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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, 18 July 2015

Saturday Second Walk - Away from it all on the Sussex marshlands

SWC Walk 14 - Pulborough Circular
Length:  21km (13 miles), but with lots of shorter options (eg 17.5km/10.8 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10 (officially: actually I would say about 2 out of 10… a largely flat walk)

9.32 train from Victoria (9.38 Clapham Junction, 9.48 East Croydon) to Pulborough, arriving 10.51

For walk directions click here.

This interesting walk has not had an outing since May 2014 (and it is even longer since it was done on a Saturday). It is an ideal walk for high summer, exploring various landscapes to the north of the South Downs. These include the semi-marshland of Amberley Wild Brooks, which has interesting flowers and usually good displays of butterflies at this time of year, the very pretty village of Amberley, the Elizabethan Parham Estate, and finally Pulborough Brooks, with its RSPB visitor centre. You never climb onto the South Downs (though see para in italics below) but you have fine views of them all day.

The full walk is 13 miles, but a short cut down a road in the afternoon (omitting the Parham Estate) saves 3.5km -  the 17.5km/10.8 mile option. An even lazier option would be to finish the walk after lunch at Amberley (12.3km/7.6 miles).

(Another intriguing idea, hinted at in the text, is to finish with a walk up onto the downs. If you turn right and not left on the road you come to at the end of section 6 of the directions (just past Old Rackham School) you are in paragraph 74 of the directions for SWC walk 9 (directions), which takes you on a lovely flowery climb up onto the downs and then along the downland ridge into Amberley - a walk of about 10 miles. You would need a day return to Amberley (or to pay the excess) to do this option. Note that there is a charity cycle event on the South Downs Way today but this route gives you ample opportunity to avoid the actual SDW path.)

Lunch is probably at the Sportsman pub just beyond Amberley, but it is just possible that the Black Horse in Amberley itself, saved by a recent campaign by locals, has now reopened. It was supposed to open earlier this year, though does not yet have a website. Otherwise, the Amberley Tea Rooms is a light lunch option.

For tea, you will have to step on it to get to the RSPB visitor centre before it closes at 4.30pm. The Crown in Cootham is a mid afternoon option but is closed 3pm to 5.30pm, according to its website. Otherwise, a pub option is mentioned in the directions in Pulborough and in 2014 the station taxi office at Pulborough was selling an impressive range of snacks and hot drinks.

Trains back from Pulborough are at 23 and 55 past till 18.23, then 19.05, 19.35, 20.35, 21.35.


Ian T said...

n=20 or so on this walk. w=Largely_sunny_but_cloudy_and_cooler_later. Path through the Wild Brooks almost overgrown in places. From Amberley, one or two split off to Arundel. Black Horse still shut but Sportsman fine. Most went through Parham, some didn’t. Pulborough Brooks reserve’s teashop was also fine. Large herd of deer seen from there. Big population of white doves too.

Walker said...

"…and willows, willowherb and grass
and meadowsweet and haycocks dry
No wit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky."

(Adelstrop by Edward Thomas)

Just want to add two things to the above report

1) The morning was beautiful, full of butterflies and flowers. 5 minutes after the start there was a thistle-ridden verge of an arable field which had painted lady, gatekeeper, peacock, small tortoiseshell and skipper butterflies all over it. The meadowsweet came later by the river. On the Wild Brooks, more butterflies.

2) Two of us who lingered over these delights hooked up with four members of the main party on the terrace of the Sportsman, with its gorgeous panoramic views, and decided (six of us in all) to go off piste and go up onto the downs: a beautiful climb with more flowers and butterflies. At the top, alas, the skies clouded over, so it was rather grey on the walk down to Burpham, but again with luxuriant verge flowers as a compensation. We got to The George in Burpham for tea/drinks at 6pm (or rather 5.55pm: they made us wait the extra five minutes for the kitchens to open before they would take a pudding order), and we then took the river route to Arundel (with some drops of rain), getting the 8.30pm train from there.