Halnaker to Chichester or West Dean: Scenic steep chalk downlands around the Upper Lavant Valley, the Goodwood Estate, and unrivalled views from St. Roche's Hill
Halnaker to Chichester via Goodwood walk
Scenic steep chalk downlands around the Upper Lavant Valley, the Goodwood Estate and unrivalled views from St. Roche's Hill
This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.
|Sat, ||Saturday Walk - Lonely Valleys in the South Downs, the Goodwood Estate & the majestic St. Roche's Hill||8||sunny with a cold breeze|
|Sat, ||Saturday Walk - Halnaker to Chichester or West Dean: Scenic steep chalk downlands, the Goodwood Estate, and unrivalled views from St. Roche's Hill||8||warm and sunny with a breeze most of the time|
|Sat, ||Saturday Walk - Cass Sculpture Park, Upper Lavant Valley, Downlands north of Chichester, Goodwood on Race Day||15||mixed sunshine and overcast skies a couple of heavy showers|
|Sat, ||Saturday Second Walk - Halnaker to Chichester (via Cass Sculpture Park and Goodwood)||14||cool sunny|
|Sat, ||Saturday Third Walk – the South Downs above Chichester||7||sunny with diminishing clouds|
|Sat, ||Halnaker to Chichester||13|
Advance Tickets still available
6 walkers off the train (incl. 1 first-timer), awaited at the bus station by 1 car driver and her dog plus 1 other walker off an earlier train: 8 . The day was sunny with a cold breeze
An early highlight was a stunning poppy field (ie a cereal field with loads of poppies), just off path by Halnaker House. Later, in the woods, we saw some very slow runners going the other way, with race numbers across their chest. They were barely faster than walkers, despite looking quite fit. Strange. Later we saw more of them and we could apprehend and question one while he was having a drink at a tea kiosk on the Trundle. They were competing in the Race To The King (google it), a 101.5 km Ultra-Marathon. Can be split over two days, but our man at the tea kiosk was going to finish it on the day, around midnight at best... Respect!
It was a perfect time of year for this walk, with plenty of wildflowers in the fields, also the few arable fields en route were all lying fallow, so also easy walking. Views were smashing, if a little hazy in the far distance (the IoW was a mere shadow in the sea).
At Singleton, one picnicker marched up the hill, wanting to get the last ascent out the way before taking food (17.39 train for him), 2 other picnickers joined the 5 lunchers in the best-in-class pub garden of The Partridge Inn. This has always been lovely, but now (as of 2 months ago) they have the most impressive sun and rain protective canopy you'll ever see: sturdy but aesthetic steel beams concreted into the ground, with the tarpaulin tethered to the house wall, covering the whole paved area, with views of the grassy rest of the garden. It should survive the worst imaginable hurricane...
We had quite a long stay there, incl, desserts and coffees.
The 7 of us stayed together until the end (with more poppy fields en route in the valley below The Trundle), and had time for a quick drink at The Fountain (Hall & Woodhouse), before 2 took the 18.09, and 2 others the 18.39. The car driver left as well, leaving 2 to have a meal. With weary legs, we just stumbled across the road into a Zizzi branch. And what a building it is! A historic theatre-barn/building, with some tables on a gallery right under the massive wooden beams. 20.09 train.
Group cohesion and group dynamics: 9 out of 10
8 on the walk, with transport (i.e. train-to-bus connection) working fine. The train was full-ish, with plenty of people looking like they were heading for beaches.
Amazing amounts of wildflowers all day, with most formerly arable fields now either fallow (some) or wildflower meadow (most). Some cereal fields had already been harvested. All streams (most of them winterbournes, admittedly) were dry. Lots of poppies in many places and butterflies aplenty. Fine views as the weather was warm and sunny with a breeze most of the time .
