Saturday Walkers Club www.walkingclub.org.uk
Beechwoods on Black Down

Beechwoods on Black Down

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

08-May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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The Temple of Winds

The Temple of Winds

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

08-May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Looking back to Temple of the Winds

Looking back to Temple of the Winds

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

08-May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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The ruins of Cowdray House, Midhurst

The ruins of Cowdray House, Midhurst

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

08-May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Midhurst

Midhurst

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

08-May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Belted Galloway at the Temple

Belted Galloway at the Temple

Bos taurus for Latin aficionados

07-May-16 • quitenearmike on Flickr

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Early Summer at last!

Early Summer at last!

07-May-16 • quitenearmike on Flickr

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Haslemere to Midhurst via Henley Walk

The Temple of the Winds on Black Down; lunch in idyllic hamlet with fine pub and evocative ruins of a fortified Tudor house on Cowdray Estate against the backdrop of the South Downs

Length

Main Walk: 14.1 miles (22.6 kilometers)

With Morning Shortcut: 13.8 miles (22.1 kilometers) – A slightly shorter route to the Temple of the Winds, with more open views from the Black Down to the west and substantial heather.

With Afternoon Shortcut: 12.3 miles (19.8 kilometers) – A more direct approach to Cowdray Estate and Midhurst, sharing similar views (but more limited in nature) and characteristics of the main walk.

With both Shortcuts: 12.0 miles (19.3 kilometers)

Time: 8-10 hours, including transportation, lunch, afternoon refreshment stop and time spent admiring views and sites.

Map

Map: OL 33 OS Explorer

Toughness

Difficulty: 8 out of 10 (or 7 out of 10 using both shortcuts).

Features

From the medieval town well in Haslemere to the stocks and pillory in Midhurst, this walk is an epic journey partially in the footsteps of a poet. It gently climbs the highest point in Sussex (the Black Down), and then drops steeply to traverse a valley along a roller coaster of a path through some light woods before entering more thickly planted pine forests, allegedly haunted by the ghost of the last wild bear killed in England. After lunch in the idyllic hamlet of Henley at a pub boasting views back to the Temple of the Winds, the route again gently climbs a second hill offering stunning views back across your journey of the morning before a long descent into Midhurst across the Cowdray Estate with the mighty South Downs ahead, passing by the intriguing ruins of Cowdray House en route where various historic figures of note were either voluntary visitors or held captive prior to execution. The walk is probably best done during bluebell season (late April-mid-May) or in the autumn with good leaf color.

Travel

Take the train closest to 9:00 from London Waterloo to Haslemere. The return journey requires taking a number 70 bus from the Midhurst bus terminus back to Haslemere. As of May 2016, these buses were at 16:00, 17:00, 18:00 and 19:05 Monday-Saturday (no buses on Sunday). These buses generally connect well with fast trains back to Waterloo leaving about half past the relevant hour. In 2016, the bus fare is 4.95, unless traveling after 19:00, when it drops to 2.00 pounds for a "nightride" ticket. More information on Midhurst buses and some alternative routes are provided below under Midhurst.

Lunch/Tea

The recommended lunch pub is the Duke of Cumberland Arms (01428 652 280, dukeofcumberland.com) located in the tiny hamlet of Henley, 8.2 miles (13.2 km) into the main walk and 8 miles (12.8 km) if using the Morning Shortcut. They serve lunch from 12:00 to 2:00 pm daily. It is recommended to book a table a few weeks in advance. Additionally, there is a large first come first served garden if the weather is nice. Large groups should call from Haslemere Station.

The Kings Arms (01428 641 165, kingsarmspub.co.uk ) located on the main road to Fernhurst 7.7 miles (12.4 km) into the main walk or 7.4 miles (11.9 km) into the walk if using the Morning Shortcut, in each case, along a 1 km diversion is an alternate lunch pub if not able to get a table at the Duke of Cumberland or worried that you will not get to it by 2:00 pm. It serves food daily from 12:00 to 2:30 (except Sunday when food is served until 3:00pm).

The recommended tea stop is the Cowdray Estate Farm Shop and Café, open 9-5 daily. Alternatively, The White Horse in Easebourne which is open all day Friday-Sunday can provide stronger afternoon refreshments on the weekends.

