How it felt to complete the Wainwrights
For three and a half years, walking the Wainwrights had been an obsession. #GetOutside Champion James Forrest tells us why he believes that being in the mountains is good for the soul.
The South Downs National Park provides an abundance of rolling hills, busy market communities, attractive wildlife and breath taking views. If you are planning on embarking on a trip to this area, make sure you stay in style with our guide to the top 5 best places to stay.
Located in Ashurst, West Sussex, this idyllic accommodation is a paradise for the keen rambler who wants to explore the depths of the countryside whilst still being able to put their feet up in a cosy country farmhouse. With their self-catering accommodation, both the 16th century Brewhouse and Milkhouse are great for walkers, cyclists and outdoor adventurers who wish to work meal times around their outdoor lifestyles. This accommodation even allows you to collect your own eggs for breakfast – perfect before heading out to catch that early morning sunrise. Additionally, this is family friendly accommodation where children can play with the farm pets, pick fresh herbs and vegetables, use the outdoor heated swimming pool and even take part in the artisan bread making and baking workshops.
To make an enquiry or booking, head to www.theartisanbakehouse.com.
This Ecolodge is the perfect accommodation for the nature enthusiast. Situated directly on the South Downs National Trail, this is the ideal overnight stop if you are planning on tackling the entirety of the National Trail. The Ecolodge is part of the Sustainability Centre, a charity dedicated to teaching people to be environmentally friendly and providing eco-friendly places to stay. The heating and lighting in the eco-lodge is provided through a biomass boiler and the furniture in the hostel is made out of sustainably sourced wood. The lodge sleeps up to 38 people with a communal kitchen, bathroom and living room, making it the perfect place to stay for those who enjoy getting to know new people. The eco-lodge is self-catering with linen provided, making your stay simple but comfortable. If you are not too busy hiking the South Downs National Trail there is a whole host of workshops, guided walks and sustainability courses to keep you busy. Alternatively, the Queen Elizabeth Country Park is located just over 3 miles away and is home to 14 hundred acres of woodland, waymarked trails for cycling and horse-riding and play trails. It even has barbecues for hire! Plenty to keep you and the family occupied.
For further information on Wetherdown ecolodge, visit sustainability-centre.org/wetherdown-lodge.
For those seeking high class, luxury accommodation, the Park House Hotel and Spa in the village of Bepton is the perfect place for any 1 st class traveller. This beautiful hotel is suited to those that want easy access to the coast but wish to retreat to the quiet of the national park when night falls. A short 30 minute drive will take you to the highlights of the South Downs coast including Bognor Regis, East Wittering and Rustington where there is a whole host of fantastic coastal walks at your fingertips. Alternatively, this luxury accommodation offers access to equally as luxurious activities; including clay pigeon shooting, equine sports, country pursuits and field sports. Special weekend offers are also available for the Gold Cup polo final as well as easy access to the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
To make a booking at Park House Hotel and Spa, visit www.parkhousehotel.com.
For those looking for a slightly different kind of accommodation, this campsite offers one of a kind yurts – the luxurious alternative to tents! Located in the Adhurst Estate, in 100 acres of private woodland, these fantastic yurts provide a traditional but luxurious place to stay for both families and couples. Bush craft sessions are organised with qualified professionals including spoon masterclasses, fire masterclasses and even ponassing a fish lessons! Let the twinkling solar powered fairy lights send you to sleep whilst you snuggle up for the night under the comfortable blankets, duvets and pillows (all included in the price). The walks from the estate range from 2 – 100 miles, so whether you are looking for a quick stroll or wishing to hike the entirety of the South Downs Way, this is the perfect place to stay. The estate also provides transport to and from walk starting points and can customise specific routes to interest your specific requirements. This is the place to stay for the ultimate outdoor adventure.
Want to stay in a yurt at Adhurst Estate? Visit www.adhurst.co.uk.
For travellers looking for a personal and unique bed and breakfast style accommodation, Church Lodge provides a beautiful place to stay, right on the Chichester Estuary Harbour. This lodge provides a perfect medium between the beach and the countryside, meaning outdoor lovers can have the best of both worlds. Cyclists are lucky enough to have “Salterns Way” running right through the village and bikes are available to loan from the lodge for those that do not own their own. This accommodation is perfect for those that like to dip their foot into a bit of outdoor adventure but also want a relaxing place to rest. Church Lodge is fantastic for those who need a full English breakfast before their daily adventures but enjoy the freedom of eating dinner wherever the day takes you.
To find out more about Chruch Lodge Bed and Breakfast, head over to www.churchlodgebirdham.co.uk.