So, how soon can you visit the stunning Sussex South Downs?

Celebrated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, this part of the Sussex South Downs - running parallel to the sea just north of the Brighton to Eastbourne coastline - is a painter's paradise and a heavenly place to explore; it now forms part of the South Downs National Park.

From childhood, summer days out to the south coast have always had something spell-binding about them - travelling from London, that tantalising line of the South Downs in the distance seemed to separate the ordinary world from somewhere magical.

Today, living at the foot of the Downs that line has lost none of its power to enchant...

Downlands Adventure and Activities

There are so many great outdoor activities that you can enjoy on (or above) the South Downs ...

  • Mountain biking

  • Walking, hiking and rambling

  • Hang gliding and paragliding

  • Visit South Downs Nature Reserves

  • Sledging

  • Gliding

  • Horse riding and horse racing

  • Hot air ballooning

  • Bird watching

  • Golf

  • ...or simply walking, picnicking and doing your own thing!


    Stay in welcoming Bed and Breakfast guest houses
    Set in some of the loveliest locations, these Bed and Breakfast Guest Houses offer stunning views and a warm welcome.

    Rent a delightful country cottage
    Here you'll find an insider's view on the delightful cottages and other attractive properties for rent in this part of the Sussex.

    Pitch your tent in a beautifully located campsite
    Check here for those special sites that are off the beaten track, yet conveniently situated for your holiday.

    The Historic Downland Villages

    Now forming part of the newly designated South Downs National Park, there are many jewels to discover in this corner of Southern England.

    Nestled along the edge of the Downs are the historic Downland villages, some of which are mentioned in the Doomsday Book. One, the village of Ditchling, is the subject of the recent, widely acclaimed BBC Television documentary series, A Very English Village

    Family Adventure Holidays and Short Breaks

    Whether you visit for a fun day out, a romantic short break or an adventurous family holiday, the South Downs offer classically lovely English countryside in an exceptionally pleasant climate - Sussex even boasts its own award-winning vineyards!

    Maybe, like us, after one or two visits you'll also end up making your home here!


  • Take your family to some of the South Coast's loveliest beaches and seaside towns, such as Brighton or Eastbourne.
  • Visit wildlife nature reserves, such as Stoneywish Country Park in Ditchling.
  • Enjoy your children's sheer delight when you take them to the popular Drusilla's Zoo near Alfriston, or to Washbrooks Farm with its Quad Bike circuit in Hurstpierpoint.
  • Check out our What's on for families in Sussex section for some of the fun activities and events suitable for families with children.

  • Eat out at friendly country pubs or in sophisticated restaurants.
  • Take afternoon refreshments at the Victorian 'tea gardens' at Littlington (absolutely delicious home-made cakes!), on your way back from the beautiful beach and nature reserve at Cuckmere Haven.
  • Visit museums, the opera at Glydebourne, art galleries, and country houses - such as Firle Place and Charleston Farmhouse.
  • Shop at some of the fantastic range of local produce and craft shops.
  • Time your visit to coincide with one of the local fairs or other traditional events that mark life in the South Downs.
  • Visit the historic village of Ditchling, location of the recent BBC Television documentary series, A Very English Village.
  • Check out the weather forecast for the Sussex South Downs and the Brighton area.

    Directions to Ditchling village

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    Table of Contents

    Sussex Gardener blog
    Based in the ancient village of Ditchling, the garden, which was once part of an old orchard, has been created from a third of an acre of grass with a few apple and pear trees. With its Yew and Box hedging, organic vegetable plot, natural ponds and thousands of roses, this evolving garden is a haven for wildlife, tame life and humans.

