The garden of London, Surrey is home to the beautiful Surrey Hills, North Downs, High Weald, large woodlands, affluent towns and characterful villages.

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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 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.

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: 233

, 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. Leonardslee Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Countryside, Parks & Gardens

    Horsham

    One of the finest gardens in Britain, Leonardslee will reopen to the public in March 2018. The Grade 2 listed Italianate style ropery will house dining facilities and become a local attraction for wedding groups and events.

  3. Stansted Park

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Stansted Park is home to stunning weddings, forest walks, afternoon teas and some of the best events in the south! Visit the Mansion for a real sense of a bygone era.

  4. Walpole Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Margate

    Walpole Bay is ideal for investigating fascinating rock and tidal pools.

  5. Stone Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    A beautiful bay with scope for rock pooling.

  6. Harewoods and Sandhills

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Redhill

    Hidden woodlands, lush green meadows, tranquil ponds and an ancient common

  7. Wakehurst

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    HAYWARDS HEATH

    Stunning photos of magnificent botanic gardens owned by Kew & all you may wish to know prior to a visit including the world's largest wild plant seed bank

  8. 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.

  9. Jane Austen Circular Walk

    Type

    Type:

    Walking

    Chawton

    Come and discover the beautiful countryside that inspired Jane Austen and take a peek inside her house where she lived and worked for 8 years.

  10. West Bay Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Westgate-on-Sea

    A completely tidal bay, with a long stretch of sand when the tide is out.

  11. 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.…

  12. West Green House Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Hartley Wintney

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

  13. Seagrove Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Seaview

    Seagrove Bay sits between Seaview beach and Priory Bay on the north east coast and boasts some of the largest and most imposing seaside properties on the Isle of Wight. When the tide is out Seagrove Bay has a large expanse of golden sands, making…

  14. Queen Elizabeth Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Horndean

    With over 2,000 acres of downland and woodland, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is the ideal place to explore, keep fit and enjoy the great outdoors.

  15. Alver Valley Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Lee-on-the-Solent

    The Alver Valley is Gosport's wildlife haven, and there's always something to see and do throughout the through the changing seasons. It’s a great place to go for a walk, with plenty of routes and different landscapes. 

  16. River Adur - Coastal Link & Sculpture Trail

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Shoreham-by-Sea

    The River Adur, an important trade route since Roman times, derives its name from the Celtic word 'Dwyr', meaning 'water'. It gives its name to the Adur District dividing it roughly in half.

  17. Tilgate Park Watersports

    Type

    Type:

    Sports Activities

    Tilgate Drive, CRAWLEY

    If you’re looking for a fun activity that you and your family or friends can enjoy, we have a fun activity that’s perfect for you. From 1 hour to full day hire there’s a wide choice available most days.

  18. 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.

  19. Louisa Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    A small popular tucked away bay that is great for rock pooling with a promenade café

  20. Thames Path National Trail

    Type

    Type:

    Walking Tour

    Oxford

    On its way the Trail passes through peaceful water meadows rich in wildlife, historic towns and cities such as Oxford, Henley and Windsor, many lovely villages and some of the best known landmarks of London.

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