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Graffam and Lavington Park

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Graffam and Lavington Park
Author: West Sussex Weekends, Published: 16 Jun 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Graffam and Lavington Park Walking Guidestar1 Graffam and Lavington Park Walking Guidestar1 Graffam and Lavington Park Walking Guidestar1 Graffam and Lavington Park Walking Guidestar1 Graffam and Lavington Park Walking Guide
West Sussex, Graffam
Walk Type: Garden or park
Graffam and Lavington Park
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Graffam and Lavington Park Walking Guide
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Hi, I'm Richard and this is my West Sussex Weekends walk. It's a 1.5 mile easy access route following the quiet tarmac driveways within Lavington Park, a mansion and parkland which is now home to a stud farm and an independent school. Sitting at the base of the South Downs, the area is very tranquil and there are great views that stretch north to Petworth and beyond. The quiet tarmac surfaces are great for running or a lunchtime stroll but are also ideal for walking with wheelchairs or pushchairs. To read my full story visit 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 follows tarmac driveways for its entire length. The walk has several very gentle climbs and descents throughout but there are no steep sections. There are no stiles, steps or kissing gates on route but you will need to negotiate two single gates. With this in mind the route would be suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs. The fenced fields to the sides are likely to be holding sheep and horses so take particular care with dogs. Allow 45 minutes.

If you are looking for refreshments, you could stock up on picnic supplies from the Graffam Village Stores (which stocks a range of locally produced food and drink) or you will find The White Horse pub within Graffam village – both just a short drive from the starting point.

Graffam village is located about 4 miles south-west of Petworth and you can follow signs to the village from the A285. The walk starts and finishes from St Giles Church which is south of the village centre (follow the signs to Church and School). There is street parking alongside the church, but please park with respect for the local residents. Approximate post code GU28 0NJ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Lavington Stud
Start to Lavington Stud

Start point: 50.9428 lat, -0.6792 long
End point: 50.9415 lat, -0.6665 long

Standing on the road with your back to St Giles Church (facing the infant school opposite), turn right along the road. Continue past Coach House Cottage and Church Farm on your right and, a few metres later, follow the main lane which swings left to reach the ornate Graffam Gate for Lavington Park. Pass through this gateway and you will pass West Lodge on your right, which once would have served the mansion within Lavington Park.

Keep ahead on the driveway and immediately on your left you are rewarded with amazing views, across the horse paddocks and far beyond. On clear days you will be able to see Petworth House and the town on the far edge of this horizon.

Further along the driveway, just after the left-hand hedge steps back from the roadside, you will pass a particularly magnificent oak tree on your left. This is a reminder of the history of this 55 hectares of parkland, which dates back to the 1500s. There has been at mansion at the centre of this parkland since around 1589, although the building has been replaced several times. The estate passed through many hands, including the son of the anti-slave campaigner William Wilberforce and the daughter of the famous architect Edwin Lutyens. During World War II the property was the Commando Headquarters and afterwards it was bought by the present owner, the independent school Seaford College.

About 50 metres beyond this oak tree you will come to a fingerpost marking a crossroads of footpaths. Turn left here, passing through the pedestrian gate to enter the grounds of Lavington Stud.

Lavington Stud to Calloways House
Lavington Stud to Calloways House

Start point: 50.9415 lat, -0.6665 long
End point: 50.9454 lat, -0.6777 long

Follow the driveway ahead with fenced paddocks and pastures each side. Within these fields you will see a mixture of sheep and racehorses (with adorable foals in the spring and summer months).

Lavington Stud was founded by Lord Woolavington in 1890, when he was owner of the mansion and park. The Stud, uniquely placed at the foot of the South Downs, was originally a dairy farm. Woolavington recognised that its rolling chalk grassland, fed by natural spring water and protected from adverse weather by hills and woodland, provided a perfect location for breeding horses. The horse that brought fame to the stud was the undefeated Hurry On. His six victories included the New St Leger of 1916 at Newmarket and he went on to father many other race winners. When Lord Woolavington died in 1936, his daughter sold the mansion but kept the stud and it remains in the same family today.

Stay with the main driveway which passes to the right of all the Lavington Stud buildings. At the top of the small rise (with a flint and brick cottage on your left), take a moment to look back over your right shoulder where you will have a good view of the mansion at the centre of the parkland.

Keep ahead on the driveway (heading steadily downhill) until you come to the next junction of paths, marked with a fingerpost. Turn left here and follow this side branch of the driveway, with a hedge on your left and paddocks on your right. When the hedge on your left ends, you will have great views across to the steep woodland slopes of the South Downs ridge. Stay with this tarmac drive for some distance, bending right then left and leading you between old barns on your right and Calloways House on your left.

Calloways House to End
Calloways House to End

Start point: 50.9454 lat, -0.6777 long
End point: 50.9429 lat, -0.6793 long

Follow the driveway as it swings left, passing the entrance for Calloways House on your left, to reach a fork (marked with a fingerpost). Take the left-hand branch and follow this driveway with fenced trees to your left and a fenced pasture on your right.

Towards the top you will pass the infant school and its playground on your left. Pass through the gate at the top and you will emerge onto the lane, opposite St Giles Church. The church was rebuilt in the 1870s as a memorial to Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, son of the anti-slave campaigner William Wilberforce. Bear left along the lane and you will come to the roadside parking where this walk began.

If you enjoyed this walk, remember to visit 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 © 2016 by the author WSW 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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6224_0WSW1468859752 Graffam and Lavington Park Walking Guide Image by: West Sussex Weekends
Uploaded: 18 Jul 2016


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