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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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Saturday Walk - South Downs Way: Amberley to Shoreham-by-Sea

Length: 24.1 km (15.0 mi) [Shorter Walks possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 458/461m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours (add 10 mins for diverting to the lunch pub)
Toughness: 6 out of 10

Take the 08.36 Southampton Central & Bognor Regis train from Victoria (CJ 08.43, EC 08.53), arrives Amberley 09.57. You have to be in the rear part of the train, which splits at Horsham.
Thameslink-ites: take the 08.35 train from London Bridge (all stations from Bedford) and change at Gatwick Airport (09.04/09.09).
Return trains from Shoreham-by-Sea: xx.12, xx.43 (both direct) & xx.47  (change Brighton)
Buy a Ford return! (that’s where the two lines meet).

From the webpage:
This walk, which can be done in either direction, follows the South Downs Way (SDW). The route follows the crest of the South Downs Ridge with good views in both directions. It passes Chanctonbury Ring, a ring of trees planted on the remains of an ancient Hill Fort. This spot has a beautiful 360° views, and is the recommended picnic spot.
Apart from the endings in Shoreham or Lancing, the route is very well way-marked. All the paths are wide, easy to walk on, and easy to follow. The route is almost entirely over an open and treeless chalk ridge, which is very exposed in wet or windy weather. [But the prevailing wind is from behind, of course.]
At the half-way point, there is a break in the ridge, where the route crosses the A24 dual carriageway. There is a slightly longer 'via Washington alternative' which avoids this crossing, and passes a walker-friendly pub (re-opened March 2019).

Walk Options (for details see webpage and map):
·        Finish in Bramber for a bus to Shoreham
·        Finish at Lancing station (walk 15 minutes through suburbia)

Lunch: The Frankland Arms (11.0 km/6.9 mi, food all day) in Washington. It looks like “Mat and Yan” have taken on a 20-year lease on this formerly shut Enterprise Inn pub, so let’s support them by spending loads…
Tea: several options on beach and river, near the station.

For  walk directions, map, height profile, some photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.26

1 comment:

Thomas G said...

Massive numbers of walkers alighted at Amberley, 29 of whom were on a Meetup walk doing exactly our route, but without turning left to the pub in Washington (as it turned out). They paid £28 (inc. the train ticket, mind you) each for the privilege of being led by someone from Outdooraholics, or some such outfit.
Us n=10 humble SWCers strode past them as they were getting their briefing and thought we'd left the masses behind with that, only to soon hear frantically barking dogs in the near distance (this is still on the main road just outside the station). I expected the West Sussex Hunt in full action, about to chase the odd fox. Then suddenly hundreds of runners (lots of them with dogs) erupted onto the road out of the old chalk pit (now Amberley Museum) and ran up the road and turned right up 'our' lane (High Titten). Most of them we never saw again, but their backmarkers overtook us later, when their (a little wider) route had re-joined the SDW. [MaverickRace were the organisers.]
The uphill track was a little slippery, so we were glad to accept the option of the grassy Access Land to the left for a long stretch and then for another. Views were practically non-existing, as the low cloud (or was it fog?) turned everything into a grey mush, and there was a cold wind about. The weather did not really change at all to lunch in Washington, where the pub has re-opened and has potential, but the food was a bit average if we're honest, although it came in large portions. The beers were well-kept though (Old Red Ale anyone?). The front of the Meetup lot had caught us just before the village (I thought they were a led group? But maybe their fast walkers just followed us, as to the pub they certainly did not go?), but that was all we saw of them for the rest of the day.
Back up the ridge steeply, emerging by Chanctonbury Ring. Further along, there were glimpses of views and even some blue sky for seconds, but in summary, it was w=low-clouds-that-never-truely-lifted. A pheasant shoot passed us (in their 4x4s, with the dead beasts in the back).
No one took any shortcuts or official alternative endings, so we all (bar the gpx-led backmarker) descended towards Shoreham together, but 2 then crossed the first bridge over the Adur and followed a dismantled railway line into town, rather than turning right along the seawall. The seawall route is quite enjoyable (especially after the demoralising A27 dual-carriageway) and then everyone of us headed straight to the station despite a plethora of tea options (bar the 2 with the alternative route into town and the backmarker). 16.43 train.

The gpx route diverges from the text in quite a few places.