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|Steyning and Chanctonbury|
|Author: WSW, Published: 26 Jun 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|West Sussex, South Downs|
|Hi I'm Mark and this is my West Sussex Weekends walk. It's an 8.5 mile ramble in the South Downs, starting from the charming town of Steyning and taking in a long stretch of the South Downs Way with amazing views all the way to the coast. Along the way there’s chance to explore the legends of Chanctonbury Ring as well as visit the local pub in Washington village. It's not hard to mentally roll back the years to picture generations of travellers passing along the 100-odd miles of South Downs Way and walk in their footsteps along this route. 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 climbs and descents throughout, including one fairly steep and long climb from Steyning up to the South Downs ridge. Underfoot you will be walking on chalk, meaning it can be very muddy, sticky and slippery when wet, particularly on the lower level woodland path for the return leg. You will need to negotiate several gates, kissing gates, a narrow footbridge and 8 stiles (all of which have open fence surrounds or in-built dog gates making them suitable for most dogs to pass through). You will cross one chalk grassland meadow on the initial climb which may be holding a handful of Dexter cattle used for conservation grazing. One section of the South Downs Way may also have grazing sheep. The optional arm to Washington village crosses fields that may be holding sheep (and one of these fields was also holding two cows when we walked). Aside from these sections, the route is free of livestock. If you exclude the optional visit to Washington village, the walk can be shortened to 7.5 miles. Allow 4 hours.
If you are looking for refreshments, you could stock up on supplies in Steyning to enjoy on the grass mounds of Chanctonbury Ring on the way round or, if you would prefer a pub lunch, the Frankland Arms in Washington is about half way round. Alternatively, you will be spoilt for choice with pubs, tea rooms and restaurants in Steyning at the end of the walk.
Steyning is accessed from the A283. Free parking is available at the Steyning Centre car park. The car park is accessed from Vicarage Lane and the entrance is directly opposite St Andrew’s Church, signed for Steyning Centre and Recycling Point. Approximate post code BN44 3YQ. If you are coming by bus, there are bus stops on the High Street in Steyning.
|Start to Allotments|
Start point: 50.8883 lat, -0.3256 long
Standing with your back to the Steyning Centre and facing the car park, turn left along the tarmac path signed to Church Street, High Street and The Downs. At the T-junction with Church Street, cross over to the far pavement and turn left along this. Follow this pavement as it swings right by the mini-roundabout, but only until the handrail on your left ends. At this point cross the road left to take the small side road opposite, Sheep Pen Lane, signed to the Police Station and The Downs.
|Allotments to South Downs Way|
Start point: 50.8886 lat, -0.3349 long
Follow the stone track leading you steadily uphill. Pass through the kissing gate and take the path ahead, still climbing. Pass through another old kissing gate and continue ahead on the same path. Soon you will come to the next kissing gate ahead.
|South Downs Way to Chanctonbury Ring|
Start point: 50.8869 lat, -0.3611 long
It is worth pausing for a moment here to enjoy the views that have opened up. At about 11 o’clock you will be able to see the coast and sea at Worthing (assuming it’s a clear day, of course). Turn right along the South Downs Way. At the first fork in the track keep right, staying on the South Downs Way.
|Chanctonbury Ring to Frankland Arms|
Start point: 50.8962 lat, -0.3812 long
Keep ahead along the South Downs Way for only about 80 metres beyond Chanctonbury Ring (you will just need to guess this distance by pacing out 80 paces as there is no fingerpost). Turn right at this point, across the grass to reach a gate within the fence line. Pass through this wooden gate (with a blue bridleway arrow on the post) and join the grass path leading you fairly steeply downhill, with a fence running on your right.
|Frankland Arms to Four Gates|
Start point: 50.9048 lat, -0.4051 long
When you have finished at the pub, retrace your steps back along the pavement to leave the village and then turn left to rejoin the footpath from which you emerged. Follow this path back across the sleeper bridge, up the steps and across the stile to enter the first field.
|Four Gates to Great Barn Farm|
Start point: 50.9006 lat, -0.3908 long
Follow this path ahead, along the edge of woodland, with fenced pastures on your left. Stay with this woodland path which climbs steadily and leads you between old gate posts. The path then descends, swinging left and then right to run along the left-hand edge of a clearing. Pass through another old gateway to re-enter the woodland and continue ahead on the main track (which can get very muddy at times).
|Great Barn Farm to Mouse Lane|
Start point: 50.8988 lat, -0.3699 long
Keep straight ahead, passing through the next metal gateway (or using the stile alongside). You will pass a pretty small timber barn on your left, sat on mushroom-shaped saddle stones, before passing between modern barns. Beyond the farm buildings, continue on the stone track which leads you between fields, with lines of trees and hedgerow each side.
|Mouse Lane to End|
Start point: 50.8964 lat, -0.351 long
Turn right along the lane (this is a very quiet access road, but do take care of occasional traffic). Follow Mouse Lane ahead for about 600 metres, passing a single property on your left to reach a crossroads. Keep straight ahead on the main access lane which leads you between steep woodland banks.
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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|Image by: WSW |
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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