Walking in Southern England is a delightful way to experience the rolling hills and expanses of farmland pasture that are typical of the English countryside. You can wind your way through historical landscapes, and ancient woodlands to discover old churches, abbeys and inns. You can escape to the coast and experience the heights of the spectacular white chalk clifftops with rewarding views across to the Isle of Wight, the English Channel and beyond. A walking holiday on the Cotswold Way or the South Downs Way is a relaxing way to enjoy the hidden treasures of Southern England.
The Cotswold Way is a National Trail starting in the traditional market town of Chipping Campden and winds its way to the famous city of Bath with extensive Roman archaeology, Roman baths and hot springs. The walking is peaceful taking you on countryside lanes and paths, along escarpments and through commons and woodlands. Along the way there is a myriad of historical sites to explore as you pass through Medieval wool towns, Neolithic Burial Barrows and ancient abbeys and churches. There are warm and welcoming villages and towns that are home to charming inns and buildings crafted from rich Cotswold stone.
A walking holiday on the South Downs Way takes you on a journey across the South of England, from the historical city of Winchester to finish on the dramatic cliffs of Beachy Head before descending into Eastbourne. Follow in the footsteps of ancient travellers on trade routes that date back to the Stone Age as you pass over expansive fields and the landscape of the downs. Take the opportunity along the way to visit ancient hill forts, take in the magnificent views of the Seven Sisters and simply enjoy the diverse array of wild flowers and butterflies.
Explore the numerous picturesque English villages along the Cotswold Way, roaming through a beautiful green landscape of rolling hills and ancient woodland, rounding off your walking holiday in the World Heritage City of Bath. This route offers a magical walking experience with long distance views across the Cotswold escarpment, as well as famous ancient sites and nearby attractions.
The Cotswold Way, one of England’s finest National Trails, takes you 104 miles (167 km) from the medieval market town of Chipping Campden in the North Cotswolds to the historic City of Bath, through the classic English countryside.
The Cotswold Way dissects the largest of all of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales: an area with stone walls and buildings, open skies, rolling grasslands, beech woods and captivating villages, making it an outstanding English landscape.
Following the western edge of the Cotswold Hills, this route passes through a succession of enchanting English villages, featuring honey-coloured cottages built from the delightfully warm Cotswold stone, and welcoming country inns and pubs.
The path undulates through stunning landscapes, affording ever-changing views over the River Severn and the Malvern Hills. Along the way, you will also pass Neolithic burial barrows, beautiful stately homes, and historic battle sites. End your walking holiday in the City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, brimming with roman remains and fine architecture.
Discover the rolling downlands and charming villages of the South Downs as you walk from historic Winchester to the coastal town of Eastbourne, just beyond the dazzling white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. This ancient trail follows droveways and old paths along the chalk escarpment of the South Downs, which divides the beautiful Hampshire and Sussex Weald from the south coast of England.
The South Downs Way runs across England’s newest National Park – the South Downs National Park – giving you the opportunity to experience some of our finest countryside between Winchester, the first capital of England, and the white cliffs at Eastbourne.
The South Downs Way runs along a chalk ridge which means that the path drains and dries out quickly making it good walking all year round. The elevated position ensures you are rewarded with breathtaking views across the English Channel and Isle of Wight to the south, and over the wooded Weald and heathland ridges to the north.
It is one of the easiest National Trails to traverse, with limited steep sections, apart from when the route drops down into river valleys, and for the descent into the towns and villages along the way. You’ll also pass iron age hill forts, as well as the spectacular chalk formations of The Devil’s Dyke and the Seven Sisters. If you’re looking for an abundance of wildlife, woodland, sites of scientific interest, traditional pubs and quaint villages, then the South Downs Way is the walking holiday for you.
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