South Downs Way – A Million Steps for Charity

This year, to celebrate Omnia’s 10th Anniversary, we are undertaking a handful of challenges across the UK to raise funds for four charities. Our first challenge was completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in June – read more about that here.

Throughout July, the Omnians took on their second challenge and hiked across the South Downs Way, completing the full 100 miles across four legs:

1st Leg: Monday 3rd July

2nd Leg: Friday 14th July

3rd Leg: Friday 21st July

4th Leg: Friday 28th July

1st Leg – Eastbourne to Ditchling

The first leg was the longest of the four (always best to start with the worst, right?), and the team finished it in 11 hours. The journey between Eastbourne and Ditchling Beacon was a total of 50km (30 miles) and our team walked a total of 70,000 steps each! They saw some fantastic views, including a range of geographic features – meanders and cliffs pictured below. John, Georgia, Jacob and Annabel started the day walking in bright sunshine but had to battle the sea winds whilst hiking the Seven Sisters, so much so that a couple of them came into work with wind-burnt faces the next day! Towards the end of the day, as they ventured further inland toward Ditchling, the weather turned very grey and they finished the walk in the pouring rain.

2nd Leg – Ditchling to Amberly

The second leg was completed by John, Tommy, Lauren and Abbie on 14th July. They started at Ditchling Beacon, where the first team had finished, and ended their leg in Amberley. Although this part of the journey was slightly shorter than the first and the flattest part of the South Downs Way, the team had the worst weather (it rained most of the day), making the walk much less enjoyable! However, the team managed to finish the 40.5km walk in just under 9 hours, walking 52,000 steps each!

3rd Leg – Amberley to Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Leg three was completed by John, Georgia, Tommy and Annabel, walking a distance of 40km. This part of the South Downs Way started at Amberley, North of Arundel, and finished at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield. The team were lucky with the weather and enjoyed a beautiful day in the countryside, taking in the amazing views. There were a few big hills to conquer but the team got through this part very quickly, in 8.5 hours, with a total of 50,000 steps each.

4th Leg – Winchester to Queen Elizabeth Country Park

The fourth and final leg was completed on Friday 28th July. We decided to walk this leg in reverse, starting at Winchester and finishing at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, so our team could enjoy a barbeque in the park to celebrate the end of the challenge. Although this leg was the shortest (37km), it had the highest peaks – Butser Hill being the highest point of the South Downs Way at 271m. The team (pictured from left to right) included Tommy, Annabel, Abbie, Hannah, Lauren, George, Richard, Will, Georgia, Olivia, John. The team walked a total of 51,000 steps each, and finished in under 9 hours. Waiting at Queen Elizabeth Country Park was some of the other Omnians, ready to congratulate the hikers and pass them a celebratory burger!

Across the four days, our team walked a total of 100 miles (160km) and scaled approximately 4,150m of ascents and descents! The whole challenge was completed by 23 walkers and, in a total of 38 hours, they managed a HUGE combined total of 1 million, 265 thousand steps.

The team have already raised a fantastic amount for our four charities and we would like to thank everyone who has already made a donation, it is much appreciated. To find out more about each charity, visit our 10th Anniversary blog post, and if you would like to donate to our four chosen charities, please use the links to our Just Giving pages below:

MS Society –

Canaan Trust –

Rowans Hospice –

Mind –

Related Articles

Peak District- Copper Route


10th Anniversary Challenge

Yorkshire Three Peaks