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Compton Loop

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Compton Loop
Author: mike evans, Published: 01 Nov 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Compton Loop Walking Guide star0 Compton Loop Walking Guide star0 Compton Loop Walking Guide star0 Compton Loop Walking Guide star0 Compton Loop Walking Guide
West Sussex, South Downs
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Compton Loop
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Compton Loop Walking Guide boot Compton Loop Walking Guide
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0001_sunny Compton Loop Walking Guide Today's weather
19 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 12 mph NE
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A 4 mile circular walk starting and ending in the square at Compton in West Sussex. There are several gradients up and down, but nothing too extreme. The walk is mainly through open downland with one section through woodland and one section on a country road. There are stunning views in all directions throughout most of the walk. There are a number of kissing gates on the walk and one stile. We did not meet any cattle, but did meet some sheep on the walk, and a trough in one meadow was indicative of a possibility of cattle at times. Allow 2 hours.

Compton in West Sussex is 5 miles (8 kilometres) north of Emsworth and sits on the B2146 between West Marden and South Harting. Entering the village from West Marden (from the south), look for a turning to the right in the centre of the village immediately past the Coach and Horses pub. Turn right and there is parking in the square in front of you. The latitude and longitude of the start of the walk is 50.927420/-0.896705. Approximate post code PO18 9HA.

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Walk Sections

Start to Reserve
Start to Reserve

Start point: 50.9274 lat, -0.8966 long
End point: 50.9274 lat, -0.8966 long

From the parking area, walk back to the B2146 and turn left to walk past the pub. Walk on the pavement for 180 metres. At the last house in the village on the right, look for a slightly obscure fingerpost immediately to the left of the entrance to the house. Carefully cross the road, note the fingerpost direction, go past it, up three steps to emerge into a field.

The farmer had thoughtfully driven a tractor across the field to define the path when we walked, so you should have no trouble following it (diagonally left) for the 200-metre distance to the tree line mid-way along the left-hand edge of the field. Once there, walk on the obvious path through the trees, passing a footpath waymarker and into a second field. Again follow the defined path (maintaining your previous line) for 200 metres across this second field to another tree line.

Reserve to Horsley Farm
Reserve to Horsley Farm

Start point: 50.9274 lat, -0.8966 long
End point: 50.9236 lat, -0.9035 long

At the second tree line, you would be forgiven for thinking you were about to enter a game reserve. Pass by a footpath waymarker, through a gap in the hedge and though a 'kissing gate' large enough to hold back a rhino. Follow the path for 160 metres as it passes through the 'reserve', passing a waymarker halfway through, to reach a similar gate at the exit. Exit through the gate into a field. Again a tractor guided path (why aren't all farmers this thoughtful?) leads ahead going slightly uphill. Follow the path as it goes uphill and over a false horizon for 270 metres to reach a junction of paths and a four-way footpath fingerpost.

Go ahead and bear slightly right to go through a (probably open) galvanised five bar gate to go down hill on a wide track with a wire fence on both sides. 90 metres takes you to the bottom of the hill and to a kissing gate to the left of the widening track. There is a three-way fingerpost to the left of the kissing gate. Do NOT take the left option, but instead follow the direction straight ahead and uphill. Follow the direction of the fingerpost, or more likely a natural track just to the right of the actual direction. The track goes quickly uphill as it curves gently to the left. After 170 metres as the hill starts to flatten, there is a two-way fingerpost on the right. Continue to follow the track as it passes another two-way fingerpost on the right at the corner of a cultivated area. Bear very slightly to the right and go another 170 metres towards the right-hand corner of the meadow ahead. There is a small break in the tree line in the direction of travel. As you approach the end of the grassy area, look to the right to see a stile with a fingerpost and a footpath waymarker to the left of it. Go over the stile and onto a wide grassy track. Continue ahead for 80 metres to a three-way fingerpost on your right.

Horsley Farm to Wood
Horsley Farm to Wood

Start point: 50.9236 lat, -0.9035 long
End point: 50.9179 lat, -0.9133 long

At the three-way fingerpost on your right, ignore the left-hand option (which leads to Horsley Farm) but continue straight ahead instead. Stay on this track as it weaves left and right over a distance of almost a kilometre to finally reach a wood.

