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Wilderness Walking

New Forest and South Downs

Next Trip: 8th - 14th Jun 2024 Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

From £2,195 View Prices & Dates

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Trip created by Anna Brownlow
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Region: New Forest;South Downs
Trip Type: Wilderness Walking
Accommodation: Deluxe
Max Group Size: 8
Confirmed: When 3 Traveller(s) Book
Deposit From: £548.75 £548.75


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All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

Download Itinerary

At the southern tip of England, where ancient trees ripple against the sky and white chalk cliffs drop sharply into the blue swell of the Atlantic Ocean, there are two distinctively beautiful National Parks – New Forest and the South Downs. Explore both on the 7-day guided hiking tour to Southern England.

Accompanied by your knowledgeable Wilderness guide, wind your way through the old woodlands of New Forest. Here bluebells bloom in May, and wild garlic flowers in early summer. A place where ancient rights of common pasture are still exercised, learn about the area’s fascinating history as you watch ponies graze, and cattle meander through bright, yellow gorse. On the second half of your adventure, head into the glorious green folds of the captivating South Downs National Park. Walk through the undulating chalk hills and explore the spectacular coastline. Enjoy fabulous views, delicious local food and welcoming hospitality.

In a region defined by its many instances of natural beauty, enjoy an unforgettable walking holiday in some of England’s most beautiful landscapes.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore two of England's most beautiful National Parks.
  • Visit the famous Needles Chalk Stacks on the charming Isle of Wight.
  • Enjoy a tour of a stunning winery nestled in the heart of rural Sussex.
  • Stay in handpicked accommodation enjoying locally-sourced, seasonal food.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome to New Forest

Meet your Wilderness guide at Southampton Train Station this morning and transfer into the beautiful bounds of New Forest National Park. Arriving in Ashurst, enjoy a cafe lunch, chatting with your guide about the adventure ahead. After lunch, stretch your legs with a lovely circular loop walk, traversing rolling heathland and leafy woodland. Afterwards, a short drive will take you to a boutique townhouse hotel in the centre of a pretty market town. With stunning Georgian architecture, elegant interiors and friendly, attentive staff, there is no better place to relax for the first half of your trip. (L, D)

Walk details: 6 km/ miles | 90 m/295 ft ascent | approx. 2 hours

Day 2 – Rambling and Reptiles

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast this morning before heading out for a scenic, peaceful walk with your guide. As you go through woodland bright with birdsong, look out for deer and free-roaming New Forest ponies. On your return, settle down to lunch at a traditional pub, sitting outside in the sunshine with a pint of local ale. Afterwards, visit the nearby Reptile Centre, whose mission is to protect the rare snakes and lizards native to this region of England. Return to your hotel this afternoon and enjoy a free evening to relax. Choose to dine at the hotel or wander into the bustling town for dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants. (B, L)

Walk details: 10 km/6 miles | 220 m/720 ft ascent | approx. 4 hours

Day 3 – The Isle of Wight

This morning, take the ferry from Lymington to the Isle of Wight, known for its stunning coastal scenery, verdant fields and open chalk hills. Accompanied by your guide, walk out to the world-famous Needles chalk stacks, stopping by a historic lighthouse before meandering your way back over the undulating downlands. This afternoon, visit Osborne House – the historic home of Queen Victoria and gain an intimate glimpse into royal life. Return to the mainland this evening and enjoy a delicious dinner. (B, L, D)

Walk details: 7 km/4.5 miles | 235 m/770 ft ascent | approx. 3 hours

Day 4 – Exploring the South Downs

A slightly longer yet pretty drive this morning will take you into the eastern reaches of the South Downs National Park for an engaging walk. An excellent way to explore the scenic beauty of the Downs, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Along the way, pass through the 12th-century St Margaret’s Church and the ancient crossroads at Ditchling Beacon. Upon your return, enjoy a visit to the Arts and Crafts Museum before transferring to the picturesque village of Alfriston to enjoy some free time. This evening, settle into your welcoming accommodation and relax. (B, L, D)

