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Fountain Inn and River Adur

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Fountain Inn and River Adur
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 22 May 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
West Sussex, Steyning
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Fountain Inn and River Adur
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS ROUTE IS NOT PASSABLE AT PRESENT. The footbridge over the River Adur at the end of this walk is unsafe and closed, awaiting repair/replacement. It is expected to be closed from 16 Dec 2014 for up to 2 years and there is no alternative route. We will remove this note once the footbridge is replaced.

A 6.5 mile circular pub walk from the Fountain Inn in Ashurst in West Sussex. The walk passes through fields and lanes, passing the village church and then skirting the nearby village of Partridge Green. The route goes on to join a short section of the Downs Link and then follows an embankment alongside the River Adur on the return leg.

The route is relatively flat, with just a few gentle slopes, and the paths are a mixture of field paths, bridleways, quiet lanes and riverside embankments. Some of the field paths can get very muddy after wet weather so good waterproof boots are recommended. There are several gates and stiles on route, although all of the stiles have open fence surrounds making them relatively easy for dogs to pass through. A few of the fields may be holding cattle so take care with dogs. Approximate time 2.5 to 3 hours.

The walk starts from the Fountain Inn pub on the B2135 in Ashurst, just a few miles north of Steyning in West Sussex. Approximate post code BN44 3AP.

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Walk Sections

Start to St James' Church
Start to St James' Church

Start point: 50.9327 lat, -0.3218 long
End point: 50.9347 lat, -0.3275 long

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS ROUTE IS NOT PASSABLE AT PRESENT. The footbridge over the River Adur at the end of this walk is unsafe and closed, awaiting repair/replacement. It is expected to be closed from 16 Dec 2014 for up to 2 years and there is no alternative route. We will remove this note once the footbridge is replaced.

From the pub car park, return to the road and turn left. After just a few paces, cross the road to turn right over the stile into the field marked with a public footpath sign. Keep ahead, close to the hedge on the right, and at the far end of the field cross another stile into a path enclosed between fences.

You will eventually emerge out onto a tarmac lane. Turn right along the lane and after just a short distance you’ll reach St James’ Church on the right. Ashurst is a tiny village and its most famous resident was Sir Laurence Olivier, who lived here until his death in 1989. His funeral took place in this church, but his ashes are interred in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.

St James' Church to Footbridge over Stream
St James' Church to Footbridge over Stream

Start point: 50.9347 lat, -0.3275 long
End point: 50.9465 lat, -0.326 long

Keep ahead on Church Lane for some distance. Where the lane bends to the right, fork left to keep ahead on Ford Lane, passing Holly Lodge on the right. Follow the lane for about 300 yards and immediately before a large corrugated barn, turn left. Follow the stone track through the middle of farm buildings and as you emerge beyond them look for a right turn onto a public bridleway – take this.

Follow the bridleway with a tall hedgerow on the right and wire fencing on the left. Follow the bridleway steadily uphill and continue as it bends first left and then right. Continue over the brow of the hill and follow the track as it descends, bending right and then left. A little distance further you will reach a footbridge over a stream.

Footbridge over Stream to Lock Bridge
Footbridge over Stream to Lock Bridge

Start point: 50.9465 lat, -0.326 long
End point: 50.9555 lat, -0.3214 long

Cross the footbridge and continue ahead, ignoring the footpath off to the left. Follow the path with the hedgeline to the left and open fields across to the right. Keep ahead as the field edge path becomes a track between hedges. As you draw level with the buildings to the right, turn right down a tarmac drive signed as a public footpath.

Follow the lane as it swings left passing a large corrugated barn. Keep ahead between a short section of hedges and soon you’ll be following a fenced path between a variety of beautiful houses. Beyond the properties, keep ahead on the enclosed path with a horse paddock to the left.

On reaching the T-junction with the tarmac lane, turn right onto the narrow footpath which runs alongside it. Soon the path merges with the tarmac drive and you will pass the entrance to Lock House on the left. A little distance further you will reach Lock Bridge, a brick bridge over the River Adur.

