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Durford Wood and Rogate

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Durford Wood and Rogate
Author: Claire, Published: 23 Aug 2016 Walk Rating:star1 Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guidestar1 Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guidestar1 Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guidestar1 Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guidestar0 Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guide
West Sussex, Rogate
Walk Type: Woodland
Durford Wood and Rogate
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guide boot Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guide boot Durford Wood and Rogate Walking Guide
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A 5.5 mile circular walk close to Liss on the borders of West Sussex and Hampshire, enjoying large sections of mixed woodland and a few quiet arable fields. There is lots of wildlife to enjoy and great views of the South Downs ridge. Half way around, the walk takes you through the idyllic village of Rogate with its quaint church and classic village pub.

The walk has several steady climbs and descents throughout, plus a couple of short steeper sections. The paths and bridleways are rutted and uneven and can also get very muddy at times, so good boots are a must. There is one stretch along a quiet country lane, so take care of occasional traffic (or tractors!) here. You will need to negotiate a few gates plus one stile (which has a gap at the side that most dogs should be able to pass through). A few of the narrower paths can be a bit overgrown in the height of summer. There is no livestock on route and well-behaved dogs will be able to enjoy lots of time off lead. Allow 2.5 hours.

Durford Wood is located about 1.5 miles south-east of Liss. The walk starts at the National Trust car park for Durford Wood, a stone car park with parking for about 12 cars. The car park is accessed from Combe Hill Close, directly opposite the gates for Mulberry Cottage. Approximate post code GU31 5DS.

Walk Sections

Start to Views Crossroads
Start to Views Crossroads

Start point: 51.0278 lat, -0.8742 long
End point: 51.0162 lat, -0.8791 long

From the car park, do NOT take the open woodland path alongside the noticeboard, instead go through the bridle gate (directly opposite the vehicle entrance) to join the bridleway (marked with a blue arrow and a Sussex Border Path waymarker). Follow this stone track leading you downhill, with a boundary fence running on your right.

This woodland, Durford Wood, is part of Durford Heath, a mixture of oak woodland, open heath and specimen trees. The woodland is atmospheric throughout the seasons. In the past it was part of Rogate Common, with woodland (used for foraging and firewood) in this northern part and heathland (used for grazing cattle and sheep) in the flatter southern area. By 1880, with grazing largely stopped, the heathland had reverted back to woodland.

At the bottom of the slope, as you come to a Durford Heath National Trust sign, turn left onto the smaller path (still marked as the bridleway and Sussex Border Path). Stay with this bridleway, first a narrow path winding through the trees and then becoming a wider sand and stone track which continues ahead through the woodland.

Eventually you will come to a path junction (at the point where another track merges in from behind). Simply keep ahead on the main woodland track. Further along, look out for a waymarker post on your right marking a fork. Take the right-hand branch, leaving the main forest track and joining a narrower woodland path leading you uphill (still the Sussex Border Path). Just over the brow of the rise, you will have the first glimpses of the views to your left which stretch across the valley and to the South Downs beyond.

At the end of this path (with more fine views ahead), you will come to a crossroads with a wider grass track. There is an old bench just to your right (within the holly, so be careful!) should you wish to pause and enjoy the views.

Views Crossroads to Slade Lane
Views Crossroads to Slade Lane

Start point: 51.0162 lat, -0.8791 long
End point: 51.0106 lat, -0.8685 long

Bear left to follow the grass track leading you steadily downhill, with a tree line running on your right. At the bottom of the first stretch you will come to another junction marked with a fingerpost. Turn left here, leaving the Byway to join a Public Footpath. This grass track leads you between fields, swinging steadily right, passing a beautiful row of rose bushes and the property called Carrols Cottage on your left. There are more great views to your right here.

Simply keep ahead on the grass track, now descending steadily. Pass under the power lines and go ahead through the (narrow!) gap in the hedgerow to reach a T-junction with a sunken bridleway within the trees. Turn right along this. There are some beautiful old coppiced hazel trees at this stretch and some impressively constructed badger setts.

Continue to the end of this bridleway, to reach a T-junction with a signed Public Way. Turn left and follow this path between hedgerows. At the end, you will emerge out onto a narrow tarmac lane, Slade Lane.

Slade Lane to Rogate Village
Slade Lane to Rogate Village

Start point: 51.0106 lat, -0.8685 long
End point: 51.0077 lat, -0.8518 long

Keep ahead along this narrow tarmac lane, taking care of any occasional traffic. The lane leads you past several properties including Slade House on your right and, later, the pretty thatched cottage of Little Slade, also on your right. Follow the main lane as it swings right, ignoring the two small side turns on your left.

