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West Chiltington and Nutbourne

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West Chiltington and Nutbourne
Author: WSW, Published: 06 Jun 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walkstar1 West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walkstar1 West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walkstar1 West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walkstar1 West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walk
West Sussex, Pulborough
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
West Chiltington and Nutbourne
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walk boot West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walk boot West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walk
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0001_sunny West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex WalkToday's weather
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Hi, I'm Ali and this is my West Sussex Weekends walk. It's a 6 mile circular journey through the gently rolling Sussex hills surrounding the idyllic village of West Chiltington, taking in a converted windmill, large sections of vineyard, great views, sheep pastures, old ponds, pretty woodland and a couple of village pubs along the way. It is so peaceful too. If you stop to listen, the only things breaking the silence are the rustling trees, birdsong, a few insects and occasionally babbling water. 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 includes several gentle gradients throughout, with just a couple of short steeper sections. Some sections can get very muddy at times (so good boots are a must) and a few of paths are narrow making them prone to becoming overgrown in the summer growing season (so shorts are not recommended, unless you are immune to nettles!). You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, some steps and 8 stiles. (Most of the stiles have large gaps alongside for dogs to pass through and the two stiles that have only small gaps are quite low, so larger dogs should be able to climb over). You will be sharing several fields with sheep, so take particular care with dogs. You will also cross one field that may be holding cattle, but you literally step into the field and straight out again within the same corner, so the chance of encountering the cattle is very slim. Allow 3 hours.

West Chiltington is a small village located about 3 miles east of Pulborough in West Sussex. The walk starts and finishes on Church Street, directly outside St Mary’s Church. If you are coming by car, there is a small parking area in front of the church. If this is full, follow the signs to the church overflow car park or park on the street with respect for the residents. Approximate post code RH20 2JW. If you are coming by public transport, the nearest bus stop is on East Street in West Chiltington.

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Walk Sections

Start to Converted Mill
Start to Converted Mill

Start point: 50.9547 lat, -0.4491 long
End point: 50.9517 lat, -0.4565 long

The walk begins directly outside St Mary’s Church on Church Street. The attractive church is un-restored and has a spire covered with oak shingles and a roof of Horsham Stone. Ancient paintings (dating from the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries) on the interior walls were uncovered in 1882 and are worth a look if you have time. The village stocks and whipping post are preserved outside the church and are thought to date from the mid-1600s.

Enter the churchyard and follow the paved path which passes to the right of the church (with metal railings running on your right). In the bottom corner, turn right through the gate to exit the churchyard. Ignore the steps down into the parking area on your left, instead keep ahead on the path with a stone wall running on your right. When the stone wall ends, you will come to a signed crossroads of paths. Turn left here and follow the path down through the dip, alongside a wide wooden gate and then continuing with fenced horse paddocks on your right.

Ignore the first path signed off to the left, cross a stile ahead and continue on the fenced path with private grounds beyond the laurel hedge on your right. Further along, the path swings left to reach a stone vehicle track with two fingerposts marking a couple of footpath junctions. Turn right and then immediately right again to join another narrow enclosed path, with a fenced field to your left. NOTE: This section is particularly prone to becoming overgrown, but do persevere if you can, as we will soon be joining much wider paths.

Towards the end, the path swings right (with a brick wall on your left) and leads you directly to Meeten’s Mill. This smock windmill was working as a corn mill up to the 1920s when it was converted to a private dwelling.

Converted Mill to Nutbourne Village
Converted Mill to Nutbourne Village

Start point: 50.9517 lat, -0.4565 long
End point: 50.9589 lat, -0.471 long

Pass to the right of the converted mill and follow the entrance track down to the junction with the road. Take a moment to look around you at the beautiful properties surrounding this junction, including Mill House on your left and the main house of Fryars Vineyard at about 1 o’clock. Turn right (with care) along the road edge for just 20 paces and then cross over to turn left onto the signed public bridleway. This leads you past the house for Fryars Vineyard on your left (more about the local vineyards later…).

Beyond the property, stay with the bridleway which becomes a pretty woodland thoroughfare leading you under arches of trees and hedgerows. At the end of this bridleway you will reach a T-junction. Turn left and follow the obvious grass and chalk path. This land was a golf course until Summer 2016 when the land was bought by a neighbouring vineyard, so you may be walking either between fairway meadows or between sections of vineyard.

Ignore the first bridleway signed to the right, simply keep straight ahead eventually crossing a wooden footbridge in a belt of trees. Continue ahead with a wire fence running on your right. Where the fence turns to the right, fork left down a flight of concrete steps to reach a junction with Gay Street. Cross over and go straight ahead into the gravel driveway for Stile Farm Cottage.

Pass between the cottage and garage and walk ahead to join a narrow path which leads you to a swing gate. Pass through this to enter an old paddock. Walk ahead, following the line of fence on your right, passing through a further two swing gates along the way. The bridleway now continues with tall wire fencing on your right and a section of vineyard behind this. Across to your right you will see an old windmill and barn, now housing some of the vineyard facilities.

