PlanetSKI Hits the South Downs Way to Train for Summer Hiking in the Alps

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We’re planning to be at altitude in the Alps later this year – hiking the glaciers and the peaks. What better way to get in shape than hiking the South Downs Way in southern England? NEW

We’re starting in Eastbourne in East Sussex and heading west to Winchester in Hampshire – 100 miles of some of the most stunning scenery the UK has to offer.

We’re not doing it one go, but rather spread out over the next few weeks, heading from our base in London to do day trips and a few overnight stops.

It should set us up well for some hiking in the Alps later this year.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

We are not going to attack it in any sort of ‘boot camp’ way, but rather take it easy and head off the beaten track if we feel like it.

That will include sections of the coastal path away from the main South Downs Way.

Our coverage is going to be more of a photo gallery of the route, rather than an article packed with information.

Getting ‘match fit’ for the Alps is our primary goal.

And maybe inspiring a few of our readers to do sections off the South Downs Way too if it is within reach.

Stage One – Eastbourne to Birling Gap

It’s a simple train ride from London down to Eastbourne and we’re starting with a circular walk so we end up back at Eastbourne station to head home after our day’s efforts.

The start is a steep affair from the seaside town and soon it slips away in the distance as nature takes over.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

There is information about what happened overhead more than 80 years ago.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

Then Beachy Head itself.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

The views towards the Belle Court lighthouse were simply stunning.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

Like hiking in the mountains in the summer or ski touring in the winter it is a challenge to see where you have to get to, but surprising how simple putting one in front of the other gets you there.

Patience and plodding is required.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

It was a simple hike to Birling Gap and then we turned inland to walk back through the fields and farms.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

The circular walk is a simple day excursion form London and we hiked 18.9 kms (11.7 miles) miles over five hours or so.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

Stage One of our quest to get fit for summer hikes in the mountains of the Alps was a success.

Next we’re starting at Birling Gap and walking the famous 7 Sisters, then veering off the main South Downs Way that heads inland as we’ve heard the views from Seaford Head are some of the best ones.

It proved to be the right call.

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

South Downs Way. Image © PlanetSKI

This article was originally published by Planetski.eu. Read the original article here.

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