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Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill

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Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill
Author: mike evans, Published: 30 Mar 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide star1 Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide star1 Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide star1 Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide star0 Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide
West Sussex, South Downs
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide boot Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide boot Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide
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0002_sunny_intervals Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide Today's weather
19 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 16 mph SSW
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0009_light_rain_showers Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide 0004_black_low_cloud Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide 0001_sunny Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide 0017_cloudy_with_light_rain Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill Walking Guide

A six mile round walk in West Sussex, starting on the Monarch's Way and returning on the South Downs Way. The walk is hilly, but there are no stiles on the walk and no sheep or cattle were encountered. The starting point is the popular parking area that contains Whiteways Cafe. The cafe is a haven for bikers, who were first attracted there when Grey and Rowsell's cafe in nearby Bury closed. In the 1960s the cafe above their motorcycle shop was a must ride out on a Sunday morning for anyone in the local area. I have enjoyed many a great bacon sarnie and coffee at both venues. These days cyclists and walkers are equal devotees.

The walk starts in the Whiteways Countryside Site free car park just north of the roundabout on the A29 between Fontwell and Bury (some 3.6 miles from Fontwell and a mile south of Bury). The lat/lng of the car park is 50.888588,-0.576825 The post code is BN18 9FD.

Walk Sections

Start to Crossroads
Start to Crossroads

Start point: 50.8889 lat, -0.5765 long
End point: 50.8923 lat, -0.5855 long

Start the walk by passing to the left of a metal five bar gate, more or less opposite to the car park entrance. Proceed down the wide path and enter the wood. Continue on the track for 770 metres (passing the Houghton Forest sign along the way) to a point where the track splits at a Y-junction, with a small group of trees in the middle. There is a waymarker on the left. Take the left-hand fork and, in a few metres as the track meets another track passing from left to right, go straight across.

Crossroads to Seat
Crossroads to Seat

Start point: 50.8923 lat, -0.5855 long
End point: 50.9054 lat, -0.6168 long

After crossing the track ahead, the track starts to climb gently. Stay on the track for 2km (IGNORING the track on the left after 330 metres at a threeway fingerpost, and a track leading off to the right after 1.3km at a marker post on the left). Just before the end of this section, the track splits at a Y-junction. At this point you can just see the start of a field ahead looking down the right fork. Take this right-hand fork. When you reach the field (which is on your right) there is a two-way fingerpost on your right and a sign for The National Trust Bignor Hill.

Continue now with the field on your right and woods on the left and, in 340 metres, pass to the left of a five bar gate and continue on the same track. In 300 metres the track meets a crossing track at a four-way fingerpost. The route turns right here but a few metres ahead is a seat with a lovely view. You may wish to take a short break here before continuing.

Seat to Barns
Seat to Barns

Start point: 50.9054 lat, -0.6168 long
End point: 50.91 lat, -0.5949 long

After turning right at the crossroads of tracks, continue for 250 metres to meet the South Downs Way at a multi-way fingerpost, depicting place names using their Roman spelling. This is to highlight the local Bignor Roman villa which was first discovered in 1811. There is also a car park at this junction. Turn right onto the South Downs Way, pass by the car park and follow the South Downs Way which goes off to the right of the car park access road.

Follow the South Downs Way for some 1.5km, enjoying spectacular views in all directions. You may wish, as we did, to speculate at this point as to whether it was going to be a bacon sarnie or fish and chips when we got back to the cafe. It was going to be the most difficult decision of the day!

At the end of this section, your track turns 90 degrees to the left with a farm track (with grass growing down the middle of it) going straight ahead. There is a two-way fingerpost on the right. The track goes downhill quite sharply for 260 metres or so and turns right at a two-way fingerpost signed as the South Downs Way. Then, in a short distance, it turns left and then right at a four-way fingerpost. Continue on the South Downs Way to pass a couple of metal barns, leaving them to your left.

Barns to End
Barns to End

Start point: 50.91 lat, -0.5949 long
End point: 50.8886 lat, -0.5773 long

After leaving the barns, continue on the South Downs Way for 1.5km or so, initially uphill. Towards the last section of the 1.5km, trees on your right come up to meet the South Downs Way.

As you reach and pass the corner of these trees, a four-way fingerpost points to a small path on the right which leaves the South Downs Way. Turn right to take this path. Follow the path, with shrubs and trees on your right and open fields on your left, for 830 metres to a point where the path turns left. Turn left to stay with the wood on your right and the field on your left.

After a further 120 metres at a waymarker, turn right into the wood and follow the path for another 150 metres or so back to the car park and the start of the walk. Make straight for the cafe! Decision made, fish and chips were not on!

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3 comments for "Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill"

Really nice walk. 27oC (mind you it is August, lol) so we went anti-clockwise so we were under the trees for the hottest part of the day. The views from Toby’s Stone are lovely! Well worth the climb

By GarethJones on 06 Aug 2018

A lovely walk with beautiful views. Would definitely recommend!

By TJones on 06 Jul 2017

Really nice walk with spectacular views and only one fairly steep climb.

By linny on 07 Apr 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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