5 had not walked this one before. The picnickers (6) sat down on the hill with views over Singleton village out to The Trundle, while the 2 lunchers walked on to The Partridge Inn. Sparsely populated as it was (no racing at Goodwood today), we were served quickly and had nearly finished when the picnickers turned up for bevvies (which left time for a coffee and some cheeky scoops of ice cream).
Up the hill for views of the coast and then 1 went West Dean way, later 1 other stopped at Lavant to wait for the bus to Chi, and us remaining 6 trundled on to Chi. We (very grudgingly) furthered the Brexiteer's cause by turning into the Spoon, 3 for a drink and the 18.09, the other 3 also for a subsequent meal.
Nice day out, thanks for the company.
forecast looking good. intend to 'do' the sculpture park.
Expext the train to very busy with people going to Goodwood. You have to be in the front half of the train. Coaches 3 and 4 are best, as that's where the exit is from Chichester station. Turn left through barriers, turn right across road, follow narrow path to right of buildings into bus station. Stand 6, line 55, Tangmere bus, £3.60 fare.
15 mixed sunshine and overcast skies a couple of heavy showers
Shared the train down with punters headed to Goodwood for the races. 13 made it from station to connecting bus quickly, with 2 more missing it and catching the next one. They caught us up at lunch.
8 of the initial 13 peeled off to do the extension into Cass Sculpture Park and the rest of us continued on the main walk at a leisurely pace. A stop for coffee at The Star and Garter in East Dean, though had to make do with various other beverages as coffee machine was broken. Had to take shelter later under some trees during the worst of the heavy shower and then meandered on to Singleton where three of us has had a good lunch at The Partridge Inn. The two walkers who missed the bus in Chichester arrived and the picnickers joined for coffee and pudding.
Leisurely pace again after lunch and everyone enjoyed the views down to Goodwood from St Roche's Hill. Back in Chichester, some made straight for the train and the remaining caught up with the sculpture vultures for a rather chaotic dinner for 8 at Wagamama. 6 rushed off for the 21:07 train, but due to the late arrival of one main course, two caught a later train back to London via Brighton, sharing the train with revelers returning from the Brighton and Hove Pride Weekend.
The 8 "sculpture vultures" enjoyed a relaxing visit to the Cass Sculpture Foundation under bright skies where about 50 large format pieces by various artists were strategically placed outside around the grounds -- some in woodland and others in more open spaces. There was also an exhibition of amusing smaller pieces in one of the indoor spaces. Dark clouds gathered during our visit and the heavens opened as the last of us were finishing up giving us the chance to catch the others up who we found sheltering under a tree not far away... Having missed the main lunch crowd, we enjoyed a tasty and peaceful lunch in the charmingly outfitted Star and Garter in East Dean. On arrival at St. Roche Hill, we caught glimpses of the penultimate race at Goodwood and saw the horses heading out to the start line for the final race as we set off down the hill in the evening sunshine for the final stretch....All in all, an interesting and worthwhile diversion to the main route...
as you can see above, it's only 5 minutes between the train arriving (if on time) and the bus leaving (if on time). therefore aim to be at the rear of the train when it pulls into Chichester, as that's where the exit is, and follow page 5 of the pdf to the bus station. do the meet-and-greet there, or even in Halnaker (silent 'l'), once off the bus.
Goodwood Racecourse: there are 7 races today, the first at 13.45, the last at 17.10, so we'd be very unlucky not to see and hear some action during our ascent up St. Roche's Hill
Beattuful sunshine (and_a_brief_hailshower_for_the_less_speedy!)
Absolutely stunning scenery and lovely weather made the trip down to Chichester extremely worthwhile.
No mud, and a very clearly navigable route enabled a fun and relaxed day out. Besides being a little on the slow-side (order at the bar next time) the pub lunch was delicious and served in our own cozy private dining room...
The post lunch climb up above the Goodwood racecourse afforded stunning views across the coastline and also the occasional race on the track below.
A few went on ahead for cake and tea, 9 headed to the pub in Chichester, followed by dinner.
