SWC 8 - Billingshurst to Amberley
Length: 22.4 km (14 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10 (one steady, steep climb up onto the Downs, otherwise 3 out of 10)
: 10-06 hrs Portsmouth Harbour / Bognor service. CJ 10-12 hrs, EC 10-23 hrs
: 11-10 hrs
to Victoria: 17 mins past the hour to and incl. 18-17 hrs, then 19-28 and 20-29 hrs
and 17-25 and 18-20 hrs via Arundel Posting of walk subject to possible Southern Rail travel disruption- strike action. Rail ticket
: buy a day return to Amberley
This walk gets fewer outings than it deserves, walk posters preferring its sister walk, SWC 9 - Pulborough to Amberley. Both walks contain a fair bit of road walking, particularly the legs up to the base of the South Downs, but there are lots of nice sections to savour on both walks. This time of year is an opportune time for posting the Billingshurst walk, as shortly after the start you walk through an extensive bluebell wood (Rosier Wood), often muddy, but if the 'bells are out you tend to overlook the mud.
The walk thereafter is a tease, as you see the South Downs in the distance ahead as you proceed in a southerly direction towards them, but they never seem to get any closer. In the morning you wend your way through farmland, copses, more bluebell woods, then a vineyard, before you reach the small village of Nutbourne, with its pub, the Rising Sun
, a favourite of mine, and your suggested lunch stop. Best 'phone ahead with numbers, your e.t.a being 13-30 hrs. 01798-812191.
After lunch you can mix and match your onward route, should you wish, with the Pulborough walk , which shares your lunch stop. That said I prefer the route in the Billingshurst directions, which takes you beside a golf course, then through a glider club, before a long(ish) road stretch (Clay Lane) which leads you to the base of the South Downs. You got there ! Now it's a short, steep, knackering climb up to the top, where, after catching your breath, you embark on a lovely ridge walk, either along the South Down Way, or - much better - the grassy open access land (the Springhead Estate) to its immediate north. After two miles you descend to make your way through the sloppy mud around Downs Farm, then you drop down to join High Titten which takes you down into Amberley. The suggested tea stop on a mid-week walk is the pub next to the railway station - the Bridge Inn
If you haven't tried this walk before, why not give it a go.
Walk directions here: L=swc.8
Next Tuesday walk, 09 May: SWC 50 - Hassocks to Brighton