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South Downs National Park
Sussex, England

Details for South Downs National Park

The South Downs National Park covers over 6,000 square kilometres of stunning scenery and delightful landscape. It stretches for 140 kilometres from the westerly city Winchester to the delightful easterly town Eastbourne, through the counties of Hampshire, West and East Sussex. Officially coming into operation in 2011, it is the newest National Park in the UK.

Most of the Park consists of chalk downland formed in the late Cretaceous period between 100 million and 60 million years ago.  Through the process of weathering, the chalk rock has resulted in a cuesta formation that rises vividly to create the striking white cliffs of Beachy Head, the Seven Sisters and Seaford Head.  This rolling countryside is complemented by the densely wooded western Weald, set on sandstone and clay hills.

Over 3,300 kilometres of footpaths, bridleways and byways mean the South Downs National Park has more walking routes than any other National Parks in the UK.  Converted railway lines have been transformed to create designated routes such as Centurion Way and Meon Valley trail.  The South Downs Way runs the length of the Park following the old routes and droveways along the chalk escarpment of the Downs.    

The South Downs is rich in cultural tradition including Jane Austen, who lived in the village of Chawton for eight years.  There is a literary walk which takes you past Jane Austen's House Museum and the Chawton Library. Other famous figures include Edward Thomas, the First World War poet and Gilbert White, the British naturalist.

Those with a culinary disposition will be thrilled to explore the wineries, distilleries, microbreweries, ice cream and chocolatiers in the region or perhaps visit one of the many food and drink festivals held within the boundaries of the Park. ...


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