South Downs Self-Guided Walking Tour 2022

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4, 5 or 8 Days / 3, 4 or 7 Nights
Availability : February to November
Start: Abingworth Hall, Thakeham, West Sussex, England
End: Abingworth Hall, Thakeham, West Sussex, England
South Downs Self-Guided Walking Tour: 3, 4 or 7 nights based at Abingworth Hall, Thakeham, West Sussex

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected] to book.

Britain’s newest national park protects a line of chalk downland that stretches from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east. Its most familiar places include the famous ‘rollercoaster’ cliffs of the Seven Sisters, the plunging valley at the Devil’s Dyke, Arundel’s sprawling castle and the chalk peak of Ditchling Beacon. The South Downs Way National Trail takes walkers from one end of the downs to the other, but this national park has many other walking trails – including the Monarch’s Way, The West Sussex Literary Trail and New Lipchis Way. There are picturesque villages to admire, historic estates to explore and many visitor attractions including Bignor Roman Villa, Arundel’s Wetland Centre, Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve, Amberley Working Museum, Fishbourne Roman Palace and The Weald and Downland Museum. Abingworth House – our historic 4-star country house – is peacefully located in the Sussex countryside. It is geared to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts with hearty food, a Discovery Point containing detailed route notes and lots of room to relax. It’s the perfect base from which to enjoy a self-guided walking holiday in the South Downs.

South Downs Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3

Tour Details

Highlights:

  • Head out on foot to discover the varied beauty of the South Downs
  • Admire panoramic sea and cliff views
  • Enjoy the use of our Discovery Point, stocked with maps and walks directions for exploring the local area
  • Visit charming English villages
  • Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about the rich history
  • A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable house
  • Discover what makes the South Downs so special from the white cliffs to the rolling hills
  • Evenings in our country house where you can share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures

Pick Up Location & TIme

Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF (Google Map)
4:00pm – You’re welcome to check into the country house hotel from 4pm onwards.

Drop off Location & Time

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way onward.

Price Includes

  • High quality en-suite upgraded accommodation at Abingworth Hall
  • Excellent food in our country house, full board (B,L,D daily)
  • Use of Discovery Point Library at the country house - stocked with maps, walks and local area information
  • Free time to explore the area

Meals

All meals from dinner on arrival day, to breakfast on departure day
  • Daily breakfast
  • Daily lunch
  • Daily dinner
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Travel to/from the Country Hotel (The nearest train station is Pulborough)
  • Admissions (please allow approx. £10 per day for entrances)
  • Local expenses such as transportation
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

Unpack Once!

Go where you want, when you want. Take a relaxing stroll or try something more challenging. All our country houses have a Discovery Point with maps, guidebooks and local walks directions to help you tailor your stay.

  • Accommodation at a country house hotel
  • Full Board Meals – from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day
South Downs Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3

Walking Grades Explained:

  • Grades 1 & 2 – Leisurely walking grades
  • Grades 3 & 4 – Moderate walking grades
  • Grades 5 & 6 – Challenging walking grades
What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
Itinerary

Arrival Day

You’re welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. 

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall (D)

Free Days

Check out the Discovery Point Library at the country house – stocked with maps, walks and local area information. 

For stays of 3 nights, you will have 2 days at your choice.

For stays of 4 nights, you will have 3 days at your choice.

For stays of 7 nights, you will have 6 days at your choice.

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall (B, L, D)

Departure Day

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. (B)

Local Area

South DownsAbingworth Hall

Abingworth Hall is situated amidst gentle rolling farmland at the foot of the South Downs. The nearest facilities are in the village of Storrington, about two miles away. Here you’ll find a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and a bank.

Arundel

The quaint town of Arundel, about 30 minutes’ drive away, is dominated by its castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk. During your visit you may enjoy a walk in Arundel Castle’s extensive grounds, or beside the tranquil river Arun.

Arundel Wetlands Centre

This 60-acre nature reserve is run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and provides a protected habitat for a wide range of swans, geese, ducks and other wetland birds. A network of paths takes visitors to a number of viewing areas to enjoy watching the wildlife. Arundel Wetlands Centre is just outside Arundel town, about a 30-minute drive from Abingworth Hall.

