Walking Holidays

Downs Link: 29 April – 2 May 2021


Following three lovely holidays on the South Downs Way, the Dorset Coast and the Isle of Wight we’re heading to the Surrey Hills this year and walking the Downs Link path from St Martha’s Hill, Guildford, to the mouth of the River Adur at Shoreham.

The Downs Link is a 37 mile footpath and bridleway linking the North Downs with the South Downs and the English Channel. For most of its length it follows two disused railway lines, the Cranleigh Line between Guildford and Christs Hospital (Horsham), and the Steyning Line between Christs Hospital and Shoreham.

Along the way there remains evidence of the history of the Railway, with some station platforms still visible, and an old train carriage at the old West Grinstead station, serving as both a visitor centre and a visual reminder of days gone by.

Weaving its way from the North Downs through the weald to the South Downs and the sea, the route is both picturesque and full of interest, with something for everyone. Whether it’s history, wildlife, beautiful views or just a good pint of real ale in a nice country pub, this route has it all!

West Grinstead Railway Station (Image: Martin Burton/SussexLive)

Itinerary: Please note that timings are flexible and relaxed just as a holiday should be 🙂

Day 1: Friday 29 April

  • 0930 Meet at Old Steine (Bus Stop S); Bus to St Martha’s Hill, Guildford
  • 11.30 Arrive at the start of the trail, walk to Bramley (4 miles)
  • Lunch at the Jolly Farmer (included)
  • After lunch, walk from Bramley to Cranleigh (5 miles)
  • 1630 Celebratory drink at the Richard Onslow
  • 1730 Bus to Rudgwick
  • 1900 Head to the pub for dinner (optional)
Bramley and Wonersh Station

Day 2: Saturday 30 April

  • 1000 Bus to Cranleigh
  • Walk from Cranleigh to Rudgwick (4.5 miles)
  • 1230 Lunch at the the Milk Churn, Woodsomes Farm (included)
  • Walk from Rudgwick to Christs Hospital (5.5 miles)
  • Enjoy some refreshment at Bax Castle, then home

Day 3: Sunday 1 May

  • 1000 Bus to Christs Hospital
  • Walk from Christs Hospital to West Grinstead (4.5 miles)
  • 1230 Lunch at the Orchard
  • Walk from West Grinstead to Henfield (4.5 miles)
  • 1600 Celebratory drink at the Old Railway
  • 1700 Bus to Rudgwick

Day 4: Monday 2 May

  • 1000 Bus to Henfield
  • Walk from Henfield to Bramber (5 miles)
  • 1230 Lunch at the Castle Inn
  • Walk from Bramber to Shoreham (4 miles)
  • 1600 Celebratory drink at The Bridge
  • 1700 Bus to Brighton

What’s included:

  • Three nights accommodation in Rudgwick, with the option of a country pub or a farm setting
  • All transport including transfers
  • Pub Lunches (pub drinks not included, sorry!)
  • Options for doing partial sections of the route, with minibus transfers available at various times of day. The minibus will meet us at key points along the route and walkers can top up their water bottles, indulge in an extra sandwich or get a lift to the next waypoint or back to the accommodation. Alternatively if you want a lie in, you can get a lift later in the morning to meet the rest of the group at lunch time and do the afternoon section. 
  • Some of the most beautiful scenery in England and the best walking buddies you could ever wish for 🙂

Covid Safety:

We ask that everyone does a lateral flow test prior to departure at Old Steine, and wears a mask whilst on the bus to protect fellow walkers. We will provide the tests, and will keep spare tests with us throughout the weekend. We won’t ask you to take a test daily, but we will ask everyone to be careful throughout the weekend and mindful of others. We will ensure the vehicle is well ventilated with fresh air whilst travelling.

If anyone is at all concerned or develops symptoms over the weekend we ask that you take a test and if anyone has to return home we will provide you with transport at no extra cost. Sadly in the event your holiday is cut short we are unable to offer refunds as all costs for the weekend will still be incurred.

Accommodation Options

There are two options for accommodation: on the farm or in the pub 🙂

Both are the same price, but have slightly different features. The farm is probably the more picturesque, tranquil setting, but has shared bathrooms (three bathrooms shared between five bedrooms) and breakfast is self-catered.

At the pub, each room is en-suite, and breakfast is included, but the pub will be shared with other people whereas the farm is just for us. We will be spread across both venues, so wherever you are you will have friends nearby!

The farm has a combination of double rooms, twin rooms and two family rooms (one is a double plus a bunk-bed, the other is a double sofa bed with a single bed)

The pub has a combination of single, double, twin and triple rooms.

Prices:

  • Adult, sharing Twin Room on the Farm (with another walker of the same sex), shared bathrooms, self-catering: £300
  • Adult, Sharing Twin Room in the Pub (with another walker of the same sex), en-suite, breakfast included: £300
  • Single Room in the Pub, en-suite, breakfast included: £420 (There are no single rooms at the farm, sorry!)
  • Two people; Double Room on the Farm, shared bathrooms, self-catering: £600 (There are no double rooms at the pub, sorry!)
  • Under 16: £150 – Shared accommodation with their parent(s) or carer(s)
  • Under 5: Free

50% of the full cost must be paid to secure the booking, the remainder will need to be paid 4 weeks before the event.  We will send you a reminder 🙂

The Farm in Rudgwick where half our party will stay

Book the Farm option:

Book the Pub option: