Cymraeg

COVID 19 Update

Last Updated: Wednesday 6th January 2021. Important: All National Trail users need to ensure they are following the latest Government rules and guidance. The relevant links are provided below.

There is guidance in England on staying safe and protecting others in green spaces.

Exercise is important for health and wellbeing, but please follow guidance to stay safe and protect others.

Read the full up-to-date rules effective in England here. Those relevant to visiting green space include you:

  • must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary.
  • may leave your home to exercise once per day.
  • may exercise outside of your home with your household (or support bubble) or with one other person,
  • should not travel outside your local area, but you can travel a short distance within your area to exercise if necessary (for example, to access an open space).
  • must wear a face covering in most enclosed public settings, unless you have an exemption
  • should follow the rules on meeting others safely
  • must not go out for exercise if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

You should read the full advice and regulations for England here before exercising outdoors.

Relevant advice when using National Trails in England:

  • Wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
  • Take hand sanitiser with you in case there are no handwashing facilities.
  • Make space and stay at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or support bubble where possible, or at least 1 metre with precautions, such as wearing a face mask.
  • Follow the Countryside Code. Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home and don’t light fires or barbecues.
  • Keep dogs under effective control and on a lead when you are around farm animals.
  • Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs.
  • Use footpaths and follow signs where they suggest an alternative route to protect other people and protect the natural environment.
  • Take the time to read signage. Respect the measures that local authorities and site management have put in place to help ensure social distancing
  • Remember your actions can affect people’s lives and livelihoods.

Remember – ‘Hands. Face. Space’

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Trail Information

Find useful facts and learn more about the South Downs Way below. Select the blue tabs below for more details.

About the Trail

The 100 miles (160 Km) long South Downs Way National Trail follows the old routes and droveways along the chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs. The route provides the visitor with the opportunity “to get away from it all” without having to travel too far in this busy part of England. The undulating route provides a wonderful trip for long distance riders as well as walkers. It also provides interesting day trips and short breaks.

Exploring the Trail

Anyone who is reasonably fit can walk the South Downs Way – if you can comfortably walk say 12 miles (20km) in a day you shouldn’t have a problem.

The National Trail is very well way-marked so following the route is easy. But it is always a good idea to take a guidebook or map.

The South Downs Way can be enjoyed at any time of the year. However it does get busier during school holidays and on weekends between May and September you should expect to come across larger organised events.

What is special about the Trail?

The South Downs Way is tranquil island in the busy South East running entirely within the new South Downs National Park. You can feel a million miles from the hustle and bustle of modern life, but only be a few minutes from civilisation.

Running along a chalk ridge means that the Trail drains and dries out quickly making it good year round. The elevated position ensures you are rewarded by breathtaking views across the English Channel and Isle of Wight to the south and over the wooded Weald and heathland ridges to the north.

Whether you’re walking, on a mountain bike or on horseback the South Downs Way passes through a varied landscape of protected habitats including internationally important chalk rivers, internationally rare species rich chalk grasslands and beautiful ancient woodland. The Trail passes through or passes by 5 National Nature Reserves and dozens of Sites of Special Scientific Interest where you can enjoy stunning wildlife at close hand.

Trail Itineraries

Please just use these for inspiration for the future. Current restrictions mean that you are not able to travel to enjoy the National Trails

Create your own trip

Feeling inspired? Build a bespoke itinerary and start planning your visit to this great National Trail here.

South Downs Way

Click the play button to see the highlights of the South Downs Way

DAYS

9

DISTANCE

160km

Click here to view more videos of the South Downs Way.

Discover Roman sites, living history and stunning views

Explore the chalk South Downs and visit country parks and world famous landscapes such as Seven Sisters, Devil's Dyke and Winchester Hill.

Follow us on twitter

All the latest tweets from the South Downs Way National Trail team