Review: Walking the South Downs, East Sussex

The World is an incredible place, and over the past decade of moving around, I have been privileged to have lived in some stunning places. From the Idyllic city of Lancaster, on the edge of the Lake District in England, to New Zealand’s South Island, and now the South-East of England.

The more I have travelled, the more it inspires me to get outside and see my environment, and my exploration is not limited to being out of the country.

Since returning to live in the UK, I have realised that there are many beautiful, unspoilt areas to see; and with Spring just around the corner, there is the promise of longer and lighter evenings, which should give people motivation to get outside.

I moved recently from West to East Sussex, and sadly left behind my old pair of walking shoes, so when Trespass got in touch with me about reviewing some of their products, it was perfect timing.

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The product I choose was a pair of Illya walking boots, which are a mid cut boot, and subtly but beautifully coloured in steel grey, and blue, so can be matched well with any outfit.

They have a good grip on the soles of the boot, making it feel sturdy and supportive, as well as a good all round mudguard to protect the fabric from the dirt you may come up against, which in turn makes it easy to clean off at the end of your walk.

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In order to give the boots a good test out, I decided to take a trip over to the South Downs; to an area known as Birling Gap.

Walking around Birling Gap, East Sussex 

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The Seven Sisters walking trail, stretches from Eastbourne to Seaford (in between Eastbourne and Brighton) and is almost 14 miles long. However, I only walked a short stretch of it, from Beachy Head to Birling Gap.

At the top of Birling Gap there is an adorable lighthouse called the Belle Tout Lighthouse, which incidentally you can stay the night at.


The walk from Beachy Head to the lighthouse looks short, but there are a few steep hills in between. The climb is worth it, as the views are simply stunning. At at top of the hill, I was able to look out over the sea, and see the famous Seven Sisters, white chalk cliffs, but was careful not to get to close to the edge, as the cliffs are very unstable and over many years have eroded a lot.

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The boots felt very supportive and didn’t lose traction. My previous walking shoes were trail shoes, and although they supported me well with hiking in Mount Cook, New Zealand; what I like about these boots is that they feel more supportive around my ankles, and that hiking up even the toughest of climbs, I would feel secure; I only wish I had these on my hike up Snowdon.

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Since having a good walk in these boots, I feel that they are something I can recommend to my readers. So, if you are in the market for a good pair of walking boots, you should consider these.  Previously priced at £59.99, you can now buy them online for £29.99 which is a real bargain.

For further info into walking boots vs trail shoes, check out this handy advice page from Trespass.

I will definitely get great use out of these, and currently I am plotting my next hiking adventure; though perhaps I will start with doing the full walk of Seven Sisters.

Photos by Chris Johnson Photography

[This is a sponsored Post – Trespass sent me these boots to review, but as always words and opinions are my own]

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