A Compendium of Sussex Walks

Category: Arun Walks

Arun District has some great walking and includes 14 miles of mostly unspoilt coastline as well as some excellent downland villages. It includes the seaside towns of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, the historic downland town of Arundel with its magnificent castle, and fine downlands villages such as Burpham, Amberley and Slindon.

The South Downs Way and Monarch’s Way both cross the district, and there is good walking alongside the River Arun in the Arun Valley. Other attractions include Parham House near Storrington.

Pagham Harbour Walk

Sidlesham Quay - geograph.org.uk - 501560

Pagham Harbour and Sidlesham Quay (PDF, West Sussex County Council)

  • 3.0km (1.9 miles) return trip (Shorter circuit – 1.1km/0.7 miles)
  • Easy Countryside Trial – one of a series of routes that may be enjoyed by all including wheelchair users, families with pushchairs – note it is a bit bumpy near Sidlesham Quay
  • Crab and Lobster pub (accessible to wheelchairs) in Sidlesham

disabled access signbuscup of tea

This walk is a short circular easy access trail from the Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve visitor centre. The area is one of the few undeveloped stretches of the Sussex coast, and an internationally important wetland site for wildlife with interest in all seasons for flowering plants, butterflies, summer breeding birds and the winter visiting seabirds. This walk is a little inland from the sea.

Part of the walk follows the track of the old light railway known as the ‘Selsey Tram’, which ran between Chichester and Selsey until 1935. The walk takes you past an accessible bird hide with good views all along the margins of the harbour as far as Sidlesham Quay, an attractive little mill hamlet at the top of Pagham Harbour.

Walks in Arundel

River Arun from Arundel Castle

Walks in Arundel (South Downs National Park, PDF)

  • variety of short routes around Arundel, up to 3 miles
  •  good choice of pubs and cafes in Arundel
  • accessible by bus and train
  • generally flat, some areas near the lake and river can be muddy after heavy rain

cup of teabustrainhistoric attraction

A choice of routes in historic Arundel with views and scenery along the River Arun, as well as a walk along Mill Lane beneath the mighty Arundel Castle up to Swanbourne Lake.

Swanbourne Lake started life as a millpond, with records going back to the Doomsday survey in the 11th century. In the late 18th century, during work to Arundel Park, the pond was enlarged to form the lake.  Whilst there, you may want to visit Swanbourne Lodge tea room and boat hire.

Arundel Castle, the family home of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors, was originally built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel and one of William the Conqueror’s most loyal barons. Extensively rebuilt between the 1870s and 1890s, it is in the Gothic style and is considered to be one of the great works of Victorian England.

As well as the castle, the impressive Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady and St Philip Howard, rises strikingly above the town.

Extend this walk to the Black Rabbit pub on the bend in the river just before Offham. See also the Black Rabbit Walk.

Walks on the Slindon Estate

Slindon Wood - geograph.org.uk - 166111
Slindon Estate Walks – Treasures in Trust (AA) and A Walk with Views (Guardian Great Britsh Walks)

  • 6 miles, 3 hours (Guardian walk) or 4 miles, 2 hours (AA Walk).
  • moderate downland walking
  • a tea room in Slindon, and pub nearby
  • accessible by bus

cup of tea

The Slindon Estate, 7 miles from Chichester and managed by the National Trust,  is an impressive 1,400 hectares of woodland, downland, farmland, and parkland. it includes the very attractive flint village of Slindon itself with lovely houses and a fine setting at the foot of the South Downs. Two walks are offered here to make the most of it.

This Guardian walk, featured in its Great British Walks Guide in 2012,  captures the grand scale and variety of the Estate. Beginning at the village, it heads north towards Bignor Hill, through sun-dappled woodland, and down the route of the famous old Roman road of  Stane Street past fields of downland  sheep. The route’s description leaves something to be desired, so make sure you have an OS map with you (and it’s probably best working out the route in advance on the OS map).  You’ll probably go wrong otherwise, particularly as some steps seem to be missing i.e. getting from Stane Street to the 6 Posts sign!

The shorter AA walk provides an easier woodland walk, but still offers some  fine views.

Note that the Newburgh Arms, mentioned in the AA walk, is now sadly shut. The Spur, a traditional pub with a skittle alley, is a detour away along the A29. The village also lost its post office and shop in recent years, but a a new community shop and licensed cafe opened in 2012 at the Slindon Forge in Reynolds Lane, going away from the village towards the A29.

Amberley, Burpham and North Stoke Walk

Burpham Church

Burpham Church

Amberley, Burpham and North Stoke Walk (PDF, Souths Downs National Park)

  • 10 miles, 5 hours, with a shorter option for a 2.5 mile Amberley Walk.
  • downland walking, no stiles, some gates
  • plenty of pubs and a tea room at Amberley and by Houghton Bridge near the station, plus The George at Burpham.
  • accessible by bus and train

traincup of tea

This is an area of fine downland walking with river valley views, and picturesque villages. The popular pub, The George in the attractive village of Burpham (Local tip: Burpham is pronounced ‘Burrfam’) makes a convenient stopping point at about the halfway mark. Amberley village is a little detour but is a picture postcard village of thatched flint cottages.

Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre, near the start/finish of the walk, is a 36 acre open air museum dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south east. The main chalk quarry at the museum is famous for being the location of the mine in the James Bond film View to Kill. The Bridge Inn and Riverside Cafe Bar are at the start/finish of the walk situated by the river.

For a bit of luxury and history, stay in nearby Amberley Castle!

Note that Amberley Station is at Houghton Bridge, a 15 minute walk away from the village. To visit the extremely attractive and mostly traffic-free village, you’ll need to detour from the main walk or you could do the short walk instead or if you’re feeling fit, add it on to the main walk.




A Pint and a Walk in the Arun Valley at Burpham

A Walk in the Arun Valley (PDF)

  • 4.5 miles, 2 hours
  • mostly easy walking with one moderate climb
  • good village pub in Burpham

cup of tea

The George at Burpham

The George at Burpham

A very pleasant circular walk along the banks of the river Arun, through fields, then up to the Downs where there are magnificent views of the Arun Valley and Arundel, with its castle rising high above the town. This is river and downland walking at its best.

Burpham itself is a small attractive village, at the end of a long road which clings to the eastern side of the River Arun Valley and then stops – meaning there is no through traffic, so it’s great walking. For a pint and a walk (or some good food), the 17th Century George is very popular.


Climping – Where Countryside Meets Coast

Climping Beach, Climping, West Sussex
Countryside Meets Coast Walk (AA)

  • 4 miles, 2 hours
  • mainly flat
  • Black Horse Inn near the start and hut style cafe at car park

cup of tea

A short circular walk, almost half of which is along one of the few stretches of unspoilt Sussex coastline. It starts from the beach car park at Climping, heading inland and across fields before heading back along the coast with its shingle and (at low tide) sandy beach, backed by sand dunes, a rarity in Sussex.

Black Rabbit Arundel Pub Walk

Arundel Castle

Black Rabbit Walk (Hall & Woodhouse, PDF)

  • 3 miles
  •  starts and finishes at the pub
  • accessible by bus
  • train – combine with Walks in Arundel for longer walk, extending to Arundel

cup of tea

Follows the course of the Arun River from the riverside Black Rabbit pub along a raised bank to the small hamlet of South Stoke and d return enjoying quiet lanes and good views water meadows and towards Arundel Castle.This is one of Hall and Woodhouse’s Public House Walks.

Black Rabbit pub near Arundel