The South Downs stretch from Winchester to Eastbourne and are formed of chalk-based rolling hills, farmland, open heath and woodlands. Around 1,600km sq was designated as The South Downs National Park in 2011 recognising the special qualities of the area including the beautiful views and variety of wildlife habitats. In 2016 the South Downs also became an International Dark Sky Reserve, meaning the sparkling sky above is just as impressive as the stunning landscapes. Great news if you’re planning some South Downs camping, as the night stays are certain to leave a lasting memory.
The national park has more walking routes than any other English national park. This includes the 100-mile South Downs Way that runs the length of the Downs. In addition to walking, the area is popular with cyclists, horseriders, gliders and kiteflyers. Head up to Devil’s Dyke on a weekend and you’re sure to see many gliders in action.
A country walk in the South Downs is highly recommended. There are plenty of characterful country pubs to stop in at for a pint of the local beer. The villages of Ditchling and Alfriston are good places to head for a pub lunch. They also make great starting places for a walk, if you don’t mind heading up hills! The historic market town of Lewes also falls within the South Downs National Park.
From the high ridges of the South Downs you get 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. To the north across the High Weald, where our glamping site Wild Boar Wood is located, and to the south down to the coast and the sea. One of the best places to appreciate the view if you are enjoying a South Downs camping holiday is Ditchling Beacon. There is a car park managed by the National Trust at this spot, the third highest point in the park at 248 metres above sea level. On a good day you’ll even find an ice cream van in the car park, perfect for the sweet treat after a walk along the rolling hills. There is a £2 parking charge for the car park. You can meet the South Downs Way here and walk part or the route from here.
Beech Estate Campsite is just 20 miles from the village of Alfriston while Ditchling is about an hour’s drive. Ditchling is closer to Wild Boar Wood, where we have nine pre-erected bell tents in a five-acre bluebell woodland.