Best weekend for autumn colours in the South Downs



The South Downs National Park Authority announces a range of incentives for Sussex residents who travel by train and bus, as the area reaches its seasonal climax.


The South Downs National Park will reach a stunning autumnal climax this weekend, says expert ranger Nick Heasman today, and the easiest way to enjoy it is to leave the car at home. New research shows that many people in Sussex would appreciate their visit more without a car, enabling them to focus on the views rather than the road (62%), avoid parking worries (58%) and skip traffic jams (56%). Over half of all adults in Sussex (58%) said that enjoying a guilt free boozy reward after a long day out was actually their favourite part.

This Friday 18 October there are even more reasons to visit the SDNP by public transport, with a ‘Hikers and Bikers’ luxury rest stop at Hassocks train station in the heart of the park, where tired walkers and cyclists will be rewarded with free sports massages, comfy chairs, free refreshments and a boot cleaning service. There will also be discounts in pubs, cafes and attractions [see list at end].

For the 52% of locals who said that the main reason for using the car was not knowing public transport routes, a range of guides have been produced. Each of the 14 leaflets details great walks and cycle rides which start and finish at a bus stops or train stations and are available at

Phillippa Morrison-Price, South Downs National Park ranger, said: Children summer fun“Due to a warm summer and temperate September, this weekend looks likely to be the perfect time to see the South Downs in its full autumnal glory. For the best seasonal experience head for Hassocks where you can see the colours change over the weald, or cycle through ancient woodland at Butchers Wood.

For a really relaxing day I’d highly recommend ditching the car, leaving you to appreciate the stunning views from the train or bus, forget parking woes and even finish your afternoon with a real ale or chilled glass of wine. If you visit Hassocks this Friday you’ll even enjoy luxury treats as you wait for your ride home!”

Nick Stewart from the South Downs National Park Authority said: “For the one in three (35%) people in Sussex who cite autumn as their favourite season to explore the National Park, it’s a no brainer to leave the car at home, but many don’t know which routes are available. That’s why we have produced these easy guides, which let people know about great walks and cycles from a bus stop or station near them.”

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