4-Night South Downs Guided Walking for Solos Holiday

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Duration: 4 nights
Type: Solos Holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £449pp £374pp

Country walking is a great way to meet new friends. We welcome individual travellers on all of our holidays, but on Guided Walking for Solos the entire holiday is especially for single guests. Enjoy likeminded company and a great selection of walks on the South Downs. Discover rolling green hills, timeless towns and villages, and follow the chalk cliffs.

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

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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 - West Dean Gardens

 

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.

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240km)

Option 2 - The Trundle

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 Gooodwood racecourse and the cathedral city of Chichester.

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

Option 3 - West Sussex circuit

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.

Distance: 12½ miles (20km)

Total ascent: 1,950 feet (580m)


Option 1 - Burton Park & Petworth House

 

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

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (160m)

Option 2 - Duncton Down to Petworth

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.

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

Option 3 - Woolavington Down to Petworth

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.

Distance: 11½ miles (18km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)


Option 1 - Chanctonbury Ring

In Summary: 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.

Highlight: 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!). 

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 950 feet (280m)

Option 2 - Cissbury Ring

 

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.

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

Option 3 - On top of the Downs

 

In Summary: This longer route takes fabulous scenery, either on top of the Downs, or 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.

Distance: 12½ miles (20½km)

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)


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.

 

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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 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

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Getting to Abingworth Hall

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

More Information

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
09 Mar - 13 Mar Version 2 (runs 2019) £449 £374 Save £75 Per Person Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Solos Holidays
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

4 nights from £449pp £374pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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