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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Saturday Walk - Cass Sculpture Park, Upper Lavant Valley, Downlands north of Chichester, Goodwood on Race Day

Halnaker to Chichester: Scenic steep chalk downlands around the Upper Lavant Valley, the Goodwood Estate on the last day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, and unrivalled views from St. Roche's Hill

Length: 22.9 km (14.2 mi) [shorter and longer options available, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 500 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ½ hours
Toughness:  7 out of 10 (with several steep ascents around lunch, so may feel tougher than that)

09.06 Portsmouth Harbour train from Victoria (CJ 09.12, EC 09.23), arrives Chichester 10.35. Then take the Number 55 bus at 10.40 (direction Tangmere, usually from stand 7 at the Bus Station), arrives Halnaker Crossroads 11.00. The bus runs half-hourly, should the train be late. The pdf lists nearby caf├ęs to while away the wait.
Return trains are 2-3 per hour (from 90 mins journey time). Buy a Chichester return.

This West Sussex walk involves a bus connection on the way out. 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 (ticketed entry, on a >4 km 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.

On the full walk the scheduled lunch stop is The Partridge Inn in Singleton (11.4 km/7.1 mi, food all day), just before the ascent to the highest point of the walk: St. Roche’s Hill. There’s also the Star and Garter in East Dean, but that comes a bit early (5.6 km/3.6 mi, food to 16.00), unless you fit in the Sculpture Park beforehand.
On the short walks the lunch stops are the Star and Garter in East Dean or The Fox Goes Free in Charlton (9.4 km/5.9 mi) [Shortcut II only].
Chichester has lots of commendable drinkeries and eateries. For details  check page 2 of the pdf.

There are two shortcuts possible within the full walk, one going right past the race track and main stand of Goodwood, as well as an alternative ending from St. Roche’s Hill to the twee village of West Dean (with a fantastic tea shop, a lovely pub and a frequent bus to Chichester from the doorstep of that pub).
For details of this, as always, check page 2 of the pdf, or the route map on the website.

For summary, route map, height profile, walk directions, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.239

4 comments:

Thomas G said...

forecast looking good. intend to 'do' the sculpture park.

Thomas G said...

Expext the train to very busy with people going to Goodwood. You have to be in the front half of the train. Coaches 3 and 4 are best, as that's where the exit is from Chichester station. Turn left through barriers, turn right across road, follow narrow path to right of buildings into bus station. Stand 6, line 55, Tangmere bus, £3.60 fare.

Karen said...

n=15 w=mixed-sunshine-and-overcast-skies-a-couple-of-heavy-showers

Shared the train down with punters headed to Goodwood for the races. 13 made it from station to connecting bus quickly, with 2 more missing it and catching the next one. They caught us up at lunch.

8 of the initial 13 peeled off to do the extension into Cass Sculpture Park and the rest of us continued on the main walk at a leisurely pace. A stop for coffee at The Star and Garter in East Dean, though had to make do with various other beverages as coffee machine was broken. Had to take shelter later under some trees during the worst of the heavy shower and then meandered on to Singleton where three of us has had a good lunch at The Partridge Inn. The two walkers who missed the bus in Chichester arrived and the picnickers joined for coffee and pudding.

Leisurely pace again after lunch and everyone enjoyed the views down to Goodwood from St Roche's Hill. Back in Chichester, some made straight for the train and the remaining caught up with the sculpture vultures for a rather chaotic dinner for 8 at Wagamama. 6 rushed off for the 21:07 train, but due to the late arrival of one main course, two caught a later train back to London via Brighton, sharing the train with revelers returning from the Brighton and Hove Pride Weekend.

Stargazer said...

The 8 "sculpture vultures" enjoyed a relaxing visit to the Cass Sculpture Foundation under bright skies where about 50 large format pieces by various artists were strategically placed outside around the grounds -- some in woodland and others in more open spaces. There was also an exhibition of amusing smaller pieces in one of the indoor spaces. Dark clouds gathered during our visit and the heavens opened as the last of us were finishing up giving us the chance to catch the others up who we found sheltering under a tree not far away... Having missed the main lunch crowd, we enjoyed a tasty and peaceful lunch in the charmingly outfitted Star and Garter in East Dean. On arrival at St. Roche Hill, we caught glimpses of the penultimate race at Goodwood and saw the horses heading out to the start line for the final race as we set off down the hill in the evening sunshine for the final stretch....All in all, an interesting and worthwhile diversion to the main route...