England's South Downs Way Joins IAT
In November 2012, England's South Downs Way National Trail joined the International Appalachian Trail as a 96 mile (160 km) trek that follows the old routes and droveways along the chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs. Experience some of the finest countryside in England, between its historic first capital and the white chalk cliffs of Eastbourne.
The western end of the trail is at the historic and well-preserved city of Winchester, capital of King Alfred the Great.
River Itchen through Winchester
The city is also the county town of Hampshire, which has a rolling countryside of mixed farming and small woodlands. The Meon Valley is particularly attractive, with its quaint villages and superb Iron Age hill fort of Old Winchester Hill.
View Northeast from Old Winchester Hill Fort
Continuing east, the trail passes lush pastoral landscapes
Near Whitewool Farm
and rustic country churches
on its way to the scenic coastline of the English Channel.
View of the white chalk cliffs of Seven Sisters
View east from Bras Point
The eastern end of the trail is at the tourist resort town of Eastbourne, where the sunny climate, quiet charm and Victorian elegance have contributed to a long history as popular retirement destination.
Eastbourne Sea Front
If you are interested in spectacular coastal vistas, pastoral landscapes, visible prehistory, fine pubs and pretty villages, or if you just fancy a fitness challenge, the South Downs Way National Trail is an ideal hike for you!