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The South Downs
THE SOUTH DOWNS NATIONAL PARK

The South Downs is a special landscape with iconic rolling hills that have far reaching views out to the sea.  It's an inspirational place, a natural wonderland, rich with culture, art and thriving communities.  There's so much to explore, here we share just a few of the ways that you can connect with and enjoy this wonderful place. 

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Walking & Cycling

Exploring the Downs by foot, pedal or horseback have to be the best ways to truly experience it.  From exhilarating rides across the countryside to gentle ambles through peaceful villages and woodlands.   

 

Footpaths, trails and beautiful roads crisscross the South Downs, offering ample opportunity for exploration and the joy of discovery. 

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An Ancient World

5000 years of human history are here to be discovered in the South Downs.  Ancient monuments can be explored all across the Downs from Kingley Vale close to us where Bronze Age burial mounds atop the hills or the magnificent hill fort at Cissbury Ring.  Butser Ancient Farm is an experimental archaeological site, where you can experience life in an Iron Age settlement.  Romans later settled in the South Downs and magnificent villas at Fishbourne & Bignor are wonderful places to explore.

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Wildlife & Habitats

160 hectares of rich and varied habitats make the South Downs an incredible place to experience wildlife.  Chalk streams & grassland, heath & bog, ancient woodlands & open scrub create a network of natural wonders ready to be explored.  Rare wildflowers, beautiful butterflies, soaring birds, and mammals, large and small are all to be found within this special landscape.  The South Downs are cared for by many local people and biodiversity is at the heart of it all.  

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Artistic Inspiration

The landscape of the South Downs has inspired art and creativity for thousands of years.  From the Neolithic people who built ancient monuments to celebrate the landscape to the poets and artists that still wander the hills finding meaning and joy in the natural world.    Find beautiful works in The Pallant Gallery or at Petworth House, read books and poems by Keats, Blake & Austen. To see this "green and pleasant land" through the eyes of those who knew and loved it. 

Image by Klemen Vrankar

Dark Skies Festival

The South Downs Dark Skies Festival, in the middle of February, celebrates the joys of stargazing.  The South Downs is a designated International Dark Sky Reserve.   There are three Dark Sky Discovery Sites close by, Harting, Buriton & Butser. Each offers amazing opportunities to view the stars at night.  See shooting stars, the milky way and find the constellations any time of year. 

The festival itself is a great way to learn more and join in with inspirational talks and star parties. 

Image by Fer Troulik

Spiritual Journeys

There are many beautiful churches and places of worship to discover all across the South Downs.  From the magnificent cathedral at Chichester to spiritually rich village churches nestled into green countryside.  

There are many routes of pilgrimage crossing the Downs, from day walks to longer endeavours. It's a wonderful way to immerse yoursef in the countryside and traditions of Sussex.

We're so proud of our local environment and are passionate about protecting and enhancing it any way we can.  We know our guests love to enjoy the beautiful walks and discovering the wealth of flora and fauna the South Downs has to offer.

Would you consider giving something back?

By making a donation from as little as £2.50 you can help to keep conservation

alive and this beautiful landscape thriving for generations to come.

A range of giving options are available from One-offs to monthly or yearly pledges.

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The Village Magazine

Reading the Village Magazine is a great way to find out about events and news from Bosham, Chichester, Emsworth & the surrounding villages.   Get involved in local events, attend plays from our local theatre groups and discover inspiring seasonal events.   Plus there is lots of useful information including a tide timetable.

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