On offer

7 Night South Downs Gentle Guided Walking Holiday

Petworth Park
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Gentle guided walking
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £1,179pp £1,089pp

A landscape of chalky cliffs, high-backed hills, ancient woodland, hidden valleys, and dramatic coastline so deserving of its National Park status finally bestowed in 2010, the South Downs has always been a siren call for walkers. Perfect for those seeking the charm of the English countryside at a slower and more relaxed pace, this holiday rewards with breathtaking trails, big-name historic attractions, picturesque villages, market towns, comfortable accommodation, and more. You’ll also enjoy a choice of up to three different-grade daily walks, including a gentle walk of three to four miles.

What you’ll love

  • Discovering the stunning landscape of the South Downs on foot
  • Keeping your eyes peeled for rare wildlife and grazing animals
  • Soaking up views of the rolling countryside
  • Spending time with like-minded people in the great outdoors
  • Finding new routes and places to explore with your HF Holidays Leader
  • Staying a skip away from Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Cream tea on arrival day
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders
  • Choice of up to three different-grade daily walks
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.

Option 1 - Perrett's Copse & Wantley

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 200 feet (60m)

In summary: We walk along the ridge to the west of the House and then turn south for a short distance before turning eastwards to Wantley, just north of Storrington. From here we walk northwards to complete our circuit, re-joining the outward route for our return to the House.

Highlight: Views from the ridge are stunning.

Option 2 - West Chiltington & Thakeham

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: Starting out west along the ridge, we soon turn north to West Chiltington. We return, via Thakeham – and possibly via the White Lion public house, to the Abingworth Hall.

Highlight: West Chiltington church was built between 1100 & 1150 and has a fine collection of frescoes. As we head back to Abingworth Hall there are beautiful views towards the South Downs.

Option 3 - Pulborough Brooks, Nutbourne & West Chiltington

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In summary: We walk along the ridge to the west of the House and continue west to the RSPB reserve at Pulborough. We then head north, across Pulborough Brooks meadows, to Pulborough village. We continue east to the villages of Nutbourne and West Chiltington, to return to the house.

Highlight: The nature reserve at Pulborough Brooks is not to be missed.

Option 1 - Arundel Park

Distance: 3 miles (4.5km)

Total ascent: 300 feet (90m)

In summary: A circular walk takes us through the landscaped grounds of Arundel Park to the pretty hamlet of South Stoke, returning alongside the River Arun.

Highlight: At the end of the walk there's time to explore historic Arundel with its impressive cathedral and Norman castle, the seat of the Duke of Norfolk.

Option 2 - Amberley to Arundel

Distance: 5.5 miles (8.5 kms)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220 m)

In summary: Walk through the fields at the foot of the Downs from the picturesque village of Amberley. Enjoy views of the Arun Valley as we make our way into Arundel.

Highlight: The medieval village of North Stoke with its church dating from the 1300s.

Option 3 - Arundel Park and River Arun

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Total ascent: 625 feet (190m)

In summary: A circular route which begins through Arundel Park. After crossing the River Arun, we'll continue through open countryside to the village of Burpham, before returning alongside the river to Arundel. 

Highlight: The Arun Valley is a haven for a variety of wintering wildfowl. You may also see Lapwings, Redshanks and Snipes.

Option 1 - Halfway Bridge to Petworth

Distance: 4½ miles (7km) 

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m) 

In summary: From Halfway Bridge we walk through fields and woodland to Petworth, soaking up this beautiful, historic corner of Sussex. 

Highlight: The National Trust's Petworth House is a true English gem - with grounds landscaped by 'Capability' Brown.

Option 2 - Cowdray Park & Petworth

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m) 

In summary: Walk from the northern edge of the polo grounds of Cowdray Park, through attractive woodland and fields to Petworth. Here you can visit Petworth House or take an optional walk around the surrounding parkland. 

Highlight: Our walk passes by the National Trust's Petworth House - this grand property was rebuilt by the 'Proud' Duke of Somerset during the late 17th Century in the new Baroque style.

Option 3 - Midhurst to Petworth

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km) 

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m) 

In summary: Follow the valley of the river Rother from the historic town of Midhurst to the ruins of Cowdray Park and the famous polo ground. We continue to Petworth, where there may be time to walk around Petworth Park or to visit the house. 

Highlight: The extensive grounds of Petworth House were landscaped by 'Capability' Brown and captured on canvas by JMW Turner. The park is currently home to England's largest herd of Fallow Deer.

