South Downs Way Guidebooks

South Downs Way Guidebooks & Maps

RambleFest displays the best South Downs Way guidebooks and maps, and provides the facility for buying them online

Click on an image below for more information and the option of buying online:

The Trailblazer South Downs Way guidebook is excellent:
“The South Downs Way is a 100-mile National Trail footpath which follows the line of chalk hills stretching from Winchester to Eastbourne in southern England. Walking the length of the Downs is the best way to experience this beautiful landscape with its mixture of rolling hills, steep hanging woodland and windswept fields. You’ll also pass through picture-postcard villages with welcoming pubs, thatched cottages and country gardens.
* 82 Maps: 60 large-scale walking maps – 1:20,000 (3-1/8 inches to 1 mile) – the largest-scale maps available, 11 town plans, 10 stage maps with trail profiles showing hills and descents, and 2 overview maps.
* Detailed accommodation with reviews: B&Bs, campsites, pubs, hotels, bunkhouses.
* Where to eat with reviews: cafes, teashops, pubs, takeaways and restaurants.
* Comprehensive public transport information with frequency of services for all access points on the Path.
* Downloadable GPS waypoints.
* Itineraries for all walkers,
 whether hiking the entire route or sampling highlights on day walks, weekends or short breaks.
* Unique mapping features – walking times, directions, tricky junctions, places to stay, places to eat, points of interest written onto the maps.
* Flora and fauna – four page full colour flower guide, plus an illustrated section on local wildlife.
* Green hiking – understanding the local environment and minimizing our impact on it.”
– South Downs Way (Trailblazer British Walking Guides)

The Cicerone South Downs Way guidebook includes a map booklet:
“The South Downs Way National Trail is a 100 mile (160km) walk between Eastbourne and Winchester, staying within the glorious South Downs National Park for its entire length. Presented here in 12 stages of up to 12 miles (19km), the route is described in both east-west and west-east. A waymarked trail with very few stiles, it can be walked at any time of year and makes a good introduction to long-distance walking.
*Step-by-step route descriptions are illustrated with extracts from OS 1:25,000 mapping for every stage
*The guidebook comes with a separate map booklet of 1:25,000 scale OS maps showing the full route of the South Downs Way. Clear step-by-step route descriptions in the guide links together with the map booklet at each stage along the Way, and the compact format is conveniently sized for slipping into a jacket pocket or the top of a rucksack.
*The South Downs Way offers easy walking on ancient and historical tracks, and showcases the beautiful countryside of the South Downs, taking in wooded areas, delightful river valleys and pretty villages. Highlights include Beachy Head, the mysterious Long Man of Wilmington, Clayton Windmills and the ancient cathedral city of Winchester.”
– The South Downs Way (Cicerone)

The National Trail Guides South Downs Way guidebook includes sections of OS maps:
“Whether you’re an experienced long-distance walker or a weekend stroller, this is the only companion you need. The South Downs Way runs for 100 miles (160 km) over the chalk downland of Sussex and Hampshire, from Eastbourne to Winchester.”
– South Downs Way (National Trail Guides)

Notes on South Downs Way Guidebooks

Of the South Down Way guidebooks, especially recommended is the Trailblazer guidebook (the first in our display). It has 1:20,000 scale hand-drawn Wainwright-style maps and is packed with information.
The National Trail South Downs Way guidebook and the Cicerone guidebook are not so packed with information but have the relevant sections of the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps.
Your choice, but we advise buying two different guidebooks: one will complement the other, and the extra cost is nothing compared to the cost of the walk.

South Downs Way Maps

Ordnance Survey “Explorer” maps cover the Path, but if the two recommended South Downs Way Guidebooks are bought, there should not be a problem with navigation.
For those wanting to explore further from the Way, we advise buying one of the map sets which cover the Way; they are of the same scale as “Explorer” maps (1:25,000) and cover the whole route.

“The A-Z Adventure Series of maps combines the best of OS and A-Z, creating the perfect companion for walkers, off-road cyclists, horse riders and anyone wishing to explore the great outdoors. The South Downs Way is a National Trail along the chalk escarpments and ridges of the South Downs. This undulating path begins in Winchester and finishes in Eastbourne covering 100 miles (160km) and lies completely within the South Downs National Park. The route on the map is clearly highlighted in yellow with mileage markers to gauge distances when planning sections of the walk to enjoy. This official National Trail Map* of the South Downs Way features 44 pages of continuous Ordnance Survey 1:25000 mapping providing complete coverage of the South Downs Way. This atlas includes a route planner showing distances between places and the amenities available, featuring: Information Centres, Hotels/B&Bs, Youth Hostels, Campsites (seasonal opening), Public Houses, Shops, Restaurants, Cafes (seasonal opening) and Petrol Stations. Also featured is advice on safety and security when walking and a selection of QR codes linked to useful websites, including temporary route updates from the National Trails, regional information, map reading advice and weather reports. Unlike the original OS sheets, this A-Z Adventure Atlas includes a comprehensive index to towns, villages, hamlets and locations, natural features, nature reserves, car parks and youth hostels, making it easy to find the required location quickly. Each index entry has a page reference and a six figure National Grid Reference. With a book size of 240mm x 134mm it is the same size as a standard folded OS map.”
– South Downs Way Adventure Atlas

The South Downs Way Map Booklet by Cicerone is available on its own or comes with the guidebook (above)

Ordnance Survey provide the service of online maps, which you can use on all your devices. Costs around £20 – £25 per year for all maps across the UK for a year. Great value. Click on the link:
Ordnance Survey Maps Online

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