Arundel to Amberley walk

Arundel Castle, its parkland, and the South Downs


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 11-Dec-21 Ho! Ho! Ho! Festive Fun on an Arundel High Road Circular (with shorter options) 12 cloudy but mostly dry conditions changing to heavy mist late in the day
Sat, 04-Jul-20 Saturday Walk Arundel Grande Circular (with shorter options) 20 under soft skies
Mon, 27-Aug-18 Bank Holiday Walk - Arundel to Amberley - Arundel Park and the South Downs 10 overcast but warm
Tue, 26-Sep-17 A Nice Walk through the Duke of Norfolk's Modest Back Garden 4 hazy sunshine and warm
Sat, 27-Jun-15 Saturday First Walk Book 1 Walk 32 : Arundel to Amberley 18 glorious sun
Sat, 07-Jun-14 Arundel to Amberley 14
Sat, 28-Dec-13 Arundel to Amberley, omitting Amberley Wild Brooks 3
Sat, 02-Feb-13 Arundel Circular, via Burpham 12
Sat, 28-Jul-12 Arundel to Amberley
Mon, 09-Apr-12 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 06-Aug-11 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 24-Jul-10 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 12-Dec-09 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 08-Aug-09 Arundel to Amberley
Sun, 24-May-09 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 24-Jan-09 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 02-Aug-08 Arundel to Amberley
Sun, 03-Feb-08 Arundel to Amberley
Sun, 07-Oct-07 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 11-Aug-07 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 12-May-07 Arundel to Amberley
Sun, 11-Mar-07 Arundel to Amberley
Sat, 11-Dec-21
Ho! Ho! Ho! Festive Fun on an Arundel High Road Circular (with shorter options)
Book 1 Walk 32 plus Book 2 walk 22 makes for a High Road Arundel Circular t=1.32

Distance: Something for everyone…..the full proposed distance is about 15 miles/24 km. However, you could do the book 1 walk as written (11.7 miles/18.8 km, with various options to shorten, including a short circular version of 8.5 miles/13.6 km) or for late starters, you could plan to arrive in Amberley about 12:30ish and do the afternoon leg of 9 miles/14 km….

Difficulty: 3-5 out of 10, depending on route taken….

Train: 9:35 AM Portsmouth Harbour/Bognor Regis train from London Victoria (9:42 Clapham; 9:53 East Croydon), arriving in Arundel at 11:01 (or for those wishing for a little extra time to do the full walk, take the 9:05 AM). Return trains from Arundel are at 13 and 46 minutes past the hour and from Amberley at 16:40 and then 17 minutes past the hour. Buy a day return to Arundel.

The Arundel and Amberley area provides a wealth of delightful walking options, both high along the hills and lower down along the river valley. Additionally, during the month of December, Arundel provides holiday cheer with pretty Christmas decorations and festive fun (see Arundel at Christmas), making it an ideal place to start and/or finish a walk. Options available today range from a long walk to much shorter options allowing you to spend more time visiting Arundel.

The main proposed route combines two walks from our repertoire for a “high road” circular from Arundel to Amberley for lunch (at the Bridge Inn or Riverside Café) and back again on a mostly high route across the downs to Burpham and then along the river to Arundel. The full route is admittedly long for this time of year (and you may wish to start on the 9:05 AM train to give yourself a bit of extra daylight time). However, the last two miles are mostly along the river which is easy to follow in low light.

The route starts with Book 1 Walk 32 on its route through Arundel and Arundel Park which you follow to point 24 where you take the short cut and turn left towards Houghton Bridge…..then pick up Book 2 walk 22 just outside the Amberley train station.

You can find more information about the walk(s), including the various options available, and download the walk instructions here and here.

Happy Holidays!

  • 10-Dec-21

    Due to the need to get a "day before" covid travel test, I will be joining those doing the full circular walk at the lunch point in Amberley. So you are aware, I have booked a table for 6 (could come as a 4 and 2) at the Bridge Inn at 12:30/45 -- please feel free to take the table(s) and get started if you arrive first, it is/they are under my name (not my alter ego, Stargazer)!

