Walking the Southdown Way
and Isle of Wight

Tour Highlights

The United Kingdom is the quintessential destination for rambling and walking holidays. 
On this exciting new tour we will walk through impressive countryside and picturesque villages led by experienced, expert hiking guides. Each day you may choose from 3 levels of walks. The easier walks will cover about 10km/day, with ascents of up to 240m.

Our first 7 nights will be in Abingworth, set out along the rolling hills and magnificent chalk cliffs of the South Downs. This wildlife-rich chalk downland is a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes of sweeping cornfields and market towns.

Our next 3 nights are on the Isle of Wight - a designated Area of Outstanding National Beauty. A world away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland, the island’s glorious 85-mile coastline boasts unspoiled sandy beaches and dramatic white cliffs.

Our final 2 nights will be in Lyndhurst, known as the capital of the New Forest since William the Conqueror established it as a royal hunting ground in 1079. Lyndhurst has been a favourite holiday destination for kings and queens throughout the centuries.

Tour Highlights:

  • Breathtaking views of the iconic chalk cliffs / Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters
  • The historic town of Arundel
  • 17th century Petworth Mansion
  • Market town of Steyning
  • Brighton - England’s best-known seaside resorts
  • Osborne House - former home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
  • Isle of Wight’s famous Needles
  • The thatched village of Godshill
  • Quintessential romantic castle, Carisbrooke
  • Award winning National Motor Museum and Beaulieu House
  • The enchanting New Forest

*** Those participating on this walking tour must be able to complete up to 10km of walking per day.

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for London.
Upon arrival we transfer to Abingworth for our 7-night stay. Our hotel, Abingworth Hall, is situated near the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs (there has been a house on this site since the 13th century). It is surrounded by 8 acres of gardens including a putting green, croquet lawn and a heated outdoor pool. The hotel is tailored for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts.
 Today we walk through the fields at the foot of the Downs, from the picturesque village of Amberley back to Abingworth Hall, passing through the grounds of Parham House - a fine Elizabethan residence surrounded by a deerpark.
We walk from the northern edge of the polo grounds of Cowdray Park, through attractive woodland and fields to Petworth. Here we can visit Petworth House - a grand property built by the Duke of Somerset in the 17th Century in the style of Versailles) or take a walk around the surrounding parkland.
We spend the day in Brighton (“England’s Loveliest and Liveliest City by the Sea”) to enjoy some sightseeing and free time. Brighton is fun, cosmopolitan and uniquely eccentric, with Regency architecture, a pleasure pier, specialty shops, sidewalk cafés and a lively arts scene. Everything is within walking distance, so we will have a guided walking tour followed by time on our own to explore.
We ascend to the iconic Clayton Windmills on the crest of the Downs. 'Jill' is a wooden post mill from 1822, while 'Jack' is a brick tower mill from 1864. We then follow the South Downs Way over Ditchling Beacon and descend the escarpment to Ditchling village with time to explore.
We walk through the Sussex countryside to the village of Singleton, then ascend the Downs to the top of the Trundle, overlooking Goodwood Racecourse. The walk ends at the highly recommended West Dean Gardens, where you may discover the water garden and the Edwardian walled kitchen garden.
Starting at Friston Church, we walk to the chalk cliffs near Birling Gap, then along the Seven Sisters coastal path to Cuckmere Haven. Take time to savour the outstanding coastal scenery, then gaze down from the final 'sister' over the River Cuckmere as it meanders gracefully towards the sea.
We bid farewell to Abingworth and proceed to Portsmouth, where we board the ferry to the Isle of Wight. Situated just off the coast in the English Channel, Wight is England’s largest island. We visit Osbourne House - Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home on the island. We’ll visit Victoria and Albert's private apartments, their bathing beach and children's play-cottage for an intimate glimpse of royal family life. We’ll stroll through the garden terraces, where the stunning views across the Solent reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples. We’ll spend 3 nights at Freshwater Bay House.
We cross the island's central hills from the picturesque village of Shorwell to the impressive castle at Carisbrooke. Take time to explore this well-preserved castle. Walk around the walls, and watch the donkeys turn the treadmill to raise water from the well.
A very picturesque walk from Calbourne to Freshwater Bay via the Downs. We’ll have time to admire the much photographed 'chocolate box' cottages at Winkle Street in Calbourne, followed by time to relax at our hotel.
We sail from Yarmouth to Lymington, one of the towns in the New Forest, and visit Beaulieu Palace House. Once the gatehouse of the medieval Beaulieu Abbey, this has been the Montagu family home since 1538. The palace also houses the National Motor Museum - one of the finest collections of historic cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world. Our hotel is in the centre of Lyndhurst Village - capital of the New Forest National Park.
A free day in the New Forest - England’s smallest National Park. Visitors fall in love with the peaceful atmosphere here, as well as the forest’s idyllic glades, ancient woodland, open moors, heathland, cliff top walks and ponies, donkeys and deer roaming free. This evening is our Farewell Dinner.
We fly home from London.

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