Save up to £40 per person

4-Night South Downs Guided Walking Holiday

Abingworth - Eastbourne - AdobeStock_184274179.jpeg
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £599pp £569pp

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 PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

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. Some of our breaks have more than one itinerary. To check which itinerary is running on your holiday date please refer to the Dates, Prices & Trip Notes tab.

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

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


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 - Devil's Dyke to Ditchling

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 - Hurston Place & Nutbourne Common

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: We walk along the ridge to the west of the house to Hurston Place and then across West Sussex golf course to Nutbourne Common. We continue, eastwards, via West Chiltington to return to the house.

Highlight: Walking along the West Sussex Literary Trail.

Option 2 - 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 3 - Pulborough and Nutbourne

Distance: 11½ miles (18km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

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 refreshments. We then head north, across Pulborough Brooks meadows, to Pulborough village. We continue north eventually to reach West Chiltington and return to the house.

Highlight: Take in wonderful countryside views and picturesque villages.


Option 1 - Seven Sisters

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 590 feet (180m)

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 from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - River and Hills at Arundel

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 - 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 - 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 - Thakeham, Warminghurst & Ashington

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total Ascent: 400 feet (120m)

In Summary: We walk to the nearby village of Thakeham and then, via Warminghurst church, across fields to Ashington. We return via woodland to the House.

Highlight: The gentle stroll through the woodland at the end of the walk.

Option 2 - The Knepp Estate

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 500 feet (140m)

In summary: Leaving the house, we make our way to the outskirts of the pretty village of Thakeham. We continue across open farmland and through woodland to reach the south western edge of the Knepp Estate. In 2001 the Knepp Estate started a re-wilding project to turn farmland back into a natural habitat. The area is now home to an astonishing variety of species including rare birds such as nightingales and turtle doves. It is also home to the UK's only wild population of white storks which come here to breed in the summer months. While walking here you may see grazing animals including Tamworth pigs, longhorn cattle and three species of deer: roe, fallow and red. We have time to explore some of Knepp's walking trails before turning for home via Warminghurst village.

Highlight: Exploring the Knepp Estate where there is a pioneering re-wilding project in progress.

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 the pretty village of Thakeham. Continuing across open farmland and through woodland, we reach the south western edge of the Knepp Estate where a pioneering re-wildling project has been in progress since 2001. The estate is now home to a diverse range of species and is the only place in the UK where white storks nest and breed. Grazing animals you may see include Tamworth pigs, longhorn cattle and three species of deer - red, roe and fallow. We continue to the village of Shipley with its beautifully restored windmill and ancient church before exploring the eastern part of the Knepp Estate. We return to the house via Warminghurst village.

Highlight: Shipley - this historic village was first mentioned in the Domesday Book. It has a beautifully restored windmill.


Option 1 - Goodwood & West Dean Gardens

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total 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 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.

 


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 en-suite 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 Chanctonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.

 

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 Classic and Premium Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Premium Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.

All ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium' 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. Food at Abingworth Hall is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Accessibility

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

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Getting to Abingworth Hall

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

More Information

Essential Information

“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: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2022
06 Jun - 10 Jun 2022
4 Version 2 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
20 Jun - 24 Jun 2022
4 Version 1 £599 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
04 Jul - 08 Jul 2022
4 Version 2 £599 £569 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
11 Jul - 15 Jul 2022
4 Version 1 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
25 Jul - 29 Jul 2022
4 Version 2 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
08 Aug - 12 Aug 2022
4 Version 1 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
22 Aug - 26 Aug 2022
4 Version 2 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
26 Aug - 30 Aug 2022
4 Version 1 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
05 Sep - 09 Sep 2022
4 Version 2 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
19 Sep - 23 Sep 2022
4 Version 1 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
26 Sep - 30 Sep 2022
4 Version 2 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
03 Oct - 07 Oct 2022
4 Version 1 £599 Trip Notes Book Now
10 Oct - 14 Oct 2022
4 Version 2 £569 Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
1

4 nights from £599pp £569pp

Save up to £40 per person

...or call 020 3974 8865

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