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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, 15 June 2019

Saturday walk - Pulborough to Amberley - Towards and up onto the South Downs

Length: 16.5km (10.2 miles) - with a longer option of 19km (11.8 miles): see bottom of post
Toughness: 5 out of 10: fairly flat, with a big climb near the end. T=3.09

10.06 train from Victoria (10.13 Clapham Junction, 10.23 East Croydon), arriving Pulborough 11.19

But a day return to Amberley.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here. For map click here.

This is a slight change from my earlier post (Pulborough Circular), due to the biblical quantities of rain which fell on Monday, with more forecast later in the week, which could have made the Amberley/Pulborough Wild Brooks waterlogged. This replacement walk goes through similar territory, but only skirts the Wild Brooks, rather than going out across them: it should therefore be firm underfoot throughout.

You start with a gentle ascent into an unexpected little area of hills which have fine views to the south of your ultimate destination, the South Downs ridge. This brings you in just 3.4 miles to the lovely Rising Sun in Nutbourne. In many ways the perfect lunch pub, with characterful interiors and an idyllic garden, if it has one fault it is that it can be a bit slow serving large groups. If the group is big, therefore, some adventurous or public-spirited types might like to carry on 0.9 miles to the White Horse in Mare Hill, which also looks to be a perfectly pleasant establishment (and has a garden), but which I have never eaten in, so can't comment on further.

After lunch you skirt the Wild Brooks - a very scenic stretch. In just 2.3 miles (from Nutbourne: 0.9 miles from the White Horse) you come to the RSPB Visitor Centre for the Pulborough Brooks Reserve and its cafe, where it is hard to resist stopping for a cuppa (and perhaps a cake as "dessert"): if it is not raining, do sit at the outside tables, which have a fine view.

There then follows a woodland section and 3km on a straight road - usually fairly traffic-free - which brings you to the foot of the downs. A magnificent climb follows, up flowery slopes where you may see some early downland butterflies, and then along the top of the ridge, with fine views to the north and south, and down to Amberley.

Tea options in Amberley include the Riverside Tea Rooms (closing 5pm) near the station and the Amberley Tea Room (closing 5.10pm: a short diversion into Amberley village, where the Black Horse Inn is also a possible refreshment stop). Otherwise, the very pleasant Bridge Inn is conveniently situated right by Amberley station.

Trains back from Amberley are at 17 past the hour until 21.17 (the last train)


- If you go to the Amberley Tea Room/Black Horse and if the ground is not too sodden, you could carry on westwards down through the village, out across the water meadows to the River Arun and follow that back round to the left to get to Amberley station. This would only add a mile or so to the walk, in addition to the 1km extra loop to get to Amberley Tea Rooms.

- Alternatively, if you lunch at the Rising Sun, you could swop after lunch to the afternoon of the Billingshurst to Amberley walk - walk directions here - start from paragraph 64 on page 4 - GPX here, map here. This gives you a slightly longer afternoon route (13.5km/8.4 miles versus 11.1km/6.8 miles) and a longer stretch on the South Downs ridge, giving you a total walk from Pulborough of 19km (11.8 miles).


Anonymous said...

Glad this walk has been changed given two other marathon walk/journey posted this saturday.

Walker said...

You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment....

Anonymous said...

Also Mike A's posting? That's also a shorter walk - you must have missed that Anonymous. Seems like a fair split with something for everyone - 2 short/moderate length walks in familiar territory, as well as one good leg-stretcher and a new location for the energetic and adventurous who don't mind an early morning.

Walker said...

Mike A's walk has been posted in the last hour or so, after our initial conversion. Good to see there is another shorter choice for Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is spoilt for choice then (^_^)

Walker said...

23 at the station but I am reliably informed at least one was on a later train and one turned up after lunch having driven to Pulborough and hidden in his car to watch the group walk off, so n=25 in all. As for the weather: 2 out of 10: must try harder. The Beeb had implied sunny intervals and showers: what we got was w=permacloud-with-showers-in-the-afternoon. I kept thinking I must come back and try this walk at a sunnier time of year - mid June, for example.

OK, I am moaning a bit. There were a couple of sunny intervals. One nicely coincided with some of us getting to the RSPB cafe. We sat outside in the sunshine with a lovely view and nice Eccles cakes, and the temperature soared ten degrees and my mood fast-forwarded from October to August while sparrows and white doves sparred for cake crumbs. One of the party split off here to do the short circular route back to Pulborough - possibly the first time it has ever had an SWC outing.

We had split for lunch between the two pubs, the sandwichistas using this halt, as usual, to sneak off into the lead. Those of us who went to the White Horse found it a nice place, with a characterful interior, picture window views of the South Downs, and a pleasant enough garden, though as it was now drizzling we ate inside. There were few other diners and the food took a long-ish time to emerge, but was nice and well-portioned when it did (three times the size of the meal in the gourmet pub in Brill last week and half the price).

The 3km road walk after the RSPB place was somewhat marred by there being a gymkhana going on half way along it, which generated quite a bit of traffic. The climb up onto the downs - one of the loveliest in the south east in my humbles - was marred by rain (so no butterflies apart from one small heath who may have taken to the air to avoid being trodden on). But up on top the rain stopped and we had grand views.

I am assuming many ended in The Bridge Inn and got the 6.17 train. Three of us decided to try for the Amberley Village Tea Room and, arriving just ahead of their 5.10 cut-off, were admitted to the elect. After tea we decided to walk through the village, across the watermeadows and along the river to the station - an idyllic walk through lush grasses and interesting flowers on which unfortunately it decided to rain relentlessly. We dried off in The Bridge, shared a large chips and caught the 7.17.