Britain's youngest National Park covers 600 square miles of Downland
Britain's youngest National Park is also one of its largest, covering some 600 square miles. The South Downs National Park stretches from the historic city of Winchester – the ancient capital of England - to the coast at Eastbourne.
There are more rights of way across the South Downs than in any other National Park in the UK – extending to some 3,300km of footpaths, bridleways and byways in total. Visitors will discover rolling hills, breathtaking views and vibrant market towns in a rich tapestry of landscapes.
The 100-mile length of the South Downs Way long distance footpath spans the length of the park from Winchester to Eastbourne. It offers panoramic views to the sea and across the Weald unfold as you summit each successive ridge. This trail is like a recreational highway linking the patchwork of landscapes, habitats and nature that is the South Downs National Park.
And many of the Downs' rights of way are also accessible to cyclists, who have 1,200 km of car-free bridleways across the National Park, miles of leafy country lanes and old railway trails to explore.
The South Downs Way is the Britain's only National Trail which is cyclable along its entire length. The ride along the ridge to reach Ditchling Beacon is one of the most spectacular and there are more accessible single track mountain bike trails at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
Being so close to London and the cities of the south coast, the National Park also hosts a full calendar of competitive events. Brighton is one of the south coast's most popular venues for mass participation events like full and half marathons, triathlons, sportives and open water swims.