4-Night South Downs Guided Walking Holiday

Abingworth - Eastbourne - AdobeStock_184274179.jpeg
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £469pp £419pp

Stride out along 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, all of which can be explored on our Guided Walking holidays.

Holiday Highlights

  • Head out on full day walks to discover the varied beauty of the South Downs on foot
  • Admire panoramic sea and cliff views
  • Let a local leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
  • Enjoy magnificent South Downs coastal scenery
  • Visit charming English villages
  • Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about the rich history
  • A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of England’s most beautiful walking areas
  • Discover what makes the South Downs so special from the white cliffs to the sandy beaches
  • Evenings in our country house where you share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 3 days guided walking
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Cootham & Storrington

Distance: 6.5 miles (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: Wander around picturesque Storrington, the gateway to the South Downs.

Option 2 - 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. We continue south to the western entrance to Parham Park where we stroll through the park to Cootham before continuing into Storrington and return through fields to the house.

Highlight: Stop to enjoy the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks where sightings may include Sandpipers, Lapwing and Shoveler Ducks.

Option 3 - Parham Park & Amberley

Distance: 13.5 miles (22km)

Ascent: 1,150 feet (340m)

In summary: We walk along the ridge to the west of the house and then south to Cootham. We continue south to ascend onto the South Downs Way ridge and then west to Amberley, before returning through lovely Parham Park to the House.

Highlight: Parham House is a fine Elizabethan residence, surrounded by an extensive deer park.


Option 1 - Thakeham & Warminghurst

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total Ascent: 350 feet (120m)

In Summary: From the house we ascend to the ridge and then make our way to Thakeham. We continue through open fields join a woodland track which takes us to Warminghurst. We return to the house via the outskirts of Thakeham – which might provide an opportunity to undertake a visit to the White Lion.

Highlight: The peace and quiet of the woodland tracks.

Option 2 - The Knepp Estate

Distance: 10½ miles (16½km)

Ascent: 500 feet (140m)

In summary: Leaving the house, we make our way to the outskirts of Thakeham. We continue across open farmland and through woodland to reach the south western edge of the Knepp Estate. We have time to explore some of its features before turning for home via Warminghurst.

Highlight: Exploring the Knepp Estate.

Option 3 - Shipley & the Knepp Estate

Distance: 13½ miles (22km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In summary: We leave the house and make our way to the outskirts of Thakeham. Continuing across open farmland and through woodland, we reach the south western edge of the Knepp Estate. We continue to the village of Shipley before exploring the eastern part of the Knepp Estate. We return to the house via Warminghurst.

Highlight: Shipley - this historic village that was first mentioned in the Domesday Book.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     


Option 1 - West Chiltington & Thakeham

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Total ascent:459 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 2 - Pulborough Brooks and West Chiltington

Distance: 8.5 miles (14km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In summary: A repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests, on this fantastic walk we head along the ridge to the west of the house and continue west to the RSPB reserve at Pulborough – and the opportunity for refreshments. 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 3 - Storrington & South Downs Way

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In summary: We walk along the ridge to the west of the house and then south to Storrington. We continue south to ascend onto the South Downs Way ridge and continue east to descend from Barnsfarm Hill to Rowdell. We return to the house across Washington Common & Heath Common.

Highlight: Views from the South Downs Way ridge.


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Arundel Park

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

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 - Arun Valley Circuit

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

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 3 - Over the Downs to Arundel

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In Summary: Follow the South Downs Way along the crest of the Downs to Rackham Hill and Kithurst Hill. From here we descend onto the lower slopes and head to Arundel along the Monarch's Way.

Highlight: Enjoy great views of Arundel as we descend from the Downs towards the Arun Valley. The Monarch's Way follows the route of King Charles II as he made his escape from the Battle of Worcester.

 


Option 1 - Burton Park & Petworth House

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (160m)

In Summary: Explore the gently rolling countryside of the Rother Valley on our walk through Burton Park to Petworth. Here you can visit Petworth House or take an optional walk around the surrounding parkland.

Highlight: We pass by the National Trust's Petworth House - this grand property was built by the Duke of Somerset in the late 17th Century in the style of Versailles.

 

Option 2 - Duncton Down to Petworth

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In Summary: Starting on Duncton Downs the walk descends into the Rother Valley, passing through Burton Park and the village of Fittleworth on the way to Petworth.

Highlight: Our walk passes Burton Park, another grand stately home, dating from 1826. The small Norman church nearby is full of character.

 

Option 3 - Woolavington Down to Petworth

Distance: 11½ miles (18km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In Summary: Walk over Woolavington Down then descend to the Rother Valley, passing Burton Park and Fittleworth on the way to Petworth House.

Highlight: Burton Mill Pond is a great spot for Coots, Moorhen and Great Crested Grebe. The walk finishes at Petworth, a charming, small market town with fine buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries.

 


Option 1 - Chanctonbury Ring

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 900 feet (270m)

In Summary: Ascend to Chanctonbury Ring on the crest of the Downs, then take the South Downs Way along the hill-tops to the historic town of Steyning.

Highlight: Chanctonbury Ring has a mysterious atmosphere - local legend says that if you run seven times around it on a moonless night, the Devil will appear and offer you a bowl of milk, soup or porridge (reports vary!). 

 

Option 2 - Chanctonbury & Cissbury Rings

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

In Summary: Discover the two ancient hill-forts of Chanctonbury and Cissbury Rings on our walk along the Downs from Washington to Steyning.

Highlight: Cissbury Ring is a vast Iron Age hill-fort, the second largest in Britain, with formidable ditches and ramparts.

 

Option 3 - Over the Downs to Steyning

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: This longer route takes in fabulous scenery on top of the Downs and on the rolling lower slopes. We'll take in both Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings on the way to historic Steyning.

Highlight: Throughout the day there are panoramic views south to the English Channel, and north over the rolling countryside of the Sussex Weald.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Clayton Windmills

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In Summary: Ascend to Clayton Windmills on the crest of the Downs. We'll follow the South Downs Way over Ditchling Beacon, then descend the escarpment to Ditchling village.

Highlight: We'll pass the iconic Clayton Windmills. 'Jill' is a a wooden post mill from 1822, whilst 'Jack' is a brick tower mill from 1864.

 

Option 2 - Devil's Dyke

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: Walk atop the Downs from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling Beacon, following the South Downs Way for much of the walk.

Highlight: Devil's Dyke is a natural valley high on the Downs. It's hard to imagine that this peaceful beauty spot was once a Victorian tourist attraction complete with a railway, observatory and cable-car.

 

Option 3 - Devils Dyke & Newtimber Hill

Distance: 11½ miles (18.5km)

Total ascent: 1,450 feet (440m)

In Summary: A longer walk from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling. We'll take in the the summits of Newtimber Hill and Wolstonbury Hill before rejoining the South Downs Way near the Clayton Windmills.

Highlight: Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and enjoys a commanding view south over the English Channel.

 


Option 1 - Goodwood & West Dean Gardens

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240km)

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 2 - Levin Down & The Trundle

Distance: 8 miles (12.5km)

Total 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.

 

Option 3 - West Sussex Circuit

Distance: 12½ miles (20km)

Total ascent: 1,950 feet (580m)

In Summary: Our circuit through West Sussex takes in the Trundle, before heading west over rolling hills to the Kingley Vale Nature Reserve and the curiously-named Devil's Humps. We return along the Monarch's Way to West Dean.

Highlight: Look out for the Devil's Humps, considered to be some of Britain's finest Bronze Age burial chambers, dating to around 500BC.

 


Option 1 - Seven Sisters

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (160m)

In Summary: 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. 

Highlight: 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 2 - Beachy Head & Seven Sisters

 Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: 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.

Highlight: 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.

 

Option 3 - Eastbourne & Seven Sisters

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (460m)

In Summary: We begin with a promenade from Eastbourne Pier to the start of the South Downs Way. Following the walk up to Beachy Head, we continue along the same route as the medium walk to Cuckmere Haven. 

Highlight: Enjoy magnificent sea views as we walk atop the iconic chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters - a memorable day of breathtaking scenery.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.


