Being as I was between jobs these past 2 weeks (by design I might add, as some people get embarrassed when you use this phrase!) I’ve been doing some things I love with the time. This has meant doing the school run, spending time with my wife, pottering around the house and other such matters, but it meant that I had a couple of days spare to go walking on the South Downs which is one of my favourite and most visited areas of the UK.
The South Downs way is a great walk for many reasons, my primary ones being:
1. Amazing jaw dropping beauty
2. Easily accessible by public transport all along the route
3. Bordered by lovely towns and villages with a great selection of accommodation and food options
4. Only 90 minutes from London
5. Easy to break up into short sections for weekend breaks
I chose to walk a 2 day route which I’ve done several times before. Here’s the itinerary:
Train to Chichester
Grab breakfast in Chichester High Street and also a packed lunch for later
Bus number 60 to the stop before Cocking
5 hours good walking
In Amberley there’s a great selection of food and lodging, but I often prefer to take the train one stop south to Arundel which remains one of my favourite places in the UK. If possible I always stay in the Swan Hotel in Arundel, it’s in an absolutely stunning location in the centre of town, has wonderful rooms, great food and really friendly staff. I’ve stayed there numerous times now and I’ve never been disappointed.
I take the train back one stop to Amberley to join up with the main South Downs Way again, but you can easily walk this leg, it’s only a 90 minute stroll along the river.
From Amberley it’s another 5 hour walk to the next stop at Steyning.
At Steyning there’s lots of nice pubs and inns and restaurants and accommodation, but if you’re on a short trip like I was this time, there’s a number of frequent buses which will get you back to a variety of main line railway stations. I took the number 2 to Shoreham by Sea, and then you’ve a simple direct connection to London or elsewhere as appropriate.
If you’re lucky you’ll get weather like the above photo which I got this week (although the photo is actually one of mine from a different trip to the same location) but then you might also gets loads of wind and snow like I did last year when I was up there, so make sure you’re appropriately prepared for all weathers as you should always be when you’re out walking.