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TWO CIRCULAR WALKS FROM WALDERTON
Starting from Walderton, (about 7 miles north of Chichester, via Funtington). The longer walk is about 3 ½ miles in length, the second takes a shortcut and is less than 2 miles long. Both have an uphill stretch (on tarmac) at the start, the longer walk has another gentle uphill section.
Both walks begin at the grassy space, where you can park, at the junction of the B2146 and the road leading to Stoughton. Grid ref SU787104 . If there is no space here, continue along the road towards Stoughton and you will find available space on the verge beside the road.
Leaving the car park, walk back to the main road and turn right, then cross the road to stay on the pavement. After 200 yards or so your route follows a lane heading left off the main road, between cottages. Follow this lane uphill, ignoring the footpath sign on your left leading across a field. Continue up the tarmac road for about 10 minutes and as the road bends sharp left you will see an obvious path leaving the road and continuing straight ahead. Take this path, which is not signposted, and after 50 yards you will reach a 3-way bridlepath sign (blue) on your right. Take the right hand path which leads you along the edge of woods with a drop on your right down to the valley. You will be able to glimpse Watergate House across the field. After another 10 minutes or so you will come to a very clear footpath sign at a modern wooden gate, heading 90 degrees downhill. This is the continuation of the shorter route* and if you’re following the longer route carry straight on.
Continue for another 5 minutes past a garden on your right, leading to a T junction of the bridleway. Turn right at this junction past the garden (with an unused yacht!) down to the main road. Cross the road into Locksash Lane, continuing past Watergate House on your right. Where the road bends left there is a gravel path straight ahead: this is your route.
Continue along the gravel path, passing Watergate House and barns on your right, and through a metal 5-bar gate onto a pathway. Following this pathway gives you wonderful views to the right, across Chichester Harbour and out to sea. There is a little rustic picnic table with seats on the left. Continue along the footpath, eventually leading along the top of a field with woods on your left, and into the woods. The path is quite clearly marked and it eventually takes you down a sharp right turn through a very narrow path in the woods to a small road; you will see a farm with modern barns on your left.
Cross the road and follow the bridlepath up the hill and into the woods. This bridlepath goes uphill and almost at the top you will see a well-marked footpath sign pointing right into a field. There is a bench just at the entrance to the field, worth a short stop to enjoy the view.
This footpath heads straight across three fields and is very clearly marked. The junction between the first two fields is marked by a little hedge which you follow the path through; the second junction involves crossing a lane. Halfway along the third field the path goes through the hedge which you have been following on your right and leads you along another hedge and to a junction where another footpath joins from the right. This is the end of the shorter route mentioned above.**
Shortly after this junction the footpath turns sharp left and becomes very narrow, leading down to a little road with houses, in Walderton. Turn right for 200 yards, with houses on both sides, until the road bears right and you will see a very narrow footpath heading down through the trees. Follow this past fences on your left and across a little bridge to some open grass. The road ahead of you leads left to The Barley Mow pub in Walderton and on to Stoughton (The Hare and Hounds) but you should turn right and walk along the road for a few minutes to reach the carpark.
Follow the longer walk as far as *, which is the gate on your right. Pass through the gate and down the hill. Cross the road and straight through to the field. You will see a footpath leading across the field at 45 degrees, slightly uphill. If you look to your left you will have a wonderful view of Watergate House which, thirty years ago, was very dilapidated and in ruins; fortunately someone has restored it to its former glory! And what a view it must have from its windows!
At the end of the path you go through a little copse and out into another field. Looking ahead you will see a clear footpath through the field which follows a line of telegraph poles. Follow this path, crossing the little road and continuing straight on until you reach a T junction at a hedge. Turn right, and you are now rejoining the longer walk at ** above.
A 3½ mile walk that includes shoreline, fields and paths, and a few stiles. The directions are quite complex, a good map is required!
Start: at the shoreline by the Harbour Office (there is a carpark up the road near the Ship Inn).
