Allison Thorpe, who leads access and recreation in the National Park, shares some of her favourite festive ambles

Sussex winter walks with pubs or tea rooms: Nine of the best festive ambles

Snow-capped peaks, crisp fresh air, crunchy leaves underfoot, and stunning vistas to soothe your soul.

By Juliet Mead
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 12:04 pm

For many of us, an invigorating Christmas walk is a family tradition that cannot be missed, as part and parcel of the festive celebration as turkey and tinsel.

And the South Downs National Park, with mile upon mile of sumptuous scenery, is the perfect place to enjoy a festive amble, dusting off those Christmas cobwebs after one too many mince pies.

So wrap up warm, pack a flask of tea, perhaps a few leftover sandwiches, and enjoy some of the most inspiring landscapes in England.

Allison Thorpe, who leads access and recreation for the National Park, shares a few of her favourite festive walks across Sussex. Visit the South Downs website for routes and more information.

Allison said: “Whether you’re looking for a blustery walk with all the family, a quiet romantic stroll, or a walk with the dog, the South Downs National Park is an amazing winter wonderland where you can gaze in awe at the sheer beauty of the landscape, often blanketed in frost or snow.

“While nature is in its winter slumber, there’s still some great wildlife watching to be had and the sight of a robin, deer, or starling murmuration is particularly joyful.

“Whether you’re searching for a pre-Christmas walk to de-stress in the lead-up to the big day or looking to burn off a few calories between Christmas and New Year, the National Park is blessed with plenty of walking routes to give you much-needed time in nature, exploring the best the season can offer.

“Why not round off your walk with a trip to one of the many fantastic inns and eateries in the National Park, enjoying some delicious local fare, raising a Christmas toast with spicy mulled wine or an ice-cold glass of South Downs fizz.”

And Allison added: “The sunrises and sunsets are especially impressive this time of year, so it’s a great opportunity to take landscape photographs of the National Park. And, if you’re not adverse to the cold, a clear night offers the chance to gaze at the stars at one of our Dark Sky Discovery Sites and we also have an astrophotography competition you can enter.

“As always, we encourage people to plan ahead and give all farmers a festive thank you by sticking to the Countryside Code and keeping dogs on leads.

“Wherever you go, we hope all visitors are able to recharge their batteries this Christmas and feel rejuvenated by the great outdoors.”

Here are some of Allison’s favourite Christmassy walks:

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