Downs Link

A 37 mile (59km) shared route for walkers, horse riders and cyclists linking the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way.

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A 37 mile (59km) shared route for walkers, horse riders and cyclists linking the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way.

Route information

Path closures and disruption

Park Run

The Horsham Park Run will be using the section of Downs Link between Southwater Health Centre and Southwater Country Park on Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 9.45am from Saturday 13 January until Saturday 7 April 2018.

There will be up to 250 runners using the route at this time. The run will be marshalled and runners kept to one side of the path, but users should expect it to be busy and horse riders may wish to avoid the area between those times on a Saturday morning.

Flood defence scheme

The Environment Agency has started on a major flood defence scheme that will significantly reduce the flood risk in Shoreham. The whole scheme, that affects the southern end of the River Adur, is due to be completed in 2018.

The works mean that the Downs Link in Shoreham from south of the Old Shoreham Toll Bridge to Shoreham High Street will remain closed.

A signed diversion will be in place until the works are completed.


Can be accessed all along the route.

  • St Martha's Hill (start) - TQ 032484
  • West Grinstead Old Station (mid-point) - TQ183225
  • Shoreham-by-Sea (finish) - TQ 208060

For use by

Walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Nearest locations

Shoreham-by-Sea, Bramber, Steyning, West Grinstead, Southwater and Rudgwick


All of the Downs Link is surfaced and largely follows the route of the disused railway line from Guildford to Shoreham-by-sea. Some sections are on the road network.


At West Grinstead Old Station a railway carriage has a new life as an information centre run by our volunteers, who aim to open it most Sundays (generally 10.00am-4.00pm). To find West Grinstead Old Station, launch our iMap, select 'British National Grid' from the search menu and enter TQ183225 in the search box.



  • OS 1:25,000 Explorer series: 122, 134, 145
  • OS 1:50,000 Landranger series: 186, 187, 198

Additional information

Organising a sponsored event on the Downs Link?

Avoid clashing with other events by emailing us

About Downs Link

The Downs Link connects with other long-distance routes such as the North Downs Way, South Downs Way, Wey South Path, Greensand Way, Sussex Border Path and National Cycle Network routes 2 and 22.

Our six stage route guide provides details of walks or rides of 4-7 miles (6-11km) accessible by public transport or car. The trail can be completed in stages, as a weekend walk or a full-day's ride, or there is an off-road route from Guildford Station, for walkers and cyclists only, that joins the Downs Link at Bramley.

The Downs Link follows two disused railway lines and crosses the Surrey Hills, the Low Weald, the South Downs and the Coastal Plain. Since the trains departed in the 1960s the embankments and cuttings have become a green corridor for wildlife and people. The route connects a variety of habitats, passing banks of wildflowers, trees, hedges, woodlands, rivers, ponds and streams. 

Butterflies, such as Fritillaries and Admirals, can be seen fluttering in the sunny sheltered woodland glades, and you can see Kingfishers fishing from the railway bridges. Bats can be seen foraging and nightingales heard singing during the summer evenings. Glow worms are an exciting find on warm summer nights.

The landscape is varied as the trail crosses the different layers of rock and soil that lie between the North and South Downs. The acid sandy soils of the greensand ridge at St Martha’s Hill give way to the Low Weald clays at the county border, then in places there are beds of hard sandstone known as ‘Horsham Slab’, much used for roofing in days gone by.

Between Henfield and Steyning, the route enters the River Adur flood plain. The river cuts through the South Downs. Until the 14th Century, the estuary covered a much wider area where there are now arable fields and grassland, surrounded by ‘rifes’ or drainage ditches.

Find us

Visit the iMap for route details or download the map below.

- In the blue 'Search' field on the left, select City, Town or Village from the drop-down list.

- Enter West Grinstead > Search.

- Under Local Information, select 'Walks within 5km'.

- Select Downs Link > Further information from the options provided.