  • 10-Dec-21

    I will take the train arriving in Arundel at 10:01, then walk up to Arundel Park, down to the river turning right towards the bridge to South Stokes, then up north again to North Stokes (both have very spartanly furnished old churches) before walking on the eastern shore of the Arun to Amberley. If anybody wants to join me ....

  • 10-Dec-21

    I think it's 'only' 13.5 miles. I created a gpx for the route & that's what it gave as the distance. 4.5 miles to lunch, then 9 miles

  • 12-Dec-21

    1 started an hour early, 2 took the appointed train (but alighted at Amberley to do their own thing), 3 drivers started from Arundel at the appointed time and 4 others started half an hour early. These 10 arrived at the lunch pub at various times and were joined by 1 on the train an hour later who had paid a visit to the Amberley working museum (recommended) before lunch. Eventually 7 set-off back to Arundel along the downs, leaving 2 having their lunch before going home and 2 others who also left for evening engagements. The 7 on the hills enjoyed the views and saw some starlings murmurating. Rather than dropping down to Burpham, we stayed on the ridge longer enjoying the views and descended near Wepham to pick up up the standard route along the river which was very atmospheric in the low light and eventual heavy mist. On the final approach to Arundel, the lead 2 saw a familiar looking figure ahead in the gloomy mist and eventually caught up with 12 who had started about 1pm from Amberley and paid a visit to the George. 7 went up to the tastefully and cheerfully decorated town center and enjoyed a drink at the very inviting Swan before catching the 18:13 with some provisions for the long journey. A very enjoyable pre-Christmas outing in cloudy but mostly dry conditions changing to heavy mist late in the day .

Sat, 04-Jul-20
Saturday Walk Arundel Grande Circular (with shorter options)
Book 1 Walk 32 plus Book 2 walk 22 makes for an Arundel Grande

Distance: Something for everyone…..the proposed distance is about 15 miles/24 km. However, you could do the book 1 walk as written (11.7 miles with various options to shorten) or for late starters, you could plan to arrive in Amberley about 12:30ish and do the afternoon leg of 9 miles….

Difficulty: 3-5 out of 10, depending on route taken….

Meet: 11:00 AM in Arundel Station car park (by public transport, the 9:35 Bognor Regis train from London Victoria (stopping CJ 9:42 and EC 9:53) should do the trick)

I have been dreaming of a Grand Arundel circular for some time…..combining parts of our existing fine repertoire in the area….The idea is start with Book 1 Walk 32 on its route through Arundel and Arundel Park which you follow to point 24 where you take the short cut and turn left towards Houghton Bridge…..then pick up Book 2 walk 22 just outside the Amberley train station. You can find more information about the walk(s) and download the walk instructions here and here.

Technically, you could potentially have a pub lunch in Amberley – the Black Horse in the village (a short diversion from the proposed route) will definitely be open (according to its website). It is unclear if the Bridge Inn (on route) will be open…, best to bring some provisions….Back in Arundel, presumably some hostelries will be open for post walk bevies….If not, there is always the Coop near the station….

Welcome back pubs and enjoy the walk!

  • 30-Jun-20

    This will make an excellent circuit. The downland parts of book 2 walk 22 are particular recommended for wildflower enthusiasts at this time of year

  • Anonymous

    Very belatedly picked up the pun in the name. Nice one.

  • 02-Jul-20

    The Bridge Inn will not be open. It looks like the Riverside Tea Rooms will be doing takeaway 10-4pm, though, “unless it rains” (I am quoting the sign on their door).

  • 05-Jul-20

    19 assembled in the Arundel station car park under soft skies where we managed to separate into three groups, fast, medium and relaxed that departed in intervals to avoid regrouping...though the medium group took a slightly longer riverside start which met that the relaxed group overtook them...The two later groups further divided in typical SWC style with 2 of the relaxed group doing a shorter route...We then picked up a late starter in Amberley, making for a total of 20 .

