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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 areas 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.

South East England's countryside also includes leafy Surrey near London. Newlands Corner, Box Hill and Leith Hill offer outstanding viewpoints around Guildford while the Wey and Arun Canal Trust offer the chance to discover the countryside from a different perspective.

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 and the Isle of Wight a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, but anywhere away from the lights of urban centres is a great place to start.

Number of results:

Number of results: 219

, 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. Tankerton Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Whitstable

    As you walk along the Whitstable front you will come to grassy banks that gently slope down to the beach, characterised by pretty wooden beach huts and an established sailing club.

  3. Port Lympne Reserve

    Type

    Type:

    Animal Collection / Zoo

    Ashford

    Port Lympne Reserve, set in 600 acres, has something for everyone, whether you're interested in animals, historic houses, elegant gardens or magnificent scenery, you'll have a totally wild day out!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Kilkenny Lane Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Carterton

    Set within 50 acres Kilkenny Lane Country Park is an ideal location for playing, walking, jogging, or simply relaxing with a picnic. There are 2.5km of paths (suitable for wheelchair access) and bridleways, as well as an adventure play area

  7. 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.

  8. Stone Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    A beautiful bay with scope for rock pooling.

  9. Visit Arundel

    Type

    Type:

    Countryside, Parks & Gardens

    Arundel captures the essence of heritage, urban chic and country pursuits, all within a stone’s throw of London. Experience our market town and you will discover more than you’d expect.

  10. West Green House Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Hartley Wintney

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

  11. Yateley Common Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Yateley

    476 acres of heathland, woodland, grassland and ponds providing walking, cycling and fishing in natural surroundings.

  12. Viking Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    This magnificent horse shoe shaped bay is the main attraction in Broadstairs.

  13. Pelham Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Hastings


    Hastings' main beach backs right onto the seafront of this established seaside resort town so you are never far away from the town's facilities and attractions.

  14. Edward Thomas circular walk

    Type

    Type:

    Walking Tour

    Steep near Petersfield

    A 4 mile circular walk with stunning views of the South Downs

  15. St Mildred's Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Westgate-on-Sea

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

  16. Farley Mount Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Hursley, Winchester

    A large area of beautiful downland and woodland, including West Wood. The Park is ideal for walking and picnicking, with fine views over central Hampshire, particularly from the interesting monument at Beacon Hill. Several car parks serve the area.

  17. South of England Rare Breeds Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Farm

    Woodchurch

    Large collection of rare farm breeds on a working farm with children's play activities. Home to the 'Tamworth Two'. Woodland walks.

  18. 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.

  19. Mote Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Maidstone

    Mote Park has been a popular place to visit for both visitors and locals being a huge green open space in the heart of town. Its vast number of mature trees create a landscape of tranquil beauty.

  20. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Romsey

    Discover the beauty and inspiration at the Gardens, woodlands walks and breath-taking views.

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