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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: 277

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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. Marina St Leonards Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    St Leonards-On-Sea

    Marina St Leonards Beach

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Wellington Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Riseley, Reading

    Wellington Country Park, ‘The Biggest Outdoor play in Berkshire’, was established in 1974 by the Eighth Duke and Duchess of Wellington. Set in 350 acres of beautiful parklands off the A33 between Basingstoke and Reading, Wellington Country Park...

  6. 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.

  7. Leith Hill & Tower

    Type

    Type:

    Viewpoint

    Dorking


    Step out and discover our network of footpaths. There are so many to choose, from shorter routes to the Greensand Way, which follows the Greensand Ridge along the Surrey Hills and crosses Leith Hill. Most of our paths are clearly marked, but an...

  8. Merriments Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Hurst Green

    A 4-acre garden featuring herbaceous borders, unusual plants, water gardens and colour-themed borders. Nursery, bird centre, shop and new Garden Room restaurant

  9. Dumpton Gap

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    Dumpton Gap offers one of the best low tide walking routes to Ramsgate during low tide.

  10. Gardens and Grounds of Herstmonceux Castle

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Hailsham

    Herstmonceux is renowned for its magnificent moated castle, set in 550 acres of glorious parkland and superb Elizabethan gardens.

  11. What's on this week at Bodiam Castle?

    Type

    Type:

    Castle / Fort

    Bodiam, Robertsbridge

    One of the most famous and evocative castles in Britain, Bodiam was built in 1385, as both a defence and a comfortable home.

  12. Reculver Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Herne Bay

    Reculver's shingle beach is a haven for those looking for a peaceful hideaway in the rural setting of the Reculver Country Park, where people come to relax and admire the stunning Kent coastline.

  13. Bookham Common

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Leatherhead

    Ancient commons, mentioned in the Domesday Book, with grassland plains, mighty oak woods and serene ponds

  14. Chislehurst Caves

    Type

    Type:

    Cave

    Chislehurst

    Your whole family can travel back intime, on an exciting lamp-lit tour of the labyrinth that is Chislehurst Caves.

  15. Mariners Hill

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Edenbridge

    Far from the sea, but still a great view


    Mariners Hill is much enjoyed by local people and dog walkers, who value its tranquil walks and excellent panoramic views of the Weald.

    The wildlife in the area includes many native birds and...

  16. White Horse Hill

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Site

    Uffington

    Pay a visit to this ancient rolling downland, home to an enigmatic chalk hill figure!

  17. Westbrook Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Margate

    This is a great family beach with a sandy bay with a small section of sand at high tide.

  18. Marwell Zoo

    Type

    Type:

    Animal Collection / Zoo

    Winchester

    A visit to Marwell Zoo is a chance to get close to the wonders of the natural world – and play a big part in helping to save them. From ring-tailed lemurs to majestic giraffes and stunning snow leopards to curious meerkats – their 140-acre park is...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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