Discover more about Abingworth Hall and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 

Option 1 - Thakeham, Warminghurst & Little Thakeham

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 350 feet (100m)

In summary: We walk to the nearby village of Thakeham and then, via Warminghurst church, along Park Lane. We continue along a footpath to Little Thakeham, before ascending to the ridge and returning to the House.

Highlight: The difference between the churches in Thakeham and Warminghurst.

Option 2 - Cootham & Storrington

Distance: 6½miles (11km)

Ascent: 400 feet (120m)

In summary: We walk along the ridge to the west of the house and then south to Storrington. There will be time to explore Storrington and possibly visit a teashop before we return through fields to the house.

Highlight: Explore picturesque Storrington, gateway to the South Downs.

Option 3 - Pulborough Brooks & Parham Park

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m)

In summary: We walk along the ridge to the west of the House and continue west to the RSPB reserve at Pulborough – and the opportunity for refreshment. We continue south to the western entrance to Parham Park. We stroll through the Park to Cootham – with the opportunity for refreshment at The Crown. We return through fields to the House.

Highlight: The opportunity to see local birds at the reserve.

Option 1 - Singleton to West Dean

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Total ascent: 540 feet (170m)

In summary: Starting at the pretty village of Singleton, we have a gentle ascent of St Roche's Hill to reach the Trundle, an Iron Age hill fort. We then follow the Monarch's Way to finish at West Dean Gardens.

Highlight: The views from the Trundle and the beautifully restored West Dean Gardens (admission payable).

Option 2 - Glorious Goodwood and West Dean Gardens

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In summary: Walk through the Sussex countryside to the village of Singleton, then ascend onto the Downs to the top of the Trundle, overlooking Goodwood Racecourse.

Highlight: The walk ends at the highly recommended West Dean Gardens (admission payable). Discover the water garden, rich herbaceous borders, and the Edwardian walled kitchen garden.

Option 3 - Levin Down Nature Reserve, Goodwood, and West Dean

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In summary: Ascend through the woodland of the Drovers Estate to Levin Down Nature Reserve and the villages of Charlton and Singleton. After ascending The Trundle, we follow the West Sussex Literary Trail to West Dean Gardens.

Highlight: The Trundle is a fantastic viewpoint from where you can gaze down on Goodwood Racecourse and the cathedral city of Chichester.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.

Abingworth Hall

Country living just got cosier at this former farmhouse. Abingworth Hall is just a skip away from the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs – a landscape of ancient woodland, hidden valleys, chalky cliffs, and high-backed hills so deserving of its national park status finally bestowed in 2010. While the views from the doorstep are as wow-worthy as you’d expect, the walking opportunities around the sightseeing greats such as Devil’s Dyke, Seven Sisters Country Park, Kingley Vale, Parham House, and the Clayton Windmills (known locally as Jack and Jill) are equally standout. You’ll also be within easy driving distance of several historic towns and cities, most fabulously Arundel, Chichester, and Brighton.   



Designed with your comfort in mind, Abingworth Hall has 27 well-appointed guest rooms available in two categories: Classic and Premium. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. 

We love: The Premium Rooms for views of the impossibly pretty surrounds. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Abingworth Hall


Getting to Abingworth Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential information

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.  


  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip 
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket, preferably insulated 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable) 
  • Waterproof overtrousers 
  • Gloves and a warm hat (or sunhat) 
  • Rucksack 
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity) 
  • A small torch 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Mobile phone and portable charger 
  • Watch 
  • UV sunglasses 


  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve) 
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters 
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat  
  • Spare pair of socks 
  • Energy snacks 
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables 
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace) 
  • Wallet/purse 

Optional extras

  • Walking poles, useful for descents 
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box 
  • Gaiters 
  • Blister kit  
  • Waterproof rucksack liner 
  • Head torch 
  • GPS device 

Abingworth Hall Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

31 May - 07 Jun 2024

7 nights

Gentle Walks

Single from

£1,179 £1,129

Double from

£1,179 £1,129 pp


£1,179 £1,129 pp


£1,179 £1,129

Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now

28 Jun - 05 Jul 2024

7 nights

Gentle Walks

Single from

£1,179 £1,089

Double from

£1,179 £1,089 pp


£1,179 £1,089 pp


£1,179 £1,089

Save £90 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now

19 Jul - 26 Jul 2024

7 nights

Gentle Walks

Single from

£1,179 £1,089

Double from

£1,179 £1,089 pp


£1,179 £1,089 pp


£1,179 £1,089

Save £90 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
7 nights
Gentle guided walking
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

7 nights from £1,179pp £1,089pp

On offer

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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