The Walk: Turn right along the path eventually turning inland between a wall and a hedge to join Spinney Lane. Turn left, go to the end of the road, then take a footpath to your right through a gate.
Walk to the field edge then turn right, almost back on yourself, along the field boundary. Keep following the path between two fields and then pass between farm buildings. Go straight ahead then over a plank bridge to the road, turn right passing the village pond on your left and a church on your right.
Shortly after the church take the road on your left signposted to Itchenor Park House and Farm, then turn right following the sign ‘All Farm Traffic’. Continue along the path, over the stile and then turn left. Keep straight on along the concrete road/mud track passing a cricket field on your left to a stile on your right.
Go over the stile and continue to the shoreline where you turn right back to Itchenor. You will come to a section of metalled path which has been laid for wheelchair users to have access to a harbour viewpoint. There is a boatyard café just before the end.
Items of Interest en route:
Little Egrets – Often seen on the marshy area at the end of the walk. These bright white birds look like small herons. They only started coming here in the 1990s, previously they spent most of their time further south in Mediterranean countries. Chichester Harbour now has one of the largest colonies of Little Egrets in the UK.
Itchenor Park Farm – Look out for the red brick farm building. This was originally the carriage house to the country house called Itchenor Park. One of Charles II’s descendants, Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond, bought Itchenor Park and established a farm here. Evidence of this can be seen by the royal coat of arms on two of the farm buildings.
Arundel to Amberley
A linear walk combined with public transport somehow seems more of an adventure than the usual circular, but does require a bit of planning with your timetable apps. This is a 5½ mile easy walk generally following the course of the River Arun but with woodland, villages and meadows taking you away from the riverbank at times. You will get the classic views of Arundel for the first part and later the South Downs ahead of you. Trains back from Amberley run approx. hourly, and there is a riverside café and a pub near the station to help fill in any waiting time.
The walking correspondent of the Times put this at No.1 in his feature article of top 20 most uplifting winter routes in the UK (26 December 2020). I am sure it is just as good in other seasons!
Start at Arundel Station (BN18 9PH, OS ref TQ 024064).
The Walk. Go left to A27 roundabout, right to riverbank, right onto Monarch’s Way. In ½ mile turn right to cross railway, immediately left along path beside railway for ½ mile, then right to road. Dog leg right/left into woods and after another ½ mile cross road and follow path to Burpham. Beyond the George Inn take the riverside path north. In 1½ miles, opposite South Stoke church, go right via North Stoke to riverbank opposite Houghton and then right to the station.
The Chichester Tree Trail
The trail guides you past 30 spectacular trees all lying within or just outside the City Walls. Each one is identified by a number plaque, and a leaflet gives brief information about its age, country of origin and botanical features.
It is a short and easy distance of one and a half miles suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs (but no dogs allowed in parts) with plenty of options for refreshments en route.
The walk starts at the Market Cross.
The leaflet includes a map and notes on each of the trees. It can be picked up at Tourist Information or downloaded from here
Stoughton Down, Up Marden, North Marden and East Marden
This is a 7 mile circular walk on which you will come across magnificent views and 3 ancient churches in idyllic rural settings – Up Marden, North Marden and East Marden.
The terrain is hilly with a variety of fields, woodland, open downland and quiet lanes.
Start: Stoughton Down Car Park, east of Stoughton. GA 814126 OS Explorer 120.
Nearest postcode is PO18 9JG, but this is a rural area so may not pinpoint the start with much precision.
The Walk: The detailed walking instructions, together with some information about the architecture and history of each of the churches, can be found here.
Shorter alternatives: There is a footpath that cuts across from Up Marden to East Marden. This means you could split the walk into two shorter circular ones of about 4 miles each. For the northern one there is space for parking by North Marden church.
Charlton and Goodwood – 7 miles
This week’s walk is a slightly longer and more challenging one – a 7 mile circular, with some steepish slopes. It takes in Levin Down, Goodwood racecourse, the Trundle and the delightful villages of Singleton and Charlton. On a clear day you will be rewarded with spectacular views across Chichester Harbour to the Isle of Wight.