Midhurst also has a number of tea and post walk drink options – the most promising being: for tea – Garton’s Coffee House in the Old Town Hall located on the market square open until 5:00 pm on Saturdays and 4:30 pm each other day of the week and for something stronger or later – The Bricklayers Arms (with outdoor courtyard) or The Wheatsheaf, both located a few blocks beyond the market square, are recommended. The Swan Inn and the Spread Eagle Hotel near the market square are also good options.

POI
  • Haslemere: Haslemere is a town dating from 1221 and is named after Hazel trees standing beside a lake which no longer exists but the walk takes you past one of the old wells (the Haslemere Town Well) fed from a large natural spring that may have fed the lake. Located in Surrey, Haslemere sits near the tri-meeting point of Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire.
  • Black Down: At 919 feet, Black Down is the highest point in Sussex. In the Southeast, it is exceeded only by Leith Hill (which you can see in the distance on your way up Black Down on the main walk) and Walbury Hill. Its pine and heather covered slopes have a strong literary connection with Alfred Lord Tennyson whose house Aldworth is near the route of the walk. Keen to escape the summer visitors to his home on the Isle of Wright, Tennyson purchased Black Down and built Aldworth in 1869 which he used as his summer house (until his death in the house in 1892), often taking long walks across Black Down. Located on the southern escarpment of the Black Down, the Temple of the Winds view point offers stunning views of the South Downs.
  • Cowdray Estate: The evocative ruins of Cowdray House form the central focus of the Cowdray Estate. Cowdray House was a fortified Tudor manor house built in the 1520s on the site of an original manor house called Coudreye (the Norman word for the nearby hazel woods) built across the River Rother from Midhurst between 1273 and 1284. The Tudor structure was badly damaged by a fire in 1793 during a restoration project and left to decay. These ruins have been immortalized by JMW Turner. In its heyday, Cowdray House saw many influential visitors including Henry the VIII, Edward the VI , Elizabeth I and Guy Fawkes. The last surviving member of the House of Plantagenet was imprisoned in the house before being taken to the Tower of London for execution. The estate also includes world class polo fields and a Farm Shop and Café with wine tasting room.
  • Midhurst: Midhurst is a medieval market town nestled in the South Downs National Park. Remains of the Norman castle built in 1102 (along with Pulborough, Chichester and Bramber castles) to safeguard the Norman stronghold in Sussex after the Norman Conquest in 1066 are passed towards the end of the walk if walking up to Midhurst village, as are the town stocks and pillory, last used in 1859. Like Pulborough castle, Midhurst Castle was built on a high point along the River Rother, an important transportation link in the Middle Ages due to poor roads in the area. Midhurst Castle led to the growth of Midhurst as a thriving town but was abandoned in 1317 and ultimately replaced with Cowdray House, built just across the river.
Midhurst

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!
    • Traveline Southeast - online timetable
    • Stagecoach South - NB: Stagecoach buses have family tickets, but no group tickets. A day ticket is £8.20/£8.50. This might make sense if you are travelling from (say) Brighton.
  • Stagecoach have a £2.50 Evening fare after 7pm

Waterloo line to Haslemere / Petersfield

  • North to Haslemere (Mon-Sat, not Sun)
    • Take Stagecoach bus #70 north to Haslemere.
    • Mon-Sat: hourly at xx:58 until 7.03pm. £5. Takes 20 mins.
  • West to Petersfield (Mon-Sat, not Sun, early last bus)
    • Take Emsworth bus #91 / #92 west to Petersfield.
    • Mon-Sat: every 60 mins at xx:58 to 3:58, then 5:30pm. Takes 30 - 45 mins.

Victoria line to Pulbrough / Amberley / Arundel

  • East to Pulborough (daily)
    • Take Stagecoach bus #1 east to Pulborough.
    • Mon-Sat: approx hourly till 6.43pm. Sun: 2 hourly till 6.28pm. Takes 30 mins.

Both lines (a more expensive ticket to Chichester, valid for all the above stations)

  • South to Chichester (daily, till late Mon-Sat)
    • Take Stagecoach #60 south to Chichester.
    • Mon-Sat: every 30 mins till late, Sun: hourly till 6:30pm. Takes 25 mins,
    • About £4. You will need a train ticket to Chichester.
    • Chichester's trains aren't evenly spaced, if you miss one you may have a long wait.
    • The bus station is opposite the train station. Buses leave from behind it.

Midhurst Taxi

BJ's Private Hire (01730 716327 or 07732 590806). Uber is about £25 for Midhurst to Haslemere.

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: GU27 2PE Directions

Finish: Midurst, West Sussex Directions

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Help

Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jun-17

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Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk