South Downs Way - East Section

South Downs Way - East Section

A walking holiday from Amberley to Eastbourne along the chalk South Downs escarpment to the coastal clifftops.

5 to 6 nights
54 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding

From £615 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

The East section of the South Downs Way begins in Amberley and continues along the chalk escarpment of the South Downs until it reaches the white chalk cliffs of Eastbourne.

The trail crosses open fields and agricultural land as the chalk cliffs fall away to reveal far reaching views of the English Channel.

© Contours Walking Holidays South Downs Way - East Section map
Amberley to Eastbourne
54 miles (87 km)
1st April to 30th September

Holiday highlights

Admiring the spectacular views from the white chalk cliffs and over the English Channel.

Exploring the idyllic village of Alfriston, nestled in the beautiful Cuckmere Valley.

Arriving in Eastbourne to a memorable finale of high cliffs and dramatic coastline.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
SDWE1 From Amberley to Eastbourne 5 nights, 4 days walking Moderate / Demanding£615
SDWE2 From Amberley to Eastbourne 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate£735

South Downs Way - East Section 5 nights, 4 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Travel to Amberley where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Amberley to Upper Beeding. 13 miles (20.5km) / 1467 ft (447 m) ascent

Day 2

Upper Beeding to Kingston-near-Lewes(T). 17.5 miles (28km) / 2549 ft (777 m) ascent

Day 3

Kingston-near-Lewes(T) to Alfriston. 11.5 miles (18.5km) / 1073 ft (327 m) ascent

Day 4

Alfriston to Eastbourne. 12 miles (19.5km) / 1742 ft (531 m) ascent


Depart from Eastbourne after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£45.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 5 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

For somewhere a little quieter, the pretty village of Amberley is a good choice. The village is comprised of beautiful thatched cottages and is surrounded by the superb countryside of the Arun Valley. There is a museum and a castle that can be viewed from the outside, while just a few miles away lies the marvellous Arundel Castle, where you may wish to spend the day.

The charming village of Kingston-near-Lewes is a good place to spend a rest day. With a pub and 13th century church, there is plenty of opportunity to relax, while the county town of Lewes is less than two miles away and is packed with things to see and do including a castle, ruined priory, the house of Anne of Cleves and a variety of antique shops.

If you would like to spend some more time exploring at the end of your walk, consider Eastbourne for an extra night. With spectacular views from Beachy Head and a host of historic locations such as Redoubt Fortress as well as shops, parks, gardens, restaurants, museums and galleries, there is plenty to serve as reward after completing your walk.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 54 miles (86.5 km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 11.5 miles (18.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 17.5 miles (28 km)
Code: SDWE1 Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 1st April - 30th September
Start of holiday: Amberley
End of holiday: Eastbourne

Route Profile

South Downs Way - East Section Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major cities and international airports are Southampton, Bournemouth, London Gatwick and London Heathrow.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Amberley) and also at the end of the trail (Eastbourne).

By Bus - various buses run to Amberley and from Eastbourne.

From London - Trains run from London Victoria station to Amberley.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take the train from Eastbourne to Amberley.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Routes on this trail

South Downs Way
7 to 11 nights
102 miles
From £845 per person
A walking holiday from Winchester to Eastbourne along the chalk downs of Hampshire and Sussex.Find Out More
South Downs Way - West Section
4 to 6 nights
48 miles
From £495 per person
A self-guided walking holiday from Winchester to Amberley along the chalk downs escarpment.Find Out More
South Downs Way Short Break - East Section
3 nights
24 miles
From £375 per person
A taster break along the most southerly stretch of the trail from Kingston-near-Lewes to Eastbourne.Find Out More
South Downs Way Short Break - Circular
3 nights
22 miles
Dog friendly
From £375 per person
A circular walking holiday from Alfriston via the Seven Sisters Cliffs, Beachy Head, and Eastbourne.Find Out More
South Downs Way Short Break - Central Section
3 nights
23 miles
From £375 per person
A short walking holiday from Buriton to Amberley on a central snippet of the South Downs Way.Find Out More

Customer reviews from the South Downs Way - East Section

“Easy walking in pleasant countryside.”
Mr Syme, UK
“Couldn’t have gone better.”
Mr Ogden, UK
“Loved it, terribly sunny all the day! Absolutely fabulous.”
Mrs Pfaff, UK
“Excellent, would definitely recommend the walk from Amberley to Eastbourne. Couldn't really go wrong as the South Downs Way is so well marked.”
Mr Woolley, UK
“I do like the way that whoever answers the phone at Contours seems to know all the details and is able to deal with matters immediately.”
Mr Simmons, UK
“I thought the accommodations and the food served was wonderful.”
Mr King, USA
“All stages of planning and accommodations arrangements went flawlessly thanks to your great organisation.”
Ms Reynolds, USA
“My first experience of this sort of holiday – I was very impressed with how efficiently everything worked.”
Mr Thexton, UK
“Reliable luggage transfer and comfortable B&Bs with generous and helpful hosts. Strenuous enough without being painful (speaking as one in my 70's). Breakfasts delicious! Such a wonderful way to experience the countryside (and towns as well). Train and bus options close enough in case weather is really nasty. Thank you all again for organising accommodation, luggage, dates, places and interesting notes on the landscape and area, and for helping me achieve at least one item on my Bucket List!”
Ms Deutscher, Australia