Main Walk: 14 km (8.7 miles). Three hours 20 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.
Alternative Walk, finishing at Angmering: 17¾ km (11.0 miles). Four hours 20 minutes walking time.
Explorer OL10 (previously 121). Arundel, map reference TQ024063, is in West Sussex, 5 km N of Littlehampton.
3 out of 10 (4 for the longer options).
Several SWC walks go through the landscaped Arundel Park to the north-west of the town but the central section of this walk is through the other half of the original Norfolk Estate, Angmering Park. The first 3 km is the same as the Arundel Circular walk (#100·2) and starts with fine views of Arundel Castle, the principal seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. The massive castle dominates this hilltop town but the ornate Roman Catholic Cathedral and the parish church of St Nicholas also feature prominently on its skyline.
After a stretch alongside the River Arun the walk enters the Angmering Park Estate, a traditional agricultural and sporting estate with a renowned Stud Farm and Racing Stables at its centre. The easterly route through this extensive estate takes you through an attractive open valley and a mix of commercial woodland and farmland, with a brief glimpse of Angmering Park House. The route then heads south through the village of Patching to a lunch pub on an old main road.
The constant roar of traffic on the road's replacement is not far away, and an underpass takes you under the busy A27. After crossing the A280 a gentle climb through a copse eventually brings you out onto Highdown Hill, a stretch of open downland owned by the National Trust with the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on its summit. On a fine day there are far-reaching sea views east to the Seven Sisters and west to the Isle of Wight.
The slopes of the South Downs were quarried for chalk and in the early 20thC Sir Frederick and Lady Stern were inspired to create a garden in the unpromising surroundings of an old chalk pit, building up a fine collection of rare plants and trees. Together with a nearby tearoom and hotel bar for refreshment, a visit to “Worthing's best kept secret” (Highdown Gardens, free entry) makes a nice way to put off your descent to the coastal plain and an anti-climactic stretch alongside another busy main road (the A259) to the station.
Note that Highdown Gardens are only open Mon–Fri from October to March, apart from Easter and Mother's Day, closing at 4.30pm (4pm Dec & Jan). In summer the gardens are open daily to 6pm.
There are two ways to extend this walk by about an hour. At the (misleadingly-named) Goring-by-Sea station you can carry on towards the seafront and loop back from the popular Sea Lane Café to the station, an extra 4¼ km. Alternatively, from Highdown Gardens you can go back across Highdown Hill and continue through the quiet village of Angmering to its station, 4 km west of Goring. This Alternative Walk is 3¾ km longer than the direct ending to Goring-by-Sea.
The routes for these extensions go across green spaces or through woodland wherever possible, but a glance at the map will confirm that both involve long stretches along residential streets.
More adventurous souls could use the maps to extend both of these variations even further. At the Sea Lane Café you could continue eastwards for nearly 4 km to Worthing and then head inland from the pier to the station, making a total walk of about 21 km. Similarly, at Angmering you could carry on to the seafront and then head westwards for just over 3 km to Littlehampton, an even longer variation of about 24 km.
Further information about these seafront extensions can be found in the Shoreham-by-Sea to Littlehampton walk (#211). Only outline directions are provided here, but the routes should be straightforward and the stations at these large resorts will be well-signposted from the seafront.
The original version of this walk took a more southerly route through the Angmering Park Estate, where the Woodman Arms at Hammerpot was nearer the walk's midpoint and so more conveniently placed as a lunch pub. However, this pub closed without warning in February 2019.
Arundel is on the Arun Valley line, with a half-hourly service from London Victoria (hourly on Sundays), taking 1 hour 20-30 minutes. All the possible return stations are on the West Coastway line, with a similar level of service and journey time. Both lines are operated by Southern and the fare from London to all these stations is the same. The suggested ticket is a return to Littlehampton (which is unquestionably valid at all of them), but in practice any return ticket would almost certainly be accepted at the other stations.
This walk is not convenient for drivers as you have to change trains at Ford or Barnham to return to Arundel, but for reference its station car park costs £2.25 Sun & BH, £4.75 otherwise (2019).
