Running on the South Downs is one of my favourite things to do. As with all runs on the South Downs, there are hills involved with this one but what goes up, must come down.
Parking at Hill Barn Recreation ground, follow the country lane, ‘Hill Barn Lane’ for a few minutes, looking out for the footpath on the left hand side just a few minutes up the road.
Take this and you’ll be running along a little trail with a golf course on your left.
As the path forks, take the right hand one which will run along the back of some houses before taking a sharp left and heading up. Follow this up Tenant’s Hill, which is beautifully lined in spring and summer with wild flowers. It will bear right and go through pretty woodland. Just before it exits this wood, the trail will offer the chance to go left. Take this and you’ll pop out right at the top at Cissbury Ring, the largest hill fort in Sussex dating back over 5000 years. Depending on what time of year it is, you may see butterflies and lots of rare flowers.
If you run with a backpack, this is the perfect place for a little picnic before making the glorious downhill descent back. Take a different route directly next to the path you arrived on, which goes straight down with no turn offs to upset the glorious feeling of running downhill.
This run can be suitable for any level, as a beginner it is very hilly and you’d have to walk/run it, for an intermediate the hills would be a challenge and for an advanced runner, you could run it fast. It’s 6.5km or 4 miles and have attached a pic of the elevation.
Rachael Woolston is the founder of Girls Run the World, which offers off-road guided running on the South Downs , real time and virtual coaching, as well as guided runs and event race holidays around the world. Girls Run the World will be providing a weekend running retreat in August 2017.
For more details or to find this route visit www.girlsruntheworld.co.uk