Author Topic: South Downs Way 2020  (Read 2169 times)

Slowcoach

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #15 on: 20:47:10, 08/09/19 »
I have walked the South Downs Way..Eastbourne to Winchester. I also used to belong to the Sussex Downsmen and walked in all areas of the Downs. I think 4 mph is very very ambitious. The route is not easy. Just under 3 mph would be good going taking into account route checking, weather conditions etc etc.
I did the whole route over 3 days but carrying no gear at all ..supplied by car at strategic points...day 1 35 miles, day2 30 miles and day 3 40 miles. These were long days.
It's all uphill from here.

Dovegirl

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #16 on: 21:30:47, 08/09/19 »
I plan on squeezing in day trips around Surrey to get a feel for my capabilities and up my fitness in the meantime

I'd suggest you include some hills as the SDW is hilly, eg the coastal section has a series of ascents in quick succession

Islandplodder

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #17 on: 10:18:22, 09/09/19 »

You will have noticed that there is every kind of walker contributing to this forum.  There are ex-servicemen who regard 20 miles over rough ground as a day in the office and mere mortals who like to go for a stroll.  There is also a difference between what you can do and what you enjoy doing.
I can do 20 mile days, and I can walk at 4 miles an hour and I can walk without much in the way of stops, but as my user name suggests that is not my preferred option.  If I was doing the SDW  in spring I would want to take time to see what flowers were out.  Sometimes there are views that you have to stop and enjoy rather than seeing out of the corner of your eye as you power along. Especially on long distance walks I am doing it partly to get a feel of the area.
Part of training for your first LDW is finding out which kind of walker you are.
Having said that, my first LDW was the Dales Way in about 1972, just after the book came out.  We did absolutely no training, we wildly overestimated our abilities, the 2nd day was an agony of stiff muscles, we had far too much stuff and still I loved every minute, and went back to do another one the following summer, still with no training and far too much stuff.  The only thing we changed was remembering the pain of day 2 we made it a short day.

Slowcoach

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #18 on: 12:44:52, 09/09/19 »
The SDW has a lot to offer as you go. Churches, pretty villages, historic sites, country pubs, so it is wortwhile building time intp your schedule that allows you to make the most of it.
It's all uphill from here.

gunwharfman

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #19 on: 12:47:11, 09/09/19 »
The only disappointment for me on the SDW was finding more than once that a pub was down to the side of the way, often not on it!

Warbler

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #20 on: 15:44:03, 09/09/19 »
Some valid points from Islandplodder and Slowcoach.

I just had a thought about camping along the route. I walked the last 70 miles of SDW (Cocking to Eastbourne) in April this year. I think it was the second week in April. Most, if not all of the campsites I stayed at had only just opened that week after shutting down for the winter. So, as SDW is not really conducive to wild camping, you may need to have a re-think about when you start this walk. You could ring around the sites beforehand to clarify this.

Regarding maps, the route is very well waymarked, and it would be difficult to wander too far off route. Therefore, in my opinion, the Harveys trail map would be more than adequate.

ninthace

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #21 on: 16:33:12, 09/09/19 »
There is a downloadable gpx file of the route on http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home.nsf/RoutesLinksWalks/the-south-downs-way-walking-route


You can import this into ViewRanger or the OS Mapping app.
Solvitur Ambulando

Stube

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #22 on: 21:17:12, 09/09/19 »
Some comments on various posts

I've walked the SDW twice - once each way - and I think that a 7-8 day schedule is about right. The route is deceptively hilly, and most services are down the steep scarp slope to the north.
It is a bridleway throughout and horses and cyclists are an addional hazard.

Very few campsites are open before Easter and the Queen Elizabeth Country Park bus service only runs on Sundays in high summer. It is basically an hourly service and stops about 6pm.

The route is dry - the Meon is the only fresh water river you cross - the rest are all seawater contaminated. However there is a good collection of water taps.

The National trails website documents the water taps and most (but not all) of the campsites.

https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/south-downs-way/plan

A-Z maps adventure series do a booklet of the SDW at 1:25K.It includes a gazatteer and a services directory. It's cheaper than the Harvey's strip map, but not waterproof.

The Trailblazers guide is excellent and includes various suggested itineraries.