Stay with the track ahead with vineyards each side and great views across the South Downs to your left. Follow the track as it swings right, passing stone cottages on your left. You will come to a junction within a gravel driveway. Turn left along the gravel driveway, passing a beautiful old mill pond on your right. Follow this access lane, keeping left at the fork, to reach a T-junction with the road in Nutbourne village.

Nutbourne Village to Mare Hill Lodge
Nutbourne Village to Mare Hill Lodge

Start point: 50.9589 lat, -0.471 long
End point: 50.9568 lat, -0.4828 long

If you glance to the left here you will see the Rising Sun pub, a great opportunity for a quick pit stop should you wish. Turn right for a few paces, then turn left onto the gravel entrance drive for The Camber (signed as a public footpath). When you reach a hedgerow ahead, pass to the right of this to join a fenced path which leads you to a tall deer gate at the edge of the vineyard.

Pass through the gate to enter the vineyard and join the grass track ahead, staying close to the fence on your left. Now is a good point to pause and appreciate the scale of the vineyards here. There have been three vineyards within the parish boundaries of West Chiltington. Fryars is the smallest, Nutbourne is well-known locally, but the biggest and most famous is Nyetimber, which continues to expand today.

Follow the fence line as it zig-zags (left, right, left and right again) around the edge of the vineyard. At the next corner, turn left to leave the vineyard via another tall deer gate. Cross the stile immediately beyond the gate and follow this enclosed woodland path with a fenced pasture to your left. NOTE: This pasture may be holding cattle and we will be crossing a tiny corner of it, so take care with dogs. Just 30 metres ahead, unhook the wire fencing to enter the pasture (NOTE: don't forget to put the wire fencing back) and then turn immediately right to exit via a stile.

Cross this meadow at about 1 o’clock and cross the stile at the far side to join a fenced grass track. Pass a stable block on your right and a pond on your left and go through the gate ahead to reach a T-junction with a stone track. Turn left along this track and follow it as it climbs and swings steadily right, passing a large thatched cottage on your right. You will emerge to a T-junction with a tarmac lane, directly opposite Mare Hill Lodge.

Mare Hill Lodge to Broomershill Farm
Mare Hill Lodge to Broomershill Farm

Start point: 50.9568 lat, -0.4828 long
End point: 50.9648 lat, -0.4855 long

Turn right for a few paces to reach a fork and take the left-hand branch, a concrete and grass track which leads you down a slope. Before the bottom of the slope (where the wall on your left ends), turn right up a small grass bank (signed as a footpath) to reach a kissing gate. Pass through this gate to enter large meadow.

Walk ahead, staying close to the left-hand boundary. When the fence line on your left ends, take the path at about 11 o’clock which leads you across the remainder of the meadow. At the far side, pass through the kissing gate and join the enclosed path with fenced fields to your right and a hedgerow running on your left. At the end you will emerge via a kissing gate to reach a junction with a stone path.

Turn left along this and, when you reach a wide gate ahead, turn right to follow the fenced stone track leading you steadily uphill. At the top of this path, take a moment to look behind you to take in the far-reaching views. NOTE: Dogs must be on a lead from this point as you will be sharing the paths with fowl and sheep. Follow the stone track as it swings left and then right, leading you to Broomershill Farm on your right.

Broomershill Farm to Redfold Farm
Broomershill Farm to Redfold Farm

Start point: 50.9648 lat, -0.4855 long
End point: 50.9689 lat, -0.4747 long

Join the tarmac drive ahead (with the farm buildings on your right) and you will come to a fingerpost marking a junction of paths. Stay with the main driveway which swings steadily right, with a metal fence running on your left. The views here really are spectacular. Look out for the tower sitting on a hillside in this distance. This is Toat Monument, an octagonal four-storey tower folly that was erected by Samuel Drinkwater in 1827.

Stay with the drive as it bends left. As you reach the cattle grid ahead, pass through the gate to the right of this to enter the sheep pasture. Walk ahead for just a few paces and then turn right to join the grass and dirt path which leads you to a fingerpost within the trees. Keep right here, on the track which leads you to the metal field gate. Pass through this (or use the stile alongside), follow the line of fence on your left for a few metres and you will enter the corner of an open grass pasture. Bear right, to follow the line of fence and trees on your right.

In the far corner, turn right through the gate (or adjacent stile), walk ahead for a few paces and then turn left through the gate (or adjacent stile) to enter the next sheep pasture. Walk straight ahead with the fence on your left and glorious views to your right. After about 250 metres, turn left through the field gate (or smaller pedestrian gate alongside) to enter a crop field. Walk ahead along the left-hand boundary and, just before the brow of the rise, fork diagonally right (at about 2 o’clock) to join a path through the centre of this field.

This path leads you to the far corner of the field. Cross the stile (there is a small gap in the wire to the right for dogs) and walk ahead following the fence line on your left. Cross the stile at the far side and turn right down the steep stone bank to reach a junction with the road. Cross over and go straight ahead through the gate to join the entrance drive for Redfold Farm (signed as a public footpath).

