27.1 km (16.9 miles)
Difficulty 4 or 5 out of 10
A long (but flat) new walk visiting the estate of Knepp Castle where a re-wilding project is into its 10th year. Expect to see Old English longhorn cattle, Tamworth pigs, Exmoor ponies, fallow and roe deer, and, if you're really lucky, maybe even a purple emperor. The walk also offers views of historic buildings (Shipley Windmill, Knepp Castle, as well as a listed farmhouse and an old Quaker Meeting House associated with William Penn).
Trains Get the 9.02 Bognor Regis train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 9:09, East Croydon 9:23) arriving Christs Hospital 10.09.
Return trains from Billingshurst at xx:33. Get a return to Billingshurst.
Lunch The Crown Inn, Dial Post (01403 710902) after 14.3 km (8.9 miles). A 16th century inn on the village green with fare ranging from sandwiches through to venison from the re-wilding project. Food is served till 2.30 and the pub closes at 4.
Tea The Railway Inn opposite the station.
Options: There are shorter options involving the 23 bus to or from Horsham (see text). These inevitably miss out some of the walk's highlights and the bus is 2-hourly (approx) on Sundays.
- Here are the times for the 10.8 mile (Knepp Castle to Billingshurst) version [Get the 10:25 train to Horsham from Victoria arriving there 11:47. Then the 23 bus from stop L at 12:04 (direction Worthing), alighting at the "Partridge Green turn" at 12:32. From there, using the alternative start (Partridge Green bus stop to Knepp Castle), you would get to the The Crown Inn for about 13:40.] 10.8 miles is the total length to Billingshurst from the bus stop (see comment below) .
- The versions heading back to Horsham (from Knepp Castle or Dial Post) would need careful timing to meet the infrequent bus at Partridge Green (13:58, 16:08 and 18:08 direction Crawley). Trains leave Horsham at xx:00 and xx:44. I'll let you work the rest out.