© M A Renny 2018 Brookside Caravan Park

Arundel Estate - Distance: approx 7 miles, 11 km Time: approx 3 1/2 hours.

The walk is on flat ground apart from some steep slopes. Paths may be muddy after min. There are short sections of road. No dogs are allowed in Arundel Park.

1. Start at the Mill Road Car Park, Arundel

(GR TQ 021 071). Follow the river away from Arundel. This is one of the fastest flowing tidal rivers in England. Many people and animals have drowned in it so please be careful. You may see a heron by the water's edge.

2. Go through the kissing gate over the sluice gates and continue along the flood defence bank. The ditches drain the watermeadows, managed since the Middle Ages by flooding several times a year to fertilize them with silt.

Modern agricultural chemicals make this redundant. Notice how your view of Arundel Castle, the Cathedral and the Oast House changes as you follow the river.

3. Continue beside the river, crossing the Mill Stream and passing The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust on your left. Go past the "Badger" play ship and in front of the Black Rabbit Inn.

4. At the end of the pub car park, take the path in the left hand corner, emerging by the river again beside a small reed bed. Here the river splits; the old course, the "Burpham Loop" goes under the railway and meanders round. We follow the new course, cut in the 184O's to shorten the navigation. Across the valley are Warningcamp and Burpham, both Saxon settlements. At Offham bridge cross both stiles and continue along the river to South Stoke bridge.

5. Look for cormorants perched in the trees by the river. At the bridge, turn left up the lane. South Stoke is recorded as "Stoches'' in the Domesday Book (1085-86). The church is Norman, although restored in the 19th century. Continue on, bearing right at the junction. Ignoring the bridleway to your left, take the bridleway to your right: beside South Stoke Farm. Pass behind the red brick barn, turning left before the next barn. Follow the track straight on to a gate in a dip. Cross it and follow the right hand field edge up the hill.

6. Along the post and rail fence are good views of the valley. In front is North Stoke, Houghton village and Chalkpits to the left and Amberley Chalkpits to the right. Below in the valley a Saxon canoe was discovered in the last century. Cross the stile and gate, and follow the path into the wood. Box and yew trees grow by the path. In Spring wild garlic carpets the wood. The Arundel Park wall is on your left.

7. A footpath sign points left through the wall, just before the path rejoins the river. Go inside the wall and up the hill beside a fence. Follow the fence to a track. The downland turf around you has about 40 species of plant to every square metre. Follow the track to the right, turning left at the junction in the trees and up the steep slope to the stile and gate near the summit.

8. Here you get magnificent views of the Arun Valley: South Stoke below to the right, Amberley castle beyond Houghton, Pulborough in the distance and, on the horizon, St. Leonards Forest, the source of the Arun. Through the gate head for the right hand side of the wood in front of you. (lf you see a red flag flying, the firing range away to the right is in use). From the brow of the hill you can see a clump of evergreen oaks on the near horizon and, behind and to the right, the Hiorne Tower (built in 1790). Walk along the edge of the wood, then bear right to cross the stile under the evergreens. Follow the line of the fence down the hill, carrying straight on when it bears off to your right.

9. Cross the stile over the next fence and carry straight on down the hill. At the junction take the path to the left down the valley. Where the path forks, follow the upper footpath on the left.

10. Over the next stile the path goes beside Swanbourne Lake, which is fed by natural springs. When you reach the road cross it carefully and take tile footpath, turning right towards the bridge over the Mill Stream. Use the footbridge on the left of the road bridge.

Walk along Mill Road, under the avenue of lime trees, back to the car park where you started.