Walking the South Downs Way in England – Episode 704

categories: europe travel

Walking the South Downs Way (Podcast)

Hear about walking the South Downs Way in England as the Amateur Traveler talks to Aaron Millar about this week-long trek.

Aaron says, “I come from this area so I am passionate about it. The South Downs Way is one of the most beautiful but lesser-known hikes in England. It’s in the south of England. It’s a 100-mile footpath that stretches from Eastbourne, which is south of London right on the coast, and it goes 100 miles west to Winchester. It’s a beautiful route because it follows the spine of the South Downs the entire way. The South Downs is beautiful, gentle rolling hills that stretch all this way. And it’s quintessential English landscape, old pubs, little tiny villages, sheep, and cows. Because you’re on the spine of these downs, you have this incredible view. To one side, to the south of you is the English Channel. The other side is this vast valley that seems to stretch on forever, and it’s cookie-cutter English fields as far as the eye can see.”

Along the route, he saw:

  • White chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters
  • Monk’s House, which is Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s 16th-century country retreat
  • Charleston Farmhouse, which was the home of the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant 
  • Ditchling Beacon, which was one of a series of beacons to warn of the Spanish Armada
  • Clayton Windmills which date back to the rule of George IV
  • Lewes Castle which dates back to the Norman Conquest
  • Iron Age forts like the Chanctonbury Ring
  • Bignor Villa, which dates back to the Romans
  • Barrows dating back 3000-4000 years like Devil’s Jumps

At the end of the trip, he not only saw the majestic Winchester Catherdral but stopped by the Hospital of St Cross, which has been greeting pilgrims for centuries with the “Wayfarer’s Dole,” a small cup of ale, and a piece of bread.

Aaron slept and ate in pubs along the way for this hike, so he turned it into a 100-mile pub crawl. Aaron tells us about the old pubs where he stayed and ate.

Find a good pair of hiking boots, brush off your darts skills and your knowledge of English football, and mingle with the locals as you hike through England’s newest national park.

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Show Notes

Armchair Explorer
South Downs Way
South Downs National Park
All 15 National Parks in the UK – What to See in a One Day Visit
Seven Sisters, Sussex
Cuckmere Haven
The George Inn – Alfriston
Charleston Farmhouse
Monk’s House
Devil’s Dyke, Sussex
John Constable
Ditchling Beacon
Clayton Windmills
Lewes Castle
Chanctonbury Ring
Amberley, West Sussex
The Sportsman Inn
The Chequers Inn
Bignor Roman Villa
Devil’s Jumps, Treyford
Cocking, West Sussex
Old Winchester Hill
Royal Oak Pub
Butser Hill
Harvey’s Brewery
Winchester Cathedral
Winchester City Mill – Gateway to the South Downs
Hospital of St Cross
Wolvesey Castle


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Walking the South Downs Way in England – Episode 704”



Love your podcast. As I sit in my makeshift home office faced with hours of stimulating accounting work (not), I vicariously travel with your guests to such interesting places. It helps the time fly by, but probably doesn’t do much for the accuracy of my work. Keep those podcasts coming. With an audit scheduled for next week, I’ll need all the distraction I can get.

Chris Christensen


Holly, at least no one in accounting cares about the accuracy of the work (not) πŸ˜‰

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