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Stoke Clump Round

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Stoke Clump Round
Author: mike evans, Published: 09 Sep 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guidestar0 Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guidestar0 Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guidestar0 Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guidestar0 Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guide
West Sussex, South Downs
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Stoke Clump Round
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guide boot Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guide boot Stoke Clump Round, South Downs Walking Guide
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A 5 mile circular walk from West Stoke in the South Downs, West Sussex. Stoke Clump has long been an iconic image on the South Downs, north of Chichester. This walk takes in the clump and the route has probably the best views of Chichester Harbour from anywhere on the South Downs. Starting from the base of the track that heads up to the clump, the walk leaves the best to last. It takes a clockwise route so that the downhill section passing the clump is left to last, so I'm afraid you have to earn this wonderful view. That is not to say that there is not much more to enjoy in this varied walk, which has views either of the Downs or from the Downs for most of the route and a short trip through Woodend where there are spectacular bluebells at the right time of the year.

There is one steady climb up to the clump itself. No cattle or sheep were encountered on the walk, although there were fields with pigs, separated from the path by electric fences. One section had quite a few nettles, so wear appropriate clothing. There are a number of gates and stiles to negotiate. Allow 2.5 hours.

West Stoke is north of Chichester and a short distance to the west of Lavant. It can be reached by taking A286 Chichester to Midhurst road. Going north, turn left half way through Lavant (opposite St Nicholas Church, as the A286 takes a sharp turn to the right). Travel on this country road for a mile and a quarter. Look out for a footpath fingerpost and a wide track on the right, just before a left-hand junction. Turn right onto the track and park by the side of the track. The beginning of the track is wide enough for you to park without troubling any passing farm traffic. The latitude and longitude of the parking is 50.868677,-0.814741 The nearest postcode is PO18 9BL (which is the postcode of the houses a couple of hundred metres to the west of the start point).

Walk Sections

Start to Tropics
Start to Tropics

Start point: 50.8687 lat, -0.8147 long
End point: 50.864 lat, -0.8154 long

From the parking spot walk back to the road (going south). Taking care, turn right, to walk the short distance on the road to a road junction on your left. There is a grass triangle in the centre of the junction. Carefully cross the road and turn left onto the smaller country road, signposted to Chichester. Walk along the road for 250 metres to reach a grass track on the right, with a fingerpost pointing down it. Turn right to join this track. Walk down the track for some 270 metres.

Lookout on the right for a three-way fingerpost. Turn right into the field just before it. The path across this arable field lines up with the fingerpost. Interestingly, when we did this walk the field was planted with sweetcorn which was, at the time, about seven foot tall. Although a little tricky to spot the farmer had left the footpath unplanted but when we walked through it, it felt more like walking though a tropical plantation than an arable crop. At the end of the field there is an obvious gap in the hedge ahead.

Tropics to East Ashling
Tropics to East Ashling

Start point: 50.864 lat, -0.8154 long
End point: 50.8627 lat, -0.8359 long

Pass through the gap in the hedge. On the left there is a two way footpath fingerpost. Once through the hedge turn immediately left and walk with a hedge on your left. When we did the walk, the field was full of pigs which were separated from the path by an electric fence. Shortly, turn right, staying to the left edge of the field. Continue ahead and at the end of the path around the field (of pigs) there is an obvious gap in the hedge with (when we were there) a broken stile.

Go through the gap and turn right and shortly left to follow the edge of this new field with a thick hedge on the right and a wire fence on the left. (This is the point where you might encounter some stinging nettles). At the end of the field there is a stile on the right. Cross this stile, walk ahead a few paces and turn left to pass through a hedge. When we did the walk there was a broken kissing gate in the hedge. Once through the hedge, turn left and again we encountered more pigs separated from the path by an electric fence. With a hedge on your left, walk ahead for some 50 metres before turning right, now with a wire fence on your left. Continue for some 480 metres, passing a nursery behind the hedge on your left to reach a lane.

Cross over the lane (Lye Lane) and continue on a new footpath (slightly to the left of the one that you exited). Go through a (currently broken) stile, with a fingerpost to the right of it, and walk to the left of a meadow for some 130 metres. At the end of the meadow pass over a stile and continue ahead on a wide grassy track, now with paddocks on your right and a hedge on the left. At the end of two paddocks the path narrows a little as it passes through a hedge to reach further paddocks. Continue past the paddocks to reach a track running from left to right (which is laid to scalpings). Cross over this track and cross over a stile (which is to the left of a galvanised large five bar gate) on the far side.

Walk ahead with a mixed hedge on your left and a wooden and wire fence on your right, separating you from further paddocks. At the end of the paddocks cross over a further stile and continue on the left-hand side of an arable field. At the end of the arable field the path exits onto the pavement of the busy Chichester to Funtington road in the middle of East Ashling.

East Ashling to Car Park
East Ashling to Car Park

Start point: 50.8627 lat, -0.8359 long
End point: 50.8731 lat, -0.8293 long

Turn right and walk on the pavement through the village for 180 metres, passing the Horse and Groom pub on the left. As the main road exits the village and turns sharply left, turn right to follow the small road signed to West Stoke and Lavant.

Walk down this country road for some 480 metres. There is a walkable verge for most of the way, but take care where this is not the case. On reaching a flint cottage on the right, there is a footpath on the left with a metal vehicle barrier across it. There is also a fingerpost. Turn left onto this footpath, passing through the gap to the right of the barrier. Walk ahead for 200 metres or so until you reach a crossroads of paths with a four-way fingerpost. Turn right here and, after a short distance (say 50 metres or so), you will meet another crossing track. This time your footpath is being crossed by a bridleway. Cross over the bridleway at a bit of an angle to stay on the footpath which now has a wire fence running on the left.

Walk on this path (just to the right of the wire fence) for 350 metres to reach a road. There is a one-way fingerpost on the right pointing back the way that you have come from. Turn left onto the road and, again taking care of any traffic, walk for 125 metres to meet a road at a T-junction. Turn left to follow the National Nature Reserve car park sign and walk to the car park.

Car Park to Sun Flowers
Car Park to Sun Flowers

Start point: 50.8731 lat, -0.8293 long
End point: 50.8865 lat, -0.824 long

Walk past the car park, and as the road bends to the left, go straight ahead to pass through a kissing gate and onto a wide track. Walk for just over 1km. At the end of this stretch you will reach the main access gate to the Kingley Vale park.

Do NOT enter the park, instead turn right and follow the track for 540 metres. To the right there are far reaching views and, when we did the walk, a large field of sunflowers. When you reach a four-way footpath fingerpost on the right, turn right.

Sun Flowers to Stoke Clump
Sun Flowers to Stoke Clump

Start point: 50.8865 lat, -0.824 long
End point: 50.8788 lat, -0.8188 long

After turning right, it is a steady but not too demanding climb to Stoke Clump. The distance is just shy of 1km. There are great views throughout this section.

Stoke Clump to End
Stoke Clump to End

Start point: 50.8788 lat, -0.8188 long
End point: 50.8688 lat, -0.8145 long

From here to the finish is one and a quarter kilometres, a straight continuation of the path which you followed up to the clump. The views of Chichester Harbour and the Isle of Wight beyond are as good if not better than anywhere on the South Downs. It is all gently downhill so take your time and enjoy the views. Halfway down, a track leads off left to a chalk pit. (I gave it a quick visit as we passed by, as it used to be an old stomping ground. I found it very overgrown and used as a farmer's dumping ground. A bit disappointing when I remember the fun we'd had in the past there). Continue to the bottom of the path which is where you parked and the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author seekin 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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