© M A Renny 2016 Brookside Caravan Park

Binsted & Tortington - Distance: 5 miles, 8km Time: 3 hours. The walk is on flat ground. Some areas are very muddy. Two sections are along roads.


1. The walk starts from The Black Horse Inn, Binsted (GR SU 981064). Turn left out of the car park. This was the site of a medieval village. Follow the road, ignoring the turning to Yapton and the footpath sign to the left.


2. Take the bridleway on the right. This is called O1d Scotland Lane and goes between two fields before entering Binsted Wood.

This is the largest ancient woodland in Sussex South of the Downs and is a site of Nature Conservation Importance. Follow the bridleway through the woods ignoring the footpath to the right. In Springtime, bluebells and wood anemones carpet the ground under the oak and ash trees. Throughout the year you can see wild privet, butcher's-broom, ivy and pendulous sedge.


3. Cross a small bridge and continue straight on along the bridleway, ignoring the footpath that crosses your route. On your left is a stand of sweet chestnut coppice with scattered yew trees. Throughout the wood you may see roe deer, grey squirrels or foxes. The ride has been widened to provide good conditions for butterflies. The wood supports 32 species of butterfly.


4. When you reach the next crossroads, where the hard surfaced path begins, take the footpath to the right. This heads south and crosses another small bridge. Notice the change in the smell of the woodland as you enter the pine plantation.


5. Arriving at a road turn left and after 15 metres go down the footpath on the right. Conifers and rhododendron predominate to the right. Carry on over a small bridge and through the larch plantation to the road.


6. Turn right down the road, leaving the woodland behind you. Across the fields on your left is Priory Farm, the site of an Augustinian Priory dating back to 1180 and dissolved in 1536. Looking back to the left you can glimpse Arundel and the Downs. Follow the lane down to Tortington Manor.


7. On the right you will pass an old orchard with a footpath through it. Take the first footpath on the left after this, at the far end of the old Manor grounds. This leads you past the pond and across the Manor gardens.

At the farside turn right and enter the churchyard. The church is Norman, dating from the same period as the Priory.


8. Leave the churchyard by the main gate. Notice the old petrol pump and the granary behind it. Arriving at the road turn right. Follow it around past the farm and the cottages back to ( 7) . Take the footpath across the orchard, through the small wood and over the bridge. Cross the field, heading for the line of big oak trees on the horizon. There are traces of a Romano - British     settlement in this field.


9. Cross the stile into the next field. This is an old watermeadow. Cross the drainage ditch by the bridge and head for the right hand corner of the field. Many centuries ago this was a tidal inlet and the tree-lined banks were beaches! Enter the next field by crossing the stile and little bridge, and follow the right hand field edge.

10. At the field corner cross the stile and the one to the left. This is a 16th century drove-way called Hoe Lane that villagers used to take their cattle to the watermeadows at the bottom. Go down the lane and take the first footpath off to the right, keep to the fence between the fields until you arrive at another farm track. This farm is a dairy farm so please make sure you close any gates you have opened.

11. Turn right and pass the farm buildings of Marsh Farm and the pond. As the track bends round to the right the footpath bears off to the left. Follow the footpath which goes straight on, crossing two stiles into another field. Keep to the right hand side of the field until you arrive at the road.


12. Turn left onto the road. Follow this road past Binsted Church, another           pleasant Norman church, and eventually you will return to the Black Horse inn.