South Downs National Park

Queen Elizabeth Country Park is a gateway to the South Down National Park. With its hidden gems and quintessentially English scenery, it has a rich tapestry of wildlife, landscapes and tranquillity to explore and enjoy.

The South Downs National Park stretches across around 1,600km squared of England, from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east. Its chalk hills and dry valleys cut through the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex.

History of the South Downs

Although home to human settlements for thousands of years, it wasn't until the 18th and 19th centuries that the area become a popular destination for visitors. The South Downs been a constant source of inspiration for many writers and artists, including William Blake, whose famous "England's green and pleasant land" line is said to be inspired this stunning landscape.

In 1949 the South Downs was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty before becoming the tenth national park in England on 1 April 2010.

To learn more about the story behind Queen Elizabeth Country Park and the South Downs, visit our history page.

Today, the South Downs National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including rare species such as the nightjar, the silver-spotted skipper butterfly, and the adder. It’s also a popular place destination for hiking, cycling, and horse riding, and attracts millions of visitors each year. If you’re planning to travel across the National Park, why not stop by Beechwood Kitchen to relax and refuel.