The ten best bus routes through the South Downs National Park

A list of the best bus routes through the South Downs National Park has been released to encourage visitors to leave their cars behind.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 11:56 am

South Downs National Park Authority has put together a list of ten top-notch bus routes to coincide with the car free day which took place on Wednesday, September 22.

Allison Thorpe, who leads access and recreation in the national park, put together a list of journeys that offer a great day out in the South Downs in the hopes of encouraging more people to try public transport and look after the local environment.

She said: “A day-out in the countryside by bus can be a real family adventure and removes all the hassle of trying to find a parking space and paying for parking. We know the little ones always enjoy a ride on the bus too!"

South Downs National Park is a great day out for the family and going by bus helps the environment too

Allison's recommendations:

Route 1 from Worthing to Midhurst Did anyone mention picturesque views that warm the cockles of your heart? This journey has an endless supply! There are potential stop-offs at Stopham Vineyard and Winery, or if you’re a beer-lover, why not visit the Langham Brewery and Tap. The beauty of Cissbury Ring must be seen to be believed, while a visit to Petworth House combines stunning views with opulent art and history.

Route 12 from Brighton to Eastbourne Easily in the running for the most scenic bus route in the country, the Coaster takes in the world-famous Seven Sisters white chalk cliffs and the classic serpentine meanders of the river Cuckmere.

Bus 37 from Havant to Petersfield Breezing past the highest point on the South Downs chalk escarpment, Butser Hill, this is such a convenient route to get right into the heart of the National Park and one of its most historic towns. Enjoy the beauty of Petersfield Heath or why not visit the sparkling-new Petersfield Museum that’s had a multi-million pound transformation?

A family enjoying the one of the many great views the South Downs has to offer

Route 38 from Petersfield to Alton via Selborne Travelling through some of the most densely wooded areas in Hampshire the 38 takes in Jane Austen’s village of Chawton and Gilbert White’s village of Selborne. If you’re on the double decker (Monday to Friday except bank holidays) it’s definitely worth heading upstairs and trying to bag the front seat.

Route 54 from Chichester to Petersfield A route for walkers and pub lovers, the 54 runs through a series of small villages and gives access to famous downland churches, Harting Down and the ancient yew trees at Kingley Vale.

Route 60 from Midhurst to Chichester Taking a romantic Tudor ruin, a medieval cathedral, great shops at Chichester, downland villages, and deep wooded valleys, the 60 has something for everyone. Stop off along the way to visit West Dean Gardens and the Weald and Downland Museum.

Route 67 from Winchester to Petersfield Weaving between the Hampshire hills through the Itchen and Meon valleys, the 67 is a route for lovers of wildlife and picturesque villages. The pristine chalk river Itchen is home to otter and wild trout and a program is currently underway to return water vole to the river Meon where they had been locally extinct.

The house and upper pond at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex. The deer park at Petworth was landscaped by 'Capability' Brown.

Route 79 from Brighton to Ditchling Beacon Taking in Ditchling Beacon, one of the highest points in the National Park, the 79 gives 360 degree views out to sea in the south, across the weald to the north and along the high chalk ridge of the South Downs from west to east. This bus runs on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Route 99 from Chichester to Petworth If the views around Petworth were good enough for Turner, they’re good enough for us! The 99 also offers a flexible service that will take in the iconic Halnaker windmill.

Route 125 from Lewes to Eastbourne via Alfriston Last but most definitely not least wind your way through the Cuckmere valley on the heels of the Bloomsbury set. One for culture lovers the 125 also stops at Glynde – home of the famous Glyndebourne Opera – before joining the same route of the 12 along the coast.

Stacey Churton, marketing manager from Stagecoach, said: “The bus is a fantastic way to get around the countryside, children love sitting on the top deck looking out over the National Park, it’s a great way to keep the family entertained from the moment you step outside.

Allison Thorpe head of access and recreation at South Downs National Park, has created a 10 long list of bus to encourage people to ditch their cars when they visit.

For more information and ideas on getting around the National Park visit