Hiking and Kayaking in the South Downs

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Reconnect with nature as you hike and kayak through quintessential English countryside


4 days, 1 country


3 nights in Hostel


3 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner

Travel style


Group Size

Maximum 18 people


Local Host

Map & Itinerary

Day 1


Let’s switch off real life as we meet for a welcome dinner in the local pub in the pretty village of Southease. A collection of idyllic cottages, grouped around a church dating from the time of William the Conqueror, it’s right on the South Downs Way, which stretches 100 tranquil miles across Hampshire, East and West Sussex to Winchester in the west.

Day 2


After breakfast today we’ll begin exploring the South Downs National Park, established in 2009, yet covering some of England’s oldest and most beautiful countryside. Think green pastures, ancient woodlands, river valleys and dramatic coastline. A half day hike with our local expert guide, will take us from the River Ouse through the rolling hills, coasting ridges that offer tantalising views of the sea. We’ll pause for a picnic lunch and appreciate the opportunity to properly get away from it all.


The afternoon is free to explore the beautiful county town of Lewes where medieval streets, ancient churches and tiny twittens (a Sussex word for alleyways!) will give us a glimpse of past times. The town is dominated by the remains of a Norman castle and is also home to the townhouse of Anne of Cleves (fourth wife of Henry VIII and one of those lucky enough to keep her head!) Browse in cute bookshops, boutiques and craft workshops, then take your pick of the many pubs and restaurants serving delicious local produce.

Day 3


The cliffs of Dover might be England’s most famous, but the Seven Sisters, a series of white chalk cliffs meandering along the Sussex coastline, are one of the country’s most striking landscapes. Today we’ll explore part of the undulating trail from Seaford to Eastbourne. Cuckmere Haven offers the most impressive view of the glimmering white cliffs, whilst along the way we’ll pass the historic coastal cottages of Birling Gap and the candy-striped lighthouse of Beachy Head. We’ll be rewarded with a locally-sourced picnic of cheese, fruit and home-made pies, washed down with a flight of four locally-produced wines. Learn about the grapes and varieties from a local grower; roll them on your tongue and feel your cares roll away too.


This afternoon we’ll kayak the River Cuckmere, paddling our way towards the sea with our guide. As the river meaders along into the village of Litlington, we’ll pass woodlands rich in bird life, meadows of wild flowers and give a wave to the giant white chalk horse that overlooks the valley. Tonight we'll enjoy our final night together with a pub dinner. We’ll raise a glass to new friendships before returning to our lives relaxed, refreshed and replete with good memories.

Day 4


One last breakfast together and then it’s time to check out. Say goodbye to your new friends, exchange contact details and then start planning your next adventure!

Frequently asked questions

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What is Contiki?

Contiki are the world leaders in organized youth travel. We’ve been providing amazing travel experiences for young travellers, from 18-35 years old, since 1962. Imagine how good you would be at something if you had been doing it for more than 60 years?


Everything about Contiki is deeply rooted in our two values ‘Make Every Moment Count’ and ‘We’re About People’. We don’t just talk, we walk the walk and live by our brand philosophy of ‘Travel.Together.’ which means to travel with one another, with the destinations we visit, the people and cultures we enjoy and the environment.


You’ve never experienced travel like this.

Why only 18-35?

Focusing on 18-35 year olds allows us to tailor a dramatically more powerful travel experience and an itinerary so fun it feels like all of your best Friday nights combined.

Tailoring to select ages brings together like minded, likeable people, and allows us to use Social Travel planning to build great groups of people so fast you’ll wonder if you’ve been friends forever.

What destinations can I go to with Contiki?

A sunrise, shoreline or bright light for every whim. We are proud to offer more than 350 Global trips, intelligently designed for a seamless and simple social travel experience. Visit our search page to discover your perfect travel destination.

How does it work?

We’re reinventing hassle free travel. Whether you are a solo traveller or group you can be rest assured that there has been tonnes of planning behind every trip.

Booking with Contiki means you are saying yes to a smile inducing trip where the typically stressful elements just seem to magically happen.

No one does trips like Contiki, essential accommodation, transport, reservations and so much more is all taken care of. You can multiply the magic with trip add ons and numerous customisations for your free time.

Every single Contiki social travel trip is managed by one of our expert Trip Managers, who are there to provide hands-on support and ensure your trip runs smoothly whilst you stay in the moment.

From 2022 your good time will be good for the planet as all Contiki trips are carbon natural. Find out more here.

How many other travellers are on each trip?

Group sizes are completely dependent on where and how you choose to travel with Contiki. 

In Europe and in most of North America and New Zealand, group sizes can range between 24 – 53 awesome travellers. 

In regions like Asia, Australia, Africa and Latin America, and on some North America and New Zealand trips, our group sizes are considerably smaller – as low as 12 or up to 30 travellers max.

Detour trips offer a different type of experience and max out at 16 people led by a local host.

Wondering what is so great about travelling together? Check out the Contiki Social travel page.

Each group is administered according to our strict Covid policies which can be viewed here.

What’s included

All essential trip elements have been catered to ensure a great time, with great people in great places. But you mean more specifically right?

Your accommodation, essential trip transport, and a good handful of meals are included in the cost of your Contiki trip (on most trips we offer breakfast every day, plus a hand-picked selection of authentic and tasty meals). 

To fill your days and Insta feeds we have Included Experiences, which are basically the sights and activities we think you just can’t afford to miss. Of course you also get our expert and highly trained team of Contiki staff to support throughout.

A day by day breakdown of inclusions and Free Time Add-Ons are available on the trip specific pages. 

We always try to accommodate special requests such as birthdays, proposals etc. Please chat to our team and we can explore how we may support the request.

What’s not included?

Contiki social travel trips have a large degree of flexibility built into them to enable you to truly own your experience. This means that some trip elements are not included in the initial cost and may require additional budgeting. 

Flights to and from your starting and ending points are not included in the cost of your trip. These can be added on during the booking process either online or via our contact center or booked independently by you.

Each trip contains the right amount of free time for you to explore or indulge your travel desires. We offer Free Time Add-Ons, which are additional experiences that are not included in the overall price. These add ons are highlighted on the specific trip page. Your Trip Manager will highlight these to you and organise their booking on trip. Exceptions may apply where pre booking is required but this will be made known to you in your pre departure information.

A number of meal times are left open for you to explore a region and its foodie offerings in greater detail, so budgeting for your taste in non-catered meals is important. 

Travel insurance and visas are also not included in the cost of your trip, and should be booked separately.

What are Contiki's sustainability credentials?

Travel comes with responsibilities. That’s why we’re determined to travel sustainably and consciously, and that’s why we’re willing to take a stand on issues closest to our hearts. Find out more details here.

With the help of our four-point Climate Action Plan, we're now on a journey to Net Zero - committing to carbon reductions and evolving to support the transition to a low-carbon future.

Find out more details here.