Option 1 - Pulborough & West Chiltington

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In Summary: Explore the gently undulating countryside of Sussex on this walk back to Abingworth Hall, via the picturesque village of West Chiltington.

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 2 - Pulborough Brooks Circular

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (200m)

In Summary: Walking from the house, our route takes us westwards along the ridge 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.

Highlight: Stop to enjoy the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks where sightings may include Sandpipers, Lapwing and Shoveler Ducks.

 

Option 3 - Rother & Arun Valleys

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: Our route from Stopham takes us through woodland and over gently rolling countryside to the tidal limit of the River Arun. We pass Wiggonholt church and the RSPB reserve as we head back to Abingworth Hall.

Highlight: Discover the 17th Century timber-framed cottage, that was once the home of Sir Edward Elgar, and soak up the view that inspired his Cello Concerto.

 


Option 1 - Arundel Park

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

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 - Arun Valley Circuit

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

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 3 - Over the Downs to Arundel

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In Summary: Follow the South Downs Way along the crest of the Downs to Rackham Hill and Kithurst Hill. From here we descend onto the lower slopes and head to Arundel along the Monarch's Way.

Highlight: Enjoy great views of Arundel as we descend from the Downs towards the Arun Valley. The Monarch's Way follows the route of King Charles II as he made his escape from the Battle of Worcester.

 


Option 1 - Chanctonbury Ring

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 900 feet (270m)

In Summary: Ascend to Chanctonbury Ring on the crest of the Downs, then take the South Downs Way along the hill-tops to the historic town of Steyning.

Highlight: Chanctonbury Ring has a mysterious atmosphere - local legend says that if you run seven times around it on a moonless night, the Devil will appear and offer you a bowl of milk, soup or porridge (reports vary!). 

 

Option 2 - Chanctonbury & Cissbury Rings

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

In Summary: Discover the two ancient hill-forts of Chanctonbury and Cissbury Rings on our walk along the Downs from Washington to Steyning.

Highlight: Cissbury Ring is a vast Iron Age hill-fort, the second largest in Britain, with formidable ditches and ramparts.

 

Option 3 - Over the Downs to Steyning

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: This longer route takes in fabulous scenery on top of the Downs and on the rolling lower slopes. We'll take in both Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings on the way to historic Steyning.

Highlight: Throughout the day there are panoramic views south to the English Channel, and north over the rolling countryside of the Sussex Weald.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.


Option 1 - Amberley & Parham House

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In Summary: Walk through the fields at the foot of the Downs from the picturesque village of Amberley back to Abingworth Hall, passing through the grounds of Parham House.

Highlight: Parham House is a fine Elizabethan residence, surrounded by an extensive deer park.

 

Option 2 - Amberley, The South Downs Way & Parham

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In Summary: Walk from Amberley beside the River Arun, then follow the South Downs Way atop the Downs as far as Kithurst Hill. From here we descend through the fields to Abingworth Hall.

Highlight: Soak up the views from Rackham Hill where the panorama stretches north over the hills and woodland of the Weald, and south towards the English Channel.

 

Option 3 - Amberley & The South Downs Way

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: Discover the peaceful River Arun then head along the top of the Downs following the South Downs Way as far as Barnsfarm Hill. Our route then turns north, crossing Washington Common, to return to Abingworth Hall.

Highlight: The chalk downlands are a rich habitat for wild flowers. Look out for rare orchids and Common Blue butterflies.

 


Option 1 - Seven Sisters

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (160m)

In Summary: 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. 

Highlight: 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 2 - Beachy Head & Seven Sisters

 Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: 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.

Highlight: 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.

 

Option 3 - Eastbourne & Seven Sisters

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (460m)

In Summary: We begin with a promenade from Eastbourne Pier to the start of the South Downs Way. Following the walk up to Beachy Head, we continue along the same route as the medium walk to Cuckmere Haven. 

Highlight: Enjoy magnificent sea views as we walk atop the iconic chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters - a memorable day of breathtaking scenery.