Start: Charlton, Fox Goes Free Inn PO18 0HU, OS Ref SU 889130
The Walk: Head north up North Lane keeping left on a track where a footpath forks right after ¾ of a mile. At the top turn left over the grass mound of Levin Down, to the far corner of Lady Wood on the right. Then take a broadly southerly direction eventually going downhill, mostly over downland, to Singleton. Behind the church, go through the farmyard and climb up towards the Trundle, the path eventually merging with the lane. From the Trundle go east along Monarch’s Way and beside road past the racecourse along grass verge/woodland edge. About 100 yards beyond end of the racecourse, turn sharp left along a track named Chalk Road back to Charlton.
Alternatives: This could be split into two shorter circular walks taking the path between Singleton and Charlton that runs south of the road. You could also start at the Trundle carpark.
HALNAKER WINDMILL, approximately 1.5 miles.
About 1.5 miles return. This is a very easy, straightforward walk, very suitable for small children!
There are two stiles with no way around them. Can be slightly muddy.
Halnaker is about 4 miles east of Chichester on the A285 going towards Petworth. There is very limited parking at the left hand side of the road in the layby at Warehead Farm. Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to ensure a parking place!
The first part of the walk follows an old Roman Road (Stane Street) between high banks, covered with snowdrops, primroses and cowslips in springtime. You can almost hear the tramp of the soldiers’ boots as you walk up the stony lane!
The second half of the walk goes slightly uphill over open fields, where you may see deer but where you invariably hear (or even see) skylarks. The windmill has recently been restored and the views to the south over the sea and southwest over Chichester towards the Solent and the Isle of Wight are spectacular.
An alternative is to park at Boxgrove Village carpark (near village shop and café for refreshments) and extend it into a 5 mile circular walk around Boxgrove Common.
Chidham circular, 5 miles.
This is a mostly coastal walk, offering great views across Chichester Harbour. Parts can be muddy after wet weather, and the shore section is rocky and uneven in places.
The walk. Start at Cobnor Farm Amenity Car Park (PO18 8TD). Walk due east beside a field to the shoreline, then turn to the south and follow the shoreline for about 3 miles around Cobnor Point and up the west side of the peninsula on a combination of beach and embankment paths. Take the waymarked footpath to the right until you reach the lane. Turn right and wind your way along the lanes back to the carpark, passing ‘the Old House at Home’ – one happy day this will be open again for refreshments.
A shorter, more accessible version, available to blue badge holders only, is to park at the Sailing Club (PO18 8TE) and walk to Cobnor Point from there. The path is wide and flat, and just over a mile there and back.
Bosham to Smugglers Lane alongside Bosham Channel
Where to park: Bosham Lane pay and display car park (with public conveniences).
Sat nav PO18 8HT. Map: OS Explorer 120 SU805039
Length: approx. 4 miles round trip, but with shorter options by parking in parking bays along Shore Road.
Accessibility: apart from the beach, all tarmac paths and roads. The beach section should be fairly dry underfoot and easy walking, but will be cut off at very high tides. Although there is a good stretch of road walking it is not at all busy, in fact pedestrians seem to take priority over any traffic!
Local Information: Refreshments available at the excellent Shoreside Café, which has stayed open for takeaways during lockdowns.
Exit carpark, turn left at the road to go towards the shore and then left through a gap in a flint wall opposite Shoreside café. Walk along this footpath keeping next to the water’s edge. You can stay on the upper path, or walk along the road at low tides. The path/road bends round to the right, and then turn right again along Shore Road to walk westward along the south side of the harbour with views across to Bosham village. There are obvious places where you can diverge from the road along the way. Note that at very low tides you can take a short cut by going across the causeway between the village and Shore Road.