    After inspecting the Riverside Tea Rooms (open but very busy), the relaxed group headed back up on the downs where we managed to go slightly wrong -- but did find a sheltered dip for our lunch....after which we retraced our steps and continued on piste -- really a lovely stretch of downland at this time of year with abundant and colorful flowers...the skies remained very atmospheric with only the occasional spits of precipitation...We dipped down into Burpham and could not resist the lure of the George, where most of us enjoyed a very tasty pint of beer at one of the outdoor tables....a few of the now trailing medium group followed suit, just as we were leaving for the final stretch along the river with its tremendous views of Arundel Castle....Back in Arundel, we encountered some of the fast group in the Norfolk Tap where drinks and, for some, an early evening meal were enjoyed.....Quite a fine day out marked with a much appreciated return to some normalcy….Hopefully, the journey back to normal continues.....

Mon, 27-Aug-18
Bank Holiday Walk - Arundel to Amberley - Arundel Park and the South Downs
Book 1, Walk 32 - Arundel to Amberley

Length: 18.8 km (11.7 miles). Several options to extend or shorten - see the Directions
Toughness: 7 out of 10 Just one ascent in the afternoon up a steep flight of steps onto the Downs (which can be avoided). Remainder of walk 4 out of 10

London Victoria: 09-36 hrs Southampton Central and Bognor Regis service. CJ 09-43; EC 09-53; Horsham 10-27. Train splits at Horsham. You need to be in the Bognor section.
Arrive Arundel: 11-01 hrs

Return Arundel to Victoria: 13 and 46 mins past the hour
Return Amberley to Victoria: 17 mins past the hour (just one an hour)

Check: as it's a Bank Holiday do check the accuracy of the above travel information. Occasionally, travel websites do not reflect timetable changes over Bank Holiday weekends.

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Arundel

Lunch: bring a picnic in case the lunch pub in Burpham is fully booked

It's almost a year since this Book 1 favourite was given an outing, so here it is for your Summer Bank Holiday (long) walk.

Leaving the railway station you head towards the centre of Arundel to walk (quite steeply) up its High Street, to pass Arundel Castle, then the Roman Catholic Cathedral before you enter Arundel Park, the Duke of Norfolk's modest back garden (....the old ones are the best ones.....). There are some lovely views from the Park. Leaving the Park, and with the River Arun now down below you, you head towards the hamlet of South Stoke. Its church (usually open) is well worth a peek inside. You now cross the River Arun on an ugly, modern steel pedestrian bridge, and head over water meadows, at times beside the river, and into the village of Burpham, where you stop for lunch. If you are lucky, you might find an outside table at the George Inn (indoors is likely to be fully booked some weeks ago): tel: 01903-883131 - but you might be lucky: your e.t.a is 13-05 hrs. But I suggest you bring a picnic, just in case - there are seats by the church nearby, and in the cricket ground also nearby.

After your lunch stop, do pop into Burpham Church, before you set off on your afternoon leg. You can avoid the steep flight of steps (see later) on the Book 1 walk by reversing the morning leg of Book 2, Walk 22 -Amberley to Arundel which offers a gradual, steady ascent onto the Downs: if you take this easier route you will meet up with those following the Book 1 route in Amberley. Otherwise, reverting to the Book 1 route, you walk through the churchyard and along a quiet road to Peppering Farm. You now follow a track which is soon beneath a chalky embankment to the South Downs. You now turn sharp right and climb up 244 earthen steep steps (do count them - some say there are 246, others 242 - but I'm sticking to 244). At the top, take a breather, then enjoy the views as you head along and over the South Downs. You eventually descend to Downs Farm, where you often encounter sloppy, chalky mud ( but the farm tracks should be firm today), then you drop down to a road junction above Amberley. You now have a choice of onward route: if you have time and the energy, you follow the walk directions to the village of Amberley, then walk over Amberley Wild Brooks and back beside the River Arun to Amberley Bridge. Otherwise, you can take the direct route down High Titten for tea at the Bridge Inn, close to the railway station. For other tea options, in Amberley village centre or near the railway station, please refer to the walk Directions.

