Horsham and Crawley districts are in the centre and north of Sussex and include the attractive towns of Henfield, Storrington and Steyning.The southern part of Horsham district is in the South Downs National Park whilst the northern part is part of the High Weald. Much of the district is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As you approach the South Downs, there are the beautiful downland villages of Amberley and Bramber. Walking routes includes the South Downs Way, High Weald Landscape Trail and the Downs Link between the North and South Downs (on a former railway track).
Notable sights include Elizabethan Parham House and Gardens and the medieval St Mary’s House in Bramber.
Terrain: easy, can be slippery in places when wet, no stiles
This is a circular walk through more than 2000 years of local history with some very scenic views of the River Arun and the South Downs. Highlights include St Botolph’s Church at Hardham with its medieval wall paintings and Old Stopham Bridge, a medieval bridge with seven arches was built in 1309 to provide a secure crossing of the river for the road from Winchester to Canterbury. The picturesque White Hart is right beside the bridge. You will also walk along the route of the old Roman road, Stane Street.
St Botolph’s Church has one the earliest nearly complete series of wall paintings in the whole country, and is one of the Lewes Group of churches which includes churches with other outstanding wall paintings at Clayton and Coombes (see Sussex Churches).
This walk starts in the attractive village of Storrington, and heads up to the Downs where there are fine Wealden views, before descending to the edge of Amberley Wild Brooks. The return to Storrington is via the ruin of 18th century Rackham Mill. passing through Parham Park where you could also visit the Elizabethan Parham House if you have time.
A short walk starting and finishing in Amberley, a chocolate box village with many old buildings, thatched cottages, a castle, a church, two pubs and a shop. There is also a working pottery. The walk is mainly flat and takes in Amberley Wild Brooks, a large area of flood meadows, one of the richest wetlands remaining in the UK.
A walk through woods, farms and fields taking in the villages of Copsale and Nuthurst, south of Horsham. The walk used to pass two pubs, The Bridge House Inn in Copsale, and the 17th century Black Horse Inn in Nuthurst. The former is no more and has apparently been demolished, though you may still spot the pub sign! The walk finishes on a short stretch of the Downs Link path on a disused railway. The Black Horse Inn grew out of three cottages built for estate workers attached to Sedgewick Park, a nearby hunting lodge used by Henry VIII.
good choice of pubs, tea rooms and toilets in Steyning. Option to extend walk to visit pub in Washington.
accessible by bus
Excellent walk rising from Steyning onto the South Downs to Chanctonbury Ring, an iron age hill fort 242m high (791 ft), planted with a ring of trees in 1760. The Great Storm of 1987 did its best to flatten the ring for good but it has now recovered well.
Local legend has it that Chanctonbury Ring was created by the Devil. He can apparently be summoned by running around the clump of trees seven times anti-clockwise. When he appears he will offer you a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul. Probably not the most tempting offer though it can get cold up on the ring in winter!
This is walk three of the Steyning Walks series by the Steyning & District Community Partnership.
7.5 miles 4 hours. Short walk option – about 3 miles.
Flat with a number of stiles. Can be muddy. Some walking on country roads.
pub at start/finish in Ashurst. Tea room in Wiston
Circular country walk from the 16th century Fountain Inn in Ashurst, through meadows and farms to Wiston, where there is a popular tea room. The walk back is through more meadows and woodland with views of the Downs and Chanctonbury Ring. Walk 4 of the excellent Steyning Walks series.
The Fountain Inn was the location for the video of Paul McCartney’s festive favourite, ‘A Wonderful Christmastime’.
good choice of pubs, tea rooms and toilets in Steyning. None on route.
accessible by bus
A circular walk from Steyning along the banks of the River Adur with views of Chanctonbury Ring and Lancing College, returning on the Downslink path. Walk two of the Steyning Walks series by the Steyning & District Community Partnership.
pubs and toilets in Bramber. None on route. Ice cream van often in Bramber Castle car park.
accessible by bus
Easy circular walk, starting from Bramber near Steyning, exploring three ancient churches of the Adur Valley, including the quaint Saxon church of St Botolphs. The walk also passes the ruins of Bramber Castle (an excellent picnic spot) and the medieval St Mary’s House. If you want to visit a further churches, Coombes Church, a little further down the country road from St Botolph’s is also well worth a visit and has wall paintings dating from around 1100. Walk 1 of the excellent Steyning Walks series.