friendly farm animals and 1000 acres of parkland with follies. Walks and cycle trails, all in Sir George Staunton's 19thC Regency landscape.

  10. Leechpool Woods

    Type

    Type:

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Horsham

    Leechpool is an ancient woodland covering 53 acres and includes Oak, Ash, Hazel, Hawthorn, Holly, Blackthorn, Sweet Chestnut and Scots Pine.

  11. Petts Wood and Hawkwood

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Orpington


    An oasis of peace and tranquillity only 13 miles south-east from the centre of London

    Full of natural history, the area is a haven for all kinds of bird, butterfly, amphibian and plant life.

    William Willett, the leader of the movement to have...

  12. Kingsgate Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    Some of the best examples of sea caves in the country can be found here.

  13. Ide Hill

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Sevenoaks


    A great place for a picnic. Enjoy impressive views of The Weald

    Ide Hill is 33.5 acres of semi-natural woodland that lies on the side of the Greensand Ridge. The area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its abundant...

  14. Capstone Farm Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Gillingham

    Capstone Farm Country Park is one of Medway's finest green spaces, offering wonderful opportunities for walking, running, cycling and more in 114 hectares of former farmland on the North Downs.

  15. One Tree Hill

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Sevenoaks


    Protected for over 100 years, a beautiful slice of Kent countryside

    Dr and Mrs Jamieson Hurry purchased One Tree Hill in 1911, in order to protect the area under the 1907 National Trust Act. It was purchased in memory of Mrs Jamieson Hurry's...

  16. 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.

  17. The Vyne

    Type

    Type:

    Castles & Stately Homes

    Basingstoke

    he Vyne is a warm red-bricked Tudor mansion built in the 16th century for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain, which later passed into the hands of the Chute family, who cared for the house and estate for over 300 years. It was remodelled to...

  18. East Head West Wittering

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Chichester


    One of the fastest moving sand and shingle spits in the United Kingdom

    East Head, in West Sussex, is one of the last surviving pieces of natural coastline in Sussex; a treasured example of the nationally rare and fragile, yet dynamic, sand-dune...

  19. Newtown National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Newport


    A quiet backwater with a busy Medieval past, now bursting with wildlife

    This is the only National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Wight. It is a beautiful retreat that has something to offer boat owners, walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and...

  20. West Green House Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Hartley Wintney

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

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