National Trails

Many of our campers are avid cyclists, horse riders or walkers and love travelling long distances through the best landscapes.

Published by Aurum Press the official guidebook to the National Trail is an informative and accurate way to help you enjoy the Trail. For the modernist and tech savvy, there are digital national trail maps that can be accessed using your iPhone or pad which provide details such as how to find alternative trails, public amenities, campsites, car parks, public transport and places to eat and drink.

There are fifteen National Trails in England and Wales and The New Lipchis Way is just one of the trail exploration opportunities offered by the South Downs Way. First conceived in the 1980’s by a group of Liphook Ramblers, The New Lipchis Way is a delightful three day walking trail linking Chichester Harbour with Liphook that is clearly shown on the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps 120 & 133. West Sussex County Council provided a small grant to Keith and Sally from ‘Footprints of Sussex’ who way marked the trail and produced a simple trail guide in 2008. Following this the route was extended southwards down to East Head at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. The route follows the National Trust permissive path from Woolbeding Bridge, around the river valley, to North Street Midhurst and then along through the town centre.

Thanks to the support from the South Downs National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund, the South Downs Way has a new trail facility in the form of Pyecombe church which is now open for public use 10am – 6pm during the summer and in the winter months from 10am – 4pm. Situated directly on the South Downs Way, this Norman church has a newly installed information panel for people to discover more about the fascinating history of its surrounding area.

Light refreshments are available on request for large groups who can contact Jill Munday on 01273 566276 and cyclists and walkers can make a hot drink or refill bottles in the newly accessible toilet and kitchen.

Adur Valley Wildlife and Sussex Wild Flora

Grazed by cattle and sheep, the southern boundary of West Sussex is the South Downs, a magnificent range of rolling chalk hills that stretch for ninety miles across Sussex and into Hampshire.

Ideal for nature loving campers, The South Downs Way is a long distance bridleway that follows the crest of the hills from Winchester to Beachy Head at Eastbourne.

The South Downs Natural Area is rich in animal and plant species because of the wide variety of countryside from ancient woodland and wetland and arable fields to chalk cliffs.

The grasslands of the South Downs are rich in birds, butterflies, moths, plants and wild life with nearly fifty per cent of the orchid species that are native to Britain found here including the honey-scented Musk Orchid, Spider Orchid, the Bee and the Early Purple.

Plants such as the rare Early Gentian which like calcium rich soils and the Round-Headed Rampion flourish in this beautiful countryside.

The scrub, plateau and scarp woodlands are home to birds such as the Nightjar and Nightingale whilst Peregrines breed on the chalk cliffs. Bird species include Grey Partridge, Lapwing, Linnet, Skylark and Stonechat.

Nature watchers can spot a wide range of moths including the Blood Vein, the Large Yellow Underwing and the brightly coloured green and pink Elephant Hawk Moth.

The South Downs geology is comprised of relatively soft chalk containing bands and seams of flint that form tilted layers. From the Cretaceous period both the chalk and flint are formed from the remains of animals and plants. The South Downs soil type, called rendzina, is largely responsible for the diversity of small, low-growing herbs in this area as it is rich in calcium, well drained and of thin consistency and allows slow rates of plant growth.

Look out for badgers, deer, foxes and rabbits within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as stunning views and delightful villages and rural hamlets to explore.

For Adur Valley nature notes click here

South Downs events for campers

From recitals at the local church to annual arts, music and literary festivals, ad hoc town and village community gatherings and regular farmers markets there are a many events that take place throughout the South Downs including the following exhibition and cycle ride.

The ‘Land & Sea’ Art Exhibition at the National Trust Countryside Centre, Burling Gap, East Dean embraces the stunning diversity of the South Downs and features paintings in various media from two local artists Janet Mc Gowan and Louise Chatfield. With free entry and easy parking, this exhibition runs from 6th January – 1st March 2015 with National Trust shop and café facilities available.

Wiggle Southern Rough Ride Cycle event will start from Amberley Working Museum at 8am on Saturday 28th February. With three ride lengths to cater for everyone’s capabilities, this classic South Downs mountain bike route has a number of exciting descents and leg warming hills.  This ride is the opening MTB event for the 2015 Wiggle Super series and is a great way to enjoy the stunning countryside of Amberley, Arundel and Steyning.

To find out about more local activities and events click and visit nationaltrail