I did a couple of days on the South Downs Way supporting a friend. My first day, her third day, was a 19 mile hike from Washington to Cocking. The day was bright and warm with a gentle breeze following two stifling early October days I was glad to have avoided. Anyone knowing the South Downs Way will know there are lots of very big hills. The compensation is wonderful views and, for me, lots of birdlife and nature to enjoy. The second day, 15 miles, brought a misty start with the need to be patient until early afternoon for brighter skies and strong winds. This day we walked from Pyecombe and the Jack and Jill windmills back to Washington. Had the day been brighter, views would have been spectacular but there was a certain eeriness in the gloom early on. As for birds, my favourite nature subject, we saw many wheatears, stonechats, meadow pipits, skylarks, linnets, yellowhammers, kestrels, raven and goldfinches enjoying the seeds and berries. The number of red admirals was amazing and speckled wood butterflies were also numerous in the wooded areas. The last landmark I saw from my two days was the Chanctonbury Ring standing in a high wind, where in the Great Storm of 1987, the historic original beechwood circle was razed to the ground by the cyclone Michael Fish famously told us would not happen! I've walked the whole of this trail before many years ago. Now I'm tempted to do it again!
Enjoy some of the highlights here https://www.blackwatervalleynaturewalks.co.uk/south-downs-way-images