Wood to Meadow
Wood to Meadow

Start point: 50.9179 lat, -0.9133 long
End point: 50.9223 lat, -0.9245 long

A short distance into the wood, as the track bears to the right, there is a three way fingerpost on the right. Go ahead to follow the bridleway (do NOT bear left onto the footpath). Again a short distance on there is a Y- junction of bridleways. There is a waymarker in the centre of the Y. Do NOT bear left, but keep to the right. Similarly in a further 100 metres a three way finger post points to a footpath to the left, again do NOT go left on the footpath but continue on the bridleway.

Continue ahead for some 400 metres along the bridleway you will reach a three-way fingerpost on the left pointing to a footpath on the right. The bridleway continues ahead towards a metal five bar gate with a gap to the left of it. Do NOT turn right onto the footpath but continue ahead and pass through he gap to the left of the gate. After a further 350 metres or so, the track turns to the left as a track continues straight ahead, there is a bridleway waymarker between the two tracks. Turn left to follow the bridleway and then shortly reach another galvanised five bar gate with a gap to the left of it. Pass through the gap and continue going gently downhill for about 300 metres to reach a galvanised five bar gate with a small wooden five bar gate to the left of it.

Pass through the wooden gate to be met by views as far as Butser Hill on the left and views taking in Uppark House in front. There are trees still on the right. A further 200 metres takes you to the end of these trees and a five bar gate with a bridleway marker on the right of it.

Meadow to Kissing Gate
Meadow to Kissing Gate

Start point: 50.9223 lat, -0.9245 long
End point: 50.931 lat, -0.9132 long

Go through the gate and straight ahead for about 200 metres to a small galvanised gate and pass through it into a meadow. There were sheep in this meadow when we did the walk. Rather strangely, the route across the meadow in front takes you straight ahead before, at a bridleway fingerpost turning you left to take you on a route to the left of a large tree on route to the far tree line. Basically, after passing through the gate, turn to the left and take a route at approximately 10 o'clock, passing to the left of a large tree in the meadow and heading towards a fence at the edge of the meadow by two beautiful and very large beech trees. They were in magnificent autumn colours when we reached them (see associated image).

At the edge of the meadow, pass through a small galvanised gate and onto a narrow road and turn right onto it. Walk down the road for some 100 metres to a two-way fingerpost on the right by a kissing gate. Pass through the kissing gate to enter again the same meadow albeit lower down. Note and follow the direction of the fingerpost, to gently go downhill to a point where you reach a wire fence with a kissing gate and a two-way fingerpost.

Kissing Gate to Cross Country Course
Kissing Gate to Cross Country Course

Start point: 50.931 lat, -0.9132 long
End point: 50.9316 lat, -0.9076 long

Pass through the kissing gate and again follow the direction of the fingerpost for 180 metres to reach another kissing gate and the B2146 road. Turn left and walk down the road for 250 metres. Generally the traffic on this road does not travel at more than 30 to 40 mph and is light, but obviously care should be taken. There is a reasonable verge for the duration on this section that can be walked on or stepped onto if any traffic does come along.

After 250 metres, turn right onto a quiet lane. Walk up the lane for a distance of 800 metres bending to the left and then right as you pass along it. The road terminates at a junction, with a white sign (marking Compton 1/2 and Harting 3) on your right. Across the road, slightly to the right, a footpath fingerpost points across an arable field.

Cross Country Course to End
Cross Country Course to End

Start point: 50.9316 lat, -0.9076 long
End point: 50.933 lat, -0.8946 long

Cross the road to the fingerpost and follow it to enter a field. The path follows the direction of the fingerpost diagonally across the field (when we walked the field had just been sown and nobody had yet walked across it, so we opted to walk around the edge of the field). The GPS map follows the correct route across the field.

Either way, at the far end of the field you reach (slightly bizarrely) a two-way fingerpost and a kissing gate in the middle of an open meadow. Pass through it (or by it as is your want) but follow the direction of the fingerpost (approximately 10 o'clock). Cross the meadow, a distance of some 140 metres to reach a track that exits the meadow. There is a kissing gate with a footpath waymaker to the right of it. Walk past this on the track and pass a flint building on the left to shortly exit onto a narrow road. Turn right and walk the short distance back to your starting point.

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


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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