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Petworth and Shimmings Valley

There are currently 2 comments and 3 photos online for this walk.

Petworth and Shimmings Valley
Author: WSW, Published: 08 Oct 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guidestar1 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guidestar1 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guidestar1 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guidestar0 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide
West Sussex, Petworth
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Petworth and Shimmings Valley
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide boot Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide boot Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide
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0018_cloudy_with_heavy_rain Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking GuideToday's weather
12 °C, Light rain, Wind: 11 mph SSW
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0009_light_rain_showers Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide 0003_white_cloud Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide 0007_fog Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide 0006_mist Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide 0017_cloudy_with_light_rain Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide

Hi, I'm Clare and this is my West Sussex Weekends walk. It's a 3.5 mile figure of eight walk from the historic market town of Petworth in West Sussex. The walk gives an opportunity to explore the town, a haven for antique and art collectors, before heading out across the beautiful Shimmings Valley to reach the village of Byworth and returning to Petworth alongside the small meandering river. The views across the Shimmings Valley are stunning throughout the year. To read my full story visit www.west-sussex-weekends.com so I can tell you why I think you will love this walk and what highlights to expect. The West Sussex Weekends website is a great resource where you will also find ideas for places to stay, eat and drink plus plenty more inspirational stories to tempt you to explore more corners of West Sussex.

The walk has several steady but long gradients throughout and there are a couple of steeper short slopes that can be a little slippery after wet weather. There are several kissing gates throughout plus 6 stiles (a couple of the stiles are tall with mesh wire fencing across so dogs may need a lift over). Some of the fields are likely to be holding horses. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

Petworth town is located at the junction of the A272 (Heathfield to Winchester road) and the A283 (Milford to Shoreham-by-Sea road). The walk starts from the war memorial in front of St Mary’s Church on Church Street in the centre of the village. Parking is available in the town car park or the National Trust Petworth House or Petworth Park car parks, all of which are just a short walk from the village centre. Approximate post code of start point GU28 0AE.

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Walk Sections

Start to Golden Square
Start to Golden Square

Start point: 50.9878 lat, -0.6095 long
End point: 50.9856 lat, -0.6099 long

The walk starts from the war memorial in front of the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin on Church Street. Standing on the pavement facing the war memorial, turn left for a few paces. When you draw level with the gated entrance to the church on the right, cross over the road to turn left down the cobbled Lombard Street.

Follow the cobbled street enjoying the variety of shops each side. Petworth has more than 30 art and antique shops as well as a number of boutiques and independent gift shops all clustered around the small centre.

You will emerge out onto the Market Square with the large stone imposing Leconfield Hall in its centre. Built in 1794 as a courthouse and council meeting place, the bells on the roof served as the town fire alarm until the 1920s.

Continue straight on passing the hall and then The Star pub to the right and keep ahead to reach Golden Square. Golden Square was renamed in the 19th century as part of a gentrification programme which aimed to smarten up the town.

Golden Square to Angel Street
Golden Square to Angel Street

Start point: 50.9856 lat, -0.6099 long
End point: 50.9854 lat, -0.6057 long

Turn left into the High Street. Continue straight on as the road steadily climbs and bends to the right to become Grove Street. On the left you’ll pass the row of Percy Terrace cottages.

These are the finest example of the remaining estate cottages that were built to serve the Petworth Estate owned by Lord Leconfield. The estate with its grand house and Capability Brown landscaped gardens provided the livelihood for most of the town’s residents for many centuries. During the mid-19th century more than 400 workers’ cottages were constructed in the town. You will notice that all of the front doors are a light brown – the estate colour – and the unusual house numbering system relates to the estate’s rent records.

Continue past the GP surgery on the right and a few yards later opposite house number 332, turn sharp left up a stone track called Cherry Orchard Lane. Pass through the gap alongside the vehicle barrier and continue straight ahead, passing the backs of the estate cottages to the left. Follow the main stone lane as it bends right to reach a tarmac road.

Turn left down Sheep Down Drive and you will reach a T-junction with Angel Street at the bottom of the slope.

Angel Street to River Bridge
Angel Street to River Bridge

Start point: 50.9854 lat, -0.6057 long
End point: 50.9864 lat, -0.6039 long

Turn left onto Angel Street, cross to the right hand side of the road and pass by the large Catholic Church over to the right. Immediately after passing the church, swing sharp right down the tarmac lane passing directly in front of the church.

You will reach a junction of paths by an old lamppost. Pass through the kissing gate ahead and go down the steps and grass slope (take care as this slope can be a little slippery). Note there may be horses (polo ponies) grazing here during the winter months. Keep straight ahead to reach a small concrete bridge over the small river.

