Lords Piece Walk Near Pulborough 

Lord’s Piece is a lovely hidden walk near the South Downs Way in the tiny Hamlet of Coates, in Fittleworth. The largest village nearby is Pulborough, about 3 miles away and there is also a train station in Pulborough with links to London. 

Lord’s Piece is privately owned & is well known for having reintroduced field crickets to boost their near-extinct population. You can very often hear them chirping away! 

This beautiful area of heathland is also briefly part of the 64 mile Serpent trail, which starts in Haslemere and ends in Petersfield. 

There are 2 car parks to the site, one at the top and one at the bottom. Both of which have restricted height barriers and can be particularly bumpy, so not ideal for low vehicles. There is a little bit of off-road parking by both car parks, on the road. 

Lords Piece is completely edged & fenced in so once through the entrance gates, it’s very safe for dogs. For this walk, we’ll be starting at the top car park and walking around the outer perimeter. You can also adjust your walk to take in the woods near the top path should you wish. It’s near impossible to get lost here, so just wander around as you please! 

Through the gate and head left along the obvious path, walking parallel to the road.  You’ll see areas of heathland on your right before you’re hidden by the woods. Carry on along the path and as you get to the house on your left, take a tiny right by the rhododendron bushes and then carry on left which allows you a view to the right of further heathland.  

Soon you’ll reach a crossing point and the path either carries on forwards or heads right, through the middle of the heath and along a ridge. Take either, but this time we’ll be continuing straight on, around the perimeter. 

Just as the path starts to head right, you’ll come across a small clearing, ideal for a picnic, under some beautiful and very old trees. Kids love it here as they can climb on some of the lower branches! In summer, it’s a lovely cover from the sun.  

Continue along the path and you’re now at the lower area of the walk which runs parallel to another barely used road. There’s a short, steep climb up to the top and then a short descent towards open ground. From here, you’ll be able to see the small lake near the lower car park. Dogs love a dip in the lake but beware of algae in the summer months. Quite often, in very dry summers, the lake is more of a large muddy puddle! 

Cross over just to the right of the lake, and head left, again parallel to the road. A gentle ascent will take you back up to the top car park.   

It only takes about 45 minutes of easy continuous walking to cover the whole perimeter, but there are so many options for taking different paths and crisscrossing the heathland. The woods at the top are great for kids and a welcome bit of shade on a hot day.  

3 or 4 times a year, you’ll also be able to wander around with the company of some local cows! These lovely animals are very friendly and mostly pay you no attention, but it’s worth noting that they can often have their newborns and young with them, so please keep dogs on leads when walking nearby and try to give them as much space as possible.  

If you enjoy bird watching, there are many types here, some of which nest in the heathers. We’ve spotted numerous birds of prey including buzzards, kites and kestrels. Other birds we’ve seen are bright green woodpeckers & we’ve also heard cuckoos!  

There are no facilities here, including dog poop bins, and there are some very careless owners who don’t pick up their dog’s messes, especially on the paths close to the car parks. Please, please take bags with you and clear up after your dog. You’ll have to take the bags back home with you, but it’s worth it to help keep this lovely area clean for everyone and healthier for grazing animals. 


Circular and Linear Walks On The South Downs Way

  1. Bignor Hill

This is a fairly easy 2-3 hour walk starting and finishing at Whiteways Cafe near Arundel and about 8-9km in length. The paths through the forest are wide and fairly accessible, the route ascends up to Bignor Hill and at the top is a free car park and information board and a good place to stop and have some lunch.


2. Amberley and Arundel

Only a short amount of the walk passes on the South Downs Way, but this walk is a fairly intermediate route that includes a short stretch of South Downs Way in Amberley and takes in some wonderful river scenery and a good pub at Arundel, the Black Rabbit. You also pass the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust in Arundel and Swanbourne lake, where you can go rowing and also get ice cream.


3. Birling Gap

If you are looking for a walk with spectacular cliffs, sea air and views then the walk from Birling Gap, past Beachy Head and over to the viewpoint looking down at Eastbourne is a perfect choice. This is a nice easy walk, with a few steep inclines and declines, but suitable for all skill levels. It’s about an hour and a half walk to the viewpoint overlooking Eastbourne and then you can turn around and walk back to the car, which you can park at Birling Gap. There is also a National Trust cafe here should you need refreshments. Parking is a little hectic here and make sure you only park where you are allowed.


