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|Sussex Hospices Trail Part 23: Billingshurst to Pulborough|
|Author: Claire, Published: 24 Jul 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|West Sussex, Billingshurst|
|A 9 mile linear walk from Billingshurst rail station to Pulborough rail station, forming the 23rd stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. This is a particularly beautiful stretch of the trail, offering a peaceful riverside setting for much of the journey with plenty of wildlife and history to enjoy along the way. Once you have escaped the hum of Billingshurst, most of your journey is in the company of the River Arun and the disused Wey and Arun Canal. Discover some of the canal’s old structures, including Lordings Lock and Waterwheel, and relax in the tranquil setting of the waterway now reclaimed by nature. The return journey can be completed with a single 6 minute train journey. |
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 walking route from Billingshurst to Pulborough is relatively flat with just a few gentle slopes along the way. Some sections of path are quite narrow (and are prone to become a bit overgrown in the late summer) and some of the riverside paths and woodland bridleways can get very muddy at times. You will need to negotiate several gates, kissing gates, footbridges, steps and 12 stiles (all of which have purpose-built dog gates or open fencing alongside, meaning most dogs will pass through easily). There is limited road walking and most of the paths are enclosed from fields and roads so well-behaved dogs can enjoy plenty of off-lead time. You will need to cross two fields that may be holding sheep and two fields that may be holding cattle (the cattle seemed very relaxed when we passed by with our dog, but be careful with dogs all the same). Allow 4.5 hours.
There are no facilities for the bulk of the route. If you are looking for refreshments, The Limeburners pub is 1.5 miles into the route, there is a great picnic site at Lordings Lock or you will find a choice of places to eat in Pulborough at the end of your walk.
The walk starts at Billingshurst rail station (served by the Bognor Regis to London Victoria service) and finishes at Pulborough rail station. The two stations sit on the same line, usually with two trains per hour Mon-Sat and an hourly service on Sundays. The return train journey between the two stations takes just 6 minutes. If you are coming by car, Pulborough rail station (at the end of the walk) has the cheapest of the two rail car parks, it costs £5.50 Mon-Sat and £2 on Sundays (correct July 2016). Approximate post code RH20 1AH.
|Start to Lordings Road|
Start point: 51.0152 lat, -0.4502 long
Leave Billingshurst Station via the exit on Platform 1 and turn left through the parking area to reach the main road (with the level crossing to your left). Cross over the road and go straight ahead into Myrtle Lane, signed as a public footpath. Continue to the end of this lane and then pick up the tarmac footpath ahead. This narrow path swings left and then right to run alongside the railway line (on your left).
|Lordings Road to Lordings Lock|
Start point: 51.0201 lat, -0.473 long
Follow the left-hand pavement ahead and it will lead you past a pub, The Limeburners (which started life in the 1500s as a row of three lime-workers' cottages). NOTE: The pavement ends at this point so take care of traffic for this next short stretch. 50 metres beyond the pub, cross over to turn right onto the signed public footpath (the driveway for Guildenhurst Manor). A little way along, ignore the kissing gate on your left, simply keep ahead along the drive. Just before you reach the vehicle gate for Guildenhurst Place to your left, turn right over a stile in the hedge to enter a large meadow. NOTE: You may come across sheep in any of the next fields so take care with dogs.
|Lordings Lock to Haybarn Farm|
Start point: 51.011 lat, -0.4922 long
With several picnic benches and chairs, this makes the perfect spot to pause for refreshments and to understand the history of this beautiful site. This lock was once part of an important canal trade route, the Wey and Arun Canal. In the 1800s it was possible to travel by boat from The Thames in London to Littlehampton on the south coast. The route was via the rivers Wey and Arun, linked by the 23-mile Wey and Arun Canal. The canal had 26 locks, of which this was one. The unusual waterwheel here was used to lift water from the River Arun into the canal. The wheel is unusual in that one side of the paddles is designed to turn the wheel using the river flow while the other side of the paddles are cupped and used to lift river water into the canal. The wheel could lift more than 8,000 litres of water per hour. By 1871, railway competition was fierce and the canal was abandoned. Since 1970, the Wey and Arun Canal Trust has been restoring many of the locks and bridges, with the intention of one day re-opening the whole canal.
|Haybarn Farm to Furnace Pond Cottage|
Start point: 51.003 lat, -0.5099 long
Follow the track between the farm barns (right, left and right) to reach a crossroads of track marked with a fingerpost. Go straight ahead on the vehicle track, signed as a public bridleway. Towards the end, the track swings left and, before you reach the wooden gate ahead, turn right onto a side branch. Follow this track which leads you over the ditch of the former canal and then over a concrete bridge across the River Arun.
|Furnace Pond Cottage to Pallingham Bridleway|
Start point: 50.9939 lat, -0.518 long
Turn right and then immediately left to continue on the public bridleway. Pass through the gate to enter the long pasture (which may be holding cattle) and walk ahead on the track which leads you through the centre of this. Ignore the footpath branching right, simply continue to the end of the field where a bridle gate leads you into woodland.
|Pallingham Bridleway to Pallingham Bridge|
Start point: 50.9881 lat, -0.5382 long
Follow this beautiful woodland stone track, keeping your ears pricked for the sounds of the vast array of birds that inhabit the woodland. At the first fork, take the branch that swings left to continue its woodland journey. At the next major junction, pass through (or alongside) the gate ahead, crossing an old cattle grid. You will now have a beautiful open crop field beyond the hedge on your left.
|Pallingham Bridge to Horse Gallops|
Start point: 50.9847 lat, -0.5227 long
Continue on the bridleway (right, left, right again) to reach a choice of paths (one ahead and one left). Take the path ahead, passing through a metal gateway. Views soon open up across the rolling fields each side. Further along, bear left to merge with a tarmac driveway and follow this as it swings right to reach a T-junction (with the entrance for Sheepwash Farm on your right). Turn left and follow the driveway all the way to the end where it meets the road in Pickhurst.
|Horse Gallops to End|
Start point: 50.9709 lat, -0.5187 long
Turn immediately right to join the vehicle track, staying close to the fence line on your right. Soon, fine views open up ahead with the South Downs ridge in the background and the square church tower in Pulborough at about 11 o’clock. Follow the vehicle lane ahead and, just as a tall hedge begins on your left, glance to your right where you will see the entrance for Coombelands marked with a statue of a jockey. (Who knew jockeys were quite so tiny these days!).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Ian Richardson: Billingshurst to Pulborough, Sussex, a lovely day for it! Great walk, we are all shattered, except Digby dog, who wants to go again.
|By Facebook on 27 Aug 2016|
Attempted this route in reverse but were diverted a number of times due to floods. Finally made it to the limeburners after 5 hours, will reattempt in the summer.
|By renj46 on 04 Feb 2017|
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: Facebook |
Uploaded: 27 Aug 2016
|Image by: Facebook |
Uploaded: 27 Aug 2016
|Image by: Facebook |
Uploaded: 27 Aug 2016
|Image by: Facebook |
Uploaded: 27 Aug 2016
At the station
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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