 


Option 1 - Cowdray & Petworth Park

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

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 built by the Duke of Somerset in the late 17th Century in the style of Versailles.

 

Option 2 - Midhurst to Petworth

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (320m)

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.

 

Option 3 - Through the Rother Valley

Distance: 12½ miles (18km)

Total ascent: 1,200 feet (380m)

In Summary: This longer route to Petworth begins from Stedham with a walk along the Rother Valley to Stedham Mill. Upon reaching Cowdray Park, our route follows that of the two shorter walks to Petworth.

Highlight: Discover the fascinating history of Cowdray House - the former home of the Montague family, was built in 1542 and largely destroyed by fire in 1793.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.


Option 1 - Clayton Windmills

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In Summary: Ascend to Clayton Windmills on the crest of the Downs. We'll follow the South Downs Way over Ditchling Beacon, then descend the escarpment to Ditchling village.

Highlight: We'll pass the iconic Clayton Windmills. 'Jill' is a a wooden post mill from 1822, whilst 'Jack' is a brick tower mill from 1864.

 

Option 2 - Devil's Dyke

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: Walk atop the Downs from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling Beacon, following the South Downs Way for much of the walk.

Highlight: Devil's Dyke is a natural valley high on the Downs. It's hard to imagine that this peaceful beauty spot was once a Victorian tourist attraction complete with a railway, observatory and cable-car.

 

Option 3 - Devils Dyke & Newtimber Hill

Distance: 11½ miles (18.5km)

Total ascent: 1,450 feet (440m)

In Summary: A longer walk from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling. We'll take in the the summits of Newtimber Hill and Wolstonbury Hill before rejoining the South Downs Way near the Clayton Windmills.

Highlight: Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and enjoys a commanding view south over the English Channel.

 


Option 1 - Chanctonbury Ring

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 900 feet (270m)

In Summary: Ascend to Chanctonbury Ring on the crest of the Downs, then take the South Downs Way along the hill-tops to the historic town of Steyning.

Highlight: Chanctonbury Ring has a mysterious atmosphere - local legend says that if you run seven times around it on a moonless night, the Devil will appear and offer you a bowl of milk, soup or porridge (reports vary!). 

 

Option 2 - Chanctonbury & Cissbury Rings

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

In Summary: Discover the two ancient hill-forts of Chanctonbury and Cissbury Rings on our walk along the Downs from Washington to Steyning.

Highlight: Cissbury Ring is a vast Iron Age hill-fort, the second largest in Britain, with formidable ditches and ramparts.

 

Option 3 - Over the Downs to Steyning

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: This longer route takes in fabulous scenery on top of the Downs and on the rolling lower slopes. We'll take in both Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings on the way to historic Steyning.

Highlight: Throughout the day there are panoramic views south to the English Channel, and north over the rolling countryside of the Sussex Weald.

 


Option 1 - Arundel Park

Distance: 6½miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

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 - Arundel Park & River Arun

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (250m)

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 3 - Forest & Downs to Arundel

Distance: 10 miles (169km)

Total ascent: 820 feet (250m)

In Summary: Follow woodland and downland paths to Arundel. Along the way we'll walk part of the Monarch's Way and pass through the pretty village of Slindon.

Highlight: Enjoy great views of Arundel as we descend from the Downs. The Monarch's Way follows the route of King Charles II as he made his escape from the Battle of Worcester.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Amberley & Parham Park

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In Summary: Walk through the fields at the foot of the Downs from the picturesque village of Amberley back to Abingworth Hall, passing through the grounds of Parham House.

Highlight: Parham House is a fine Elizabethan residence, surrounded by an extensive deer park.

 

Option 2 - South Downs Way

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In Summary: Walk from Amberley beside the River Arun, then follow the South Downs Way atop the Downs as far as Kithurst Hill. From here we descend through the fields to Abingworth Hall.

Highlights: Soak up the views from Rackham Hill where the panorama stretches north over the hills and woodland of the Weald, and south to the English Channel.

 

Option 3 - Amberley & The South Downs

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: Discover the peaceful River Arun then head along the top of the Downs, following the South Downs Way, as far as Barnsfarm Hill. Our route then turns north, crossing Washington Common, to return to Abingworth Hall.

