SWC Walk 239 – Scenic steep chalk downlands around the Upper Lavant Valley, the Goodwood Estate on the Opening Day of the Race Season, unrivalled views from St. Roche's Hill (incl. of the race track below) and historic Chichester's centre
Length: 22.9 km (14.2 mi) [shorter options available, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 500 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ½ hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10 (with several steep ascents around lunch, so may feel tougher than that)
09.06 train from [!] London Bridge [!] (East Croydon 09.24 [the 08.43 from Victoria connects with this]), arrives Chichester 10.35. Then take the Number 55 Bus at 10.40 (usually from Bay 6 at the Bus Station), arrives Halnaker Crossroads 11.01. The Bus is half-hourly. The write-up lists nearby cafes should the train arrive late.
Return trains are 2-4 per hour, today mostly to London Bridge. Last direct train: 21.07. Last train with under 2 hours journey time: 22.40. Buy a Chichester Return.
This strenuous West Sussex walk makes for a long day out, as it involves a bus connection on the way out after an already long train journey to Chichester. Its main purpose is to explore the scenic steep chalk downlands well north of Chichester around the Upper Lavant Valley, between St. Roche’s Hill and the South Downs chain, while enabling a visit to Cass Foundation’s Sculpture Park (on an extension) in the morning, and passing through the Goodwood estate as well as through Chichester’s Old Town at the end. The lonely grassy or wooded hillsides of the beautiful Lavant Valley are dissected by quiet flat bottomed valleys, and feature several pretty villages, as well as providing for stunning views. Most of the climbing is done between the lunch pubs, but the longest ascent comes straight after the late lunch option, up to St. Roche’s Hill, from whose treeless summit you have some of the best views of any SWC walk.
On the full walk
the scheduled lunch stop
is The Partridge Inn
(11.4 km/7.1 mi), just before the ascent to the highest point of the walk: St. Roche’s Hill; a table has been booked for 13.30 hours. There’s also the Star and Garter
in East Dean
, but that comes a bit early (5.6 km/3.6 mi). On the short walks
stops are the Star and Garter
or The Fox Goes Free
(9.4 km/5.9 mi) [Shortcut II only].
Chichester has lots of commendable drinkeries and eateries. For details, as always, check page 2 of the pdf.
There are two shortcuts possible within the full walk, one going right past the race track and main stand of Goodwood, as well as an alternative ending from St. Roche’s Hill to the twee village of West Dean (with a lovely tea shop, a good pub and a frequent bus to Chichester from the doorstep of that pub).
For details, as always, check page 2 of the pdf, or the route map on the website.
For walk directions
(pdf) click here
. For summary
, route map
, height profile
and gpx/kml files
Get Hill Fit for Ullapool – The Schedule
23/04 – SWC 251 Tisbury Circular (via Ludwell and Berwick St. John)
30/04 – SWC 239 Halnaker to Chichester (via Cass Sculpture Park and Goodwood)
07/05 – SWC 263 Haslemere to Midhurst (via Temple of the Winds and Henley)
14/05 – SWC 068 (Revised) Rowlands Castle Circular