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West Dean and The Centurion Way

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West Dean and The Centurion Way
Author: mike evans, Published: 08 May 2017 Walk Rating:star1 West Dean and The Centurion Way Walking Guide star1 West Dean and The Centurion Way Walking Guide star1 West Dean and The Centurion Way Walking Guide star1 West Dean and The Centurion Way Walking Guide star0 West Dean and The Centurion Way Walking Guide
West Sussex, South Downs
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
West Dean and The Centurion Way
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot West Dean and The Centurion Way Walking Guide boot West Dean and The Centurion Way Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular walk from West Dean near Chichester in West Sussex. The Centurion Way is the recently completed conversion of part of the old Chichester to Midhurst railway line into a track suitable for walking and cycling. The line, initially built in 1881, closed for passenger traffic in 1935. The last section, from Chichester to Lavant, finally closed in 1991, that section having been used to transport gravel and sugar beet. This walk starts from West Dean and takes in the section of the Centurion Way from Binderton to West Dean.

There are 3 gates on the route and one set of steps. The walk passes through a number of fields with sheep in. There is initially an uphill section and thereafter the walk is essentially flat. Allow 1.5 hours.

West Dean sits on the A286 Chichester to Midhurst road, some 6.5 miles north of Chichester. Coming from Chichester, as you enter the village there are combined 'School ahead and crossroads' signs on both sides of the road. Turn right at the crossroads indicated into a narrow road, travel to the bottom of this short road and turn left. There is off-road parking on the right ahead. The walk starts adjacent to this corner. The bus service is provided by the number 60 bus from Chichester or Midhurst. This stops at the Dean public house. If you take this option, walk down the narrow road to the right of the pub, turn right at the bottom, the walk starts on the left at the next (right-hand) corner of the road. Lat/lng of the parking is
(50.903273, -0.780802). Post code PO18 0QY.

Walk Sections

Start to Gate 3
Start to Gate 3

Start point: 50.9031 lat, -0.7808 long
End point: 50.8891 lat, -0.784 long

From your chosen parking spot, walk south with the River Lavant on your left and, where the road turns right, turn left and cross the bridge over the River Lavant. Bear right to walk uphill for 400 metres on a wide stone track with the flint wall bordering West Dean gardens on your left. At the end of a small wood on the right (and at a two-way fingerpost), turn right off the track and onto a path. Walk with fields on the left and the wood on your right. After 170 metres the wood ends. Continue on the path and, after a further 265 metres, pass through a small five bar gate to enter a sheep pasture. Continue ahead and in a further 320 metres, pass though a similar gate and again into a new field. Once again continue ahead and walk a further 500 metres to a three-way fingerpost at a gate on the right. As you walk this section, looking over to your right you will see the small hamlet of Binderton. Binderton house is somewhat hidden in the trees but this is where Anthony Eden lived during the Second World War.

Gate 3 to End of the Rail Line
Gate 3 to End of the Rail Line

Start point: 50.8891 lat, -0.784 long
End point: 50.9053 lat, -0.7834 long

Turn right to pass through the gate and walk ahead, passing over the Centurion Way after 140 metres. Continue for another 100 metres and turn sharp left (back on yourself) to walk back to the Centurion Way. Join the Centurion Way, turning left onto it.

Once on the Centurion Way there is little room for error, so walk the 1.4 kilometres back to West Dean, passing under the Chichester to Midhurst road shortly before the end. As you walk this section have a thought for the Canadian troops stationed alongside this line in the build up to D-Day as they swapped chocolate and provisions for coal for their fires with the train firemen. This section ends when you reach some steps on the right which exit onto a narrow road. However, you might want to continue the extra 400 metres ahead (and return) to reach the end of the restored line which terminates at a tunnel. I have walked the tunnel in the past, but you have now been robbed of that particular adventure as the entrance is now sadly bricked up.

End of the Rail Line to End of Walk
End of the Rail Line to End of Walk

Start point: 50.9053 lat, -0.7834 long
End point: 50.9032 lat, -0.7808 long

Walk down the steps to exit onto a narrow road and turn right. Walk the short distance to meet the Chichester to Midhurst road and cross over it into another narrow road. Walk down this new road leaving the Dean pub (humm... was always called The Selsey Arms?) on the left and then, again on the left, the village shop. Turn right at the bottom, with the River Lavant in front of you, and walk along to finish the walk at your starting point.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author seekin and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 Comments for: "West Dean and The Centurion Way"

A lovely walk. very muddy to start but my fault for going in January.

By stevensally on 22 Jan 2018

Lovely walk, pretty in places and easy paths. I walked it in an hour at a fair pace. Great descriptions, thanks!

By stumpyaura on 09 Oct 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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