River Bridge to Brinksole Heath
River Bridge to Brinksole Heath

Start point: 50.9864 lat, -0.6039 long
End point: 50.9901 lat, -0.5905 long

Cross the bridge and continue straight ahead going gradually uphill heading to the left of the row of oak trees ahead. After passing the trees, keep in the same direction across the field heading for the brow of the hill to join the left hand field boundary.

When you reach the fence boundary, keep right to follow the grass track climbing further uphill. At the top of the field pass through the kissing gate ahead and take a moment to look back and enjoy the views across the Shimmings Valley.

Continue uphill following the hedge on the left for a few paces and then follow the main grass track as it bends gradually left. Follow the path over the brow of the hill and then pass to the right of a small fenced copse of trees. Continue downhill passing under the power lines to reach the hedgeline ahead. Turn left for just a few yards and then pass through the kissing gate on the right.

Follow this fenced woodland path, which is part of the long distance Serpent Trail, as it climbs uphill through a tunnel of trees. At the top you which reach a small wooden barrier which marks the start of Brinksole Heath.

Brinksole Heath to Village Road
Brinksole Heath to Village Road

Start point: 50.9901 lat, -0.5905 long
End point: 50.9799 lat, -0.5938 long

Continue ahead for a few paces to reach a T-junciton with a wide level track. Turn right onto the track. Follow this for a little distance and then take the first right hand track which is immediately after the garden of a property on the right.

Follow this track downhill as another track merges in from the left and as it bends right passing a water pumping station on the left. Continue ahead on the track as it goes downhill passing between open fields, taking time to enjoy the views.

Pass by some farm outbuildings on the left and under the power lines then, a few paces later, as the track bends right, fork left over a stile. (UPDATE: If this stile is missing or the crop field obstructs the footpath, simply stay on the track to reach the road, turn left along the pavement and then cross over right to take the stile into the horse paddock. Now skip to the next paragraph). Follow the footpath across the crop field passing to the right of the first tree ahead and then aiming for a point on the bottom boundary a little way to the right of the clump of three trees. Cross over the stile to reach the road. Turn right and follow the narrow pavement for just a few yards then cross the road to turn left over a stile into a horse paddock.

Head down the paddock, aiming to the left of the white house in front of you, to reach the stile in the bottom left hand corner. Cross this stile and go down a short grass slope and through a metal gate to reach the village road.

Village Road to A283
Village Road to A283

Start point: 50.9799 lat, -0.5938 long
End point: 50.985 lat, -0.6042 long

Turn right along the village road. As the road bends right, fork left down the tarmac slope alongside the telephone box. At the bottom of the slope pass through the wooden gate onto a narrow grass path. Cross the bridge over the stream and soon after cross over a stile. Keep straight ahead into the open grass meadow, climbing over the brow of the hill, to reach the far corner.

Cross the stile here and you will reach a junction of footpaths. Turn left, taking care down the slippery narrow slope. You will pass a bend in a stream to the right, and go straight ahead over the old arched bridge across the narrow river in front of you. Go up the short slope to reach a T-junction with a level path ahead.

Turn right and follow the woodland path as it gradually climbs. Pass through an old wooden kissing gate into a meadow. At the fork keep right and follow the grass path lined with bracken climbing steadily until you emerge onto a grass path with a fence ahead. Keep right following the fenceline on the left as the path bends left and becomes a stone track between properties. You will emerge out to reach the main road – the A283.

A283 to End
A283 to End

Start point: 50.985 lat, -0.6042 long
End point: 50.9872 lat, -0.6091 long

Turn left along the pavement of the A283 and pass by the Catholic Church (again) on the right. Keep ahead to pass the Angel Inn on the right and at the cross roads turn right into East Street.

At the top of East Street you will reach the church and war memorial where the walk began. Take time to explore the town and/or the estate Park (free entrance) and House (entrance fees apply) which are managed by the National Trust should you wish.

If you enjoyed this walk, remember to visit www.west-sussex-weekends.com where you will also find ideas for places to stay, eat and drink plus plenty more inspirational stories to tempt you to explore more corners of West Sussex.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author WSW and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Petworth and Shimmings Valley"

Really lovely walk but no stile past barns so had to divert and head to main road, walk up it on very narrow pavement to pick up route again. An easy walk on a lovely sunny day.

By Africa18 on 2016-08-05 13:44:32

Really lovely walk but no sign of a stile- after the outbuildings-it was an impenetrable wall of corn! We followed the track down to meet with the A238. Don't be tempted to just walk back along the road. We backtracked and found our way back onto the route which crossed the valley and was truly lovely.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Many thanks for letting us know. We have updated the walk directions so that future walkers have the latest info.

By eralcnaderri on 2016-09-04 14:38:34

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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3 images to "Petworth and Shimmings Valley"

1483_0Joyful1414885099 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide Image by: Joyful
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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1483_0Joyful1414885119 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide Image by: Joyful
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1483_0Joyful1414885137 Petworth and Shimmings Valley Walking Guide Image by: Joyful
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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