Getting to the South Downs Way
It's easy to get to the South Downs Way, it has good public transport links which tend to get better the further east you go.
There are main line trains and long distance coaches to both Winchester and Eastbourne as well as several places in between. Allow around 60 – 90 minutes from London.
Ferries to Newhaven and Portsmouth, and the London Airports (especially Gatwick) are handy for overseas visitors.
Public Transport is a great way to get out and about on the South Downs Way, whether you are a long distance walker or a day visitor you will know you can return to your start point at the end of your walk. You can also experience view of the South Downs you may miss out on with others modes of transport.
For long distance walkers, the easiest way to get from the start back to the finish is by train between Eastbourne and Winchester. Intermediate stations at Petersfield, Amberley, Hassocks and Lewes can also be helpful if you're doing the walk in stages.
But if you would prefer to tackle the South Downs Way in smaller bite sized chunks, then with a little planning the the Trail can be completed as a series of one-way day walks, returning to a start point at a station or car park each evening.
Download the full South Downs Public Transport Guide 2012/13 here.
For a free printed copy of the South Downs Public Transport guide please contact the South Downs Way Trail Office.
Downlander is an all-inclusive Off-Peak day travel ticket from Southern, giving great value travel across the South Downs.
From only £10, travel to as many places in the South Downs in one day as you wish using train services provided by Southern and bus services in the eastern South Downs (click here for details of bus services included in Downlander).
With Downlander tickets, discounts are also given to a number of great attractions.
To find out more and buy a Downlander ticket visit www.southernrailwaytickets.com/downlander.
Driving & Car Parking
We encourage you to come and visit the South Downs by public transport, however, if you do decide to drive then the road connections to the M25/M3/M23/M27 are good.
Car Parks are often small in the South Downs, with farm machinery sometimes passing through especially during harvest, so please park considerately. Car Parks are listed on the Local Attractions and Services page of this site and are also marked on Ordnance Survey maps.
Long term parking is harder to come by so if you are planning to leave your vehicle in Eastbourne or Winchester we recommend reading the South Downs Way Parking leaflet for advice for the best and safest options.
Car crime is an occasional problem in any rural car park, so don't leave valuables (or anything that looks like it might be valuable) in sight.
There are horse box parking opportunities all along the South Downs Way, you can download a list of horse box parking places here. Most other car parks not listed have height restriction barriers.
Please note that some train operators do not allow bikes on some services or only allow restricted numbers. If you intend to take a bike on a train, check in advance by contacting the train operator or National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950 www.nationalrail.co.uk
Many taxi and private hire companies operate throughout the South Downs. Contact details and taxi ranks are often to be found at railway stations or other large public transport points. For more details you could try www.yell.com or phone directoriy enquiries on 118 247 (40p/min charge).
Some private hire services who specialise in knowing rural areas are as follows:
Winchester and East Hampshire
Walk & Cycle
Walk & Cycle offers a unique taxi service for cyclists along the South Downs Way. They can collect you from Eastbourne or any other part of the South Downs Way trail and transport you, your bicycles and your bags back to your car in Winchester, a railway station or home.