South Downs Way

South Downs Way

A walk along the chalk downs of Hampshire and Sussex, from Winchester to Eastbourne.

3 to 11 nights
22-102 miles
Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous

From £425 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

Walk the length of the chalk downs of Hampshire and Sussex on the South Downs Way, which dips into beautiful river valleys to visit Norman and Saxon churches, deserted medieval villages, and historic thatched villages bursting with flowers.

This spectacular National Trail boasts a wealth of old beacon viewpoints overlooking patchwork fields and woodland. Those inland vistas are matched only by the breath-taking views from chalk clifftop trails out over the English Channel at the adventure’s end. The South Downs Way is a stunning walking holiday through iconic English terrain.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • South Downs Way
  • South Downs Way - East Section
  • South Downs Way - West Section
  • South Downs Way Short Break - East Section
  • South Downs Way Short Break - Central Section
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options South Downs Way Short Break - Circular

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

About this route

3 nights
22 miles
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £425 per person

South Downs Way Short Break - Circular

Explore the dramatic landscape where the chalk escarpment of the South Downs plunges into the sea. This two-day walk follows the South Downs Way footpath along the Cuckmere River, then clambers an undulating course over the breath-taking Seven Sisters Cliffs, Birling Gap, and Beachy Head.

With quaint villages and beautiful views over the rolling South Downs, this is the ideal short break in southern England.


Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SDWSB A circular trail beginning at Alfriston 3 nights, 2 days walking Moderate £425

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SDWSBE From Kingston-near-Lewes(T) to Eastbourne 3 nights, 2 days walking Moderate £425

South Downs Way Short Break Circular 3 nights, 2 days walking

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

Important information

This tour is available to book all year, however out of season from October to March, there may be a small supplement for luggage moves, which will be moved by taxi rather than the usual luggage courier.


Travel to Alfriston where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

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

Day 2

Eastbourne to Alfriston. 9.5 miles (15km) / 1184 ft (361 m) ascent


Depart from Alfriston 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 in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

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
£70.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£55.00 per person / per night

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

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
© Contours Walking Holidays South Downs Way Short Break - Circular map
Circular trail beginning at Alfriston
22 miles (35 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Admiring the dramatic coastal views from the Seven Sisters Cliffs, Birling Gap and Beachy Head.

Walking through a variety of scenery, from the rolling South Downs to far-reaching coastal panoramas.

Experiencing the most spectacular section of the South Downs Way in just two days.

What's included?

  • 3 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

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: 21.5 miles (34.5 km)
Duration: 3 nights, 2 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 9.5 miles (15 km)
Maximum daily distance: 12 miles (19.5 km)
Code: SDWSB Grade: Moderate
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Alfriston
End of holiday: Alfriston

Route Profile

South Downs Way Short Break Circular 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 Heathrow and London Gatwick.

By Rail

The nearest rail stations to Alfriston are either Seaford (about 4 miles away) or Eastbourne (about 10 miles away).

By Bus

Infrequent bus services run from both Seaford and Eastbourne to/from Alfriston, so a taxi may be a better option in between times.

From London

Trains run from London Victoria station to Seaford and Eastbourne.

Return to Start

The South Downs Way Short Break is a circular tour beginning and ending in Alfriston.

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.