There many guidebooks available for the South Downs Way, some include detailed maps and route descriptions to direct you along the Trail. Others act more as a companion giving you additional information about the South Downs and specific things you will see en route.
There are also a selection of books with circular walks in the South Downs, many of the walk incorporate the South Downs Way and are great for inspiring you to just get out and about for the day.
Below are a selection of books obtainable from most good high-street or online bookshops. Alternatively many are also available to borrow for free from your local library.
A Companion on the South Downs Way
Published by: Per-Rambulations (2006)
Written by Peter Anderson and Terry Owen, this is not a guide as such but rather a description of the landscape and places through which the Trail passes. Full of fascinating snippets of local history, folklore and literary connections, this is a book about the eccentric and personal landscape of Sussex and East Hampshire. It's about the Downs' unique sense of place, which is so very far from the casual image of the anonymous, overdeveloped "South East". Available direct from the publisher: www.per-rambulations.co.uk
I Spy – What & Why on the South Downs Way
Published by: Per-Rambulations (2010)
By Terry Owen and Peter Anderson, I Spy – What & Why answers those all important questions which crop up whilst walking along the South Downs Way, ‘What is that? Why is that there? When was that built?’ Designed as an I Spy book, each entry has a colour photograph and a short explanation about What & Why along with the Grid Reference for each item. A wealth of information which you can dip in and out of on or off the Trail. Available in local Sussex bookshops or direct from the publisher: www.per-rambulations.co.uk
Along the South Downs Way
Published by: South Downs Society (2001)
A concise guide produced by the South Downs Society written in both directions, Eastbourne to Winchester and Winchester to Eastbourne. Includes accommodation information. Available from the South Downs Society: www.southdownssociety.org.uk
or the Ramblers Association: www.ramblers.org.uk
Sussex and the South Downs; Leisure Walks for All Ages
Published by: Crimson Publishing (2007)
ISBN: 978071172 4242
A book of twenty good walks, generally between two and six miles long, across Sussex. Several walks feature the South Downs Way. All walks have detailed instructions and an OS 1:25,000 map base, illustrated, and with points of interest highlighted. Would be very good for family visitors and others looking for short but interesting walks as part of a trip to the area. Written by Brian Conduit
More Sussex Walks (Pathfinder Guide)
Published by: Crimson Publishing (2009)
Another 28 walks, four to eleven miles long, across Sussex. Most walks would take half a day or so, but note that the average walk is slightly more challenging than those in the ‘Sussex and the South Downs’ book so this would probably be a better book for more regular walkers. There are some good ideas for Sussex locals as well as for visitors. All walks have detailed instructions plus OS 1:25,000 map base, illustrated.