Author Topic: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017  (Read 908 times)

bricam2096

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[TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« on: 19:27:06, 02/05/17 »
The South Downs Way was up near the top of my ever expanding "to do" list so when I had a free week in April, I decided to do the SDW. I realised that accommodation for the solo walker would be expensive and both the youth hostels on route were booked when I'd be arriving so I looked at the possibility of camping and saw that I could camp every night and do similar distances every day. However the first day would see me arrive into Winchester at lunch time and then pay a fortune for a hotel for the night so I decided to split my original first day and walk 6 miles to Holden Farm campsite and the remaining 13 miles the next day. It meant an extra day but being Scottish and living in Yorkshire....the saving I made was  O0 O0 O0

The official mileage is 100 miles but I did about 119 miles. You can only really do 100 miles if you stay on the route but you have to come off it for accommodation and/or shops so most days I walked an extra few miles.

My itinerary ended up as
Day 1 Winchester to Holden Farm campsite (on route) - 7 miles
Day 2 Holden Farm to the Sustainability Centre near East Meon (campsite on route) - 14.5 miles
Day 3 East Meon to Graffam campsite ( 2 miles off route) - 24 miles
Day 4 Graffham to Washington campsite ( 1 mile off route) -19 miles
Day 5 Washington to Southdown Way campsite near Keymer ( 1 mile off route) - 19 miles
Day 6 Keymer to Alfriston Star Inn (on route) - 22 miles
Day 7 Alfriston to Eastbourne - 12 miles

I really enjoyed the walk, it never rained for the 7 days I was walking and the views were very nice indeed. On many parts of the SDW the ridge goes on for miles and you lose track of the time and mileage as the paths are level and the path is easy to follow, you really wouldn't need a map as it's so well signposted. The biggest ascents each day were usually getting back onto the path from your accommodation or if you'd visited a village shop off route but apart from them, there is nothing major. It is certainly a walk I would do again and would definitely recommend it  O0

You can read the full trip report here (one day I'll finish the site)... http://www.brians-walks.co.uk/south-downs-way.html
And for those that just want to see a few photos, here are some...



There would be many Bluebells along the SDW


Looking over towards Old Winchester Hill


A herd of Deer beside the South Downs Way


Chanctorybury Ring, a prehistoric hill fort




Sharing the SDW with a cyclist, the sea in the background


The Litlington White Horse near Alfriston


Looking back from Birling Gap


The End
LDWs done - 21 in total including 9 National Trails and 3 C2C

Wainwrights 169
www.brians-walks.co.uk

Walkerflyer

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #1 on: 19:48:06, 02/05/17 »
Excellent account, that's made me want to do it.  O0

sussamb

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #2 on: 20:33:05, 02/05/17 »
My local path although I've never done the lot, just various parts over the years.  Glad you enjoyed it.
Where there's a will ...

Dovegirl

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #3 on: 19:03:24, 03/05/17 »
Enjoyed the TR.  Glad you had good weather and that you enjoyed the walk and the views    :)    I haven't walked the entire trail but often walk sections of it.

lostme1

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #4 on: 19:43:17, 03/05/17 »
Enjoyed the TR. Thanks.

I remember walking the South Downs Way when there were a lot more trees at Chanctorybury Ring. Unfortunately over 75% of the trees were blown down by the "Hurricane" storm of October 1987.
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pleb

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #5 on: 10:24:15, 04/05/17 »
Nice piccies O0

Swift and bold

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #6 on: 19:19:28, 27/06/17 »
Hello Bricam2096
Really enjoyed your trip report of your time on the South downs way you certainly enjoyed some decent weather, hope I am just as fortunate as my SDW trip is planned for September. During your journey did you find any water taps where one could refill water bottles at any time?
Any advice will be gratefully received.
Many thanks

sunnydale

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #7 on: 19:55:13, 27/06/17 »
Enjoyed the photos lots, thanks Brian O0


Tracey :)
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alewife

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #8 on: 20:33:13, 27/06/17 »
Lovely. I have done a small section of this near Jack and Jill, some years ago, but how is it generally for signage, cowness and how far did you go off the track for accommodation?
Alewife


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bricam2096

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #9 on: 20:34:44, 27/06/17 »
Hello Bricam2096
Really enjoyed your trip report of your time on the South downs way you certainly enjoyed some decent weather, hope I am just as fortunate as my SDW trip is planned for September. During your journey did you find any water taps where one could refill water bottles at any time?
Any advice will be gratefully received.
Many thanks

Yes, there were a few along the route although I never needed to use one. I seem to recall that on some of them they mentioned how far it was until the next tap.

However, this page would give you a better idea of where they are...

http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/sites/default/files/sd_way_drinking_water_2013.pdf
LDWs done - 21 in total including 9 National Trails and 3 C2C

Wainwrights 169
www.brians-walks.co.uk

April

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #10 on: 13:04:02, 28/06/17 »
Nice pics bricam  O0 I will catch up on your blog later  :)

Love the shot of the cliffs especially  O0

"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Swift and bold

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #11 on: 15:52:50, 28/06/17 »
Hi Bricam2096
Many Thanks for your help, much appreciated  O0

alewife

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #12 on: 15:38:45, 29/06/17 »
Lovely. I have done a small section of this near Jack and Jill, some years ago, but how is it generally for signage, cowness and how far did you go off the track for accommodation?


I'm guessing you missed this query Bricam, thinking of doing this later in the year O0
Alewife


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bricam2096

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #13 on: 19:13:24, 29/06/17 »

I'm guessing you missed this query Bricam, thinking of doing this later in the year O0

Sorry, I had indeed missed this question  :-[

I found the signage very good on the SDW, I'd hate to say that anyone would struggle to get lost on it...but someone will have. I only recall walking in the same place as cows twice, just before Devils Dyke pub and leaving Alfriston but there was plenty of room to get round them. Mind you, there's no guarantee that some of the fields I had to go through won't have cows in them at different times of the year.

Accommodation was a bit of a problem as quite often you have to come down from the actual ridge to get some place to spend the night e.g. Graffham, Washington and Kaymer which means a stiff climb back up in the morning to get back onto the ridge but there were a few villages slightly off route that don't require much descent e.g. Cocking and Amberley. There were 2 YHA's on the actual path on the 2nd half of the walk and Alfriston is on route and a good place to spend the last night.

I enjoyed the walk, certainly one I'd do again.
LDWs done - 21 in total including 9 National Trails and 3 C2C

Wainwrights 169
www.brians-walks.co.uk

Dovegirl

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Re: [TR] The South Downs Way - April 2017
« Reply #14 on: 19:49:53, 29/06/17 »
Lovely. I have done a small section of this near Jack and Jill, some years ago, but how is it generally for signage, cowness and how far did you go off the track for accommodation?

I've often encountered cows above Kingston and on Itford Hill. I've also come across them elsewhere, eg Sullington Hill, Beeding Hill, and West Hill near Saddlescombe.  They haven't been troublesome but I proceed cautiously just in case.