The South Downs is a chalk escarpment running east-west along the South Coast through Hampshire and Sussex.
Corresponding to the South Downs is the North Downs running through Hampshire, Surrey and Kent.
Between the South Downs and the North Downs lies The Weald.
The South Downs terminates in dramatic chalk sea cliffs on the Sussex Coast at Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters.
The name Beachy Head is thought to derive from the French beau chef, meaning beautiful head. Friedrich Engels certainly thought so and had his ashes scattered off Beach Head. Too many others have followed in Engel's footsteps and thrown themselves off Beach Head in successful suicide bids.
The South Downs Way follows the route of the South Downs.
At the end of March 2009, 60 years after the idea was first proposed, the South Downs, the line of hills running along the south coast, was declared a National Park.