Don't be put off by the bus connection at the beginning (really no trouble at all). This walk is a little bit of a stunner and well worth the effort!
14 cool sunny and heavy rain shower in the afternoon.
14 walkers off the train at Chichester and dashed for the connecting bus to Halnaker. The morning was cool and bright. 8 dined at The Partridge Inn at Singleton. On this occasion, the service was very slow. A reservation had been made in advance and the pub didn't appear to be particularly busy, but no explanation was forthcoming. That said, the food when it came was very good. Due to the long wait, most of the picnickers went on ahead and were not seen for the rest of the day. (A special mention to intrepid two who also managed to fit in a pre-lunch drink at The Star and Garter - for research purposes, of course. They reported back that it was a convivial establishment.)
In the afternoon, as promised, we witnessed some of the action at Goodwood Racecourse from our vantage point on the top of St. Roche's Hill. We also noticed a dramatic dark cloud in the distance. That cloud eventually caught up with us on the outskirts of Chichester. A sudden, very heavy shower of hail, followed by heavy rain for abut 10 minutes drove us to seek shelter wherever we could find it. Arriving in Chichester at about 18:00, 9 regrouped at The Old Cross pub on North Street. 2 took off for the train and the final 7 decided to stay on in the town for dinner at Côte. The 21:24 back to London.
I believe one walker may have taken one of the short options and dined in Havant...?
Another good day out.
Length: 22.9 km (14.2 miles). Toughness: 7/10
09:02 Portsmouth Harbour & Bognor Regis train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:08, East Croydon 09:18), arriving Chichester at 10:34. You need to be in the front (Portsmouth) part of the train. Buy a day return to Chichester.
On arrival I suggest postponing the polite round of introductions on the platform. Instead, march smartly to the nearby Bus Station where a Tangmere-bound Stagecoach 55 leaves from Bay 6 at 10:40 (see the Walk Directions for details of the short link route). The buses are half-hourly so it's not a disaster if you miss the connection, but it's going to be a long day so make every effort to catch it. Alight at Halnaker crossroads to start the walk.
Direct trains back from Chichester to Victoria are half-hourly at 11 & 41 minutes past until 17:41, then 18:12, 18:37 and hourly from 19:07. If you just miss one of the hourly ones, take a Brighton train at 25 minutes past and change at Barnham.
This long and hilly walk in a hitherto-undiscovered part of the South Downs was enthusiastically received on its Valentines Day début four months ago, so it will surely get even more rapturous reviews in the mud-free days of mid-June. There are quite a few steep hills as you make your way across the valleys in this part of the downs, but the walk document describes a few shortcuts for the faint-hearted.
The suggested lunch stop is the Partridge Inn in the village of Singleton, described last time as offering “tasty fare”. This is halfway through the walk but there are a couple of earlier alternatives if you don't think you'll reach it in time. There's a long list of tea places in Chichester.
You'll need to print the walk directions from this pdf document.
7 sunny with diminishing clouds
3 of the 7 had been on the walk-check in February as well, so only 4 newbies to this walk, disappointingly. the rest missed out on a very good day out...
It was muddy in the woods in the morning from the heavy overnight rainfall, but we had a good walking surface thereafter; the sky was getting bluer during the day, therefore we had wonderful (if a bit hazy) far views when it mattered: in the afternoon; excellent food was had again in The Partridge, in Singleton, this time out in the back garden, then we went on to the village fete at the cricket ground, where the raffle was raided by the girls, while the horseshoe-tossing attempts were as unsuccessful as the first ever bowled over by the undersigned (I hit the stumps once, but with an illegal arm movement, or some such, apparently); then up to St. Roche's Hill, from where said views were had.
5 stayed on for drinks in Chichester, 4 then had the tenacity to stay on for dinner in Chichester as well, plus another drink upon arrival in Victoria Station. Not to forget the raffle-won bottle of plonk on the train... Back home at midnight. Very nice walk (but I would say that).