Year round rambles in the South of the UK
The South-East of England is one of the most populated areas in the country, but it is also home to the newest National Park, the South Downs, making it the perfect getaway for a pair of Meindl boots, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The county of East Sussex in particular has not only the South Downs Way (SDW) running through it, but also the Weald and Ashdown Forest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Site’s of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the Sussex Heritage Coast, including the Seven Sisters Country Park and Cuckmere Valley.
Ashdown Forest occupies the highest part of the Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is situated on a sandy ridgeline, enabling a very different environment to evolve. The forest is made up of 60% heathland and 40% woodland, and was originally created for Royal parties to hunt deer. There are numerous paths within the forest to explore, alongside mapped routes available from the Ashdown Forest Visitor Centre.
The South Downs National Park (SDNP) was established in 2010 and covers over 1,600km2 extending from Winchester to Eastbourne. Within East Sussex, sights such as the famous oxbow lakes and meanders of the Cuckmere can be explored. The reclaimed marshland is a worthwhile stop due to it being a haven for migratory birds, such as Canadian Geese, Golden Plovers, Dunlins and visiting Osprey on their long journey from Africa. Descending to the bridge at Exceat you follow the fast-flowing tidal section of the river to the mouth, where one of the most iconic views of the South East of England emerges: the old Coastguard Cottages with the pristine chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters in the background.
Exploring the area couldn’t be easier; with perfect transport links throughout the county, it is the ultimate getaway location for escapism, rewilding and undertaking some much-deserved mindfulness. Making use of a variety of Meindl footwear throughout the year, from Respond GTX for those short, summer day walks, to sturdier Bhutan or Himalaya boots for winter walking, providing stability and support on the slippery chalk.