IanyZen

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #23 on: 21:55:08, 09/09/19 »
Hi,
I live in Brighton and am often found wandering along the South Downs Way with my dog.
In all my walks, with backpack & camping gear (10-14kg) it takes me about 25 mins to walk a mile, including rest for snacks, photos and chatting. I can walk faster if necessary, but I don't like to be in too much of a rush.

I have walked it in stages, camping and staying in B&Bs and travelling from Brighton then back after a walk.

The walk from Winchester train station to the SDW start shouldn't be seen as an extra hike - it's a beautiful 'city' to walk through, and it's downhill if I remember
I got the train from Brighton and walked from Winchester to Meon Springs where there is a camp site right on the path, so a detour off the path at East Meon is not necessary.
I did this a long time ago - it was actually a trial walk with my pack and camping gear, my first with my dog to see how things went.
I carried way too much and I was not that fit, but still managed to get to Meon Springs in good time.

I then walked to South Harting, which is down off the escarpment, but not too far. I stayed in a B&B and ate in a pub.
I then did a half day walk to Cocking and got the bus to Chichester and train back to Brighton.

I found the walk easy going and chatted to lots of folk on the way. The SDW has great wide, flat paths where you can walk and admire the views without having to concentrate on the path.

I would take a few trips to Box Hill, near Dorking to practice walking up and down hills.
Also think about the cost of travelling back to London (and time) - it may not be much different to paying for a camp site or B&B in one of the many beautiful villages on and around the Downs. YHAs at Truleigh Hill & Southease are excellent.
There are lots of places on the way to get snacks in cafes, say in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, fresh home made ice cream nr Cocking and pubs on route. You won't go hungry or thirsty.  There are a few water taps as well in the later stages - Botolphs (A283), Truleigh Hill, Saddlescombe Farm (superb cafe here too), Horsedean Farm (A27), Southease YHA, toilet at Cuckmere Haven.
Good luck
Ian


 
Good luck on your next adventure
Ian & Zen

Estevens90

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #24 on: 08:49:42, 10/09/19 »
Thank you all so much for sharing your wonderful reviews and advice.


I'm more excited and determined to get going in the spring!


I've done my research on the campsites I intend in staying on to ensure that they're open through March  O0


Ian, my reason for travelling to and from London is that I have four small children, so as much as I would love to dedicate a week to walking and stay in lovely b&b's etc, I just don't have the luxury! So I will be splitting the route into day trips, potentially a couple of two nights, depending on what I can get away with.


I don't live far from box hill, in fact it's one of my favourite places to go from being a child. It's my happy place. On bad days, find me at box hill with a brood of noisy children.


I start a new job next week, which allows me three whole days a week to myself, so I am looking forward to getting out into the country for a couple of hours a week. Cant wait to share photos with you all!

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #25 on: 23:16:48, 10/09/19 »
As an aside, if you believe that the South Downs Way is in South West England, may I direct to another thread on navigation courses? ;D


Perhaps we need a South or South East board as well, or rename this one, as the whole of Scotland manages with a single board?

Estevens90

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #26 on: 08:55:51, 11/09/19 »
I'm a londoner, Mike.


Anything south and slightly west of Croydon is South west to me. ;D

Slowcoach

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #27 on: 09:16:45, 11/09/19 »
I hope your trip works out well. Let us know how you get on. Enjoy the Downs, they are fabulous.
It's all uphill from here.

Estevens90

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #28 on: 09:31:28, 11/09/19 »
While I'm here, can anyone recommend a good walking (or running) app, with location and distance tracker?

WhitstableDave

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Re: South Downs Way 2020
« Reply #29 on: 09:33:43, 11/09/19 »
As an aside, if you believe that the South Downs Way is in South West England, may I direct to another thread on navigation courses? ;D

Perhaps we need a South or South East board as well, or rename this one, as the whole of Scotland manages with a single board?

I think a South East board is a good idea. The South East Region of England (which doesn't include London) is England's most populous region and it's also more populous than either Scotland or Wales. It's famous for its wonderful countryside and has two national parks: the South Downs and the New Forest.

Yet here the entire region is part of the Rest of England. I think that might reflect the notion that walking is what people go somewhere else to do - a holiday activity - rather than it being something to enjoy anywhere. Just a thought...