One of the best things about taking a break in the South Downs is that it’s simple to get around without a car. For a start, it’s easy to get to – a ninety-minute train journey will get you from major London stations to Winchester or Lewes as well as to coastal towns like Brighton. Once you’re here, you’ll be able to travel from place to place using the local bus networks, as well as enjoying the freedom of cycling or walking the South Downs Way.
Hop on the bus
As well as the regular bus links that will take you between towns like Petersfield and Midhurst, there are several seasonal specials. Cuckmere buses run through the summer season, making it easy to get to Cuckmere valley and the pretty town of Seaford, home to Cuckmere haven nature reserve. If you’ve made your base in Brighton, the Brighton Breeze service will be invaluable, giving you access to spots like Devil’s Dyke and Ditchling Beacon. A car-free break can be an economical choice too, and deals like the Discovery Ticket gives a day’s unlimited South Downs travel for up to five people.
Let the train take the strain
As well as being a straightforward way to get here from across the country, you’ll find many major South Downs towns like Winchester, Lewes and Eastbourne are well served by the rail network. Taking the train is a great day out too, with a journey on the iconic Watercress Line from New Alresford to Alton being a highlight of many people’s holiday.
South Downs walks are noted for beautiful scenery and endless skies and walking is one of the best ways to absorb the beauty of this special region. There are many sites full of resources and guides to the South Downs way by bus and train which are packed with a variety of walks. The South Downs Rambler Bus is a great alternative for anyone who finds long walks a challenge, giving opportunities to enjoy the views as you travel between Winchester and Petersfield, perhaps taking a stop to admire the magnificent cathedral at Winchester or explore the galleries and boutiques of Petersfield.