Walk the South Downs Way – 50km from Ditchling Beacon to Eastbourne
You'll experience the best views that the South East has to offer as you traverse the stunning 31 mile expanse of the South Downs Way from Ditchling Beacon to Eastbourne. Your challenge begins atop Ditchling Beacon, just north of Brighton and the highest point in East Sussex before tracking along the edge of the South Downs.
You'll tackle a number of hills including Blackcap before descending to ground level – a chance to catch your breath before the summit of Newmarket Hill, where you'll be gifted with a view over Lewes. We'll follow the River Ouse then eat and rest overnight in Southease.
The second day offers far-reaching views over the English Channel and the Sussex Weald. You'll take in the picturesque landscape as you pass over the Seven Sisters country park and along the Cuckmere Valley, before rounding off the challenge along the coast, past Beachy Head white chalk cliffs and into the seaside resort town of Eastbourne on the England's Southeast coast.
You'll need a good level of fitness to take on this walking challenge, but the underfoot conditions of the grasslands make it very accessible. If you're keen for an adventurous experience alone or with friends, or you want to round up your colleagues to take part in a fundraising event in the South East then the South Downs Way is the ideal option.
We specialise in running our walking challenges as small group events to ensure a strong camaraderie within the challenge team. Our small instructor to client ratios guarantee you a highly personal experience – our expert guides will know you by name and support you on every step of the journey!
This incredible adventure across rolling hills, grassy fields and stunning coastline is not to be underestimated and the sense of achievement and satisfaction you’ll gain from completing this challenge is epic.
South Downs Way 50km Challenge Stats
- Total Distance: 50km (31 miles)
- Estimated Time: 10 hours
- Difficulty Level: 2/5 – a moderate challenge
- Experienced and qualified Mountain Leader
- Low Instructor to client ratio (1:12)
- Transport from Brighton
- Catering throughout the challenge
- Pre-challenge information pack (includes 12-week fitness plan and equipment guidance)
- An eco-friendly adventure (we're a carbon neutral company)
- Certificate of achievement
April to October (the South Downs Way Challenge is not a single event that runs on one particular date – you can complete it whenever you decide to take the plunge!)
2 day challenge
8-12 (for larger group bookings, visit the ‘Groups’ section below)
Minimum age: 18 Fitness level: A good level of fitness is required to complete this challenge.
hatt adventures team
Mountain Leaders – You’ll be guided by an expert instructor who holds a Mountain Leader qualification and has experience of the South Downs Way Challenge or other endurance walking challenges. All Hatt Adventures group leaders are wilderness first aid trained and maintain radio communication with the support team during the challenge.
Support Team – Your support instructor's job is to meet you periodically along the route at various safety checkpoints, as well as provide moral support (not to be underestimated!) and vehicle support throughout the challenge.
Training for the South Downs way Challenge
We provide a full training package to ensure you are well-prepared for your challenge. This includes a fitness training program put together by our fitness endurance specialists, plus important information on walking boots, clothing, equipment, and the best places to buy them from.
We also run regular Mountain Training Days in various beautiful locations across the UK, which will give you the opportunity to try out your equipment, break in your boots and test your fitness.
Fundraising for Charity
If you are completing the South Downs Way Challenge to raise money for charity, you’ll need to book your space and pay the standard event fee. With all challenge logistics – including transport from the South East – included, you’ll have more time to focus on raising money for your worthy cause!
Organising a South Downs Way Challenge fundraising event for a larger group? Check out the ‘Groups’ section below for extra info!
Conservation and the South downs way
Every year, thousands of people attempt this challenge in small unsupported groups or as large organised events. At Hatt Adventures we are very aware of the environmental impact this is having, which is why we run our challenges in a responsible way. We plan our timings to ensure that we are not disturbing the local residents at unsocial hours of the night and we ensure that all our clients are fully briefed on the environmental impact the events can have on the routes and how to minimise them. We also only run small events, thus reducing our impact on the trails.
£2,650 for up to 12 people
We can cater for larger private groups and can arrange various, transport, catering and accommodation options – contact us to discover more.
Depending on the size of the event, we may transport your group in multiple minibuses. If this is the case, we will divide you into smaller groups for the duration of the challenge. You will be able to choose your group (depending on your fitness level and mountain walking experience) but once in your group, you will not be able to change as the groups and minibuses won’t always be together.
After collecting challengers from Brighton train station, we'll travel by minibus to Ditchling Beacon, where the challenge begins!
We'll walk from the stunning hilltop of Ditchling Beacon, along the edge of the South Downs before descending to ground level. We'll then tackle the summit of Newmarket Hill, before following the River Ouse to our final stop in Southease.
In the evening over dinner we'll chat about our highlights of the day before a well earned rest at the bunkhouse accommodation.
The second day of the challenge starts where we left off. We'll walk through Seven Sisters country park, along Cuckmere Valley and along the coastal path past Beachy Head white chalk cliffs, stopping for lunch and at various safety checkpoints along the route.
The challenge finishes in the town of Eastbourne, where we'll hop in the minibus and return you to your pick up point (Brighton train station).
South Downs - Ditchling Beacon to Eastbourne.
All hill walking safety equipment supplied.
Walking boots / approach shoes, small rucksack (25 litres), waterproof top and trousers, fleece or warm top, hat and gloves, whistle, head torch, water bottles (min of 1.5lts). We will provide you with a full kit list upon booking.
Take a look at our online shop for any equipment you might want for your outdoor adventures. We stock a variety of equipment and can give expert advice if you have any queries. Choose to collect your order on a course (free of charge) and your instructor will have it ready and waiting for you when you arrive.
Pick up point: Brighton (Train Station).
Drop off point: Brighton (Train Station).
1 night bunkhouse accommodation.
No accommodation required.
Lunch - (Self catered) bring your favourite treats for the walk.
Dinner - (Included) at accommodation or in the local area.
Breakfast - (Included) buffet-style breakfast.
Lunch - (Included) packed lunch.