England’s Newest national park and a real gem of Sussex, the South Downs are often called the lungs of the south-east, and for good reasons. The countryside expanse is tucked between the busy capital and the south coast, making it an ideal location for staycationers looking to take a break from modern life.
Think rolling hills, quaint English villages, and breathtaking landscapes all around. The South Downs National Park is a perfect choice for a UK holiday that the whole family can enjoy.
There are lots of things to see and do, from a diverse variety of wildlife and many unspoiled spots to some distinctive towns and villages, perfect for picking up souvenirs and supporting local businesses. Here we’ll look at some of the most exciting things you can do in the South Downs National Park, giving you even more reasons to indulge in a UK staycation this year.
Of all the ways to explore the South Downs National Park, hiking remains a firm favourite among visitors. The breathtaking landscape is home to lots of walking routes, with something suitable for every ability. So, whether you’re a fair-weather walker or a keen rambler, you’re sure to find a path that suits you.
There are more walking routes in this national park than in any other in the UK. That’s 3,300 kilometres of footpaths just waiting for you to explore. Stroll along old railway lines, like Centurion Way or Meon Valley, which are trails today. Or, try one of the Heathlands Reunited walks with a guide and learn about local wildlife, land management, and heritage as you go.
As well as all the usual walking and cycling, there are lots of ways to enjoy South Downs that you might never have experienced before. Try paragliding or water sports, like kayaking and paddleboarding. There are plenty of professional local companies offering adventure activities in the park, so do a little research and find the opportunity that suits you best.
As well as a sprawling natural landscape, South Downs National Park boasts a unique heritage that’s great to explore while you’re in the area. Historic towns and villages are an excellent place to start. Each spot has its own story, and with 117,000 residents inside the South Downs boundaries, you’re sure to find somebody to tell it.
Why not head to a weekly farmer’s market, independent gallery, or a quaint café. There’s never been a better time to support UK local businesses, and the combination of countryside and community is sure to elevate your time in this unique national park.
Choose a hotel you can trust close to the South Downs National Park and be sure of your safety from the moment you arrive. We have lots of Accor hotels surrounding South Downs, so you can enjoy access to everything the area has to offer as well as cleanliness and care.