South Downs Gentle Walking Holiday

Explore the South Downs on foot

Code: AWBEW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Free WiFi
  • Meadows & hills

Level

  • 1
  • 2
More information

Choosing the level of your walks

Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £674.00 - 7 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of the South Downs. The choice of three guided walks includes a half-day walk of 3 or 4 miles. 

Enjoy the rolling hills and magnificent chalk cliffs of the South Downs. This wildlife-rich chalk downland is a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes of sweeping cornfields and market towns.

 

In pictures...

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Abingworth Hall in the South Downs

Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall is ideally located for a short break or a longer holiday. A peaceful ambiance and excellent facilities make it a relaxing place to stay. It offers great viewing for short or long strolls in the beautiful surrounding meadows.

Rooms

'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

At the house

  • Excellent boot and drying rooms
  • Three comfortable lounges, the largest of which opens onto the attractive conservatory and bar
  • Large ballroom
  • Dining room
  • Free WiFi avaliable in some public rooms
  • Range of board games and books
  • Surrounded by eight acres of gardens
  • Putting green and croquet lawn
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool
    (open May to September) 

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

Dining

An example of Abingworth evening mealAll holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

Abingworth Hall is generally accessible to wheelchair users and has a bedroom specifically designed for wheelchair access.

More details on Abingworth accessibility

Additional information 

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied

Itinerary

This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of Sussex and the South Downs. The choice of three guided walks includes a half-day walk of 3 or 4 miles. 

Half-Day walks

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier

South Downs walkers

Easier walks

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier

Seven Sisters

Medium walks

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy

Devils Dyke

 Select the date of your holiday to see which walks are running during your stay.

Pulborough to Abingworth Hall

Available on: 24 Aug 2019, 12 Oct 2019

Option 1: Wiggonholt to Abingworth

Shoveler Duck

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 280 feet (80m)

The walk in a nutshell: We walk from the RSPB Visitor Centre near Wiggonholt to the 12th Century church, one of the loveliest you’ll see. This is quintessential Sussex; tiny hamlets, woodland and meandering footpaths taking us back to Abingworth Hall.

Don’t miss: Linger in the RSPB visitor centre to take in the views across the river and water meadows. A great place to spot some wildfowl and take refreshments in the café!

Option 2: Pulborough & West Chiltington

Four walkers

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

The walk in a nutshell: Explore the gently undulating countryside of Sussex on this walk back to Abingworth Hall, via the picturesque village of West Chiltington.

 

Don’t miss: 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: Around Pulborough Brooks

Historic small church at Wiggonholt

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walking from the house, our route takes us along the ridge westwards to the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks and a convenient coffee stop. Continuing north we pass Wiggonholt church, and walk alongside the brooks to Nutbourne and eventually back to Abingworth Hall.

Don’t miss: Stop to enjoy the RSPB reserve at Pulbough Brooks where sightings may include Sandpipers, Lapwing and Shoveler Ducks.


The Iconic Seven Sisters

Available on: 25 Aug 2019, 13 Oct 2019

Option 1: Hope Gap

Seven Sisters cliffs

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 350 feet (100m)

The walk in a nutshell: From the Seven Sister’s Visitor Centre in Exceat – once a medieval settlement – we walk through the Seaford Head Nature Reserve to reach the chalk headland at Hope Gap. From here we walk to the coastguard cottages which provide the classic view of the Seven Sisters. Continuing, we follow the ‘Vanguard Way’ back to Exceat.

Don’t miss: Refreshments at the Cuckmere Inn – charming & picturesque and, best of all, the view of the Seven Sisters from Hope Gap.

Option 2: Seven Sisters

Classic view of the Sever Sisters chalk cliffs

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (160m)

The walk in a nutshell: Starting at Friston church, we walk south to reach the chalk cliffs near Birling Gap, before walking along the Seven Sisters coastal path to Cuckmere Haven. 

