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|Moonlight Cottage Cocking and South Downs Trail|
|Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 22 Feb 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|West Sussex, Midhurst|
|A 4 mile circular walk from Moonlight Cottage in Cocking, West Sussex in the heart of the South Downs. Moonlight Cottage is a wonderful B&B (open all year) and tea room (open March to September) offering walkers a perfect base for weekends away or simply some delicious refreshments after a day of walking. The walking route heads south, climbing steeply to reach the South Downs Way and then follows this ridge-top path west before returning down the ridge and along old farm tracks. There are beautiful views across the surrounding hills and on clear days you’ll be able to see as far as Guildford to the north and the coast to the south. |
The route is basically one long ascent followed by one long descent, a couple of sections being fairly steep. There are no gates or stiles to negotiate. The chalk paths on the climbs/descents can become slippery when wet and the farm tracks can be very muddy in winter and after periods of rain, so good boots are a must. You may come across sheep and cattle grazing the fenced fields adjacent to the South Downs Way so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.
Cocking is located on the A286, just 3 miles south of Midhurst in West Sussex. The walk starts and finishes from Moonlight Cottage B&B and Tea Room, which is located on the main A286 road, on the left-hand side if you are travelling south from Midhurst. Moonlight Cottage has its own small car park alongside which day walkers are welcome to use if they are visiting the tea room before or after their walk. If this car park is full, there are additional spaces behind The Malthouse (on the opposite side of the road - turn down the lane marked public footpath and History Column) which is also managed by the owners of Moonlight Cottage. Alternatively you can park in the South Downs car park further south on the A286 where it crosses the South Downs Way, then simply adjust the walk to visit Moonlight Cottage on the way round. Approximate post code GU29 0HN.
|Start to South Downs Way|
Start point: 50.95 lat, -0.7519 long
Standing on the main A286 road facing Moonlight Cottage, turn left and then, immediately after the tea garden, turn right down Church Lane (a gravel lane marked as a public footpath). Keep ahead on the gravel driveway and soon this narrows to a stony path which swings left and then right to emerge out at the war memorial by the corner of the church yard.
|South Downs Way to Harepath Wood|
Start point: 50.9425 lat, -0.7507 long
Turn right along the tarmac lane. You’ll notice the South Downs Way is waymarked with an acorn, the symbol used to mark all National Trails. The South Downs Way, one of 15 National Trails, runs for 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne. People have been using the South Downs Way for around 8,000 years as a safer and drier alternative to the wetter lowlands.
|Harepath Wood to Crypt Farm|
Start point: 50.946 lat, -0.7832 long
Turn right here, leaving the South Downs Way to join the restricted byway. This track soon leads you into the edge of the woodland. To the right you’ll notice several ancient yew trees. Yews are evergreen poisonous trees which are often planted in church yards and generally live to 400 or 600 years.
|Crypt Farm to End|
Start point: 50.9459 lat, -0.7604 long
Turn left and after a few paces keep left again passing the impressive indoor swimming pool of Crypt Farm on the left. At the next junction keep left again on the restricted byway signed to Cocking (0.5 miles). On the left you’ll pass a beautiful white house adorned with wisteria, and down to the right you’ll see a pretty sunken pond which is home to a number of species of ducks.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
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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|Image by: Chloe |
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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