holiday goddess logo

Night Walks on the South Downs

"The stunning South Downs Way goes across the chalk hills of Hampshire and Sussex for 100 miles between Winchester and Eastbourne. And you can walk it at night."

The stunning South Downs Way goes across the chalk hills of Hampshire and Sussex for 100 miles between Winchester and Eastbourne. And you can walk it at night.

The Seven Sisters and Beachy Head with a torch? Ghosts along the way? Why not?

Under a Full Moon you can even see The Long Man of Wilmington also known as The Guardian of the South Downs. He’s recently been repainted too.

The South Downs and Harry Potter

You can stay in the historic Foxhole Cottages in Cuckmere Valley in Seven Sisters Country Park, along the way (depending on which part of the South Downs Way you choose).

These cottages, near the cliffs, are set in an area where Hollywood has made both its Harry Potter films and Robin Hood sagas.

Seven Sisters Country Park has 280 hectares of chalk cliffs and river valley to walk. It’s usually explored by day, but night walking is becoming increasingly popular in groups.

The National Trust has a good guide to East Sussex and walking the South Downs Way –

The 100 Mile Pub Crawl

Also known as the 100-mile pub crawl, The South Downs Way offers plenty of above-bar accommodation along the way.

You could try Alfriston to Eastbourne and take some of the trip by local bus, which is an affordable way to explore the South Downs Way.


Night Walks for Insomnia and Fear of the Dark

Some people have found guided night walks by Caroline Whiteman after a crisis. Author Annabel Abbs had insomnia after a series of losses.

Caroline herself began her walks to get over her fear of the dark. Her looped expeditions near Seaford have added to a trend of women trekking by moonlight.

Caroline’s night walks are featured as part of the English organisation, School of the Wild. As their website tells it, “As the sun sets slowly in the Sussex night sky, thirteen of us set off in silence, to walk in the dark and without torches over the South Downs.

We’re walking from Glynde to Lewes, to know the dark and go without sight as Wendell Berry might have put it.

We’ve already done our introductions and listened to the birds’ surprisingly loud dusk chorus.

As we head off in the fading light, Caroline deliberately slows the pace as she leads us up towards Mount Caburn and then over the hill into a dark valley, where the stillness and the mysteries of the night and the land beckon.”

The BBC has a programme about Caroline’s South Downs night walks here:  Walking at night on the South Downs near Seaford

Stargazing on the South Downs Way

Rug up in February and see the South Downs by night for some walking and stargazing.

February sees the annual South Downs Dark Skies Festival. This is in part due to the South Downs’ status as an International Dark Sky Reserve, one of only 21 in the world.

Find out more here at Sussex Exclusive. Happy walking.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
Share on pocket