Don’t miss: Take time to savour the outstanding coastal scenery then gaze down from the final 'sister' over the River Cuckmere as it meanders gracefully towards the sea.

Option 3: Beachy Head & the Seven Sisters

Beachy Head lighthouse

Distance: 9 miles (14½km

Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

The walk in a nutshell: Follow the South Downs Way from above Eastbourne to Beachy Head. We then follow the glorious coastal path past the Belle Tout lighthouse and over the Seven Sisters to Cuckmere Haven.

Don’t miss: Look out for the Belle Tout lighthouse, now a private residence. In 1999 it was carefully jacked 17 metres inland away from the rapidly eroding cliff edge.


The Glorious Goodwood Estate

Available on: 27 Aug 2019, 15 Oct 2019

Option 1: Singleton to West Dean

Four walkers in Sussex countryside

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 540 feet (170m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: The views from the Trundle and the beautifully restored West Dean Gardens (admission payable).

Option 2: Goodwood & West Dean Gardens

West Dean gardens

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240km)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk through the Sussex countryside to the village of Singleton, then ascend onto the Downs to the top of the Trundle, overlooking Goodwood Racecourse.

Don’t miss: 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 & The Trundle

View from the top of the Trundle

Distance: 8 miles (12½km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: The Trundle is a fantastic viewpoint from where you can gaze down on Goodwood racecourse and the cathedral city of Chichester.


Through Cowdray Park to Petworth

Available on: 28 Aug 2019, 16 Oct 2019

Option 1: Halfway Bridge to Petworth

Petworth House with a dramatic sky

Distance: 4 miles (7km)

Total ascent: 520 feet (150m)

The walk in a nutshell:  From Halfway Bridge we walk through fields and woodland to Petworth, soaking up this beautiful, historic, corner of Sussex.

Don’t miss: The National Trust's Petworth House with grounds landscaped by 'Capability' Brown - a true English gem.

Option 2: Cowdray & Petworth Park

Lake and parkland at Petworth

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Our walk passes by the National Trust's Petworth House - this grand property was built in the Duke of Somerset in the late 17th Century in the style of Versailles.

Option 3: Midhurst to Petworth

Four walkers

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (320m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: 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.


Scenic South Downs

Available on: 29 Aug 2019, 17 Oct 2019

Option 1: Below the Downs

Purple orchid

 

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 250 feet (80m)

The walk in a nutshell: Starting from Washington, a town with Saxon origins, contour below the magnificent South Downs to Steyning.

Don’t miss: Steyning town trail - Tudor style half timbered houses, fine Georgian town houses, Norman carvings in St Andrews Church.

Option 2: Chanctonbury Ring

Sussex signpost

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 950 feet (280m)

The walk in a nutshell: Ascend to Chanctonbury Ring on the crest of the Downs, then take the South Downs Way along the hill-top to the historic town of Steyning.

Don’t miss: Chantonbury Ring has a mysterious atmosphere - local legend says that if you run 7 times around it on moonless night, the Devil will appear and offer you a bowl of milk, soup or porridge (reports vary!).

Option 3: Chanctonbury & Cissbury Ring

South Downs Way

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

The walk in a nutshell: Discover the two ancient hill-forts of Chanctonbury and Cissbury Rings on our walk along the Downs from Washington to Steyning.

Don’t miss: Cissbury Ring is a vast Iron Age hill-fort, the second largest in Britain with formidable ditches and ramparts.

Local area

Discover Sussex and the South Downs

Abingworth Hall is situated amidst gentle rolling farmland at the foot of the South Downs.

The nearest facilities are in the village of Storrington, about two miles away. Here you’ll find a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and a bank.

