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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: 279

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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. 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.

  3. Marley Common

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Haslemere


    Coconut-scents, purple heather and intimate woodland walks

    Marley Common in West Sussex, is a mixed broadleaf woodland and open heath. It's one of our oldest countryside acquisitions, having its centenary in 2011.

    The Common has had an...

  4. Maidenhead Commons and Cock Marsh

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Maidenhead


    An historic landscape full of natural beauty

    For many years the commons have been at the heart of the local community. At over 874 acres, the wide variety of landscapes offers the perfect escape to the country.

    From the Thames riverbank to...

  5. Electric Woods at Robin Hill

    Type

    Type:

    Event Venue

    NEWPORT

    Electric Woods is a series of stunning evening events featuring a spectacle of themed light, colour and sound set in a five acre pocket of ancient woodland at Robin Hill Adventure Park & Gardens in Newport on the Isle of Wight. As dusk falls, a...

  6. 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...

  7. Hove Lawns Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Hove

    Hove seafront begins at Hove Lawns and stretches right along to Hove Lagoon, near Portslade. There is a stunning walk along the seafront, especially just as the sun rises or sets, from the West Pier onwards.

  8. 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.

  9. St Catherine's Down

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Ventnor


    A wild rocky coast with jutting cliffs, a windswept down and sheltered wooded valley

    This is possibly one of the most wild and beautiful parts of the Isle of Wight with a wonderfully varied landscape in a relatively small area.

    Turbulent...

  10. Slindon Estate - National Trust

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Reserve

    Arundel


    The Slindon Estate, off the A29 near Arundel, consists of a large expanse of sweeping downland divided by dry valleys.

    Encompassing most of the village of Slindon, with its flint and brick cottages, the estate is also crossed by the largest...

  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. St Helens Duver and Priory Woods

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    St Helens


    St Helens Duver is a lovely place to relax or gently wander. There are sandy beaches, rock pools, sand dunes and coastal woods all within a small area. There is easy access from the car park onto the Duver, with its short turf and gently...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Arlington Bluebell Walk & Farm Trail

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Reserve

    Arlington

    Enjoy vistas of bluebells in 23 acres of ancient woodland. Walks and trails through three farms. Countryside exhibition. One walk is wheelchair friendly.

  16. 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)

  17. St Mildred's Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Westgate-on-Sea

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

  18. Riverside Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Gillingham

    Riverside Country Park is an excellent site for Winter birdwatching.
    Situated alongside the Medway Estuary at Gillingham, the park is made up of many different habitats, including ponds, reedbed and grassland.

  19. Limpsfield Common

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Oxted

    Ancient common on the Greensand Ridge where time comes home to sleep
    Limpsfield Common was used by commoners for grazing their animals and collecting stone and firewood. Now, with its extensive network of footpaths and bridleways through patches of...

  20. Hinton Ampner House and Garden

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Alresford

    Best known for its fine garden, Hinton Ampner is an elegant country house with an outstanding collection of furniture, paintings and objets d'art.