Take the train nearest to 09:40 from Victoria to Arundel.
With the closure of the Woodman Arms the only convenient lunch pub is more than two-thirds of the way through the Main Walk, after 10 km. Just south of Patching, The World's End (01903-871346) is a popular Hall & Woodhouse pub with a large beer garden, which serves a good range of food all day from noon.
After visiting Highdown Gardens you can choose between cream tea and cakes at the Highdown Tea Room (01903-924670; open to 4pm), or stronger fare at the hotel bar across the driveway.
Allow 15-20 minutes from Highdown to reach Goring-by-Sea station, 1½ km away.
As mentioned above the focus of the seafront loop is the large and popular Sea Lane Café (01903-247847) on Marine Drive, which is open year-round to seasonal hours: typically 4-5pm but “longer in fine weather” and as late as 7pm in high summer. The suggested route back to the station also passes a couple of chain pubs, The Mulberry (01903-241555) and the Chef & Brewer Bull Inn (01903-247622).
On the Alternative Walk the pubs are rather more distinctive. On the lane into Angmering The Spotted Cow (01903-783919) has a beer garden with views of the South Downs; it is usually closed Mon-Thu afternoons but open all day Fri-Sun. A little further on The Lamb at Angmering (01903-774300) is a renovated coaching inn with a small patio area at the back, describing itself as “a gastro inn in the heart of the village”. There is also a highly-rated ‘vintage style tea shop’ in the centre of Angmering but Tea in the Square (07958-109106) is likely to be closed by the time you get there.
Allow at least 20-30 minutes to reach Angmering station from any of these places.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).
Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.
- Main Walk (14 km)
Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.
- Arundel Station to Warningcamp (2 km)
- Warningcamp to Angmering Park Cottages (3¼ km)
- Angmering Park Cottages to Patching Church (3½ km)
- Patching Church to the old Arundel Road (1¼ km)
- Arundel Road to Highdown Gardens (2½ km)
- Detour to the Summit (+250m)
- Highdown Gardens to Goring-by-Sea Station (1½ km)
- Goring-by-Sea Station to the Sea Lane Café (2¼ km)
- Finishing at Worthing Station (+5 km)
- The Sea Lane Café to Goring-by-Sea Station (2 km)
- Highdown Gardens to Angmering (village) (3½ km)
- Angmering (village) to Angmering Station (1¾ km)
- Finishing at Littlehampton Station (+6 km)
From the station, turn right onto the signposted pedestrian and cycle route. This goes under the A27 and turns left to join it opposite the station approach road. Keep right at the roundabout to head briefly towards the town centre, then turn right onto a short footpath leading to the river. Turn right again onto the riverside path and follow it away from the town for 1 km. Turn right to cross the railway and go along a lane to a road junction.
The start is the same as Walk #100·2.
Arriving from London, cross the footbridge to exit through the main station building and immediately turn right onto the signposted pedestrian and cycle route to the Town Centre. This takes you under the A27 and turns left to head directly towards Arundel Castle1. You join the busy main road opposite the station approach road and keep right at the roundabout, heading for the town centre.
Where the pavement ends after 100m, turn right onto a signposted footpath. This soon comes to the River Arun where you turn right again onto the riverside path, joining the Monarch's Way2 (MW). Go over a stile and follow the riverside path for 1 km, gradually curving round to the left with a fine view back to the town's skyline.
Eventually the path veers right, away from the river. Go through a wooden swing gate and keep ahead towards a large white house on the other side of the railway. Cross the tracks carefully at the level crossing and continue along a tarmac lane for 300m to a road junction in the hamlet of Warningcamp.
Turn left towards Burpham, then take a bridleway on the right into the Angerming Park Estate. Go through a wood and then along the floor of a valley. At the far end go back into the wood and fork right up a slope to a small clearing in Wepham Wood. Go across an estate road and follow a forest track (public footpath) south-east through Lower Wepham Wood for 1 km. At a T-junction turn left onto a bridleway to come to Angmering Park Cottages at Wepham Ball.
Turn left at the road junction, towards Wepham and Burpham. In 400m, where there are trees on both sides of the road, turn right onto a signposted bridleway into a wood, entering the Angmering Park Estate. In 600m go through a wooden fieldgate and continue on a grassy path through a dry valley for a further 800m, still on the MW and ignoring paths off to both sides (finally leaving the footpath taken by Walk #100, up Warningcamp Hill on the left).
Shortly before reaching a hedge across the valley follow a farm track towards a fieldgate in the trees on the right. Go through a wooden side gate and bear left at a bridleway junction to continue just inside the wood. The track comes to a T-junction level with the hedge across the valley where you turn right. In 40m fork right at another three-way junction to climb steadily through the wood. Near the top keep ahead at a track crossing to come to a small clearing by an estate road in Wepham Wood.
Go straight across the estate road (finally leaving the MW) and continue past a small parking area on a forest track, signposted as a public footpath and soon curving slightly right to head SE. You now simply follow this track in much the same direction for 1 km, eventually going down a slope to a four-way junction. At the bottom turn left onto a bridleway, in 200m coming to Angmering Park Cottages on the right.
At the cottages turn right onto a footpath heading south-east and then east across fields, passing to the south of Angmering Park House. Continue in the same direction on a bridleway through estate woodland to Patching Hill. Turn right onto a footpath going down across a field to Patching church.
Just past the cottages turn right onto a signposted footpath, climbing through a wood to their left. At the top of the slope turn right at a T-junction and follow the path out of the trees. Turn half-left as indicated onto a long straight grassy path between wooden fences, heading SE with views of the sea 6 km away.
At the end veer right briefly onto an estate road, away from a security gate. On the other side of a hedge turn left onto the continuation of the footpath, a broad grassy strip on the left-hand edge of a large field, heading E. Follow this across a dip (where there is a view of Angmering Park House3 through a gap in the hedge, 450m away). At the top of the slope keep ahead at a path crossing, now on a farm track along the field edge.
In 350m continue along the field edge where the track turns left into a wood. In the corner of the field follow the footpath into the trees. At a four-way junction keep ahead onto a forest track which swings left up a slope, then curves back to the right. Simply follow this bridleway through the estate woodland for 1 km, going straight ahead at all path crossings; there might be a few muddy patches but these are easily skirted around on side paths.
At the far side of the wood you leave the Angmering Park Estate and continue on the bridleway between farm fields, with the spire of Patching church visible down the hill to your right. In 350m turn right at a signposted path junction, a clear broad path down across the field heading directly towards Highdown Hill, 2½ km away.
The footpath passes to the right of the churchyard (but with no way in) so you need to go past it to a path junction by the buildings of Patching Farm. Turn left onto a lane curving round to the right between the farm buildings and the parish church of St John the Divine4, which is worth a quick visit.
Head south briefly on The Street and turn left onto Coldharbour Lane. Turn right onto a footpath going across a field and then along the edge of a meadow. Go past Patching Pond to the pub on Arundel Road.
At the end of the farm lane turn right onto the road running through the village (The Street). In 100m turn left and go along Coldharbour Lane for 150m, then turn right into a small (no-)parking area in front of some houses. Take a grassy track to the right of these houses and immediately veer left on a short path through the undergrowth into the top of a large farm field.
Follow a clear path across the field, heading SSE. On the far side go over a stile in the hedge and bear right onto a broad grassy path along the edge of a long meadow, with a hedge on your right; you might be able to glimpse the large Patching Pond through the trees down to your left. In the far right-hand corner continue on a narrow path through a belt of trees. Ahead on your right you will soon be able to see the beer garden of the suggested lunch pub, The World's End5.
There is a plank bridge over a ditch on the right and an unofficial path through a field to the pub's rear car park. A fieldgate leading directly into the pub's garden is usually locked, but you could go through the car park and round to the its back door.
Alternatively, simply carry on along the (possibly overgrown) narrow footpath to the old main road, now a quiet lane. A gate by the road leads through the pub's front car park to its main entrance, or back to its beer garden.
Go across Arundel Road onto a lane going under the A27. Turn left and follow a bridleway between this road and the A280. At the top cross the A280 and continue to a bridleway junction. Turn right and follow this south between fields and through Highdown Copse to Highdown Hill. Take a grassy path heading south-east down the hillside (after first detouring to the summit if you wish) to the upper car park for Highdown Gardens and its refreshment places.
Go straight across Arundel Road to continue on the lane opposite the pub. Go round a locked metal gate and follow the lane down a slope and under the new main road, the busy A27. On the other side turn left onto a bridleway before reaching another main road (the A280). Follow this chalky path gently uphill, with trees and shrubs shielding the two roads from sight (if not sound).
At the top follow the bridleway round to the right and cross the A280 with great care onto the continuation of the path opposite, which curves round to the left. At the end turn right briefly onto an unsurfaced lane, but where this swings left keep ahead past a metal fieldgate onto a stony track between hedges. Follow this bridleway steadily uphill for 1 km, between fields and later through a wood (Highdown Copse).
At the end of the wood fork left in front of a National Trust sign for Highdown Hill6 to emerge onto open downland. Bear right and go alongside a hedge for 75m to a four-way signpost, with far-reaching sea views ahead (including the offshore Rampion Wind Farm7 development). Unless you want to visit the old hill fort on the summit (an unnecessary detour if you are doing the Alternative Walk, since the route to Angmering returns this way), turn left onto one of the grassy paths sloping down the hillside towards a belt of trees.
Turn right to go uphill to the small Iron Age hill fort8 at the summit. Return the same way and go straight ahead past the signpost towards the belt of trees.
Almost any route down the hillside will do, but the slightly lower (right-hand) path heading E towards the trees will take you through a wooden swing gate in a low flint wall (marking a Borough boundary). On the other side is the Miller's Tomb9 surrounded by iron railings, with an information panel. Carry on downhill in much the same direction, going past more clumps of trees. The main path curves round to the right and leads through a gate into a car park.
The entrance to Highdown Gardens (free entry) is on the right. For refreshments go down the access road to find the Highdown Hotel10 and its Tea Room immediately on the right.
If you are doing the Alternative Walk to Angmering, go to §9.
Go briefly down the long straight driveway towards the A2032, but at the corner of the gardens go through a gap in the trees to walk down the side of a meadow and a recreation ground, rejoining the drive through the lower car park. Cross the main road and turn left onto the walkway on the far side. At the roundabout turn right onto the A259. In 250m bear right onto a tarmac path and continue on Goring Street to the station.
Go out onto the main driveway and start to head downhill towards the A259. As you pass a locked gate into the gardens bear right past a “No Horse Riding” sign onto a short path through a belt of trees into the top of a meadow and recreation ground. Go down its left-hand side and return to the driveway through another car park (there is no exit at the bottom of the field). At the end of the drive cross the busy dual carriageway with great care and turn left onto the footway on the far side.
There is no alternative to the traffic noise. Goring station is just beyond the far corner of the large field on your right, but there is a wide stream running through it and no footpaths cutting across.
At the roundabout follow the footway round to the right to head S, still alongside the A259. In 250m (just before traffic lights) bear right off the main road onto a tarmac path, which leads into Goring Street. Go along this quiet street (the old main road) to a level crossing, with Goring-by-Sea station on the left. If you are not doing the seafront loop, Platform 1 on the near side is for trains to London and Brighton.
Carry on past the station on Goring Street, crossing over Goring Way. Veer right past the Bull Inn and across Fernhurst Drive onto the short Bodiam Avenue. At the entrance to Goring Hall Hospital turn right briefly onto a bridleway, then turn left into Fernhurst Recreation Ground. Go along its left-hand side and diagonally across the playing field beyond it. Join a broad path in a plantation of trees and follow it all the way to the seafront. Turn left and go along a footpath for 600m to the Sea Lane Café.
• If you want to extend the walk to Worthing (an extra 5 km), carry on along the seafront, heading east. Either go all the way to Worthing Pier (3¾ km) or turn inland before then onto one of the streets off Marine Parade. The station is 1¼ km from the pier.
Continue on Goring Street, crossing over the railway line. In 250m keep right at the T-junction with Goring Way, crossing over this main road to continue on another part of Goring Street. After passing a playing field on the right veer right past the front of the Bull Inn and go across Fernhurst Drive onto Bodiam Avenue. Follow this short street up to the entrance to Goring Hall Hospital.
In front of the entrance turn right briefly onto a tree-lined bridleway (Ilex Way), then in 40m veer left through a gate into Fernhurst Recreation Ground. Go along its left-hand side and through a gap in the corner into another playing field. Make your way across this second field towards the opposite corner and head for one of the gaps in the wooden fence on the left.
Go through the gap and turn right onto a broad path running through a long narrow plantation of tall trees. Follow this path for 500m to the seafront, crossing two minor roads along the way. At the end turn left and go along a raised footpath (or the shingle beach) for 600m to reach the Sea Lane Café.
If you want to extend the walk to Worthing instead of returning to Goring-by-Sea station, follow the outline directions below.
Carry on along the seafront, heading E. Either go all the way to Worthing Pier (3¾ km) or turn inland before then onto one of the streets off Marine Parade. The station is 1¼ km from the pier.
Go all the way up Sea Lane and turn left onto a bridleway between two residential streets (Ilex Way). Cross over Aldsworth Avenue and fork right onto a short path through the trees to Fernhurst Drive and the Bull Inn. Retrace your outward route along the two sections of Goring Street to the station.
Go across the roundabout behind the café and head N on Sea Lane. At the roundabout at the far end of this long avenue, with The Mulberry pub on the right, turn left onto a tree-lined bridleway (Ilex Way again) between two residential streets. In 400m this comes out onto Aldsworth Avenue, with Ilex Way continuing opposite.
A simple route would be to turn right onto this street, eventually passing a parade of shops on the right (including a restaurant and some fast-food shops); then at the A259 roundabout turn left and immediately right into Goring Street.
The suggested route (through more woodland and along slightly quieter roads) is to go straight across Aldsworth Avenue. Almost immediately fork right off Ilex Way onto one of the narrow paths used by dog-walkers, which meander through the trees for 100m and come out onto Fernhurst Drive. Head towards the Bull Inn (visible off to your left) and retrace your outward route along the two sections of Goring Street to the station.
If the level crossing is down, cross the footbridge to the far platform for trains to London.
Take any route back across Highdown Hill to the corner where you entered the National Trust land (there is an alternative grassy path below the summit). Follow a farm track towards a converted windmill, which goes down to the right where you head west again on a bridleway. Continue in this direction (crossing the A280 on a footbridge) to join the B2225 into the centre of Angmering.
Go back through the car park onto Highdown Hill and retrace your steps past the Miller's Tomb, through the belt of trees and gently uphill towards the summit. Keep ahead at the four-way signpost and continue on the broad grassy path passing just below the small Iron Age hill fort8 (or climb over the low rampart and go through the centre of it if you prefer).
On the other side of the hill fort several grassy paths heading W all lead to a metal fieldgate in the hedge 300m away. Go through the adjacent kissing gate and follow a broad farm track towards the restored Ecclesden Mill11. After swerving right and left ignore a track down to the right and continue towards the sailless windmill, then turn sharp left as indicated by a footpath signpost. Follow the narrow path downhill between fences and turn right at the bottom onto a bridleway.
Go along this track, which becomes a tarmac lane at the entrance to “Paddocks”. In a further 400m the lane swings right in front of the A280. You could cross over this main road onto the continuation of the bridleway a little way off to the right, but a safer alternative is to go past the exit and then fork left onto a tarmac path going up and over the road on a footbridge.
The two routes rejoin and you continue on a lane, passing the car park for The Spotted Cow on the right and then the pub itself, the first of the possible refreshment stops. At the road junction with the B2225 keep ahead and follow the road (which becomes Angmering's High Street) for 500m, eventually going down a slope and coming to a junction with Water Lane. Cross the main road to another refreshment stop, The Lamb at Angmering.
