Routes changes, diversions and updates
The South Downs Way is a bit like the Forth Bridge; it is never finished. There is always maintenance to be done somewhere along the 100 miles of Trail. Changes in land use, developments and other opportunities appear that give us the chance to improve your experience by changing the route and sometimes the route is moved to give you a safer or more enjoyable experience. Therefore from time to time the official route of the South Downs Way changes or has to be temporarily diverted. This page shows all the major route changes and diversions in chronological order (with the most recent at the top). We have used the 2009 edition of the official National Trail guide for the South Downs Way by Paul Millmore (ISBN 978 1 84513 311 5) and the 2009 edition of Harvey Maps South Downs Way strip map as a baseline. If you have any other queries about the route from older editions of Trail guides, please contact the National Trail Officer.
Temporary diversion just south of Housedean Farm, Falmer.
470m of the South Downs Way near Housedean Farm is undergoing resurfacing work in order to make the section easier to navigate by all users. The temporary closure is expected to last 10 days, however, there is an alternative route on site parallel to the Bridleway through the field immediately to the North (adjacent field).
Tempoary diversion between Manor Farm, Hillbarn Lane, Cocking and Heyshott Down
Resurfacing work is due to start along the SDW between Manor Farm, Hillbarn Lane, Cocking and Heyshott Down on 11th March 2013 for approximately 2 weeks. The Restricted Byway at this location will be closed to all users but a temporary diversion will be signed running through the adjacent fields. This work should not affect any through traffic or routes leaving or joining the South Downs Way. For further information please contact the South Downs Way Officer on 01273 625242.
Temporary Diversion at Cheesefoot Head, Hampshire
Due to a music festival taking place in Matterley Bowl, below Cheesefoot Head on the 9th-12th August, there will be a short temporary diversion on the South Downs Way on the Itchen Valley 2 Bridleway. The diversion should only be in place while the festival is occuring but has permissions granted to run over if the need arisies during the take-down period. Click here for diversion map.
Pigs on Trail near Bramber
We advise caution to horse riders on Annington Hill, Bramber, West Sussex, as there have recently been large numbers of pigs moved to the fields along side the South Downs Way. Even the most relaxed horses are known to take fright at the sight of pigs and can potentially throw their rider. The pigs are not on the Trail but are clearly visible from the path.
Please consider your route carefully or be in readiness to dismount and walk this section of the Trail if necessary.
Potential flooding in Meon Valley
During this period of heavy rain it is likely that you may encounter flooding over the footpath between the A32 road crossing and Garden Hill Lane in the Meon Valley. We recommend walkers to follow the signed Bridleway Route from Exton to Old Winchester Hill if they want to avoid any potential flooding.
Please note that during periods of heavy rain or snowfall all of the river valleys on the South Downs Way have flooding potential.
New route for Bridleway at Eastbourne
The Bridleway start/finish at Eastbourne has been permanently rerouted. Rather than the Paradise Drive ending one might get riding towards Eastbourne, now you can continue and meet with the walkers only route which terminates at Upper Dukes Drive, and the end of the Eastbourne Seafront. The B1203 road crossing has also been improved and is now much safer for pedestrians and riders alike. This new route is not yet on current Ordnance survey maps, so please click click here for a map of the Trail.
Broken drinking Water Tap at Botolphs (River Adur crossing)
Unfortunately the drinking water tap at Botolphs, the SDW crossing over the River Adur near the A283 has been vandalised and is no longer working. Alternative taps can be found at Parkfield Farm, Washington near the A24 or at the Truleigh Hill YHA. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused, but please bear with us while we try to repair the damage.
New Temporary route for Cyclists and horse riders across the Meon Valley.
A new temporary route for horse riders and cyclists has been opened between Old Winchester Hill and Beacon Hill in Hampshire. This new route replaces the old temporary route that ran though Warnford. The route has been changed to improve the safety of users until agreement can be reached on a permanent route across the valley. The route benefits from stunning views from the top of Beacon Hill National Nature Reserve. The old route is still usable but is not recommended and is not signed as the South Downs Way. The new route is signed along its length. This route is likely to be in place until March 2011.