The South Downs Way is unique – and in several different ways.
It is the only one of ten designated ‘National Trails’ that lies entirely within its own national park; running through beautiful countryside every mile of the way.
It’s the only one that is a bridleway, meaning there are very few stiles to clamber over; a fact much appreciated by less agile country walkers.
And, surprisingly, it’s the only one which has an organised walk every year along its full length.
The Annual South Downs Way Walk takes place every June and is open to everyone who enjoys a good country walk and doesn’t mind a bit of challenge in life.
Over nine consecutive days nearly 150 people will walk the trail from Eastbourne to Winchester.
Most will be doing it for the first time and well over half will be ladies.
Coaches pick everyone up from four different places along the south coast each morning and return them there after the day’s walk.
As the week progresses a great camaraderie builds up between the group.
Organiser Keith McKenna of Footprints explained: “You can sense a nervousness at the start; people aren’t sure they are going to be able to do it. But having lots of others around helps and by the third day the walking and the fresh air has relaxed everybody. As we near the end of the trail there is a great atmosphere and we have a wonderful party in The Guildhall at Winchester on the final Saturday”.
This year’s walk is from 7th to 15th June and costs £211 for the nine days.
Full details are on the event website at: www.southdownsway.com or call Keith on 01903 – 81 33 81.