    Whats on in Sussex
    Whats on in Sussex? Expanding, one-stop guide to all that's new and on in Sussex - check here for current events, children's activities, plays, concerts and gigs.
    Family days out in Sussex
    Looking for fun activities for family days out in Sussex? This expanding guide offers a range of great things to do in and around the Sussex Sout Downs for families with children of all ages..
    Outdoor activities on the Sussex South Downs.
    Fantastic outdoor activities on the Sussex South Downs - from mountain biking to hang-gliding, from rambling to horse riding - it's all here in the Sussex South Downs.
    Sussex mountain biking along the South Downs
    Great Sussex mountain biking along the South Downs. Mountain biking along the South Downs Way is a great activity for all the family.
    South Downs Nature Reserves
    Visiting the Sussex South Downs? Check out these South Downs Nature Reserves. The Downland area is a haven for wildlife, flora and fauna .
    Sussex Castles
    Sussex castles are absolutely amazing and many are open to the public. Find out about and visit our wonderful Sussex castles.
    Sussex Walks
    A range of lovely Sussex Walks in and around the village of Ditchling. Choose a walk for an hour or two or three; finish up at a local tea shop for afternoon tea.
    Sussex Museums
    Sussex museums include a fantastic range of exhibitions and activities for all the family - whatever your interests, check it out here first.
    Accommodation in Sussex
    There's a wonderful range of great accommodation in Sussex, from rustic campsites, to B&Bs, Pubs and smart Sussex Hotels.
    Camping in Sussex
    Camping in Sussex? Find the camp site jewels in Sussex, especially those sites that are close to the wonderful South Downs.
    Bed and Breakfast in Ditchling
    Looking for Bed and Breakfast in Ditchling, Sussex? Visit these stunningly located South Downs Bed and Breakfast Guest Houses.
    Cottage rentals in Sussex South Downs
    Looking for cottage rentals in Sussex? Here you will find a selection of the most attractive and beautifully located country cottages and other properties to rent in the Sussex South Downs area.
    The South Downs Way
    A close look at this section of the Sussex South Downs Way, running from Pyecombe to Lewes, past the Ditchling Beacon.
    South Downs Info
    South Downs Info: useful links and information relating to the Sussex South Downs - check here first .
    Sussex Downland Villages
    Explore some of the historic and fascinating Sussex Downland Villages - their museums, their historic buildings and their craft centres and shops.
    Visit this Ditchling site, and you'll want to come here for real.
    The Ditchling films - A Very English Village
    The Ditchling films - see behind the scenes of this Sussex Downland village that was recently the subject of the popular BBC television documentary series, A Very English Village.
    Sussex has comprised two counties since the 12th century. Included in both East and West Sussex is some of the loveliest English countryside and many of the most beautiful British beaches.
    Sussex Spring Break
    A Sussex Spring Break will give you a wonderful taste of country living. Eat, drink, walk, visit interesting places ... relax.
    Sussex Snow
    Sussex snow? April '08 and in a little over an hour about two inches of snow has settled on my bird table at the foot of the Sussex South Downs ... what about the day after tomorrow?
    Sledging in Sussex
    Sledging in Sussex, around the South Downs village of Ditchling, is fantastic when the snow is deep, as it is today - 18th December 2009
    Sussex Wine
    Sussex wine is becoming internationally famous for its outstanding quality and distinctive bouquet ... find out more about our fantastic Sussex Vineyards.
    Sussex gardens opening for the National Gardens Scheme
    Want to find out which are the Sussex gardens opening for the National Gardens Scheme? Check here for beautiful gardens, their locations and the dates that they are open for the NGS.
    Sussex garden redirect
    Sussex gardener redirect
    Sussex gardens
    Stunning Sussex gardens - both large and small - make wonderful places to visit for an afternoon or a full day out. We have a wonderful range of gardens open to the public for just a day or a season.
    Sussex Estate Agents
    Interested in living in Sussex? Check here for local Sussex Estate Agents.
    Sussex Farmers Markets
    Sussex Farmers Markets offer fresh local produce, organic fruit, vegetables and meat, and delicious Sussex cheeses, wines, breads and cakes. They are regularly held at venues across the county.
    Sussex Wedding Photographers
    Search these Sussex Wedding Photographers to find the right one for your special day.
    Sussex Longdogs
    Sussex Longdogs - a new breed of dog? Check out our photos of beautiful Sussex Longdogs, including our own family pet Longdog.
    Sussex Bakers
    Sussex bakers offer a fantastice range of products through their shops and their online ordering businesses. Need a cake for a special occasion? Check here first for the best Sussex bakers.
    Images from the Sussex South Downs
    Recent images from the Sussex South Downs. Also includes scenes from the BBC television documentary series 'A Very English Village', based in and around the village of Ditchling.
    The Brighton Festival
    1st-23rd May 2010 - Each year, the Brighton Festival marks the start of Summer, and includes a wide range of exciting concerts, exhibitions, Artists' Open Houses and activities.
    Sussex Christmas
    All you need to help you plan your Sussex Christmas: places to stay over the festive season, Sussex Christmas gift and present ideas, special Christmas lunches and more. Updated several times a week.
    Easter Holiday Activities in Sussex
    What Easter Holiday Activities in Sussex are available for children? From family days out to one-off events and adventures, check here for a personal view from local parents.
    Half term holiday activities in Sussex.
    What half term holiday activities in Sussex are available for children and families this October? Find info and links to fun activities and events for children this half term holiday.
    Summer holiday activities in Sussex
    What Summer holiday activities in Sussex are available? School's out ... so what can you do with the children in Sussex this Summer? There are a great range of fun activities available across Sussex.
    Christmas Holiday activities in Sussex
    Christmas holiday activities in Sussex - what's on this year during the school Christmas holidays?
    Sussex Blog
    All that's of interest about the Sussex South Downs ... South Downs National Park updates, controversial housing developments in this area, Spring and Summer festivals and fairs, and much more.
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