Ten reasons why we love the South Downs this Valentine’s Day

It’s no secret that we love our home at the foot of the South Downs so this Valentine’s Day we are taking a moment to share our love and appreciation for the newest of the UK’s 15 National Parks. 

Here’s just some of the reasons we love every part of its 628 square miles.

  1. A unique landscape

From rolling hills to dramatic cliffs and picture-perfect villages, the South Downs offers many stunning rural vistas along the UK’s south coast.

Credit: South Downs Water

 

Credit: South Downs Water

2.            There’s so much to explore 

With over 3,300km of footpaths, bridleways and byways, the South Downs National Park has so much to explore. 

 It’s difficult to pick a favourite but we love walking the Kingley Vale and Serpent trails. 

Credit: South Downs Water

 

Credit: South Downs Water

 3.            It’s by far the most visited of the UK’s National Parks

 It is estimated that visitor days to the South Downs tops 40 million each year – far more than the New Forest, Peak District or any other UK National Park.

Credit: South Downs Water

 

Credit: South Downs Water

4.            The South Downs is home to more animals than humans

 The park has a resident population of around 110,000 but is home to more sheep than humans at a staggering 125,000.

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5.            There’s so much to do

 In addition to endless walks, there is a fantastic year-round programme of events, attractions and festivals taking place in the South Downs. 

Image: South Downs Water is a partner to the Goodwood Estate. Credit Harry Elliott.

 

Image: South Downs Water is a partner to the Goodwood Estate. Credit Harry Elliott.

For motorsport and horse racing fans, the Goodwood Estate, just north of Chichester, is home to some of the most iconic events and meetings. Fitness fans can participate in a number of walks, runs or ultra runs that take place throughout the year. Theatre lovers can enjoy a full range of shows and events at Chichester Festival Theatre and history buffs should put Arundel Castle on the must-see list. And we can’t forget the wine! The Nyetimber

or Tinwood vineyards are the perfect place to relax with a glass of the UK’s finest sparkling wines at the end of a busy day.

6.            Views – oh, the views!

Stand on the Trundle, an Iron Age hill fort above Chichester, on a clear day and the view will stretch as far as the Isle of Wight. 

Credit: South Downs Water

 

Credit: South Downs Water

Even on a cold and misty winters day, the South Downs offers some spectacular views across its rolling hills. 

7.            The chalk grassland

 Lowland chalk grassland is one of the most valued and endangered habitats in the UK – up to 40 different species of plant and animals live in any square metre. Chalk grassland makes up about four percent of the South Downs National Park.

Credit: South Downs Water

 

Credit: South Downs Water

 8.            The South Downs Way

 The 100 mile long South Downs Way trail stretches the length of the National Park from Winchester to Eastbourne and it’s the only National Trail fully open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders. 

 Break the trail by sampling some of the best local produce and staying in charming B&Bs along the way, or, for the brave-hearted, have a go at one of the South Downs ultra runs.

South Downs Way stretches across the South Coast of the UK.

 

South Downs Way stretches across the South Coast of the UK.

 9.            South Downs Chalk 

It goes without saying that one of our top reasons for loving the South Downs is for its chalky composition. 

 Enriched with minerals deep from within the chalky layers of the South Downs, our water is untouched at source – producing water of unrivalled quality and truly exceptional taste. 

 The natural filtration provided by deep chalk layers of the South Downs gives us a delicious fresh water that’s naturally high in calcium and low in sodium. 

Credit: South Downs Water

 

Credit: South Downs Water

10.          Food and drink from local producers 

We can’t forget to mention some of our favourite local producers. Chilgrove Dry Gin, distilled using South Downs Natural Mineral Water, is one of our favourite local gin producers in the South Downs. Noble and Stace create delicious handcrafted chocolates using South Downs Water, too.  

South Downs Water is stocked at a number of fantastic restaurants, bars, hotels and pubs within the South Downs. Credit: The Goodwood Estate,

 

South Downs Water is stocked at a number of fantastic restaurants, bars, hotels and pubs within the South Downs. Credit: The Goodwood Estate,

There are so many incredible pubs and restaurants in the South Downs but we can’t get enough of Cowdray Farm Shop Cafe, Goodwood’s sustainable restaurant Farmer, Butcher, Chef and the delicious food at Master Chef Champion Kenny Tutt’s restaurant Pitch

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 Want to know more? The South Downs National Park Authority website is full of excellent ideas and events to start planning your next visit.