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.

Shorter walk

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.

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