Welcome to the South Downs

The South Downs, stretching for over 70 miles across Sussex, is a destination valued for its internationally rare habitats, stunning wildlife and ancient history.

We care for over 6,000 hectares of countryside with a huge variety of habitats - chalk grassland, ancient woodland, lowland heath and tiny fragments of chalk heath. Numerous ancient monuments pepper our hills and the last truly natural place left in the South East - Birling Gap on the Seven Sisters coastline - is also under our care.

A wide variety of houses lie within the National Park, from Alfriston Clergy House, the first building acquired by us in 1896, to the grand houses of Petworth and Uppark and over 150 families' homes. 

For a real South Downs experience stay with us at our campsites or rent one of our numerous cottages.

Cuckmere valley

Time it right and you will be rewarded with stunning sunset views © Vivienne Blakey

Time it right and you will be rewarded with stunning sunset views

Devils Dyke

From Devil's Dyke look towards Newtimber Hill, another National Trust gem © John Miller

From Devil's Dyke look towards Newtimber Hill, another National Trust gem

Slindon

Autumn pumpkin display at Slindon - different every year © Mark Wardle

Autumn pumpkin display at Slindon - different every year

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

There's no better place to start your 50 Things outdoors adventure than the South Downs. From canoeing down a river to climbing a huge hill, we reckon you can do 46 out of the 50. Devil's Dyke is a great place to start.

South Downs outdoor photography

Learn to take wonderful wildlife pics © Arnhel de Serra

Join us for a series of photography courses this summer. Be inspired by stunning countryside and beautiful coast to get off auto. There's something to suit everyone.

Bioblitz - South Downs fungal forays

Learn to take wonderful wildlife pics © Arnhel de Serra

Join our Bioblitz campaign - to discover just how many different types of fungi there are on the South Downs. A team of scientists and an expert forager will be on hand all day.

Take a walk with us on the South Downs

From a heart pounding walk round the 2,000 acre Slindon estate to a short ramble at Devil's Dyke, check out our large selection of self guided walks on the South Downs.

Fancy a swift one? Try our new pub walks

A new series of walks through some of the best scenery in Sussex...and some of the best pubs.

You can find these beermat walks all along the South Downs. So if you fancy a swift one, take a look at what's on offer.

Our top spots on the South Downs

This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.