Lock Bridge to Downs Link
Lock Bridge to Downs Link

Start point: 50.9555 lat, -0.3214 long
End point: 50.9534 lat, -0.302 long

Continue ahead on the tarmac lane and follow this for about 1 mile until you reach a T-junction with the main road. Turn right onto the pavement and you will pass on the left a small industrial estate which is home to the Brewing Company for Dark Star. A little distance further cross the road to turn left (alongside a disused metal kissing gate) onto the signed public footpath.

Follow the path with chain link fencing to the left. At the end of the fenceline, turn sharp right to join the next section of footpath, with more chain link fencing now on the left. Beyond the industrial estate follow the left-hand edge of a crop field for just a short distance, and then follow the signed footpath left away from the field. Keep left at the fork and cross a low stile to reach an enclosed path.

Follow the fenced path left and then right, around the edge of a field. You’ll emerge alongside a water treatment works. Turn right onto the stone track between fields. Follow the track as it swings right (don’t worry if you feel like you’re walking in a circle – you are!) and at the end of the fields you’ll see a sign to the left for the Downs Link.

Downs Link to River Adur
Downs Link to River Adur

Start point: 50.9534 lat, -0.302 long
End point: 50.9437 lat, -0.2939 long

Turn left onto the Downs Link. The Downs Link is a 37 mile long bridleway linking the North Downs Way at St Martha’s Hill in Surrey with the South Downs Way near Steyning in West Sussex. This stretch follows the course of a dismantled railway, the Steyning Line, which was closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching Axe.

Follow the straight well-made path ahead and then continue as the Downs Link follows a section of field edge path via gates. Immediately after this gated section, the path crosses the River Adur via Betley Bridge. Just a few yards later, opposite a metal railing on the left, turn right over a stile signed as a public footpath. Join the embankment path with the River Adur running on the right.

River Adur to River Footbridge
River Adur to River Footbridge

Start point: 50.9437 lat, -0.2939 long
End point: 50.9327 lat, -0.3073 long

This arm of the River Adur, the eastern arm, rises at Ditchling Common in East Sussex. The river meets the English Channel at Shoreham-on-Sea. The river’s name was adopted in the 17th Century based on the name of the Roman settlement of Portus Adurni which was mistakenly believed to be at Shoreham.

Continue along the embankment path for half a mile. At the first junction of paths, keep ahead over the stile to continue on the main embankment path. A little distance further, ignore the footbridge over the river with a weir underneath. (This is the point from which the river is fully tidal).

At the next junction of paths, keep ahead following the river. On the right you’ll see the western arm of the River Adur merging with this eastern arm (the western arm being the one you crossed earlier at Lock Bridge). Continue for some distance until you reach the next footbridge over the river.

River Footbridge to End
River Footbridge to End

Start point: 50.9327 lat, -0.3073 long
End point: 50.9333 lat, -0.3217 long

Cross this footbridge via the pair of metal gates. Cross the field at 11 o’clock and cross the stile in the fence line close to a young oak tree. Keep ahead over this next field and exit via the stile on the opposite side.

Keep ahead passing to the left of the telegraph pole in front of you. Beyond it, keep close to the hedge on the left. Bear left with the hedge, passing alongside an old oak tree on the right. At the top of the slope cross over the stile alongside Eaton’s Farm. Cross at 2 o’clock, passing a small wooden barn on the right, and go through a small wooden gate to reach the farm’s driveway.

Turn right down the driveway. Some distance later, pass a stone barn on the right and then keep right at the fork. You will reach a T-junction with the main road. Turn left alongside the road and after just a few yards you will reach Fountain Inn, where the walk began, on the left.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Fountain Inn and River Adur"

The River Adur is lovely but has very muddy banks. Stick to the footpaths and don't let children or dogs go down to the water edge.

By Richard on 2013-06-02 19:42:55

Beautiful walk, but was incredibly muddy! Also note that the bridge to cross the River Adur at the end of the walk is closed for 6 months from Dec 2014 & no alternative route is suggested. Large sections of this walk are along bridle ways which were very churned up & muddy, so please take care & wear appropriate footwear. Fountain Inn was a welcome sight at the end for hot drinks & a great meal!

By sebird on 2014-12-29 19:37:37

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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