I almost forgot to mention - your water feature for today is the River Arun.
Walk Directions are here L=1.32
If you are contemplating any "backwards"options, the Book 2 Directions are here

  • 26-Aug-18

    After Sunday's lengthy, steady rain, the chalky paths within Arundel Park are likely to be slippery, so do please take care.

  • Anonymous

    Two of us intend going

  • Anonymous

    Around 10 on this walk in overcast but warm conditions.

    Most seemed to have done the 244 steps (not counted, sadly)

    Four of us had time for a drink in the Bridge Inn before catching the 16.17. Others descended to the village in search of a tea shop and perhaps continued around the Wild Brooks.

    The George at Burpham was indeed full at lunchtime, but the lone walker who ordered a meal was served promptly sharing an outside table. Overall verdict, a lovely walk in good company in a very special landscape.

Tue, 26-Sep-17
A Nice Walk through the Duke of Norfolk's Modest Back Garden
Book 1, Walk 32: Arundel to Amberley

Length: 18.8 km (11.7 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10 (one steep climb up steps onto the Downs)

Lots of options to mix-and-match your route after South Stoke.

London Victoria: 09-32 hrs Southampton Central and Bognor Regis service. CJ 09-42, EC 09-53
Arrive Arundel: 11-00 hrs

Younger walkers: take the 10-06 hrs service from Victoria, arriving Arundel 11-26 hrs. Your younger legs will probably catch up the oldies during the morning leg.

Return: Amberley to Victoria: 17-17, 18-17 and 19-28 hrs

Return Arundel back to Victoria: 17-12, 17-47, 18-12, 18-52 and 19-23 hrs

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Arundel.

Today's walk is one of the best walks in Book 1 and a favourite amongst many a SWC walker - me included. Mid-week walkers did a mix-and-match variation of this walk last February, when it tipped down with rain all morning. Let's hope the weather is kinder to us today.
Soon after leaving the railway station you walk uphill through the pleasant town of Arundel, passing the Duke of Norfolk's Castle and then the Roman Catholic Cathedral, before you enter Arundel Park, all 1,240 acres of it. Walking through the park is quite lovely. On leaving the Park you walk above the River Arun (your water feature for a good part of the day) and head for South Stoke, a pretty hamlet with a lovely church. From South Stoke you have lots of options to continue your walk. The Book 1 route takes you beside the river to the village of Burpham for lunch at the very popular and always busy and booked up George Inn tel: 01903-883131. A table will be booked for us in advance. But if not heading for Burpham you can head for North Stoke for Lunch at the Bridge Inn in Amberley or return by the river to Arundel, taking lunch at the Black Rabbit pub.
Continuing on the Book 1 route, after lunch you have a lowland section before you climb up a steep flight of 196 steps up onto the South Downs. If you don't fancy this ascent, from Burpham you can reverse the Book 2 Walk 22 Amberley to Arundel walk which takes a gentler route up and along the South Downs. Back to the Book 1 walk, you now have a pleasant leg on top of the Downs before you walk through a farmyard and drop down to Amberley - either through the village and then to the station via Amberley Castle and a sweep of Amberley Wild Brooks, or direct down High Titten to the station. Tea is best taken at the Bridge Inn, next to the railway station, although there are other options in Amberley village.
If you are new to the SWC or a walker yet to try out this walk, it comes with my personal recommendation.
Walk Directions here L=1.32
  • 27-Sep-17

    Only 4 of us for what many consider to be the best walk in Book 1. Where were you all ?

    The weather was hazy sunshine and warm for most of the day, very pleasant walking conditions for the time of year.

    On arriving at the George Inn in Burpham I released the table I had booked and instead dined at a small table by the bar, with my colleagues eating their sandwiches in the nearby churchyard. After my excellent lunch, promptly served with a smile and washed down with a very acceptable pint of beer, we proceeded on the afternoon leg of the walk, still in warm sunshine. Not having done this walk "proper way round" for some years I led the group astray up on the Downs - silly me - but we regained the route after a bit of head scratching. Onwards then, enjoying the fine views, and picking the last of this year's blackberries, to Downs Farm, then the descent via High Titten to Amberley. A swift drink at the Bridge Inn, then the 16-17 hrs train back to London.