Bignor Roman Villa

Bignor Roman Villa was discovered in 1811 by a man ploughing a field. This Roman home clearly belonged to a family of some consequence and features many fine mosaic floors of intricate design. It is located just outside Pulborough, about 10 miles from Abingworth Hall.

Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve

Just 4 miles from Abingworth Hall, Pulborough Brooks is a large nature reserve in the Arun Valley managed by the RSPB. A network of nature trails take visitors into the reserve where there a range of habitats from ponds and ditches to woods and meadow. The site is an important place for over-wintering wildfowl and for nesting waders. The reserve can be reached either by road or on foot from Abingworth Hall.

Uppark House

Completely restored after an extensive fire in 1989, this stately National Trust property has ornate rooms and lovely gardens with surrounding woodlands. Uppark House and Garden is around 50 minutes’ drive from Abingworth.

Brighton

The cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton is about 40 minutes’ drive from Abingworth Hall and has an excellent range of specialist shops, entertainment, and its famous pier. You may also enjoy a visit to the Royal Pavilion, built in the early 19th century by George IV.

Amberley Working Museum

Just 15 minutes’ drive from Abingworth Hall, this large open-air museum tells the industrial story of the downs, complete with a steam railway, vintage buses and restored quarry machinery. Amberley Museum is just outside Amberley village which is also well worth a visit with its sleepy streets lined with thatched cottages and flower-filled gardens. The village is also home to a small pottery.

Parham House

Just 10 to 15 minutes’ drive away, Elizabethan Parham House is surrounded by an extensive deer park. Some of our guided walks go through the deer park.

Chichester

The historic cathedral city of Chichester, about 45 minutes’ drive away, has plenty of interest. Visit the impressive Chichester Cathedral and take a walk which follows the old city walls.

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Just a couple of miles outside Chichester lies Fishbourne Roman Palace, the largest residential Roman building found in Britain. It was discovered in 1960; excavations revealed many superb mosaics.

Petworth House

A large late 17th century mansion, now run by the National Trust with extensive grounds that were landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. The surrounding deer park is home to a large herd of fallow deer. Petworth House is around 30 minutes’ drive from Abingworth.

Weald & Downland Living Museum

Located on the Downs, near the village of Singleton, this excellent open-air museum contains many restored buildings that bring the history of Sussex to life. These include a working watermill and a re-creation of a typical downland village. The Weald & Downland Living Museum is also home to the popular BBC TV programme ‘The Repair Shop’. The museum is around 45 minutes’ drive from Abingworth.

Bluebell Railway

The Bluebell Railway is one of Britain’s premier heritage steam railways with an impressive collection of 50 locomotives, representing the Southern Railway and its predecessors. The line runs through rolling countryside from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead, about 40 minutes’ drive from Abingworth.

Dates and Prices
3 night package
Departure Dates
Per person (single or twin) Single in a double room
2022: February 11, 18 $800 $920
2022: March 4, 11, 18, 25 $800 $920
2022: April 1 $800 $920
2022: April 8, 15, 22 $880 $1,000
2022: April 29 $920 $1,040
2022: May 6, 13, 20 $920 $1,040
2022: June 17 $920 $1,040
2022: July 1, 8, 15, 22 $920 $1,040
2022: August 5, 12, 19, 30 $920 $1,040
2022: September 2, 16, 23, 30 $920 $1,040
2022: October 7, 14 $880 $1,000
2022: November 11, 18, 25 $800 $920
4 night package
Departure Dates
Per person (single or twin) Single in a double room
2022: February 14, 21 $1,000 $1,160
2022: March 7, 14, 21, 28 $1,000 $1,160
2022: April 4 $1,000 $1,160
2022: April 11, 18, 25 $1,140 $1,300
2022: May 2, 16, 23 $1,230 $1,390
2022: June 6, 20 $1,230 $1,390
2022: July 4, 11, 18, 25 $1,230 $1,390
2022: August 8, 15, 22, 26 $1,230 $1,390
2022: September 5, 19, 26 $1,230 $1,390
2022: October 3 $1,230 $1,390
2022: October 10, 17, 24 $1,140 $1,300
2022: November 14, 21 $1,000 $1,160
7 night package
Departure Dates
Per person (single or twin) Single in a double room
2022: February 11, 18, 25 $1,700 $1,980
2022: March 4, 11, 18, 25 $1,700 $1,980
2022: April 1 $1,700 $1,980
2022: April 8, 15, 22 $1,880 $2,160
2022: April 29 $2,080 $2,360
2022: May 13, 20 $2,080 $2,360
2022: June 17, 24 $2,080 $2,360
2022: July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 $2,080 $2,360
2022: August 5, 12, 19, 26 $2,080 $2,360
2022: September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 $2,080 $2,360
2022: October 7, 14 $1,880 $2,160
2022: October 28 $1,700 $1,980
2022: November 11, 18 $1,700 $1,980

