PUB WALKS ON THE SOUTH DOWNS

CLEAR YOUR HEAD & BURN OFF SOME OF THOSE CHRISTMAS CALORIES!

During the Christmas and New year break if you are looking for ways to clear your head and work off some of the excesses of the festive season why not take in the fresh air and picturesque countryside of the South Downs by embarking on an appropriately named ‘Beer Mat Walk’ courtesy of The National Trust who have compiled a number of routes starting and finishing at Country Inns.  Each varied walk presents a great opportunity to burn off much of the calories you then consume when reaching your return ‘hostelry’ destination.

I have listed below 5 beer mat walks you may want to try during the Christmas and New Year break.  For details of each walk simply pick up a beer mat from the named pub and then follow the waymarkers or download the walk from the National Trust Website which will also highlight information on the history and wildlife of the area.

Birling Gap walk from the Tiger Inn, East Sussex . This circular walk allows you to enjoy spectacular views over the downs and East Sussex coast. Discover part of the world-famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs By following old drovers' and smuggling routes to the sea from this small Downland village you may also feel a sense of the landscape's long history. Route details  The Tiger Inn, The Green, East Dean, East Sussex, BN20 ODA  - Difficulty Moderate - Time 1 hour 30 mins - Distance 3 miles (4.8 km) - Map Explorer 123 - Dogs allowed Dog friendly

Fulking  West Sussex- Route from the Shepherd and Dog pub   This walk takes in ancient landscapes and breath taking views. Explore a famous beauty spot on the South Downs. Along the way, look out for the lime kiln dating back to the Victorian era as well as banks of chalk grassland teaming with flowers and butterflies in the summer. At the top, take in the spectacular views across the downs before heading back down to the Shepherd and Dog for a well-earned pint. Route details - Fulking, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9LU -  Difficulty Moderate - Time 1 hour 30 mins - 2 hours - Distance 2 miles (3.2 km)  - Map Landranger 198; Explorer OL11 - Dogs allowed Dog friendly

The Slindon Estate, West Sussex - Walk around Nore Hill Folly from The George Inn at Eartham A  perfect ramble for warm days in spring, summer, and autumn, with much of the route overhung and shaded by trees. -  A varied, interesting trail perfect for a stroll.   Slindon is the largest traditional estate on the South Downs. There is a superb show of bluebells under ancient beech trees from as early as mid-April. Route details - Difficulty Moderate - Time 1 hour 30 mins - Distance 3.8 miles (6.1 km) - Map Explorer 121 - Dogs allowed Dog friendly

Marley Common and Cognor Wood – From The Mill Tavern, Shottermill, West Sussex . See the nearby ancient millponds of Shottermill  and then  head onto Marley Common, where impressive beech trees line a boundary bank. Vibrant heath follows deciduous woodland, grazed by Belted Galloway cattle and a haven for heathland birds and insects. You'll then descend through and into a working sweet chestnut coppice, before heading up to a Summer mead. Route details - Mill Tavern, Liphook Road, Shottermill, West Sussex GU27 3QE -Difficulty Moderate - Time 2 hours -  Distance 3.5 miles (5.6 km) - Map Landranger 186; Explorer 133 - Dogs allowed Dog friendly

Midhurst High Street, West Sussex – Route taking in The Woolbeding Countryside Estate. Enjoy this easy walk along the River Rother starting and returning to Midhurst's charming main street. Woolbeding Estate is a hidden countryside gem, situated in the South Downs National Park near historic Midhurst. The walk starts in the heart of Midhurst and takes in the beauty of Woolbeding Parkland. Follow the River Rother, edged with ancient trees. Pass a plantation of whispering poplars and hear the sounds of the weir before returning to Midhurst's main street. Route details - Woolbeding Estate Office - Difficulty  / Easy - Time 1 hour 30 mins - Distance 3 miles (4.8 km) –  Map Explorer 133 - Dogs allowed Dog friendly.