This May Day bank holiday weekend we took twelve intrepid explorers on our very first walking holiday along the Western Section of The South Downs Way, from Winchester to Amberley.
It was truly glorious.
We picked up the walkers at 8am on Friday from The Old Steine in Brighton and drove along the scenic route to Winchester, via Steyning and Storrington, where we started the walk in beautiful sunshine at the cathedral at 10am.
As you can see we took it very seriously *no fun allowed here* from the start!
We stayed in The Trooper Inn in Froxfield and The Village Inn in Buriton where we ate hearty breakfasts each morning that set us up for the day. They also provided us with packed lunches for our mid walk picnics and water refill stops and most of our delicious evening meals.
Highlights included walking through Winchester City centre & the impressive cathedral grounds; a cheeky pasty & cream tea stop; meandering through the cool and calm shade of the freshly sprouted, lime green woodland canopies, deep purple bluebells, and dipping our very hot & tired feet in the stream at The Shoe in Exton!
Day two: Exton to Buriton.
We were overtaken by a couple of hundred runners who were running the entire South Downs Way in just three days! We obviously took a more leisurely pace and walked up Winchester Hill picnicking at the top overlooking bright yellow rapeseed fields and the ancient hill fort. Some stopped at the Sustainability Centre for afternoon tea whilst others carried on up the monumental Butser Hill, through the shade of Queen Elizabeth Country Park and down past Buriton Chalk Pit to The Village Inn for celebratory rhubarb gins!
One of the nicest things about our walks is that you can go at your own pace.
Day three: Buriton to Heyshott.
The 360 views from Beacon Hill were incredible, followed by a surprise and very much appreciated Caroline’s dairy icecream (also sold in Harrods!) from Manor Farm Farm Shop near Cocking.
Ending with drinks in the idyllic beer garden of the Unicorn Inn. Yes that’s right, The Unicorn Inn, where dreams come true: feet escape walking boots and are soothed on cooling beer garden grass, icy cold beers & soft drinks and welcome cups of tea refresh the weary walkers!
Day four: Heyshott to Amberley.
The team of hardy walkers set off in search of the Badger Faced Sheep! Finishing in Amberley where we shared a delicious cream tea, bought for us as a last day treat by the very kind Christina from Dental Health Spa.
Much laughter & many stories were shared over the four days, friendships were made and everyone received a much needed fresh air & countryside reset. We are thrilled.
Well done to everyone who came and to Neil for organising such a winning holiday.
One of the walkers said:
It is one of the best things I have done in my life!
We’re busy plotting our next adventure for the autumn, if you think you’d like to join us on our next holiday or if you’d like more information hot off the press then e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t wait that long?
In the meantime, to whet your walking appetite, you can join us on one of our regular Sunday Walks. The next walk is on 3rd June Bexhill to Battle through Forewood & the 1066 battlefield. The walk is 7.1 miles ending at The Bull for refreshments of your choice. For more information and to buy your tickets click here.
See you for a countryside reset very soon!