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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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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Wednesday Walk - Pulborough to Halfway Bridge

Length:  26.0 km (16.1 mi) [shorter walk possible]
Ascent/Descent:  439/422m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ¼ hours
Toughness:  8 out of 10 

Take the 10.06 Portsmouth Harbour & Bognor Regis train from Victoria, arriving Pulborough at 11.19 (you have to be in the rear part of the train, as it splits in Horsham) [CJ 10.13, EC 10.23]
Return trains: xx.24 and xx.55.

This walk is a winding excursion through the Rother and Lod valleys in central West Sussex, routing through various quaint, remote villages, some atmospheric woods and several fine commons, part-wooded, part sandy heathland. Frequent southerly views of the South Downs and of Black Down to the north and long stretches in deep, shady holloways add to the mix, making this a very varied outing.
After leaving Pulborough on a westerly route familiar from other walks, past the picturesque Stopham Bridge and church and on to Littleworth Common, the walk leads in a southerly direction through the Rother valley and picks up the Serpent Trail Long Distance Path up to the idyllic Sutton Common heathland and various woods to Burton Park, a large estate with multiple ponds in a fold of the South Downs.
Leaving the Serpent Trail, the two recommended lunch options are back in the Rother valley, in Coultershaw Bridge and Tillington, and in the afternoon the route rises to Upperton and Hoe Hill, in between dropping into the Lod Valley through woods and fields. The finish is a descent back to the Lod River at Halfway Bridge, where another well-run pub helps whiling away the wait for the bus back to Pulborough.
Note: The route off Hoe Hill includes a precipitous descent down a very narrow and slippery gully.

A Morning Shortcut cuts out Sutton Common heathland (cuts 1.2 km and 48m ascent).
An Afternoon Shortcut cuts out several woods and the last sharp ascents around Hoe Hill by taking a much more direct route through the Lod valley (cuts 4.4 km and 135m ascent). Rated 7/10.

After the walk you will need to catch a bus line 1 (Midhurst – Worthing via Pulborough Station) from Halfway Bridge. Convenient stops for further shortcuts are: Tillington (late lunch stop) and Petworth (reached shortly after lunch via an alternative route through Petworth Park). The bus leaves Midhurst hourly on xx.30, then 17.40 and 18.45 and passes Halfway Bridge a few minutes later, Tillington 8 and Petworth 15 later resp.

The Badgers in Coultershaw Bridge (13.0 km/8.1 mi, food to 14.30);
The Horse Guards Inn in Tillington (16.0 km/10.0 mi, food to 15.00).

The Hollist Arms in Lodsworth (1.6 km from the end);
The Halfway Bridge at the end of the walk.
Back in Pulborough:
The Banyan Tree restaurant (300m beyond the station);
The Oddfellows Arms (1.2 km beyond the station);
The Chequers Hotel (650m beyond the station);
Petworth Ending:
Audit Room Café  at Petworth House (NT);
Plenty of options in Petworth.
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files  click here.

1 comment:

Thomas G said...

n=6 in w=heavily-overcast-with-about-an-hour-of-rain type weather. Some of the rain was quite heavy, but - as is often the case - it stopped the very moment the last hardy types had finally relented and put their waterproof trousers on...
1 went her own ways at her own pace, 1 other walked the morning shortcut to meet the other 4 at The Badgers, one of the many very nice pubs en route, where he retired to the sunny back garden, while we ate inside. The shortcutter also took a short afternoon route, so wasn't seen again, but later reported he had explored the Old Railway Station for coffee and ventured the opinion it might possibly be the "Best Ever SWC tearoom".
One needed to be back in London early so stopped in Tillington to wait for the bus back to Pulborough. The others reached The Halfway Bridge (pub) in time for a convivial drink before the last bus of the day. Only that the bus didn't turn up and a call to Stagecoach's HQ did not enlighten us on its fate. So back to the pub and call a cab (while waiting, we struggled - but eventually succeeded - to resolve the "Puzzle of the Week" from the chalkboard). Back in London quite late, but yet: varied if tough-ish walk as per the posted text, and everyone enjoyed it.