South Downs Way 4 : Amberley to Cocking walk

South Downs Way along the ridge of the South Downs NP. Views in the morning, a forested trail in the afternoon. Travel by bus.



28-Jun-10 • Andrew Murphy

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28-Jun-10 • Andrew Murphy

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28-Jun-10 • Andrew Murphy

book3, swcwalks, walk33 5856064264131096082



28-Jun-10 • Andrew Murphy

book3, swcwalks, walk33 5856064283334660226



28-Jun-10 • Andrew Murphy

book3, swcwalks, walk33 5856064304975694434



28-Jun-10 • Andrew Murphy

book3, swcwalks, walk33 5856064332396390866



28-Jun-10 • Andrew Murphy

book3, swcwalks, walk33 5856064350703554514


18.6 km (11.6 mi). With 449/352m ascent/descent.


6 out of 10


OS Explorer OL8 (Chichester) and OL10 (Arundel).

You'll need an OS Map, or a guidebook to the SDW with maps


This is a ridge walk along the South Downs Way (SDW) along a good, easy to follow path. There are fine views in the morning. The afternoon is forested, so even though you're on top of the ridge, it's like walking along a forested trail. There are better views in winter (weather permitting).

At Cocking there is a (regular) bus service to Chichester. Or stay overnight, and continue along the SDW towards Petersfield.

There are pubs off route, but in close distance, off the South Downs, in Duncton, Graffham and Heyshott. The pub in Cocking is currently (01/18) shut. There is though, a tearoom at Moonlight Cottage B&B on the A road.

If you walk in the other direction, there is a nice pub in Amberley to finish in.

Walk Options

Divert north to Midhurst

Cocking has good bus connections, but the train journey from Chichester is longer and more expensive. As an alternative, Midhurst, a pretty village with plenty of amenities, is just 5 km north of Cocking and has a direct bus connection to Pulborough, which is on the same train line as Amberley, but one stop closer to London.

South Downs Way

This walk is one of 9 stages of the South Downs Way - a 109 mile national long distance path - that traverses the South Downs National Park in South East England.


Bus Travel from Cocking

There is a bus stop where the SDW meets the main road, or you can walk 1km north to Cocking village where there is the Bluebell restaurant-pub to wait for the bus.

  • For people on the Petersfield-Cocking walk on Mon-Sat only : take the #60 north to Midhurst (half-hourly), then change to the #70 to Haslemere (hourly). This costs £4.90 ("transfer ticket") [Dec-17] and works quite well: Cocking: xx:40 until 18.40 to Midhurst, 10 min connection to #70 (at xx:00 to 19.05) to Haslemere. You'll save the price on the cheaper Petersfield train ticket. Check connection times online beforehand.
  • On Sunday, or on the Amberley walk, take Stagecoach bus # 60 south to Chichester (about £4, takes 25 mins, Mon-Sat: every 30 mins till late, Sun: hourly till 6:45pm). Buy a return to Chichester, make sure it is valid by either route. The entrance to the Chichester bus station is opposite and to the left of Chichester train station. Buses leave from behind it.

The 'change buses in Midhurst' trick does not work on the Amberley-Cocking walk. On Mon-Sat only, you could take the #60 north to Midhurst, then change to the #1 to Pulborough (see below). However, it costs an exorbitant £8 ("Dayrider Gold")

Theses bus details were correct in Dec-17, but are very likely to change - check before you travel using:

Taxi: "Paddy Cars. £20 to Haslemere for up to 7 people. t: 01730 263263 | 01730 262279. Folks can relax in the Bluebell Inn while waiting - journey time about 25 mins". You need to book in advance on sunny summer weekends.

Places to Stay

2-Day Walk : Petersfield to Cocking to Amberley via the SDW

This makes a great 2 day walk. Buy a period return to Chichester (where the 2 rail routes converge, or 2 singles). Cocking is a hamlet with a pub-restaurant. Midhurst, to the north is a small town.


Travel from Midhurst Updated Mar-17

There are 4 bus routes to choose from.

  • Catch a bus to/from a station, peferably on the same rail line you arrived from. If not possible, buy a more expensive ticket to Chichester, which is valid on both rail lines.
  • Bus times change frequently. Check before you travel. Especially the time of the last bus!
    • Traveline Southeast - online timetable
    • Stagecoach South - NB: Stagecoach buses have family tickets, but no group tickets. A day ticket is £8.20/£8.50. This might make sense if you are travelling from (say) Brighton.
  • Stagecoach have a £2.50 Evening fare after 7pm

Waterloo line to Haslemere / Petersfield

  • North to Haslemere (Mon-Sat, not Sun)
    • Take Stagecoach bus #70 north to Haslemere.
    • Mon-Sat: hourly at xx:58 until 7.03pm. £5.20 (04/18). Takes 20 mins.
  • West to Petersfield (Mon-Sat, not Sun, early last bus)
    • Take Emsworth bus #91 / #92 west to Petersfield.
    • Mon-Sat: every 60 mins at xx:58 to 3:58, then 5:30pm. Takes 30 - 45 mins.

Victoria line to Pulbrough / Amberley / Arundel

  • East to Pulborough (daily)
    • Take Stagecoach bus #1 east to Pulborough.
    • Mon-Sat: approx hourly till 6.43pm. Sun: 2 hourly till 6.28pm. Takes 30 mins.

Both lines (a more expensive ticket to Chichester, valid for all the above stations)

  • South to Chichester (daily, till late Mon-Sat)
    • Take Stagecoach #60 south to Chichester.
    • Mon-Sat: every 30 mins till late, Sun: hourly till 6:30pm. Takes 25 mins,
    • About £4. You will need a train ticket to Chichester.
    • Chichester's trains aren't evenly spaced, if you miss one you may have a long wait.
    • The bus station is opposite the train station. Buses leave from behind it.

Midhurst Taxi

BJ's Private Hire (01730 716327 or 07732 590806). Uber is about £25 for Midhurst to Haslemere.

Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback

You can upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr (upload your photos) and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

By Train

Out (not a train station)

By Car

Start BN18 9LT Map Directions

Finish Hillbarn Lane, Cocking, West Sussex Map Directions

Map Walk This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Jan-18 Andrew

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only.

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

Starting in Amberley, follow the SDW to Cocking (clearly waymarked on the ground, and marked on the OS map).

In Cocking, there is a bus stop actually on the SDW, or divert north to the village to the pub

Alternative Endings/Starts to/from Midhurst, either from/to Cocking or via Heyshott are shown on the route map.

© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only.