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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars16
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 January 2006
I note that I’m not the first reader to review this book in glowing terms – and that doesn’t surprise me!
The publishers have clearly hit on a winning formula – the professional presentation, the attention to detail, the symbols rating guide, ordnance survey mapping etc. are all excellent, and in Martin Simons they have found an author to complement these high standards.
Martin’s knowledge of the Downs is clearly matched by his enthusiasm for their history and beauty. It’s all VERY infectious indeed. No sooner have you completed one walk than you find yourself desperate to start another! In fact, the customary visit to the pub at the end of each walk provides the perfect opportunity to plan the next venture!
The photographs and the background information contribute a great deal to the whole, but it is the clarity and precision of the description of the routes that appeals to me most. As a woman who occasionally walks alone, with absolutely NO sense of direction, and a marked disinclination to pore over maps or get clever with GPS contraptions, I feel entirely confident in trusting this Guide as my sole companion.
I’ve lived within a stone’s throw of the South Downs for years and Martin’s book has awakened in me not only a deep appreciation of the landscape itself, its past and its present, but also a passion for the simple pleasure of walking. A “SELF-Discovery Walking Guide”, you might say!! Thank you!
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on 1 January 2006
I have just returned from the Kingston Spectacular, and it was just that....Spectacular!! If all the walks in this book are as impressive as this one then this is the best walking book around!!
Its great for experienced walkers, but also brilliant if you just want to explore the fantastic scenery the South Downs has to offer, and sample a few of the pubs/restaurants on the way that are all pointed out in the book!! The maps and photos in the book are great and really give a you a feel about what to expect. The information given on the different areas of the South Downs are also very interesting, its not just walking but like a mini history lesson!!!
Id recommend this book to anyone who likes spectacular scenary and want to explore some of the most beautiful areas in and around Sussex, for experienced and novice walkers alike!
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on 3 February 2006
I bought "Walk the South Downs" after reading the glowing recommendations of this guide book, and I can happily say it has lived up to my expectations.
It is very well written, with quirky comments here and there and it certainly guided me succesfully on my first few walks.
This must surely be the Rolls Royce of walking books!
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on 12 April 2006
This book provides excellent decriptions and accurate details for some stunning walks across the South Downs. Even if you are not a walker the careful detail of this book allows you to explore as if you were.
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on 2 October 2006
A more than excellent walking guide to the South Downs. Each walk I have sampled has explored the Downs via wonderfully enjoyable and less well trodden routes. Although I know the South Downs quite well, having walked over the area for years, Martin Simons has taken me through woods I never knew where there and around brows of hills into peaceful valley bottoms that I have never walked through before. Taking different pathways, off the main drag, means that you have to sure of your turnings and each of Martin Simmons markers have been spot on so far. His useful illustrations assist routing confidence and his accuracy so far prompts me to suggest that if you don't find the gate or the way marker he mentions you've gone the wrong way.

Wonderful walks and a thoroughly recommended guide. As another reviewer states as soon as you get back from one walk you are picking out another one to try.
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on 31 December 2009
This is my third sussex walking guide, purchased after reading a handful of glowing reviews and I must straight away say that it completely lives up to the hype. This book really is excellent.

As you walk, following clear, precise directions Martin provides little nuggets of information between each waypoint to further enhance your walk.

I have now completed 4 of the walks closest to Worthing and can't wait to go a little further afield to try more of the walks. Aimed at the keen walker as the majority of the walks are 6-10 miles, with short and long walk options adding flexibility.

The timings given to each waypoint are very good, only needing adjustment in the worst of conditions, and they really help to keep you on track.

My other guides now live on the bookshelf collecting dust while looking on enviously every time I reach for Walk the South Downs.
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on 10 June 2010
Very clear walking maps and book written with enthusiasm that encourages you to want to go out and walk! Shiny pages, which helps when you are going out in the rain. Small and compact book which would fit easily into a jacket pocket. Well thought out and put together book. I recommend it.
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on 7 April 2012
This book is fabulous. We've done all of the West Sussex walks and a few further afield ones too and they've all been wonderful. The directions are very easy to follow and it's useful having a small OS map section for reference on each walk too. It's taken us to spots we'd never been to before despite living in Sussex all our lives and with the difficulty ratings and length of the walks varying it's easy to start on the simple ones and build your way up to the more challenging jaunts.

I 100% recommend this to anyone who wants to explore the beautiful South Downs.
Mr Simons PLEASE write a follow on of more South Downs walks!
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on 31 March 2014
I bought this book about a year ago and have now done the first 14 walks in the book. We have really enjoyed all of them so far, especially the Alfriston walk, number 5. Martin has certainly come up with some great walks, and obviously knows the area very well.

However, this book is now 8 years old and badly needs an update. About a quarter of the walks we have done have changed quite a bit. For instance we did a 12 mile walk at the weekend that began at Falmer station. When we got out of the train we were surprised to find ourselves amongst a large throng of football supporters! Since the book was written Brighton and Hove Albion have built a stadium close to Falmer station, which has undergone a complete revamp to cope with match days. It was very hard to find the start of the walk, even locals scratched their heads looking at the accompanying map- the start area had changed so much. We found it in the end, only because I had a GPS unit with me. This is one example, lots of the walks have changed and if it wasn't for the trusty Garmin we would have really struggled on many an occasion.

I also agree with some of the other reviewers, the instructions are hard to follow and can be a bit vague at times. We are experienced hikers but have struggled on occasions. You really do need a recent OS map and a satnav, you can't rely on the book

In conclusion, they are great walks and an excellent way to see all that the South Downs has to offer but take a map and GPS with you.
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on 6 July 2013
I bought this in preparation for heading off to the South Downs for a walking holiday. I have now followed three of the walks and enjoyed them all and found the instructions to be clear and concise.

I feel it certainly helped to be using this book alongside a GPS device, as with the two together it was clear whether I was going in the right direction (and with the sea mists rolling in on the Lighthouse Family/Beachy Head walk the reassurance of the GPS device helped). The GPS co-ordinates can be downloaded from the author's website and are also listed at the back of the book.

The mix of more popular tourist areas and then less popular paths, all within the space of one walk was welcome. For example, the Lighthouse Family/Beachy Head walk is circular and returns inland where I didn't see a single other walker.

I now can't wait to go back to try some of the other walks.
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