14.9 miles / 24.1 km to Shoreham-by-Sea. Shorter options: about 12 miles to Bramber (bus to Shoreham) or 13.5 to Lancing
Add an extra mile to any ending if you detour to Washington for the lunch pub.
5 out of 10 (1450 ft / 442 meters of ascent - 2 steep climbs, otherwise gentle gradients)
OS Explorer OL10 (Arundel) and OL11 (Brighton)
This walk, which can be done in either direction, follows the South Downs Way (SDW). The route follows the crest of South Downs Ridge with good views in both directions, It passes Chanctonbury Ring, a ring of trees planted on the remains of an ancient Hill Fort. This spot has a beautiful 360° views, and is the recommended picnic spot.
Apart from the endings in Lancing or Shoreham, the route is very well way-marked. All the paths are wide, easy to walk on, and easy to follow. The route is almost entirely over an open, treeless, chalk ridge, which is very exposed in bad or windy weather.
At the half way point, there is a break in the ridge, where the route crosses a busy A Road. There is a longer 'via Washington alternative' which avoids this crossing, and passes a walker friendly pub.
This walk can be done with the help of an OS map (or by printing the map segments), but the instructions below alone are sufficient.
Buy a return to Ford. Amberley and Shoreham/Lancing are on different lines, but a ticket to Ford (where the 2 lines converge) is the same price as Lancing, and is valid for both stations.
Another good choice of ticket is the (online only, buy 2 days in advance, e.g. on Thursday for Saturday) £12.50 All Network Downlander that covers both the train and bus journeys.
Suggested Train: Take the train closest to 9:45 from Victoria.
By car - check. Up to 2 changes, about an hour to return to your car (Amberley to/from Shoreham or Lancing)
The main walk is a picnic walk only.
The 'via Washington alternative' passes the walker friendly Frankland Arms (01903 892220) in Washington (mains £9 to £13 in 2012).
The main walk (finish in Lancing) : to do
Finish in Upper Beeding : 2 very nice pubs, the Bridge Inn and Kings Head
Finish in Shoreham : there are several nice, if pricy, pubs by the river on the way to the station, with outside terraces at the back overlooking the river
Shoreham Beach : pub, convenience store selling coffee and cakes.
"Lancing has a beach, and so does Shoreham-by-Sea. If coming from Bramber or Upper Beeding by bus, to get to the beach, get off the bus just after the shopping area of Shoreham, and cross the footbridge across the harbour. See the end of the main walk directions for more details.
|South Downs Way||
This walk is one of 9 stages of the South Downs Way - a 109 mile national long distance path - that traverses the South Downs National Park in South East England.
Help us! After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
- Leaving Amberley station, turn left and walk down to the main road, then turn right, and follow the road, past the museum entrance - there is a footpath on the opposite side of the road..
- In 500 metres, turn right up Titten Lane, following the South Downs Way (SDW).
- Follow the waymarked SDW, leaving the road for a path, which continues for several km, passing 2 car parks. In more detail:
- At the top of the hill, where a road joins from the left, keep straight on. In another 80 metres, fork left between wooden barriers up a path, signposted South Downs Way (but not too clearly).
- Where the slope levels out, the path merges with a farm track. Follow this straight on up the ridge, ignoring tracks to the right.
- Carry on up the hill ahead. At the top, you pass through a kissing gate. You can either remain on the track, or go through the kissing gate to the left, onto access land (Springhead Estate) which gives you a better view from the escarpment. If on the access land, in 800 metres you have to cross two stiles (or gates?) and there is a gate to the right that would allow you to rejoin the main track. But you can if you wish stay on the access land, climbing a hill and carrying on for another 800 metres or so, until a gate allows you back onto the main track.
- Whichever way you have come, you now follow the SDW through a thick line of trees and carry on, slightly downhill.
- At the bottom of the long gentle hill, there is a car park to the right. Again you can stay on the SDW over the next long gentle rise, eventually descending to another small car park. But better is to veer left into the first car park and to pick up a path at its far end, that runs parallel to the SDW you have just left. Follow this for 1km, and just after the top of the hill, just past a trigonometry point, you get a fine view to the left. To rejoin the SDW stay on the path, with a fence to your right, until it curves right to a road. Turn right on the road and follow it a short way uphill to the car park, and turn left to resume the SDW.
- 750 metres after the second car park, [!] veer left with the SDW, passing to the left of a barn (the more obvious route anyway).
- Just over the brow of the next hill, you pass through a gate. In 200 metres more, on the left, there is a a car wide path signposted "South Downs Way Alternative Route across A24".
- Here you have a choice, the main route (shorter, crosses a busy road, no pub), or the Washington alternative (longer, nice pub, no busy road crossing). Both routes meet up at Chanctonbury Ring
- Option 1) Stay on the SDW
- Continue straight on along the SDW. Head downhill to the busy A24. There is a median, so you can cross in 2 stages.
- Follow the SDW back up to the ridge again, and follow it to Chanctonbury Ring.
- Option 2) The longer 'via Washington' alternative
- Turn left on "South Downs Way Alternative Route across A24" track.
