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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.

Number of results:

Number of results: 219

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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. Forest Leisure Cycling

    Type

    Type:

    Waymarked Trail

    Ringwood

    New Forest Cycle hire, from our brand new Cycle Centre, located close to the trails!

  3. 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…

  4. Windsor Great Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Windsor Great Park, Windsor

    A large deer park of 5,000 acres, Windsor Great Park is located to the south of the town of Windsor. For centuries the park was the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle and today it is largely open to the public.

  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. Saltdean Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Brighton

    Saltdean beach is shingle between rock groynes backed by high chalk cliffs and at low tide, you have rock pools to explore. Located approximately 5 miles to the East of Brighton.

  7. Alice Holt Forest

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Farnham

    Once famous for its oak trees which supplied timber for navy ships, Alice Holt is managed by the Forestry Commission and is a centre for a host of exciting outdoor activities in a beautiful woodland setting.

  8. Minnis Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Margate

    A long stretch of sand coupled with ample free parking and children’s outdoor play area near by.

  9. Littlehampton - Coastguard Station Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Littlehampton

    Littlehampton - Coastguard Station Beach

  10. Walpole Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Margate

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

  11. Sandgate Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Folkestone


    Just west of Sandgate Town Centre beach, this is a quieter single beach. A lovely spot for walking and quite popular for fishing.

  12. Joss Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    A surfer’s paradise, this popular 200-metre long bay is known as the best surfing beach in Thanet.

  13. Highdown Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Worthing

    A unique and beautiful garden on downland countryside overlooking the sea. The Chalk Garden is the achievement of Sir Frederick and Lady Stern who worked for 50 years to prove that plants would grow on chalk. Green Flag Award winner.

  14. Ryde Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Ryde

    The beaches at Ryde lie on the north east coast of the Isle of Wight and offer miles and miles of sandy shores.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Cuckoo Trail

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Trail / Watching

    Polegate

    The Cuckoo Trail is 11 miles long joining three of the district’s towns, Heathfield, Hailsham and Polegate. It also passes through the villages of Horam and Hellingly.

  19. Snelsmore Common Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Newbury

    Heathland, valley bog and woodland. Suitable for most quiet recreational activities such as walking and picnicking. Walking distance to Donnington Castle.

  20. 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.

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