The South Downs Way is an ancient public right of way blazed in blue (its a bridleway - OK for horses & bikes) that runs from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in Sussex, a total of around 105 miles. The route follows the crest of the South Downs, a range of chalk hills about 500-800 feet high that runs parallel to the English Channel. The route is entirely off road. The path drops down to sea level to cross 4 river valleys, with the cumulative climb being around 10,000 feet. The path is mainly chalky, but liberally strewn with nice, big hard lumps of flint. When you get to the top of some of the better climbs, youll know what is meant by a breathtaking view! The chalk downland drains water quickly, so its possible to hike most of the route all year round. Best hiked west to east starting in Winchester.
The South Downs Way runs parallel to North Downs Way, which is about 35 miles north. There is a link to it at Brighton called Downs Link.