From the pub go along Church Lane and turn left at the end to return to the main road by the small village green. Turn right to head south on Station Road, but after 175m bear right onto a quieter parallel road (North Drive). At the end continue on the footway on the left-hand side of Station Road and follow this across the busy A259 on a footbridge. The station is a further 150m along Station Road.
• If you want to extend the walk to Littlehampton (an extra 6 km), carry on past the station to the seafront and turn right to head west along it. The station is 1 km inland, close to the River Arun.
You could simply go along the main road past the small village green, but the suggested route is to take the narrow street (Church Lane) from the left-hand end of the pub. As well as being a quiet street of attractive cottages, this also gives you the opportunity to vist the parish church of St Margaret12 on Arundel Road at the far end.
To resume the walk go downhill on Arundel Road and keep right at the village green, passing Tea in the Square in the parade of shops on the right. At the bottom turn right to rejoin the main road (now Station Road). Shortly after passing the Village Hall bear right off Station Road onto North Drive.
A footpath branching off to the right just before North Drive offers a superficially appealing alternative route to the station – mostly along a private road through a golf course – but at the far end there is no alternative to a very noisy 500m stretch alongside the A259.
The suggested route goes all the way along North Drive, with bungalows on the right and a belt of mature trees helping to reduce the traffic noise from the parallel main road. At the far end of this long residential street veer left and cross Station Road carefully to continue on the footway on its left-hand side.
As you approach a roundabout follow the path round to the left to go over the very busy A259 on a footbridge. On the other side continue along Station Road for a further 150m to a level crossing, with Angmering station on the left. Platform 1 on the near side is for trains to London and Brighton
If you want to extend the walk to Littlehampton, follow the outline directions below.
Carry on past the station for 1¾ km to the seafront. Turn right and head W along it for 3¼ km to the far end of Harbour Park. The station is 1 km inland, close to the River Arun.
- Arundel Castle was founded in the 11thC and some of the original Norman features survive, but the present building is predominantly Victorian.
- The Monarch's Way follows the escape route supposedly taken by the future King CharlesⅡ after his defeat by Parliamentary troops at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. It is the longest inland trail in England, running for 990 km from the battlefield to Shoreham-by-Sea.
- Angmering Park House was built in 1982, replacing an older farmstead to the west.
- St John the Divine, Patching was built as a chapel in the early 13thC and became a parish church in 1282. It was heavily restored in the 19thC and re-dedicated to St John since the original dedication had been lost. It contains copies of two famous paintings by Rubens and Murillo.
- Originally the Horse and Groom, The World's End acquired its present name in 2002 “in homage to the seafarers of the past who feared sailing off the edge of the world” (although the pub sign offers a different interpretation).
- Highdown Hill (81m) is the only hill on the Sussex coastal plain. Unlike other hills on the South Downs, it has a gentle ‘dip’ slope on its north face and a steeper ‘scarp’ slope facing the sea.
- The Rampion Wind Farm is being developed by E.ON and has a target capacity of 400 MW. When completed in 2018 it will consist of 116 turbines in an area of 72 km², between 13 and 25 km offshore.
- The small Iron Age hill fort on the summit of Highdown Hill dates from around 600 BC and consists of a single rampart and ditch. There was also an Anglo-Saxon cemetery on the site.
- The Miller's Tomb was built by John Olliver 27 years before his death in 1793. An eccentric character who was outwardly a prosperous miller, Olliver was rumoured to be the leader of a local smuggling gang, using the tomb to store contraband.
- Highdown Hotel was previously the Stern's home, Highdown Towers. The mansion and gardens were bequeathed to the Borough of Worthing after Lady Stern's death in 1972. Various unsuccessful ventures were tried at the venue (including a notorious nightclub) before it became a hotel.
- Ecclesden Mill (or Highdown New Mill) was a brick tower-mill built in 1826, taking over from John Olliver's Highdown Mill. It ceased working in 1872 and lost its sails in a storm in 1880. It was converted into a house in the 1970s and has since been further restored, with a lead cap added.
- St Margaret, Angmering dates from the 13thC, with its tower being added in 1507.
» Last updated: April 19, 2019