During your stay at Abingworth Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Arundel Castle from the airArundel
The quaint town of Arundel, about 30 minutes' drive away, is dominated by its castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk. During your visit you may enjoy a walk in the Castle's extensive grounds, or beside the river Arun. www.arundelcastle.org

 

 

Frontage to Uppark HouseUppark House
Completely restored after an extensive fire, this stately National Trust property has ornate rooms and gardens. Uppark is around 50 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/uppark

 

 

Brighton
The cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton is about 40 minutes' drive from Abingworth Hall and has an excellent range of specialist shops, entertainment, and its famous beach. You may also enjoy a visit to the Royal Pavilion, built in the early 19th century by George IV. www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk

Amberley Working Museum
Just 15 minutes' drive from Abingworth Hall, this large open-air museum tells the industrial story of the downs, complete with a steam railway, vintage buses and restored quarry machinery. www.amberleymuseum.co.uk

Parham House
Just 10 to 15 minutes' drive away, Elizabethan Parham House  is surrounded by an extensive deer park. www.parhaminsussex.co.uk

Chichester
The historic cathedral city of Chichester, about 45 minutes' drive away, has plenty of interest. Just a couple of miles away is the fascinating Fishbourne Roman Palace, uncovered in 1960, which has many superb mosaics. www.chichestercathedral.org.uk or www.sussexpast.co.uk/fishbourne

Imposing stone fascade of Petworth HousePetworth House
A large late 17th century mansion, now run by the National Trust with extensive grounds that were landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. Around 30 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth-house

 

 

Historic Houses at museumWeald & Downland Museum
Located on the Downs, near the village of Singleton, this excellent open-air museum contains many restored buildings that bring the history of Sussex to life. These include a working watermill and a re-creation of a typical downland village. The museum is around 45 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.wealddown.co.uk

 

Bluebell Railway
One of Britain’s premier steam railways with an impressive collection of 50 locomotives, representing the Southern Railway and its predecessors. The line runs through rolling countryside from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead, about 40 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.bluebell-railway.co.uk

 

Uppark House and Petworth House image ©National Trust Images/John Miller

Travel

Travel to Abingworth

Our address is: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest railway station is at Pulborough. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

The 6 mile journey from Pulborough railway station takes approximately 15 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £14. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Abingworth Hall Manager.

Driving to us

By car:

For those with satellite navigation, enter the postcode RH20 3EF and Storrington Road if required.

From the M25 take either the A24 or the M23 and then the A264 towards Horsham. At the Great Daux roundabout go south on the A24 towards Worthing. Go straight over 2 roundabouts and then at the traffic light cross roads turn right onto the A272 signposted to Billingshurst and Petersfield. After 3 miles turn left onto the B2139 (The Selsey Arms on left). After 3.5 miles pass the turning for Thakeham on the left. After half a mile, Abingworth Hall is on the left, directly after the national speed limit signs.

From the M27 continue onto the A27 and around Chichester. At Fontwell Park roundabout take the first exit to continue on the A27 and at the next roundabout take the first exit on to the A29. After approx. 4 miles, at a roundabout, take the 2nd exit on to the B2139 to Storrington. At the mini roundabout in Storrington, take the 2nd exit onto the A283. Continue through Storrington and take the first exit at the mini roundabout by the Anchor Inn on to the B2139 towards Thakeham. Take the 2nd exit at the next mini roundabout and then take the 1st exit at next mini roundabout (by Steyning Grammar School). Continue down this road until you see 30mph signs. Abingworth Hall is just before these signs, on the right. 

Travel by plane

Travelling from overseas

Abingworth is particularly convenient from London Gatwick Airport, which is served by a large range of long-haul and European flights.

From Gatwick Airport station there are trains every 30 minutes to Pulborough - journey time 40 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. From Pulborough station complete your journey to Abingworth by taxi (see above)

London Heathrow airport is a little further away, so you'll need to travel via the centre of London. Allow 2½ hours to get to Pulborough.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
23 Aug 2019 AWBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Abingworth 7 £879.00 £779.00 Save £100 off pp - Special Summer Early Booking OFFER Book Now
11 Oct 2019 AWBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Abingworth 7 £799.00 £674.00 Save £125 off pp - Top Special Autumnr Early Booking OFFER Book Now

Prices are per person

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