4. Harting Down

Harting Down boasts some of the best views from the South Downs Way. This route is a fairly easy and short route of about 4 miles and starts and ends at the car park at Harting Down.

A Guide to Camping on the South Downs Way

Camping on the South Downs Way is a cheaper and more adventurous option when it comes to looking for accommodation on the South Downs Way. While there are a few campsites directly on the Way itself, quite a few are around 1-2 miles off the main trail, so make sure you factor that into your route plans. While we have a suggested walking route for guidance, you may need to alter this to fit the location of your chosen campsites, ensuring your route has reasonable intervals. Below we share our guide to camping on the South Downs Way.

Campsites Along the South Downs Way

Some campsites are directly on the way itself including Housedean Campsite and Saddlescombe Farm Campsite. See our helpful map below, which lists all of the top campsites along the route. Use the toggle in the top right to select the campsites checkbox.

Suggested Route With Campsites (8 Days)

  1. Day 1: The options for campsites at the beginning of the route in Winchester are fairly limited. You can walk from Winchester to Holden Farm Camping, which isn’t too far, and could be a good introduction to the long walk ahead of you! The alternative is to walk to Exton like the suggested 8-day route laid out in our walking route guide and get a taxi or other transport to Brocklands Farm. You could also walk a little further just past Exton and stay at Meon Springs, which is directly on the route itself.
  2. Day 2: If you’ve walked to Exton, you’ll likely be wanting to find a campsite near Buriton. There aren’t many options for this area, so it might be better to try a B&B for this stretch of the route.
  3. Day 3: From Buriton you can walk to Cocking and camp at New House Farm Camp Site – Newhouse Ln, East Dean, Chichester PO18 0NJ. You can either walk around 2 miles to reach the campsite or arrange a taxi to pick you up.
  4. Day 4: From Cocking to Amberley. It might be worth making this a shorter day and staying at Gumber Campsite & Camping Barn.
  5. Day 5: Amberley to Upper Beeding. There aren’t many options for this area, so it might again be a better option to try a B&B for this stretch of the route.
  6. Day 6: Upper Beeding to Kingston. You can camp at Housedean Farm which is directly on the trail itself!
  7. Day 7: Kingston to Alfriston – You can camp at Alfriston Camping Park which is again not far from the trail.
  8. Alfriston to Eastbourne – route finished!

Best Tents for Camping on the South Downs Way

The next part of our guide to camping on the South Downs Way touches on an important part of camping – the tent! Choose a light tent to limit the load you are required to carry – below we have listed a few good options:

Solo Tents

1. FreeLite™ 2 Ultralight Backpacking Tent | Backpacking Tents | MSR (

2. Laser Compact 1 Tent – Terra Nova (

2-Man Tent

  1. Hubba Hubba™ NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent
  2. Cheviot 2 Tent

  3. Vango Soul 200 Tent

  4. Terra Nova Laser Compact 2 Tent

Can I Wild Camp on the South Downs?

Wild camping is not advised in the South Downs National Park as it runs through cultivated land, so we recommend you find campsites or other suitable accommodation. Please don’t camp on the South Downs without permission and make sure you take any rubbish home with you.

What to Bring Camping?

As the South Downs Way is a long route with different length options it could be expected to take anywhere from 5 days up to 9+ depending if you are visiting other places on your way. Therefore, the number of items you’ll need to bring will vary.

Finding the right backpack to take walking on the South Downs

For trips of 5+ days it is likely you’ll need a 70 litre or larger backpack to fit everything in. Make sure to bring a rain cover as well, especially if the weather forecast is looking poor.


  • Tent (+ extras)
  • Sleeping bag + pad
  • Pillow (optional if you want to reduce your load)


  • Hiking boots
  • Socks
  • A waterproof coat or warm insulated jacket
  • Long-sleeved top
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Hat (depending on the type of weather)
  • Gloves (depending on weather)
  • Thermals (depending on weather)
  • Warm fleece (depending on weather)
  • Sunglasses (depending on weather)


  • Torch or lantern
  • Sunscreen
  • Map
  • Optional GPS
  • Phone portable battery + cable
  • Cash/Credit Card
  • Knife or multi-tool kit
  • Pain relief
  • First aid kit
  • Glasses


  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Pots
  • Cooking utensils/ bowls
  • Water container
  • Soap + Towel
  • Lighter/Matches


  • Energy bars/ Snacks (make sure to take plenty of these as there are no shops on the South Downs!!)
  • Food to cook


  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Brush
  • Sanitary Products
  • Toilet Paper


We hope you have enjoyed this guide to camping on the South Downs Way and have a better understanding of how to camp the South Downs Way. Camping allows you to connect with nature while enjoying the stunning scenery of the South Downs, so we thoroughly recommend you give it a go. Don’t forget to wake up early to enjoy the sunrises and so you don’t miss a moment of this adventurous journey!

