101 places to go – South Downs National Park

The old saying ‘better late than never’ could have been coined to describe the South Downs National Park. Originally put forward for National Park status in 1947, it wasn’t until last year that it finally received the honour. Still, the upshot of these years of deliberation is that we can all celebrate its first birthday on 31 March 2011.

Situated in the counties of Hampshire, and Sussex, and stretching 100 miles from the edge of Winchester to Beachy Head, the South Downs National Park boasts a varied geology and an equally diverse mix of beautiful landscapes.

There are stark white cliffs, lush forests, and rolling chalk hills. In fact if you wanted to use another well-worn phrase, you could also say that it has something for everyone. Which only begs the question: what do you get the place that has everything?

We’ll leave you to ponder that one. In the meantime, here are a couple of our favourite things to see and do.

• The South Downs Way is a gentle 160km bike trail through some of England’s most beautiful scenery. It’s also open to walkers and horses.

• If you don’t know your ‘wigeons’ from your ‘little grebes’ then we’d suggest a visit to the bird watching site at Seven Sisters. Spread out over 280 hectres there’s a wealth of wildlife to watch.

Have you been to the South Downs National Park? Let’s hear your tips for things to see and do!

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