Highlights: This elevated section of the South Downs Way affords unrivalled views over the Arun Valley.

 


Option 1 - Cowdray & Petworth Park

Distance:  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 built by the Duke of Somerset in the late 17th Century in the style of Versailles.

 

Option 2 - Midhurst to Petworth

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (320m)

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 J.M.W. Turner. The park is currently home to England's largest herd of Fallow Deer.

Option 3 - The New Lipchis Way to Petworth

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total Ascent: 1000 feet (300m)

In Summary: We’ll follow the New Lipchis Way from west of Midhurst, alongside the River Rother to Easebourne where we’ll part company from the river just below the impressive weirs. We’ll continue into Cowdray Park where we’ll pick up and follow the route used by our two shorter walks through Lodsworth and into Petworth.

Highlight: See the ruin of Cowdray within its extensive parkland. Admire the vernacular architecture in Lodsworth and continue through very pretty woodland and a vineyard to reach Upperton and its back gate through the wall into Petworth Park. 

 


Option 1 - Clayton Windmills

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In Summary: Ascend to Clayton Windmills on the crest of the Downs. We'll follow the South Downs Way over Ditchling Beacon, then descend the escarpment to Ditchling village.

Highlight: We'll pass the iconic Clayton Windmills. 'Jill' is a a wooden post mill from 1822, whilst 'Jack' is a brick tower mill from 1864.

 

Option 2 - Devil's Dyke

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: Walk atop the Downs from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling Beacon, following the South Downs Way for much of the walk.

Highlight: Devil's Dyke is a natural valley high on the Downs. It's hard to imagine that this peaceful beauty spot was once a Victorian tourist attraction complete with a railway, observatory and cable-car.

 

Option 3 - Devils Dyke & Newtimber Hill

Distance: 11½ miles (18.5km)

Total ascent: 1,450 feet (440m)

In Summary: A longer walk from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling. We'll take in the the summits of Newtimber Hill and Wolstonbury Hill before rejoining the South Downs Way near the Clayton Windmills.

Highlight: Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and enjoys a commanding view south over the English Channel.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Pulborough & West Chiltington

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In Summary: Explore the gently undulating countryside of Sussex on this walk back to Abingworth Hall, via the picturesque village of West Chiltington.

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 2 - Pulborough Brooks Circular

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (200m)

In Summary: Walking from the house, our route takes us westwards along the ridge 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.

Highlight: Stop to enjoy the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks where sightings may include Sandpipers, Lapwing and Shoveler Ducks.

 

Option 3 - Rother & Arun Valleys

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: Our route from Stopham takes us through woodland and over gently rolling countryside to the tidal limit of the River Arun. We pass Wiggonholt church and the RSPB reserve as we head back to Abingworth Hall.

Highlight: Discover the 17th Century timber-framed cottage, that was once the home of Sir Edward Elgar, and soak up the view that inspired his Cello Concerto.

 


Option 1 - Clayton Windmills

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In Summary: Ascend to Clayton Windmills on the crest of the Downs. We'll follow the South Downs Way over Ditchling Beacon, then descend the escarpment to Ditchling village.

Highlight: We'll pass the iconic Clayton Windmills. 'Jill' is a a wooden post mill from 1822, whilst 'Jack' is a brick tower mill from 1864.

 

Option 2 - Devil's Dyke

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: Walk atop the Downs from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling Beacon, following the South Downs Way for much of the walk.

Highlight: Devil's Dyke is a natural valley high on the Downs. It's hard to imagine that this peaceful beauty spot was once a Victorian tourist attraction complete with a railway, observatory and cable-car.

 

Option 3 - Devils Dyke & Newtimber Hill

Distance: 11½ miles (18.5km)

Total ascent: 1,450 feet (440m)

In Summary: A longer walk from Devil's Dyke to Ditchling. We'll take in the the summits of Newtimber Hill and Wolstonbury Hill before rejoining the South Downs Way near the Clayton Windmills.

Highlight: Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and enjoys a commanding view south over the English Channel.

 


Option 1 - Chanctonbury Ring

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 900 feet (270m)

In Summary: Ascend to Chanctonbury Ring on the crest of the Downs, then take the South Downs Way along the hill-tops to the historic town of Steyning.

Highlight: Chanctonbury Ring has a mysterious atmosphere - local legend says that if you run seven times around it on a moonless night, the Devil will appear and offer you a bowl of milk, soup or porridge (reports vary!). 

 

Option 2 - Chanctonbury & Cissbury Rings

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

In Summary: Discover the two ancient hill-forts of Chanctonbury and Cissbury Rings on our walk along the Downs from Washington to Steyning.

Highlight: Cissbury Ring is a vast Iron Age hill-fort, the second largest in Britain, with formidable ditches and ramparts.

 

Option 3 - Over the Downs to Steyning

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: This longer route takes in fabulous scenery on top of the Downs and on the rolling lower slopes. We'll take in both Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings on the way to historic Steyning.

Highlight: Throughout the day there are panoramic views south to the English Channel, and north over the rolling countryside of the Sussex Weald.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Abingworth Hall

Tucked away in the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall has stood in one form another since the 13th century. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1910 in its current distinctive style. As well as 27 ensuite rooms the house has all the ingredients you need for the perfect country house stay: three comfortable lounges with squishy sofas to kick back in, the largest of which opens onto an attractive conservatory and bar in which to dally, great food and super-comfy rooms to retire to. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands to discover a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes and vibrant market towns. Highlights of your stay might include the Seven Sisters, the Glorious Goodwood estate, the Devil’s Dyke and Chantonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, which make use of every nook-and-cranny in the interesting architecture of this characterful house. With 27 bedrooms, Abingworth Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Better Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day strolling on the South Downs, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax in the large gardens and sit by the pretty pond, turn your hand to croquet or practice on the putting green. Ease through a couple of lengths of the heated outdoor pool if you’ve still got energy to burn. Hole up in the light-filled conservatory with pretty views of the gardens or retire to the Drawing Room with its wood-panelled walls, log burner, library of books to browse and comfy seats to sink in to; there’s a telescope for you to scour the night sky too. In the evening, take your seat in the bar or join fellow guests in the large ballroom for the evening activity.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Abingworth Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room, which has a giant brick fireplace at its heart, hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local Sussex flavours. Look out for the Sussex Churdle, a traditional, meaty ploughboy lunch, local Chiddingly beef cooked with black olives and Sussex smokies, smoked haddock served in a prawn sauce. Cap it all with a Sussex Pond Pudding, a pud that’s part of the honourable tradition of British dishes with names to pique the interest more than the appetite, which is actually bright and zingy, suety and syrupy all at the same time

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10688_0070 - Abingworth Hall - Exterior

Getting to Abingworth Hall

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

More Information

What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
15 Feb - 19 Feb
4 Version 5 £469 £429 Save £40 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
22 Feb - 26 Feb
4 Version 5 £469 Available Trip Notes Book Now
01 Mar - 05 Mar
4 Version 5 £469 £439 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
08 Mar - 12 Mar
4 Version 5 £469 £419 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
15 Mar - 19 Mar
4 Version 1 £469 £439 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
29 Mar - 02 Apr
4 Version 1 £535 £505 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
03 May - 07 May
4 Version 2 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
17 May - 21 May
4 Version 1 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
31 May - 04 Jun
4 Version 3 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
07 Jun - 11 Jun
4 Version 2 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
28 Jun - 02 Jul
4 Version 1 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
26 Jul - 30 Jul
4 Version 2 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
09 Aug - 13 Aug
4 Version 1 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
16 Aug - 20 Aug
4 Version 2 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
23 Aug - 27 Aug
4 Version 1 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
06 Sep - 10 Sep
4 Version 1 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
13 Sep - 17 Sep
4 Version 2 £569 £519 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
11 Oct - 15 Oct
4 Version 3 £535 £465 Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
18 Oct - 22 Oct
4 Version 1 £535 £465 Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
1

4 nights from £469pp £419pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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