Acabashi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Downs Link is largely traffic-free, so whether you’re walking, cycling, using a wheelchair or riding a horse, it’s a great place to enjoy a day out.

For eating and drinking, there are a number of cafes and pubs in the towns and villages along the route, and particularly when you reach the seaside at Shoreham.

Attractions include Bramber Castle, a ruined Norman fortress that stands starkly on a hill overlooking the River Adur. It’s said to have been destroyed during the English Civil War.

There’s also Southwater Country Park – a 90-acre park with a visitor centre, café and play area, which is recommended if you’re on a family trip.

Those interested in the history of the route can visit the old station at West Grinstead, where a railway carriage serves as an information centre.

The repurposed railway line also acts as a corridor for nature, with woods, rivers, streams and ponds along the route.

You’re likely to enjoy the rich birdlife along the route, including blue tits, nightingales, bullfinches and robins.

The landscape changes from pretty woodlands in Surrey to meadows, farmland and the River Adur floodplain further south. Here, you’ll get brilliant views of the South Downs.

At Botolphs, the route links with the South Downs Way. At Shoreham-by-Sea, you can also link to National Cycle Network Route 2, if you’re looking for a longer route.

For those wanting to walk or cycle the route in shorter sections, however, there are access points along the route at Bramber, Steyning, West Grinstead, Southwater and Rudgwick.

You can also get the train at Chilworth, Shalford, Christs Hospital, Horsham and Shoreham-by-Sea.

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