    A lovely day's walking - shame there were so few of us today.

  • Marion

    Sorry I missed this guys but Ive been seduced by the south east trains ÂŁ10 fares to the Kent coast for Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate on my days off work. Also the Essex coast has C2C senior rover tickets for ÂŁ6 to seaside locations Leigh on sea, Westcliff and Shoeburyness where Footprints of London have Thames estuary walks with a professional guide Rob Smith .including the industrial and social history of Canvey island and the Thames foreshore. Never more than 5-8 miles and a relaxed pace for those who like to linger in tourist locations.

Sat, 27-Jun-15
Saturday First Walk Book 1 Walk 32 : Arundel to Amberley
Book 1 Walk 32 : Arundel to Amberley
Distance 18.8km (11.7 miles) or less Please see below
Toughness 7 out of 10
Explorer 121 or Landranger 197
Ordnance Survey map of the route here
Take the 10.02 from Victoria Station to Arundel arriving 11.29 (Clapham Junction 10.08 and East Croydon 10.18)
Trains back from Amberley to Victoria are at 17 past the hour, and take 87 minutes.
Buy a day return to Arundel.

There are a number of options for reducing the length of the walk to 8.5 miles or less that are noted in the online instructions here

On this walk there are several stretches that are steep (but with excellent views in compensation) and some of the descents on chalky paths can be slippery in the wet or after recent rain.

I include this piece of info below just in case we have 'April Showers' on the day When coming down off the South Downs towards Amberley, the final leg of the walk, across the south-western section of Amberley Wild Brooks, should not be undertaken after periods of heavy rain, as your route over the water meadows is likely to be flooded; instead, take the direct route down High Titten to the railway station and the Bridge Inn.

Mervyn Peake and his family lived here and he walked the South Downs while devising the fantasy characters of Gormenghast. The turrets of Arundel Castle may have been its inspiration.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary in Burpham is of Saxon origin and has a lepers' window by which lepers could watch the Mass.
The afternoon’s walk, up, over and down the chalky South Downs, makes for a nice contrast to the morning’s walk. Amberley is a delightful village with many thatched houses, a pub, tea shop and village store, in addition to its castle and church.
By the railway station is the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre ( ) .

The suggested lunch stop is the George & Dragon Inn, at Burpham (tel: 01903-883131) which is at 6 miles (just a little over half way), say 2.5 hours of walking so you should get to lunch at around 14.00.
The pub has an extensive menu of quality main courses and specials (fairly expensive) and substantial snacks, served noon to 15.00. Just had a look online and the sandwiches and salads are not too bad on price
There are also some benches outside the churchyard nearby where you can sit and enjoy a picnic and a pint from the pub.
It will be necessary to give them a courtesy call if more than 4 of you wish to eat at the pub. There maybe a service charge for tables of 6 or more so maybe a few should book tables for 4 or 5

There is a new tea room in main square of Amberley village (the village itself, not the huddle of houses by the station) - the Amberley Village Tea Rooms. See or phone 01798 839196.

The Black Horse pub in Amberley village is closed according to the Comments section on this walk (tel: 01798-831700) though it maybe open again by now after local campaigning and then a refit.

The Bridge Inn ( tel: 01798-831619) serves coffee, tea and stronger drinks all afternoon and good-value meals from 6pm.

  • Anonymous

    18 on the walk and we heard a cuckoo - is this a record ?

  • 28-Jun-15

    Cuckoos rare in June though not unknown, but this is the latest I have ever heard of. Perhaps he has had trouble finding a lady cuckoo?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    glorious sun

    We also saw a buzzard though everybody else said it was a Red Kite - ?

    Weather was wonderful throughout and the walk was truly charming with a great pub for lunch, The George and Dragon.

    Tea in Amberley Village tea rooms was cracking

    A lovely day

    I think that were 19 on the walk as some chap joined us at lunch time, he got to the pub before us.