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on single/twin/double occupancy.

Supplement applied for single in a double room.

Rates are in $ CAD. Rates include room upgrade (better) and membership fees. 


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected] to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline. We can assist in your travel to/from the Country House.

Travel Details:
Address is: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF

By Rail:
The nearest railway station to Abingworth Hall is Pulborough. Please note that Pulborough station has a short platform, check the departure boards for which carriage to sit in.

By Taxi:
The 6-mile journey from Pulborough railway station takes approximately 15 minutes. Please try to avoid arriving at Pulborough station between 2.45pm and 3.20pm, as there may not be taxis available for your onward journey to Abingworth Hall due to school pick-ups. You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended taxi company, MJ Cars. The price for a 4-seat taxi is around £16. 8-seat taxis are also available at a higher rate. Please pre-book your taxi at least 7 days in advance by contacting:

MJ Cars*
Tel: +44 (0)1903 745414
Email: [email protected]
The return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Abingworth Hall Manager.
*MJ Cars is not owned or managed by us.

By Car:
From the M25 take either the A24 or the M23 and then the A264 towards Horsham. At the Great Daux roundabout go south on the A24 towards Worthing. Go straight over 2 roundabouts and then at the traffic light cross roads turn right onto the A272 signposted to Billingshurst and Petersfield. After 3 miles turn left onto the B2139 (The Selsey Arms on left). After 3.5 miles pass the turning for Thakeham on the left. After half a mile, Abingworth Hall is on the left, directly after the national speed limit signs.

From the M27 continue onto the A27 and around Chichester. At Fontwell Park roundabout take the first exit to continue on the A27 and at the next roundabout take the first exit on to the A29. After approx. 4 miles, at a roundabout, take the 2nd exit on to the B2139 to Storrington. At the mini roundabout in Storrington, take the 2nd exit onto the A283. Continue through Storrington and take the first exit at the mini roundabout by the Anchor Inn on to the B2139 towards Thakeham. Take the 2nd exit at the next mini roundabout and then take the 1st exit at next mini roundabout (by Steyning Grammar School). Continue down this road until you see 30mph signs. Abingworth Hall is just before these signs, on the right.

Hotel Descriptions
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Abingworth Hall

Tucked away in the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall has stood in one form another since the 13th century. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1910 in its current distinctive style. As well as 27 ensuite rooms the house has all the ingredients you need for the perfect country house stay: three comfortable lounges with squishy sofas to kick back in, the largest of which opens onto an attractive conservatory and bar in which to dally, great food and super-comfy rooms to retire to. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands to discover a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes and vibrant market towns. Highlights of your stay might include the Seven Sisters, the Glorious Goodwood estate, the Devil’s Dyke and Chantonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.

Address: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF

Room Amenities: Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, which make use of every nook-and-cranny in the interesting architecture of this characterful house. With 27 bedrooms, Abingworth Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Better Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers.

Hotel Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day strolling on the South Downs, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax in the large gardens and sit by the pretty pond, turn your hand to croquet or practice on the putting green. Ease through a couple of lengths of the heated outdoor pool if you’ve still got energy to burn. Hole up in the light-filled conservatory with pretty views of the gardens or retire to the Drawing Room with its wood-panelled walls, log burner, library of books to browse and comfy seats to sink in to; there’s a telescope for you to scour the night sky too. In the evening, take your seat in the bar or join fellow guests in the large ballroom for the evening activity.

Map

Photos