Outdoor Hiking Challenge
Join us on the South Downs for walking and hiking either as a challenge for yourself or for a charity of your choice. Walks are in small groups, guided, and vary from 5-15 miles in a day. We hope you will make this your training for the second stage, a 4 day hike in South Iceland.
Imagine hiking in the stunning landscapes of South Iceland, the culmination of your efforts to prepare for a personal or charity challenge. Amongst ancient volcanoes, across lava fields and between steaming and gurgling geothermal pools and streams, it’s a unique experience.
South Downs Walking Challenge 2020-2021
This page is a list of all the plans I have made for 2021. Contact me to sign up or to join one of the What’s App groups.
I am happy to run another info zoom session if you missed the last one. Please contact me to request this.
Join me on the South Downs for walking and hiking in small organised groups over the next 12 months. The National Park area covers about 630 square miles of beautiful woodland, roiling chalk hills and charming river valleys across the counties of Hampshire and Sussex.
What’s the purpose?
Walking in small groups is sociable and inclusive. I’ve always loved being outdoors, and over the last few years have realised just how many people there are who lack a dog or a walking partner and that’s how my groups have formed. So the purpose is to walk and talk with minimal navigation (as I lead the walks) and to enjoy fresh air, seeing lovely places, getting fitter.
How far do we walk?
I’m not certain of the definition of walk and hike, but in terms of the South Downs plans that I have made, walking will usually be between 5-8 miles, and hiking in the range 10-15 miles in a day. The time that a walk takes does depend on the fitness of the walkers, and it’s better that anyone joining in is a regular walker and has the correct clothing and equipment for the weather and conditions.
Where are the walks?
All will be in the South Downs area, and will include walking the South Downs Way. Most walks will be single days, but the South Downs Way is likely to include 2 day walks with an overnight stop.
Are the walks all the same distance and difficulty?
There are 4 types of walk on offer:
- 1st WEEKEND WALKS – usually 8-12km – all welcome, more social ‘walk and talk’
- SOUTH DOWNS WALKS – building up from 5km, designed as prep for the South Downs Way – all welcome
- SOUTH DOWNS WAY – stages of the trail from Winchester to Eastbourne – all welcome but you need to start in Winchester and be ready for the distance/terrain. Start with the South Downs walks and 1st Weekend if you need to build up. Some stages open to 1st weekend walkers if you are prepared for the distance and pace
- EXTRA DAYS AND GETAWAYS – for everyone, quite a variety so do take a look
How do I join in?
- You must book in with Julia (07879 563808 or what’s app group)
- COVID limitations may remain in place, I will always confirm any changes
- When you’ve signed up for the South Downs Way, I’ll send more info about transit, trains and accommodation. All details are in place for you to sign up for.
- If you want to find out more, please contact Julia
What are the dates?
Dates may be subject to change
Friday 1 Jan: New Year Sunrise at Stonehenge. Meet there at 07:30 for a private access visit to the iconic Stone Circle and (we hope) breakfast afterwards. Book early, contact Julia!
Sunday 3 Jan. Meet at 10:30. Ist weekend walk and South Downs Walk
- An extended walk (10-12km/ 6-7m) OR a very short walk (5k/3m)
- Meet at Halls Hill Car Park, Junction of Kiln Lane and New Barn Lane, Buriton
- Buriton circular and extension into Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire
Sat 16 Jan. Meet at 10:00. Extra more local walk
- Starting in Claygate, circular, about 10km. Should be a loo stop on the way round subject to tiers/other restrictions. Plan to go out to Chessington, Ashtead Common and Prince’s Coverts
Saturday 6 Feb. Meet at 10:30. Ist weekend walk.
- An extended walk (10-12km/ 6-7m) OR shorter walk (6-7 k/4m)
- Meet at Hindhead NT visitor centre
Sun 21 Feb. Meet at 10:30. South Downs Walk.
- Steyning (E Sussex) circular walk 11.5km/7 miles.
- Lots of history here: Iron Age hill forts, Normans, and Steyning was once a port! Walk part of the SD Way in the opposite direction to our main route
- Meet at Steyning Police Station, parking TBC
Sunday March 7. Meet at 10:30 1st weekend walk.
- Knepp Estate ‘Purple’ circular route 9.3km
- Could be good to start at the pub and have a sandwich at the end.
- Near Horsham. Rewilding estate. https://knepp.co.uk/home
Saturday March 13. Stage 1 of SOUTH DOWNS WAY. 1 day walk
- Winchester to Exton (12m/19km)
- Meet at 09:30 at Winchester Cathedral, finish at the Shoe Inn, Exton
- Transport arrangements TBC when I know who is joining the walk
Sat 3rd April. Meet at 10:30. 1st Weekend and South Downs Walk
- Haslemere area: Camelsdale and Sussex Border Path
Sat/Sun April 17/18. Stage 2 and 3 of SOUTH DOWNS WAY
- 2 days with overnight. 23 miles/37.5km approx
- Saturday 17: Meet Exton at 09:30 walk Exton to Buriton (12m/19km) plus walk to accommodation. Overnight at Buriton
- Sunday 18: leave at 10:00 from Buriton, walk to Cocking (11m/17.5km)
- Transport and accommodation arrangements TBC when I know who is joining the walk. Staying over is optional – travel home if you wish on Sat night.
Sat/Sun May 1/2. Stage 4 and 5 of SOUTH DOWNS WAY and also either day is available as 1st weekend walk.
- 2 days with overnight 25 miles/39.5km approx
- Saturday 1: Meet Cocking at 09:30, walk to Amberley (12m/19km) plus walk to accommodation.
- Sunday 2: leave at 10:00 from Amberley, walk to Botolphs (13m/20.5km)
- Transport and accom arrangements TBC when I know who is joining the walk. Staying over is optional – travel home if you wish on Sat night.
Sat May 22 Julia’s birthday walk! To be decided. All welcome. Max 7.5miles/12km
Julia is away in the first half of June
Sunday June 27. Midsummer walk. To be decided.
Sat July 3. 1st weekend walk – hopefully dry enough for a riverside walk tbc
Sat/Sun 10/11 or 17/18 0r 23/24 SOUTH DOWNS WAY CAMPING
Day hike on Sat and Sun with Camping overnight on Sat night. Date TBC
Sun Aug 1. 1st weekend walk tbc
Sat/Sun/Mon Aug 7,8,9. Stage 6,7 and 8 of SOUTH DOWNS WAY 30 miles/48 km approx
- 3 days with 2 overnights
- Sat 7: Meet 09:30 at Botolphs, walk to Clayton (9miles /15km) with walk to accommodation
- Sun 8: Leave at 10:00 from Clayton, walk to Southease (9miles /15km) with walk to accommodation
- Mon 9: Leave at 10:00 from Southease walk to Alfriston (12 miles/18 km)
Sat Aug 21. FINAL STAGE (9) of SOUTH DOWNS WAY 1 day 10.5/17km approx.
- Meet at 10:00 at Alfriston, walk to Eastbourne. Celebration when we finish!
Sat Sept 4. 1st weekend walk TBC
Tuesday Sept 7-Sunday Sept 12: Iceland Hike
Late September: walkers and hikers celebration
Sun Oct 3. 1st weekend walk TBC
Thursday 15-Thursday 21 Oct. Walking and time off getaway on the Scilly Isles for a group of 10 +. Dog friendly too.
Sat Nov 6. 1st weekend walk TBC
Sun Dec 5. 1st weekend walk TBC