Best Views on The South Downs Way

The peaks of the South Downs boast some of the best views in the South East. With a landscape that stretches for miles around, it’s not hard to see why people flock to the South Coast for relaxation and stunning views. If you’re looking for the best photography spots on the South Downs Way, then we’ve rounded up some of the ideal locations for you to visit.

Harting Down, West Sussex

Probably one of the most beautiful stretches on the South Downs Way, Harting Down boasts some panoramic views of Sussex. You can get here by parking at Harting Down car park (bear in mind this car park is incredibly busy). If you are struggling to find a space, you can always park in the village and walk up or park at Cocking car park and walk westwards to Harting Down. If you are lucky enough to go on a nice sunny day then the views will be even better!

Butser Hill, Hampshire

At 271 metres high, Butser Hill is guaranteed to give you spectacular views. There is a large car park at the top, or you can walk up from the bottom if you prefer more of a challenge. This is a popular spot for paragliders and there are plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy the view. Only Fools and Horses was also filmed here on the western side, in a scene featuring a hand glider!

Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex

Ditchling Beacon is the second highest point on the South Downs Way and is another great location for some of the best views in Sussex. The National Trust car park is very busy here also, but if you can’t find a space, you can park at the Jack and Jill windmills and walk from there. On weekends, there is usually a coffee truck which sells snacks as well. Ditchling Beacon gives great views of Brighton and the Weald, but make sure to wrap up warm as it gets very windy!

Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex

You can’t think about great views and not include the Seven Sisters! If you are wanting a lovely walk, why not park at Birling Gap car park and walk east up the cliffs with views of Beachy Head and Eastbourne. You can get refreshments at the National Trust cafe and is the perfect spot to walk your dog. Keep well away from the edge as the cliff edge may be unstable.

Black Down, West Sussex

Black Down is the highest point in the South Downs National Park and stands at 280 metres. The views stretch for miles over the heather and is a wonderful place to visit at sunset. Black Down is home to some Belted Galloways and there are also deer and bats here too. The walk around Black Down makes for a very leisurely walk – don’t forget to visit the Temple of the Winds for a different viewpoint! You can park at any of the car parks on Tennyson’s Lane, but they can get very busy as they are only small.

Devils Dyke, East Sussex

Devils Dyke is a 100m V-shaped valley and another great walking spot. You can do a nice 7-mile walk from Ditchling Beacon to Devil’s Dyke as seen here or there are a great many other walks you can do. If you don’t want to follow a specific route, just follow the footpaths along the top of the downs – you can always turn around when you’ve had enough! It’s also a popular spot for mountain bikers, kiting, paragliders and picnickers and is perfect for kids to cycle along due to the flat nature of the trail!

Bird Watching on the South Downs Way 

The South Downs National Park is blessed with stunning views and a huge variety of natural habitats. From chalky downlands and rocky cliffs to natural woodlands and wild meadows, the area provides a rich ecosystem for a wide variety of birds. 

Around the farmlands it is possible to see lapwings, yellowhammers and barn owls among a variety of other more common birds such as green finches and wood pigeons. Many of the more specialist birds, such as skylarks and grey partridges, tend to be solely reliant upon farmlands for their feeding requirements and benefit enormously from specific conservation measures.  

Wildflower meadows and swathes of grass, where grazing from sheep and cattle is less common is one of the beautiful features of the South Downs Way. These are ideal habitats for a number of ground nesting birds including the curlew, whinchat and corn buntings. One particularly rare bird which loves heathland, is the Woodlark.  Their nests are simply in a dent in the ground among grass or heather, so it’s important to stay on the tracks to avoid accidental damage during the breeding season between March & August. 

Birling Gap in East Sussex, is one of the most popular walking areas of the South Downs National Park and is where many birds species are starting to make a comeback. The raven, which can be as big as a buzzard, has returned to breed on the cliffs.  A favourite bird of ours in this area is the Stonechat with its distinctive call. This bird doesn’t like harsh winters so moves south to the milder southern coast line in the cold months.   

