Rolling downs, hay meadows and miles of trails
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple walk options available See itinerary below
for more details
Come and explore the beautiful hills of the South Downs over two days of sociable walking based high on one of the hills, giving us never-ending views even as we’re relaxing with a glass of wine in the evening. This guided weekend has walk options for everyone, freshly prepared food, and the chance to see an idyllic landscape while making new friends.
Britain’s newest National Park, the South Downs is a line of chalk hills in the South East of England that has always been popular for walking. With a high chance of warm sunshine, this landscape is what you’re thinking of when you picture rolling meadows of wild flowers and ancient pubs tucked away beside tiny streams running through the white chalk rock. Away to the south, the English Channel glistens, while in the north, the fertile valley of the Weald provides ample wooded shade for those hot summer days.
In a nutshell:
- Explore the white chalk downlands of southern England with a friendly group of walkers.
- Relax in the hay meadows while we take care of the food and the route planning.
- Enjoy two walks with a fully qualified guide.
- All food provided from Friday evening to Sunday morning.
About the location
The South Downs
The line of chalk hills that runs from Winchester in Hampshire to the English Channel at Beachy Head and Eastbourne in East Sussex are known as the South Downs. They are an arable area, with many remaining tracts of hay meadows and woodland, and have been inhabited for thousands of years. The long distance trail of The South Downs Way runs for 100 miles through the hills, and in 2011 the whole ridge, as well as parts of the valley of the Weald in the north, were designated as the South Downs National Park. Despite the amount of farmland, there are hundreds of miles of paths and bridleways, reflecting the historical use of many of the routes we now walk today.
Our hostel is the perfect place to settle into a relaxing weekend in the South Downs. Feel free to arrive any time after 5pm, when you’ll meet your fellow walkers and get the chance to relax and admire the views while your Large Outdoors host prepares dinner.
During the after-dinner cheese-board, we’ll go over plans for the next few days and discuss the walk. After that, you’re free to enjoy your evening and anticipate the adventures to come.
After a sit-down breakfast we’ll have the chance to make packed lunches before heading out for a day walk. Your leader will consider the group and the weather and come up with a great day out. Options include:
How many walk options are offered?
On each of our weekends we aim to offer two walk options each day, so you have a choice of a harder or easier day out. However, this is not always possible. On weekends where there is a small group, instead of cancelling the weekend, we will all head out on the same walk. This walk will be planned so that everyone can have a good day out, with the aim being a social group exploration of the local countryside.
Late afternoon onwards
When we’re all back at the hostel, there’s plenty of time to relax with a well-earned cup of tea in the lounge, reliving the day’s adventure.
It’s sadly time to leave the hostel, so after packing up and having another hearty breakfast, we’ll venture out into the Downs again for another day of exploration.
Options for this day include:
We aim for the walks to finish around 1pm, when we meet up in a local pub for a final lunch before heading off. There are a lot of great pubs in the area, so the difficulty will be which one to choose. We hope you’ll leave with a new love for this special part of the country, and a realisation that even in the crowded South East there’s room for wildlife and open spaces!
About the accommodation:
We use a variety of hostels for our South Downs trips. We’ll either be based at Truleigh Hill YHA or a hostel near Eastbourne.
9-11 November – Truleigh Hill YHA, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5FB
Truleigh Hill YHA is perched on top of a hill right in the middle of the South Downs, with fantastic views north over the valley of the Weald.
What our members have to say...
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018