How to get to the South Downs

There are main line trains and long distance coaches to Winchester, Eastbourne, and several places in between. Allow around 60 – 90 minutes from London. Ferries to Newhaven and Portsmouth, and the London airports (especially Gatwick) are handy for overseas visitors. Trains from London stop at these places close to the route:

  • Winchester: mainline services to and from Southampton (South West Trains)
  • Petersfield: train services from London (Waterloo) and Portsmouth (South West Trains)
  • Amberley: from London (Victoria) towards Arundel and Littlehampton. (Southern Trains)
  • Hassocks: from London (Victoria) towards Brighton and Lewes (Southern Trains and First Capital Connect – From Blackfriars)
  • Lewes: from London (Victoria)Towards Lewes and Newhaven (Southern Trains)
  • Eastbourne: from London (Victoria) via Lewes or from Ashford. (Southern Trains)

Cyclists: at some periods of the day and on some operators bikes are not allowed on the trains. also most of the more modern trains only have space for 3-4 bikes, thus large groups may have to book ahead or travel in smaller groups. Southern for example requests that ‘limited number’ of cycles are carried free on all services except on trains due to arrive into London or Brighton between 7AM and 10AM, or due to depart from London stations or Brighton between 4PM and 7PM on Mondays to Fridays. Reservations for cycles are not required.

Car parks Car parking is normally good, although in towns and villages be expected to have to search and pay for parking spaces. Car parks are usually free from crime, but normal precortions must be taken. Narrow lanes are common, as are steep hills, trying to take a caravan around the South Downs is not recommended.

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