long man's walking guide to Sussex

A Compendium of Sussex Walks

Kingley Vale Walks

Kingley Vale (Emsworth Walks);  Stoughton to Kingley Vale (Octagon Walks, PDF); Kingley Vale and the Downland Churches (Fancy Free Walks, PDF)

Kingley Vale

Kingley Vale

  • Kingley Vale Emsworth Walk (or Nature Trail walk from West Stoke) 3 miles;  Houghton to Kingley Vale walk, 4 miles; Kingley Vale and Downland Churches, 13 miles or 6 and a half miles.
  • See also Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve Trail Leaflet
  • steep climb on some walks
  • Hare and Hounds pub if you choose one of the walks starting in/passing through Stoughton. Barley Mow, Walderton on Downland Churches walk.

buscup of tea

Kingley Vale is a spooky and spectacular hillside to the north west of Chichester, the highlight being a  rare yew forest which covers much of its southern slopes.

The age and history of the yew trees at Kingley Vale was researched extensively by ecologist Sir Arthur Tansley, who lobbied hard for years for something to be done for the protection of this special habitat., and finally in 1952, Kingley Vale was named as one of the first National Nature Reserves in the country. A number of the trees are at least 500 years old, possibly much older. Sir Arthur’s contribution is marked by a memorial stone near the top of Bow Hill.

Within the National Nature Reserve there is a discreetly signposted nature trail organised by English Nature, offering great views, both to the north and the south.

Bow Hill, which forms part of Kingley Vale, is topped by The Devils Humps, four Bronze Age barrows.

There are all sorts of stories of strange comings and goings on Kingley Vale, with stories of ghostly marching legions of Romans and a band of Vikings whose warlike spirits still maraud in the woodland.

The Stoughton to Kingley Vale walk is a steep climb rewarded with spectacular views of South Coast and spire of Chichester Cathedral. It passes the top of the Nature Reserve taking in the Devil’s Humps.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. A simply stunning nature hug of a walk where you cannot help but feel the past as a latent present.
    For here is a very real magic and mystery amid the Ancient Yews, some of these wise trees are over 1- 2000 years old.
    Look into the shadows of which there are many as you start your walk up towards the Tumulus and burial mounds where the Celtic tribe leaders were laid to rest with views so spectacular you will return

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