When you reach the information board and the ‘end of speed limit’ road sign, keep going along the road for just over half a mile until the road bends sharp left into Smugglers Lane. Keep straight ahead along a footpath until you reach the beach with views across to Itchenor. (This is where you can catch the ferry to Itchenor during summer months.) Here turn right along a waymarked footpath along a really attractive stretch of beach with lovely views across to Chidham peninsula, until you eventually come back to the road. Retrace your route back to the car.
Pagham Harbour and Sidlesham
Distance: 7 miles to Sidlesham and Pagham
Starting point: Visitor Centre to Pagham Harbour off the B2145 between Sidlesham and Selsey. GR 856964. Map: OS Explorer 120.
Terrain: Flat, harbour walks.
Local Information: The Visitor Centre, just south of Sidlesham, has a car park and provides information on the history and wildlife of Pagham Harbour.
The Crab and Lobster, Sidlesham Quay: 01243 641233
Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve: 01243 641508
From the visitor centre go behind it to head north-east along the smooth track. After a gate turn left to Sidlesham Quay. Turn right and walk past the pub through the village and follow the road as it turns sharp left. After Rookery Farm turn right on a path towards a barn and over fields to a farm track. Turn left onto the track and Sidlesham Church is ahead on the right.
From the church return East along the farm track, passing the path which brought you here, now on your right. At the end of the farm track continue east over fields and streams. the spire of Pagham church is ahead. In over half a mile you reach Honer Farm. At cross paths here, turn right and south down to the nearby Pagham Harbour.
At the harbour, turn left on to the bank and walk towards Pagham. The church is at the end of Church Lane. After your visit, to return to the Visitor Centre, retrace your steps back along the harbour wall. Instead of turning up to Honer Farm, keep straight on and follow the harbour path as it curves west-south-west to Sidlesham Quay and the original track. At high tide you have to turn right to Halsey’s Farm. An information panel is at this turning. From the Quay retrace your steps to the Visitor Centre. Do not forget to turn right at the gate!
Note: Attached map also shows a short additional walk to Church Norton and back
Chichester Ship Canal
(approx. 4 miles, with a bus return journey)
The Chichester Ship Canal runs from the Basin, just South of Chichester Station, right out to Chichester Marina, about 4 miles. If you feel it’s too far to walk all the way back as well, there is a bus stop at the end of the road to the Marina to take you back into Chichester (Route 52/53, approx. every 30 minutes) .
In addition to the tranquil scenery, the bird life on the canal is abundant with coots, moorhens, ducks, swans and even a possible fleeting flash of a Kingfisher. There are a few seats on which to rest and admire the views. The Marina is interesting, with static boats moored as homes, and is bustling with sailing activities, not to mention the mesmerising lock gates, which always seem to be busy with yachts coming in and out of the marina.
There are several opportunities for refreshments. There is a pub (the Richmond) and the excellent Canal Cafe at the Basin with plenty of outdoor seating. In Hunston, if you walk off the canal bank and into the village (2-3 hundred yards) there is The Spotted Cow, a lovely country pub. At the end at the Marina is the Boat House Café.
A quite gentle walk on flat ground that takes about an hour return.
This walk lies northwest of Chichester, just north of the B2178.
There is a National Trust car park (GR SU824088) but it fills up quickly. The path goes from the carpark towards the hills of the South Downs, through open fields to the entrance to Kingley Vale. The easiest path leads straight ahead through the yew forest to a clearing where you can gaze up the steep slope to the top of Kingley Vale.
If you’re feeling VERY fit you can walk straight up the slope to access wonderful views over Chichester, the coastline between Bognor and Portsmouth, as well as the Isle of Wight. But for those who don’t fancy themselves as Sir Edmund Hillary, the top of Kingley Vale hill is accessible by passing through the gate into Kingley Vale and immediately taking the path on the left. This leads gently uphill and eventually to the Devil’s Jumps at the top – with the aforesaid views.
In the spring the woods on both sides of the road from the B2178 to West Stoke car park are FULL of bluebells. Definitely worth the detour (as M. Michelin would say!).