Walk details: 8 km/5 miles | 290 m/950 ft ascent | approx. 4 hours

Day 5 – The Long Man of Wilmington and Wine Estate

After breakfast, lace up your boots and head straight out for a wonderful circular walk. Chatting with your guide about the area’s history, pass by the Long Man of Wilmington, a hill figure on the steep slopes of Windover Hill. Later, arrive at a cool cycling cafe, the perfect spot for a hot drink and a buttery pastry. Arriving back in Alfriston later this afternoon, take some time to relax and freshen up before heading out for a tour of a local wine estate. Meander through the exquisite vineyard, learning about its unique terroir and sampling some of their signature wines. Later, return to your hotel and enjoy a free evening. (B, L)

Walk details: 10 km/6 miles | 200 m/650 ft ascent | approx. 4 hours

Day 6 – Cuckmere Haven and The Seven Sisters

A short transfer will take you to walk out to Cuckmere Haven Beach. A bright, pebbly beach where the sea breaks turquoise on the shore, hike up to the stunning, white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters. Soak up the spectacular views as you wind along a headland sprinkled with wildflowers to finish at a 16th century farmhouse for lunch. Settle in and relax, enjoying a hearty, locally-sourced and seasonal meal. Later this afternoon, enjoy a beautiful short hike to Beachy Head – Britain’s highest chalk cliff, before returning to Alfriston to enjoy your final dinner together. (B, L, D)

Walk details: 8 km/5 miles | 300 m/980 ft ascent | approx. 4 hours

Day 7 – Visit Lewes and Depart

Leave Alfriston this morning and transfer to the historic market town of Lewes. Enjoy a walk up onto Mount Caburn. From here, the fields stretch out beneath you in a great green and gold tapestry – the perfect place to enjoy a seat, a snack and a photo before meandering back into town. Enjoy exploring the cobbled streets and quirky twittens (ancient Saxon alleyways) before popping into a local cafe for lunch. This afternoon, visit the town’s castle, which presides impressively above the medieval streets. Finish your adventure at Lewes Railway Station, where you can bid farewell to your guide and begin your journey home. (B, L)

Walk details: 8 km/5 miles | 250 m/820 ft ascent | approx. 4 hours

Wilderness Walking
New Forest and South Downs

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Trip Dates & Prices

Trip Dates for 2024AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
8th Jun - 14th Jun 20248 place(s) leftUNCONFIRMED£2,195Book Now
17th Aug - 23rd Aug 20248 place(s) leftUNCONFIRMED£2,195Book Now

Trip Details

Accommodation Read More

This walking holiday is based in two welcoming and quality accommodations; a charming boutique townhouse hotel and a 19th century country house. Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite facilities.

Single Rooms

There is no single person supplement charged to solo travellers. However, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you wish to reserve a double room for single occupancy, a supplement of £495 is charged.

Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Meals Read More

All meals are included in this trip from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 7 except for dinners on days 2 and 5. Included dinners are two courses as standard.

Great food is of paramount importance on all Wilderness England trips and we will enjoy excellent regional cooking throughout.

On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

Inclusions Read More
  • 6 nights accommodation in 4 star hotels.
  • All meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide / driver throughout.
  • All transport throughout the trip starting in Southampton and finishing in Lewes.
Trip Grading Read More

Green Graded 1-3

Green graded walking holidays are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace, and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

Travel Read More

You will be met by your Wilderness England Guide at Southampton Central Railway Station at 11:00am on Day 1 of your trip. Meet at the southern entrance, which leads out onto Western Esplanade.

The trip will conclude at Lewes Railway Station at 4:00pm on the final day of the trip.

Photo Gallery

Make This Trip Private

Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

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Jane Gillies

Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of UK & Ireland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

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Difficulty Grades Explained

Green Graded Walking Holidays
Green graded walking holidays are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

Compare walking grades

Our holidays reviewed
in your own words

Don’t hesitate, sign up now for a smoothly efficient professionally run and personable touring organization !

Nancy Kessel
Wilderness Walking - National Parks of the UK
Reviewed on 20/05/2019

Rated 4.95 out of 5 based on 716 reviews

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