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West Ashling and Woodend

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West Ashling and Woodend
Author: mike evans, Published: 24 Apr 2017 Walk Rating:star1 West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide star1 West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide star1 West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide star1 West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide star0 West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide
West Sussex, West Ashling
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
West Ashling and Woodend
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide boot West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide
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0002_sunny_intervals West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide Today's weather
11 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 13 mph SW
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0009_light_rain_showers West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals West Ashling and Woodend Walking Guide

A four mile circular walk in West Sussex taking in the pretty villages of West Ashling, Funtington and East Ashling and the wood of Woodend. The woodland is awash with bluebells in the late spring. There are no stiles on the walk but it includes one gate. Parts can be muddy during wet weather and the route passes pigs which are fenced by electric fences. Parts are on public roads but the traffic is generally very light. Allow 2 hours.

West Ashling is some 6 miles West of Chichester and can be reached by taking the Funtington road out of Chichester (B2178) and turning left towards West Ashling on the B2146. In Ashling itself turn right at the Junction with Downs Street (signed Hambrook 2) and drive for about half a mile, passing the mill pond on your left. The Dell is a small turning on your right, half way up a hill. Parking for one or two cars on the left is generally OK although The Old School House (on the right) does request that you don't park in front of their windows. Lat/Lng of the parking is 50.858894, -0.858157 and the post code is PO18 8EB. A bus service is provided by the number 54 bus from Chichester which stops 'adjacent Heather Close'. If you take this option you will be in Downs Street. Walk for 500 metres or so along Downs Street in a westerly direction to reach the Dell on your right and the start of the walk.

Walk Sections

Start to Church
Start to Church

Start point: 50.859 lat, -0.8583 long
End point: 50.8674 lat, -0.8632 long

Begin by walking down the dell away from the access road and bearing left, leaving the Old School House on your right. Continue to the end of the short road, past the last white painted cottage on the right. The footpath goes off right, following the far edge of the garden of this property. At the end of the garden the path enters a field with a waymarker on your left.

The way ahead is a wide track between happy pigs on both sides. Note that there are electric fences separating you from the pigs, so take care with children and dogs. Follow the path for some 870 metres towards St Mary's Church at Funtington, crossing a number of dirt tracks and one tarmac roadway along the way. At the end of this section (and the end of the field), follow the path as it turns right. In a short distance at a fingerpost, turn left to enter the church graveyard.

There are many interesting graves in this pretty little churchyard, including for me, my parents and grandparents. But possibly the most poignant must be the one next to the far hedge (to the right of the lych gate exit). Buried there are all four sons of Mr and Mrs Spooner, lost for King and Country during the First World War. Well done Gavrilo Princip for shooting dead Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and kicking the whole mess off!

Church to Woodend
Church to Woodend

Start point: 50.8674 lat, -0.8632 long
End point: 50.8699 lat, -0.8341 long

Walk diagonally across the churchyard and exit through the lych gate and into a lane. Turn left, walk up the lane for 150 metres to the main Chichester road and turn right. Now walk on the pavement beside the road. Walk for 300 metres or so. As you pass the last house in the village (on the left), walk across the road and into a minor road (Downs Road), which goes off at an angle of 30 degrees or so from the main road. Slightly obscured by a tree, there is a grass triangle at the entrance to the Downs Road. Downs Road does not have any pavements but usually has very little traffic (we experienced none).

Walk up Downs Road for a distance of 600 metres to reach a farm track on the right. There is a telephone pole on the left of the track and a large tree and a circular mirror on the right. Turn right down the wide track and make your way past a number of large farm buildings which are on your right. After 200 metres, the wide track becomes a grass footpath at a line of trees. Walk ahead, to the right of the trees, towards a wood. Walk into the wood and after a few metres at a road, go 'straight' across to continue (actually jinking slightly to the right). There is a two-way bridleway fingerpost on the left.

Walk along this wide path for some 730 metres before turning right at a crossroads of paths. At this crossroads there is a yellow waymarker on the left, with the start of an area which is fenced off again on the left, beyond the crossing. DO NOT FOLLOW the yellow waymarker, but turn right. in the opposite direction. (NOTE: There are a number of paths that lead off the main path before this right turn. If you are following the App's live GPS track you should have no difficulty in identifying the correct path, but if you are following a printed description of the walk you may be unsure of the correct path to turn down. If you miss the path you will reach a road in some 200 metres. Simply turn right on the road and you will pick up the route again in another couple of hundred metres.)

Woodend to East Ashling
Woodend to East Ashling

Start point: 50.8699 lat, -0.8341 long
End point: 50.8623 lat, -0.8355 long

Having turned right on the narrower path, walk for 230 metres, going straight over one crossing path, to reach a small road and turn right onto it. (If you missed the turning onto the narrow path and ended up on the road and turned right, this is the point where you rejoin the route).

The road does not have a pavement but again is generally quiet and does have a walkable grass verge for most of its length. Walk along the road for some 350 metres to reach again the Funtington to Chichester road. Turn left to walk into East Ashling on the pavement. Walk for 230 metres, passing the Horse and Groom pub on your right, to reach Sandy Lane, again on your right.

East Ashling to West Ashling
East Ashling to West Ashling

Start point: 50.8623 lat, -0.8355 long
End point: 50.8619 lat, -0.847 long

Turn right into Sandy Lane and walk for 200 metres. As you reach the last house (in front of you), follow the fingerpost to go to the left of it and onto a footpath with a hedge on both sides. After a short distance the footpath enters open fields. The footpath goes for 650 metres across the open fields, angling right part way along its route to reach the road into West Ashling. Looking to the left as you approach the end of this section, you will see what looks like a a number of standing stones. These are in fact some of the sculptures of Neil Lawson Baker, a retired surgeon who has been sculpting for nearly 30 years.

West Ashling to End
West Ashling to End

Start point: 50.8619 lat, -0.847 long
End point: 50.8589 lat, -0.8582 long

Turn left to head towards West Ashling village. As you walk along this section you might be interested to know that the large flint wall on the right borders the estate of West Ashling Park where Lord Portal, chief or the Air Force during the Second World War lived. I had some connection there as he allowed us to use the park for our scouting activities when I was a member of the Funtington and West Stoke Group. Walk for 175 metres and turn right into Downs Street, signed to 'Hambrook 2'. Walk for some 400 metres to the the pretty little mill pond which you will meet on your left. Bear left to continue on the same road, as it goes gently uphill for another 375 metres to reach the Dell on your right and your starting point.

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4 Comments for: "West Ashling and Woodend"

If you continue past the path by farm buildings and take the right turn ‘Woodend’ then join the bridlepath after 300m .

By Philstevo on 07 May 2018

The 'path' by the farm buildings is extremely muddy now (Nov 2017). Also lots of large farm machinery to look out for.

By hquilter on 22 Nov 2017

Lovely walk, good directions, only thing I would add is that there aren't any dog poo / rubbish bins on route, however plenty of places to let the dog off the lead!

By elprez on 13 Aug 2017

A lovely walk. Good directions. The horse & groom pub well worth a visit!

By Gina1951 on 25 Jul 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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