22.9 km (14.2 mi), of which 4.0 km (2.5 mi) on tarmac or concrete (2.7 km of that in Chichester). Cumulative ascent/descent: 498/524 m. For a shorter walk or an extension, see below Walk options.
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 10 hours.
Halnaker Crossroads is a stop on the number 55 bus service from Chichester to Tangmere. The service runs half-hourly Mon-Sat and is seamlessly linked to (on-time) trains arriving from London. It then takes 21 minutes to Halnaker. On Sunday line 99A serves this route, but runs only every two hours.
Chichester station is on the London Victoria to Southampton West Coastway Line. Journey times are between 87 and 108 minutes Monday to Saturday (four trains an hour), and between 102 and 113 minutes on Sunday (three trains an hour).
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take the train closest to 9.30 hours (but earlier if aiming for the late lunch pub in Singleton).
OS Landranger Map: 197 (Chichester & the South Downs) OS Explorer Map: OL8 (Chichester) and OL10 (Arundel & Pulborough) Halnaker Crossroads, map reference SU 907 080, is 6 km north east of Chichester and 37m above sea level. Chichester Station, map reference SU 858 043, is 45 km east of Portsmouth and 11m above sea level. Both are in West Sussex.
7 out of 10 (with several steep ascents around lunch, so may feel tougher than that)
This strenuous West Sussex walk makes for a long day out, as it involves a bus connection on the way out after an already long train journey to Chichester. Its main purpose is to explore the scenic steep chalk downlands well north of Chichester around the Upper Lavant Valley, between St. Roche’s Hill and the South Downs chain, while enabling a visit to Cass Foundation’s Sculpture Park (on an extension) in the morning, and passing through the Goodwood estate as well as through Chichester’s Old Town at the end. The lonely grassy or wooded hillsides of the beautiful Lavant Valley are dissected by quiet flat bottomed valleys, and feature several pretty villages, as well as providing for stunning views. Most of the climbing is done between the lunch pubs, but the longest ascent comes straight after the late lunch option, up to St. Roche’s Hill, from whose treeless summit you have some of the best views of any SWC walk.
An extension to Cass Sculpture Park adds - at least - 4.4 km and 109/112m ascent/descent. Budget 2 hours out and back. This is just about doable in combination with the full walk and that extended walk would be rated 10/10.
A shortcut around lunch reduces the length of the walk by 3.6 km and the ascent/descent by 167m (rated 5/10).
A shortcut also around lunch reduces the length of the walk by 0.8 km and the ascent/descent by 93m (rated 6/10).
An Alternative Ending in West Dean cuts out 6.5 km (rated 6/10).
A Cass Sculpture Park only-walk, returning to Halnaker for the bus to Chichester, would be - at least - 8.1 km long.
An infrequent bus service (number 99 Mon-Sat, 99A Sundays) runs past the early lunch stops in East Dean and Charlton. You need to phone ahead to book a stop though (01903-264 776)!
A half-hourly bus service runs from Singleton, West Dean and Lavant to Chichester (Mon-Sat only).
A half-hourly bus service from the fringes of Chichester cuts 2.5 km at the end (Mon-Sat only, last bus at 18.39 hours).
The Anglesey Arms at Halnaker, Halnaker, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0NQ (01243 773 474, http://www.angleseyarms.co.uk/ ). Open 12.00-24.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-22.30 Sun. Food served 12.00-14.30 and 18.30-21.30 Mon-Sat and 12.00-17.00 Sun. The Anglesey Arms is located at the start of the walk and is the lunch stop on a Sculpture Park-only walk. It would then come after 8.1 km (5.0 mi) of walking.
The Star and Garter, East Dean, West Sussex, PO18 0JG (01243 811 318, http://thestarandgarter.co.uk/ ). Opening times are 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-23.00 Mon-Fri and 12.00-23.00 Sat-Sun. Food service times are 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-22.00 Mon-Fri and 12.00-16.00 and 18.00-22.00 Sat-Sun. The Star and Garter is located 5.6 km (3.5 mi) into the walk and is a flint and brick country pub with rooms. It has a large garden at the back, which has partial rain cover.
The Fox Goes Free, Charlton, West Sussex, PO18 0HU (01243 811 461, http://www.thefoxgoesfree.com/ ). Opening times are 11.00-23.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-22.30 Sun. Food service times are 12.00-14.30 and 18.15-22.00 MonFri and 12.00-21.30 Sat-Sun. Bar food served all day. The Fox Goes Free is located 9.4 km (5.9 mi) into the walk on a shortcut and is a beautifully kept 400 year old inn with home cooked food, real ales and friendly, genuine hospitality.
The Partridge Inn, Singleton, West Sussex, PO18 0EY (01243 811 251, http://www.thepartridgeinn.co.uk/ ). Open 12.00-23.00 Mon-Sun. Food served 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Fri and 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-21.00 SatSun. The Partridge Inn is located 11.4 km (7.1 mi) into the full walk and is a 16th century pub with great character.
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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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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk