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Things to see and do at Harting Down

A view of Harting Down in the summer showing a patchwork of fields with hills on the horizon
Harting Down in the summer | © National Trust Images/Jo Hatcher

Harting Down is a slice of countryside with far-reaching views, plus wood and downland to explore. You can ramble, discover the wildlife, enjoy a picnic or cycle along the South Downs National Trail.

Autumn highlights at Harting Down

Autumn is deer rutting season, and the woods echo with their strange bellowing calls. Blackberries and sloes can be found in the woodland edges, scrub and hedgerows – bullfinches, fieldfares and redwings enjoy these fruits. Keep your eyes peeled for fungi, such as the striking scarlet waxcap.


Stroll across the hilltops and be greeted by extensive views across the Weald and to the Isle of Wight. Hear skylarks bursting with song above you, and tread on grassland dotted with orchids and wild herbs. On the South Downs Way lie secluded valleys and species-rich woodlands.


Enjoy soaring views and heart-pumping terrain while cycling along Harting Down, on the South Downs National Trail. Spot the chalk ridge plateau in distance as well as incised dry valleys and sheltered hollows. Please note: cycling is only permitted along the South Downs Way.

Horse riding

Horse riders are free to use the South Downs Way, National Trust’s longest bridleway route. A permit scheme is in use for horse riders who wish to use other trails.

Please contact the rangers for information and to obtain a permit. Call 01730 816638 or email

Places to picnic

Come with the family and bring a picnic. Although there are no park tables, a blanket does the job nicely. With its short grass, the area beside the car park is a pleasant spot to enjoy lunch and fly a kite. 

Don't miss

  • Scenic rambles and wanderings along the South Downs Way

  • Singing skylarks and chirruping grasshoppers – the sounds of summer

  • Hardy belted Galloway and Sussex cattle grazing on the grasslands

  • The view from Beacon Hill and the old telegraph station.

Countryside code

  • Please keep dogs under control

  • Please clear up after your dog and use the dog-bin provided

  • In summer, keep you and dogs to the main paths – skylarks and other birds are nesting in the grass

  • Please take all your litter home with you

  • Leave no trace of your visit.

View from Harting Down, West Sussex

Discover more at Harting Down

Find out how to get to Harting Down, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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