This route between Guildford and Shoreham-by-Sea follows an old railway line, so is mostly flat. Joining the North Downs in Surrey and the South Downs in West Sussex, it’s ideal for a long day trip or for enjoying in shorter sections.

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.

Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.

However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.

Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.

Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

Please help us protect this route

The Downs Link is part of the National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy.


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