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|Sussex Hospices Trail Part 26: Halnaker to Chichester|
|Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 11 Sep 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|West Sussex, Boxgrove|
|IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a linear route which relies on a bus for the return journey which runs Mon-Sat only. On Sundays you will need to use taxis. |
A 10 mile linear walk from Halnaker crossroads to Chichester rail station in West Sussex, forming the 26th and final stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. This stretch of the trail is packed with interest, leading you through Halnaker Park (with a very long magnificent stretch of flint wall and mansion ruins), past Goodwood Racecourse, over St Roche’s Hill, along the Centurion Way and finally visiting Chichester Cathedral. From the summit of St Roche’s Hill you will be rewarded with some of the best views of the whole trail, a panoramic vista taking in Chichester Harbour, Chichester Cathedral and a long stretch of the coast to the south, as well as the South Downs to the north.
The hospices of Sussex are dedicated to providing specialist end-of-life care. Friends of Sussex Hospices has worked with partners and supporters to create the Sussex Hospices Trail, a 200 mile long-distance path to support and raise awareness of the twelve hospice care providers that serve the adults and children of Sussex.
The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout, including one fairly steep climb onto St Roche’s Hill. The tracks are generally well made, but can be rutted, uneven and muddy in parts so good boots are a must. The vast majority of the route is livestock-free, but you will cross two fields that are likely to be holding sheep and there were also the tell-tale signs of cattle having been present in a couple of fields, so take particular care with dogs. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates and bridle gates, but there are no stiles on route. There are a couple of road crossings that need care, but there is no road walking and well-behaved dogs will enjoy plenty of time off-lead. As the route passes Goodwood Racecourse, you might want to avoid race days (and the traffic and crowds that come with that). Allow 5 hours.
If you are looking for refreshments, you will find two pubs in East Lavant (The Royal Oak and The Earl of March) about 6 miles into the route and there are plenty of pubs and cafes in Chichester at the end of your walk. The summit of St Roche’s Hill (Waypoint 3) makes a beautiful, if blustery, place for a picnic.
The walk starts at the bus stops at Halnaker Crossroads (no public parking) and ends at Chichester rail station. It is best to arrive in Chichester (by car or train) and then catch the bus to Halnaker Crossroads to begin your walk. The rail station has its own car park if you are coming by car. The fee is £4.90 Mon-Sat and £2 on Sun (correct Aug 2016). Chichester bus station is just over the road from Chichester rail station and it is from here that you can catch Bus Number 55 (which usually runs every 30 mins Mon-Sat) to Halnaker Crossroads. The bus journey takes just 21 minutes. On Sundays and public holidays you will need to use a taxi.
|Start to Little Halnaker|
Start point: 50.8649 lat, -0.7124 long
The walk starts at Halnaker Crossroads, on the A285 where it meets The Street and Park Lane. From this crossroads, take the side road to the north (the opposite direction to the sign for Boxgrove Priory), passing the Old Store Guest House on your left. Immediately you will come to a fork (with an old flint arch ahead), take the right-hand branch (Park Lane), signed as a no-through-road and public bridleway. Follow Park Lane ahead, leading you into Halnaker Park, with houses on your right and a beautiful old flint wall running on your left.
|Little Halnaker to East Dean Hill|
Start point: 50.8717 lat, -0.7137 long
Go straight ahead, passing through a bridle gate to enter the pasture (which is likely to be holding sheep). Keep ahead along the track, following the left-hand field boundary. At the far side, pass through the bridle gate to enter a section of woodland. Keep ahead on the obvious wide track leading you ahead through this woodland.
|East Dean Hill to Goodwood Grandstand|
Start point: 50.89 lat, -0.7192 long
Turn right for a few paces and then cross over to turn left onto the signed public footpath. (NOTE: This next field is likely to be holding sheep or sometimes cattle). Pass through the bridle gate to enter the pasture and walk ahead (with a fence on your left). Where this fence turns away to the left, continue in the same direction through the centre of the pasture to reach a bridle gate at the far side.
|Goodwood Grandstand to St Roche's Hill|
Start point: 50.8915 lat, -0.7432 long
This racecourse, along with the motor circuit further south, host a number of international events. Glorious Goodwood is a one of the highlights of the British flat horseracing calendar, whilst Goodwood Festival of Speed is an annual motor racing event. Goodwood Revival is an annual three-day festival celebrating racing cars and motorcycles that would have competed during the motorsport circuit’s original era, 1948-66.
|St Roche's Hill to East Lavant|
Start point: 50.892 lat, -0.7534 long
The summit of St Roche’s Hill sits at 206 metres and was once home to an Iron Age hill fort called The Trundle. The hill was also once home to a chapel (probably built in the 1400s and giving the hill its name) and a windmill (which was burnt down in a storm in 1773). Today, the summit is the site of two large radio masts. The views are the real attraction of the hill’s summit, so take time to enjoy the panoramic vistas. To the north there are excellent views across the racecourse and up to the South Downs ridge. To the south you will be able to make out the spire of Chichester Cathedral (which we will be visiting later) as well as the various inlet channels of Chichester Harbour just to the right of this. On a clear day you will be able to see a long stretch of the south coast and the Isle of Wight.
|East Lavant to Centurion Way|
Start point: 50.8708 lat, -0.7716 long
Turn right along the pavement and follow this leading you into the heart of the village, with its pretty flint walls and cottages. You will pass The Royal Oak pub on your right, ideal for refreshments at this 6 mile point should you wish. Continue straight ahead through the village, taking care on the short stretch without a pavement. You will pass St Mary’s Church (set back from the road to your right) and then the impressive flint Meade House across to your left.
|Centurion Way to Chichester Cathedral|
Start point: 50.8679 lat, -0.7848 long
Turn left to follow the Centurion Way heading south. The Centurion Way was once the Chichester to Midhurst Railway line. This section between Lavant and Chichester closed to passengers in 1935 and was used for the transportation of sugar beet and gravel until it was closed completely in 1991. The tracks were removed in 1993 after which it was bought by the county council ready to be converted to a footpath and cycleway. The name Centurion Way was suggested by a local schoolboy and is based on the fact that the path crosses the course of a Roman road.
|Chichester Cathedral to End|
Start point: 50.8367 lat, -0.7817 long
(NOTE: If you are walking outside cathedral opening times the route described here will be closed. You will need to stay ahead along West Street and then turn right at the Market Cross into South Street and then pick up the directions further below).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 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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