Redfold Farm to Wooden Footbridge
Redfold Farm to Wooden Footbridge

Start point: 50.9689 lat, -0.4747 long
End point: 50.9632 lat, -0.4658 long

Follow the drive ahead and, where it swings left, fork right though the wide wooden gate (or adjacent stile) to enter a pasture. A few paces along you will come to a fork in the grass path. Take the right-hand branch, which leads you steadily downhill. After passing through the line of trees, bear right and follow the grass path down to a fingerpost in the bottom boundary. Turn right here, through the gate and over a stile to enter a large meadow.

Cross this meadow at about 1 o’clock, climbing steadily to reach a stile in the top right-hand corner. Cross this and walk ahead for a few paces to reach a concrete track. Turn left and immediately right (passing wooden sheds on your left) and join the narrow enclosed path with a fenced field to your left. Stay with this path as it leads you along a ridge within a hillside section of bracken and scrub and then through a section of trees.

You will reach a fingerpost alongside two large holly bushes. Turn left down the gully path, with a wire fence running on your left. Follow the path as it swings right, becoming a grass and dirt path leading you between young trees and scrub, and later passing a large fenced pond down to your left. The path swings left, passing the end of the pond on your left. Continue ahead (this section can be waterlogged all year round) and cross the wooden footbridge over a woodland gully stream.

Wooden Footbridge to Nyetimber Vineyard
Wooden Footbridge to Nyetimber Vineyard

Start point: 50.9632 lat, -0.4658 long
End point: 50.9645 lat, -0.4577 long

Beyond the bridge, keep ahead on the path climbing steeply through the woodland. Keep left at the fork and at the top you will come to a junction. Bear left, passing fenced horse paddocks to your right. Pass through the gate ahead to reach the edge of a private garden. There is a tap and bowl on your left here, which the owner kindly provides for passing dogs. Follow the grass path with tall herbaceous borders each side.

Join the tarmac drive ahead, passing a thatched cottage on your left, to reach a junction with Gay Street. Cross over and take the steps ahead which lead you up into Nyetimber Vineyard. Turn left along the grass track and at the corner of the vines, turn right to continue on this grass track (with the Nyetimber entrance drive running on your left). You may see beautiful red shaggy Highland Cattle grazing in the pastures on the far side of the drive.

Where the vines end, merge with the driveway and this will lead you into the centre of the visitor buildings within the vineyard. The vineyard is not generally open to the public, but there are usually a few open days every year. Nyetimber is based at an old manor which reputedly was part of the dowry of Anne of Cleves when she married Henry VIII. The first vintage in 1992 was chosen for the Queen's Golden Jubilee dinner. Today, Nyetimber has an international reputation and its wines are served at events such as the Badminton Horse Trials and Superyacht Shows.

Nyetimber Vineyard to End
Nyetimber Vineyard to End

Start point: 50.9645 lat, -0.4577 long
End point: 50.955 lat, -0.449 long

Beyond the buildings you will come to a fingerpost marking a crossroads of paths. Turn right onto the bridleway, passing the vineyard’s medieval barn on your right. Follow this stone track ahead. At the first junction go straight ahead, following a tarmac track through a tunnel of trees. You will come to a T-junction with a stone property on your left and thatched houses ahead. Turn left onto the signed bridleway, an unmade track passing the thatched houses on your right.

As you reach a wooden gate ahead, pass to the left of this to join an enclosed path. Pass a section of vineyard and then some stables on your right. Keep ahead, climbing through a belt of woodland and continue until you reach a fingerpost marking a T-junction within a line of tall trees. Turn right here and follow this path which leads you through the former golf course (perhaps now planted with vines). At the end of this stretch you will come to a T-junction with a path that you should recognise from the outward leg.

Turn left and follow the path back to the junction with a stone path within a tunnel of trees. Do NOT turn right on the path from the outward leg, instead go ahead on the path through trees. At the next T-junction turn right and follow this path heading downhill, passing between houses to reach the road at the edge of West Chiltington, The Hollow. Turn left along the road (taking care of any traffic) and you will pass The Queen’s Head on your right (the perfect spot for some post-walk refreshments). Immediately beyond the pub, turn right into Church Street and this will lead you to St Mary’s Church where the walk began.

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.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author WSW and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "West Chiltington and Nutbourne"

My wife and I completed the walk on 6th August 2016. The weather was beautiful and the walk was excellent. The vineyards and thatched cottages along the route made it especially memorable together with the great view of the downs. At the end of the walk we had a lovely lunch at the Queens Head in Chiltington. We would definitely recommend the walk and instructions were very clear although be careful between stages 4 and 5 where it gets a little tricky. Enjoy the walk, Mark.

By cosaitis on 2016-08-07 09:36:02

Lovely day and a lovely walk - 25th September 2016. We have gone to try and buy some Nyetimber wine on the strength of it!!

By eralcnaderri on 2016-09-25 14:22:03

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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6185_0WSW1467269554 West Chiltington and Nutbourne West Sussex Walk Image by: WSW
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

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