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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, 27 January 2018

Saturday Walk - South Downs Way Section 4: Amberley to Cocking or Midhurst (return by bus to Amberley or Chichester) (map-led)

Length:  18.4 km (11.4 mi) (or 25.5 km to Midhurst)
Ascent/Descent:  417/321m
Net Walking Time:  4 ½ hours
Toughness:  6 out of 10 
Take the 09.49 Southampton Central train from Victoria (CJ 09.55, EC 10.04), arrives Amberley 10.58.
In Cocking on the A road take bus line 60 either south to Chichester (xx.15 and xx.45) or north to Midhurst (xx.08 and xx.38, takes 15 minutes) and change there to bus line 1 to Pulborough (15.30, 16.30, 17.40, 30 mins journey) [note: the last bus at 18.45 isn’t much help, as it badly connects to the train].
Return trains from Chichester are only one per hour today due to trackworks: xx.00 (change at Barnham), from Pulborough they are also hourly on xx.34 to 18.34, then 19.08, 20.36…
Buy a Chichester return to keep all bus options open, buy a Chichester (All Routes) return to keep open the option to also return via Havant to Waterloo, else buy an Amberley return.

To quote the website: “This is a ridge walk along the South Downs Way (SDW) along a good, easy to follow path. There are fine views in the morning. The afternoon is forested, so even though you're on top of the ridge, it’s like walking along a forested trail. There might be better views in winter.” There will be.

I was intending to walk this west to east, as the previous SDW stretches we have done, but this way round it makes more sense if some walkers want to extend to Midhurst.  
Longer Walk: from Cocking on the A road walk down to Cocking village (1.4 km) or even on to Midhurst (another 5.7 km).

Lunch: Picnic, or pubs off route and off the downs in Duncton, Graffham and Heyshott
Tea: The Bluebell in Cocking is now shut, but there are plenty of options in Midhurst and Chichester.

For summary, map, height profile, some photos and gpx/kml files click here. t=swc.33


Walker said...

It was w=windy-and-wet. 11 turned out nevertheless, though it later turned out we had a late starter who never caught up with us. So n=12 in all.

This was a scenic section of the South Downs Way with extensive views in the first two thirds of the work - definitely worth repeating in summer - but too often one was looking at the ground, to avoid puddles and rain. The puddles apart, the ground was mainly firm - lots of stoney tracks, so not too much mud at least. There was also much less woodland than I had been led to expect from the walk notes - it was all in the last third of the walk and then often only part wooded. The shelter of the trees from the southerly wind was often welcome.

There were no lunch pubs without more diversion than we cared to make on such a winter day, so we “picnicked”, if that is the word for huddling in a gully without a view in order to get some shelter from the wind. Toward the end, two continued to Cocking while the rest of us cut off a corner to descend to a pub in Heyshott for tea (served in nice pots). Then on to Midhurst for a brief pub drink and the 5.40 bus to Pulborough, followed by the delayed 6.34 train back to dryness and cosy duvets.

Thomas G said... for the Cocking ending and the route from there to Midhurst:
starts promising, along a quiet lane through Cocking, then paralleling the (on Saturday at least) raging Costers Brook, but then the westerly part of Hoe Copse is a bit indifferent due to being new plantation (and was very muddy underfoot on the day), the route picks up in the easterly part of Hoe Copse after crossing another brook, although the following holloway on the other side of Mill Lane was in fact a streambed this weekend. Then Dunford Roughs and Hollow are fine, as are the two small woods (with a pub passed inbetween), then only 5 mins along the A road and a quiet lane through Midhurst's centre. all in all quite ok. will add a jeepers to the website.
On the main walk route there were a couple of permissive access areas on Graffham Down that provided some welcome change from the long and straight farm track bridleway, I will cobble together gpx's for that as well