The route leads through Arundel’s picturesque centre into a series of woods and heathlands to the highest point of the walk in Houghton Forest before crossing the South Downs Way near Westburton Hill. Surrounded by wooded downs you continue through the sleepy villages of West Burton and Bignor to lunch in Sutton and on to Barlavington, from where you descend into the Rother Valley through Burton Park with its pretty church and imposing mansion.
The afternoon takes you through a mix of flat farmland, some wooded hills and the Lod Valley, en route passing Upperton and Nyetimber vineyards, to the Cowdray Estate, with its golf course-with-views as well as several polo fields, and to the romantic ruins of Cowdray House, as captured by JMW Turner.
Climbing from the River Rother’s banks, Midhurst's Norman castle ruins are passed on the way to the old market town's attractive centre with its many tea options.
This walk is the southerly section of the unmarked Midhurst Way, which has been created by John Trueman, local to the area and a passionate advocate of outdoor pursuits. It runs between Arundel and Haslemere. The northerly section Midhurst to Haslemere is available as a separate SWC Walk.
Both sections have been written up in either direction (in separate pdf’s) to enable a through-walk of the whole 47.4 km/29.5 mi Midhurst Way with an overnight stay along the route in Sutton, Coultershaw Bridge, Tillington, Halfway Bridge (a little off route) or Midhurst.
Bus 99 Chichester – Duncton – Petworth (6 buses per day, Mon-Sat) runs through Sutton, the lunch destination, and along the A 285, enabling a finish at Duncton Heath End, Coultershaw Stationmasters House or at Coultershaw Bridge (Badger Inn). This is a flexible service, pre-booking is required: call 01903 264 776, 09.00-17.00 Mon-Fri, 09.00-13.00 Sat! In Petworth you must connect to below Bus 1.
Bus 1 Midhurst – Petworth – Worthing (via Pulborough Station) travels along the A 272 between Midhurst and Tillington, enabling a shorter walk. From Midhurst the times are as follows (stops Tillington 8 minutes later and Petworth 15 mins later): hourly Mon-Sat to 16.30, then 17.40 and 18.45, and every two hours on Sundays, last at 18.30 (02/17 fare from any stop along that stretch: £4.60).
Eat and Stay
The White Horse InnThe Street, Sutton, West Sussex RH20 1PS (01798 869 221). Open 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-23.00 Tue-Sun. Food served 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.00. The White Horse is located 13.8 km (8.6 mi) into the walk.
The BadgersStation Road, Coultershaw Bridge, Petworth, West Sussex GU28 0JF (01798 342 651). The Badgers is located 18.8 km (11.7 mi) into the walk, 350m off route. Open all day every day. Food served 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 daily.
The Horse Guards Inn Upperton Road, Tillington, West Sussex GU28 9AF (01798 342 332). The Horse Guards is located 22.0 km (13.7 mi) into the walk. Open all day every day. Lunch served 12.00-14.30 Mon-Fri, 12.00-15.00 Sat and 12.00-15.30 Sun. Dinner 18.30-21.00 Sun-Thu and 18.00-21.30 Fri-Sat.
Arundel station is on the Victoria to Southampton West Coastway Line. Journey times are from 80 minutes Mon-Sat (two trains an hour), and from 88 minutes on Sunday (hourly).
Buses from Midhurst connect to Haslemere, Petersfield, Pulborough and Chichester. Bus 1 to Pulborough (on the same line as Arundel) runs hourly Mon-Sat to 16.30, then 17.40 and 18.45, and every two hours on Sundays to 18.30.
Taxi: BJ's Private Hire (01730 716327 or 07732 590806).
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!