The Fulmar is the most popular cliff nester at the Birling Gap and can often be seen stiffly flying along the cliff line.   

If like us, you never tire of seeing buzzards and kites, then all along the South Downs Way you’ll be in for a treat! Buzzards are common in this area and have a call that sounds similar to a seagull. Once you hear it, look up and you’ll probably see a group flying together and they’re are fascinating to just stop and watch.  Other popular birds of prey in this area are kestrels and it would be unusual if you didn’t see at least one. Sparrowhawks and Marsh Harriers can also be spotted thanks to a plentiful supply of mice and smaller birds. In winter, although not common, it is also possible to spot a hen harrier if you’re lucky!  

Although not technically located in the South Downs National Park, the RSPB Pulborough Brooks is well worth a mention. Situated just outside of Pulborough, on the edge of the national park, this area is a place of special scientific interest and provides a rich and diverse landscape dedicated to the protection of many birds and wildlife. One of their star attractions is the Peregrine falcon who is a regular during winter! For more information about their work and what to expect, please visit their website –  

5 Autumn Walks to Enjoy In the South Downs

The cool crisp days and plethora of trees bursting with autumnal glory make it the perfect time to grab those walking boots and enjoy a leisurely ramble. If you want to experience a day out walking near the South Downs and are looking for some autumnal beauty spots near Hampshire and Sussex, then look no further. Whether it’s a dog-friendly walk, scenic National Trust location or peaceful garden you are after, these locations will be sure to give you some inspiration.

We have compiled a list of some of the best walks in the South Downs that should be on your list to visit this year and are guaranteed to give you some Autumnal photos.

1. Ebernoe Common

For a lovely woodland circular walk, why not visit Ebernoe Common near Petworth, a site of special scientific interest. You can park at the church and follow the footpaths, see the 2-mile route for more information. Ebernoe Common boasts a variety of rich wildlife, funghi, streams, ponds, bridges and meadows. While it makes a lovely walk in Autumn, make sure you visit in Spring to view the bluebells, butterflies and flowers.



2. Nymans

Nymans is a picturesque National Trust garden, created by the Messel family, and is a lovely location to admire views, manicured gardens and the ruins. A handy kiosk serving hot drinks will allow you to warm your hands as you stroll through the gardens and admire the ever-changing landscape. Dogs are allowed in the woodland accessible through the car park but not in the gardens. There are different routes available depending on how far you want to walk, but they range from less than a mile to 2.5 miles. If you are looking for a walk with a whole lot of variety – Nymans has it all.


3. Leonardslee Gardens

Leonardslee Gardens has an amazing collection of trees displaying their autumnal colours, creating a beautiful display of reds, pinks, oranges and yellows. There are numerous walks to enjoy through the 240 acres of gardens, parkland and forest areas and you can bring your dog on a short lead, although not in the café. There is also a rock garden to explore its twisting paths and vibrant trees. In addition, Leonardslee Gardens boasts a huge range of wildlife, including foxes, squirrels, rabbits, voles, badgers and even wallabies!


4. Petworth Park

Petworth is a 17th-century Grade I listed country house and deer park. For those wanting to run off some steam for both you and the dog, this is a perfect location with fantastic views. It is a great place for photographers wanting to capture stunning photos of the deer, runners to enjoy the wide paths and for walkers to enjoy the fresh air. The car park can be very busy so bear that in mind when you are deciding what time to enjoy a walk (earlier is usually better!).


5. Sheffield Park

Sheffield Park is another National Trust location and has to be one of the top locations for an autumnal walk in Sussex. There is an abundance of trees changing colour creating stunning reflections in the four beautiful lakes. The gardens provide a place to sit and enjoy the space and admire the multitude of colours that come out during Autumn. There is even an Autumn Colour Watch page that updates you on the colours of the trees so you can see how the park is transforming and ensure you get the most out of your experience. Once you have wandered around the gardens, you can visit the surrounding parkland which does not need to be pre-booked. It is a perfect wildlife haven and home to a natural woodland play trail – perfect for the kids. You can also follow a 3-mile walk around the parkland and can bring dogs on short leads.


This is just a selection of our favourite locations, but there are many more lovely Autumnal walks to enjoy near the South Downs. Let us know your favourite ones – we would love to know. If you are looking for things to do in Sussex and the South Downs then take a look at our other suggestions.