- Follow the track as it goes over the brow of the hill, down the escarpment, and then slants right. It slants down across a big open space. The correct exit on the far side of this is hard to find, but is a car wide track down through trees signposted SDW.
- At the bottom of this wooded track, ignore a track to the right, and instead go through a wooded boundary, and turn right on a second track beyond it.
- Cross the A24 on a footbridge, and keep on past the church downhill on a village road (the village is called Washington, but is not named as such here), until you come to a T-junction at the bottom. Turn left and the lunchtime pub, the Frankland Arms is in 100 metres or so on the left.
- After lunch, come out of the pub and turn right on the road. In 30 metres, go left over an easily missed stile, and veer right across the field beyond to another stile in the corner. Carry on along a fenced in path around a field.
- Cross a track, and go over a stile into the next field, and slant up across it to a stile at the top of the field. Carry on uphill beyond it, and at the far end of this field, cross a stile and turn left into a large field, with the escarpment now visible to your right
- Keep on along the left hand edge of this field, parallel to the escarpment. Half way along the next field, slant diagonally right across the field to a stile about 150 metres from its left hand corner.
- Carry on across the next field towards the trees. At the far end of this field you reach a gate. Beyond this, go right (not straight ahead, which seems more obvious) up a car wide track that starts to climb uphill.
- In 60 metres, take the path that goes left off this track, directly uphill, passing a hollow to your left. The path curves left around the top of the hollow, and flattens out for a while. But it soon starts to climb - relentlessly and steeply - and eventually brings you up to Chanctonbury Ring, an ancient hillfort now covered in trees.
- To get back on the South Downs Way, pass to the right of the Ring, and follow the obvious track.
- Both Routes continue
- Follow the SDW past Chanconbury Ring, and along the ridge. After 3km, the SDW comes down to a road (the track goes up to the road and then veers away: but you go onto the road, following the SDW sign)
- Cross the road, and take the path parallel to it on the far side, signposted SDW. In 150 metres, there is a concrete track descending to the left
- Here you have the option of finishing in Upper Beeding (much shorter, nice pubs, bus to train station)
- To finish in Upper Beeding: Turn left here along the Monarchs Way. The track becomes a tarmac lane, which leads down to a roundabout in front of Bramber Castle (worth a quick look). Cross the roundabout, go west along "The St" road. Tea options include the Old Tollgate Hotel opposite the castle, and pubs slightly further on. 2A buses go to Shoreham Station from stops on the left hand side of the road.
- To carry on the main walk to Lancing or Shoreham stations, however, ignore the concrete track, and keep on through the gate ahead on the SDW, parallel to the road.
- In 400 metres you pass through a gate. The South Downs Way turns left here, but you carry straight on along the field edge., your direction 170° Half way across the field, go through a gate to join a lane on the left hand side of the field, that runs along the side of it (but sperated by a fence).
- Follow the path towards Steep Down (hill) and the car park marked on the OS map, your direction 170° In more detail:
- Where the field edge ends in 150 metres, merge with a path coming from the gate to the right. Keep straight on, heading towards a large rounded hill ahead on a car wide track.
- When you get to the hill, keep to the left of it, and simply keep straight on along this track for another 2km as it follows a ridge downwards and then up towards a hill crowned with rather scrubby woods.
- Just beyond the brow of the hill, you come to a fork marked by an arrow on a post.
- Here you have 2 options - finish at Lancing (shorter, 1.5km, urban road walking), or Shoreham-by-Sea (longer, about 3km, more interesting, chance to swim)
- To Finish at Lancing Station: Fork right here. You soon come to houses and need to make your way more or less in a straight line through the town (due south) for about 1.5km to the station. Continue south, past the station, for a beach.
- To continue the main walk towards Shoreham Station, Fork left here (at the post mentioned in the previous direction).
- Follow the path as it curves left towards Lancing College (a famous public school). Eventually the path comes to a road. Carry on down this, but when it turns sharp right in 250 metres or so, keep on down a car wide track, a signposted bridleway, that passes a house and becomes a path
- Eventually this brings you to a road, with the entrance to Lancing College to the left. Turn right here, passing houses on the right. In 300 metres you come to another T-junction, and go right. In 100 metres, this road comes to a dead end, and you pass through a gap to emerge on the A27 dual carriage way. Turn left along a tarmac path along its edge.
- Cross the A27 at the traffic lights, and go down the dead end side road on the far side.
- You pass the entrance to Shoreham Airport and keep on down the road. In 100 metres ignore another tarmac road to the right, but just beyond it turn right on a signposted footpath that takes you out along a concerte wall along the edge of the Adur river estuary to your left. This eventually brings you under the railway bridge: beyond it turn left and keep to the right of a playground to emerge onto a road.
- Turn left on the road, and over the bridge. On the far side, turn right along Shoreham High Street.
- Continue along it until the 6th road on the left, East Street.
- For the beach: , go right across the harbour footbridge opposite East Street. Beyond the bridge, turn left for a short while and then right before the pub. Note that there is a convenience store to the left on the road down to the beach that sells hot coffee and cakes and is open late.
- To continue to Shoreham Station, turn left into East Street.