Birthday walk for South Downs Way

THE South Downs Way will celebrate its 40th anniversary in July and the national park authority is marking the occasion by joining Footprints, a walking company, on their annual walk of the route.

Chairman of the park authority Margaret Paren, said: “If you’ve thought about walking the South Downs Way why not make this the year you do it?

“You can independently walk, cycle or horse ride the full 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne or break it up with shorter stretches one day at a time.

“Or there’s still space to join the 40th anniversary walk where national park rangers will join the Footprints guides along the route, sharing their local knowledge and stories.”

Keith McKenna, who runs Footprints, said: “Our annual walk has happened every year for the past 33 years so we’re very pleased to be joining up with the South Downs National Park for this special anniversary year.

“Every day there are competitions to enter and churches, tea shops, pubs and farms open specially to welcome the walkers as they pass through, people come from all over the world to join us.”

The nine-day walk starts in Winchester on Friday June 22.

It finishes nine days later at the promenade in Eastbourne on Saturday June 30 followed by a celebration party at the University of Sussex for all those who have taken part