Pass the tarmac entrance slope for Vicarage Farm on your right and then, about 40 metres later, look out for a waymarker post within the hedgerow on your left (this is part hidden so do not miss it). Turn left here, up the bank and through the hedgerow to reach the edge of a large crop field.

With your back to the hedge, take the path through the crops at about 1 o’clock, heading for the top right-hand corner. In the field corner you will emerge onto the pavement alongside the main road, the A272. Turn left along the pavement and follow this as it leads you into Rogate village.

Rogate Village to Nuttings
Rogate Village to Nuttings

Start point: 51.0077 lat, -0.8518 long
End point: 51.023 lat, -0.8537 long

Pass the bus stop and the village shop on your left, to reach the crossroads at the centre of the village (with the village church, St Bartholomew’s, and the village pub just ahead). Turn left immediately before the pub, along the side road signed to Rake and Liss. NOTE: Take care along this short stretch as there are no pavements.

Follow the road between several pretty properties and passing the village hall on your right. Immediately alongside the last house on your right, Lower Lodge, fork right onto the signed public footpath. Follow this leading you through a kissing gate to reach the corner of a crop field. With your back to the kissing gate, follow the path through the crop field at about 1 o’clock.

At the far side of this large field, a stile leads you onto a narrow footpath between hedgerows. Stay with this path as it bears right, continuing between the hedgerows and then with a garden fence running on your left. You will come to a fingerpost marking a fork, take the left-hand branch, staying alongside the boundary fence. When the fence on your left ends, simply keep ahead on the woodland footpath (marked with a yellow arrow).

Further up, the path leads you past a fenced horse menage and outbuilding on your left, belonging to Rogate Lodge. Not far beyond this, you will come to a T-junction with a wider track, a bridleway, marked with a fingerpost. Turn right along this and, where the track swings away to the left, keep ahead on the narrower path (still signed as the bridleway). Towards the end of this path, you will pass a property on your right (Nuttings) before emerging out to the road.

Nuttings to End
Nuttings to End

Start point: 51.023 lat, -0.8537 long
End point: 51.028 lat, -0.8741 long

Cross over the road and keep straight ahead to join the signed Public Bridleway between fences. The path leads you steeply downhill along a sunken track beneath a tall canopy of trees. At the bottom of the first section of slope you will reach a minor fork, bear right (signed with a blue arrow and Serpent Trail waymarker).

Continue steadily downhill between steep banks and, at the bottom of this second stretch, you will come to a crossroads with a wide track. Turn left here (the small purple Serpent Trail waymarker points this way) and follow this wide track which continues gently downhill, meandering through the woodland. This majestic woodland is a mixture of tall elegant beech trees mixed with some pine trees.

After about 500 metres, look for a waymarker post on your right (with the purple Serpent Trail waymarker). Turn left here, leaving the main track, to join a narrower path leading you uphill. At the top of the hill you will come to a junction with the road. Cross over and walk ahead up the steep bank (for 40 metres) then turn right along the wide forest track. (If this steep bank looks too much for you, turn left along the road for about 50 metres and then turn sharp right to join this same forest track).

NOTE: There are several mountain bike routes within this part of the woodland so look out for bikes crossing your path and keep children and dogs close. Simply keep ahead on this main forest track, with the slopes of Combe Hill up to your left. At the far end, pass alongside the vehicle barrier to reach the road.

NOTE: This next short stretch follows the edge of the road which can be fast-moving so take particular care of the traffic. Turn left along the road (taking particular care on the bend) and continue to the T-junction. Cross over and turn left along the road edge. Pass a row of cottages on your right and, immediately afterwards, turn right into the entrance for the Durford Wood car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

3 Comments for: "Durford Wood and Rogate"

Beautiful walk. Update: Section 5 (Nuttings to End). Due to tree felling the path to turn left is not available and following the only available route leads to the main road. Here turn left and after 800m turn left at the crossroads. Follow this until just after the corner on the hill and there you can rejoin the route.

By mikehoward on 25 Mar 2018

Really nice walk with very nice views of the downs. Good variety of landscape.

By mussontheloo on 08 Apr 2017

Davina F: Fantastic walk today at Durford wood and Rogate. Beautiful scenery and good variety.

By Facebook on 19 Sep 2016

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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