South Downs Members Celebration Break

south downs
Duration: 3 nights
Type: Guided Walking
from 0pp

This Exclusive Members’ Celebration Break is the only weekend we have running in 2021 at Abingworth Hall. A fabulous two days of walking in the South Downs awaits in glorious August. This special Members' Celebration Break - for HF Members only - includes a choice of guided walks as well as a Celebration Dinner. During your stay you will also be able to meet one of our Board Members and hear more about what's happening at HF Holidays one evening at a business update presentation and Q&A.

Holiday Highlights

Packed long weekend with the emphasis on the best holiday experience we can give you! Plus some insight into the secrets of HF Holidays' success. Abingworth Hall is situated amidst gentle rolling farmland at the foot of the South Downs and provides some beautiful walking areas.

  • Full Board accommodation & Celebration dinner
  • A choice of 3 guided walks each day
  • Meet and chat with one of our Board of Directors

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation at our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 2 full days of guided walking with choice of easier, medium and harder grades
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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 - 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 - 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
27 Aug - 30 Aug
3 Celebration Break £275 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
Duration:
3 nights
Type:
Guided Walking

3 nights from 0pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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