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

Beechwoods on Black Down Haslemere to Midhurst walk
Beechwoods on Black Down

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk263 26822344232

The Temple of Winds Haslemere to Midhurst walk
The Temple of Winds

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk263 26822343052

Looking back to Temple of the Winds Haslemere to Midhurst walk
Looking back to Temple of the Winds

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk263 26822343872

The ruins of Cowdray House, Midhurst Haslemere to Midhurst walk
The ruins of Cowdray House, Midhurst

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk263 26822343272

Midhurst Haslemere to Midhurst walk

Haslemere to Midhurst walk

May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk263 26643071180

Belted Galloway at the Temple Bos taurus for Latin aficionados
Belted Galloway at the Temple

Bos taurus for Latin aficionados

May-16 • quitenearmike on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk263 26780147702

Early Summer at last!
Early Summer at last!

May-16 • quitenearmike on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk263 26839657156


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: OL 33 OS Explorer


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


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.


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.


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.

  • 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.

Travel from Midhurst Updated Nov-21

Catch a bus to/from a station, preferably 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 - online timetable
  • Stagecoach South - NB: Stagecoach buses have family tickets, but no group tickets. A day ticket is £8.40 (mobile)/£9.10 (paper). This might make sense if you are travelling from (say) Brighton.

There are 4 bus routes to choose from.

Portsmouth Direct Line from Waterloo to Haslemere or Petersfield

  • Bus North to Haslemere (7 days)
    • Take Stagecoach bus #70 (destination Guildford or Haslemere) north to Haslemere. Fare: £5.40 (11/21)
    • Mon-Sat: about hourly to 17.05, then 18.10 and 19.15. Takes from 26 mins.
    • Sun: every two hours on xx:35 to 18.35. Takes 25 mins.
  • Bus West to Petersfield (Mon-Sat only)
    • Take bus #91 or #92 (destination Petersfield) west to Petersfield.
    • Mon-Sat: up to six buses per day between them, last at 17.50. Takes 25 mins (#92) or 41 mins (#91).

Arun Valley line from Victoria to Pulborough or Chichester

  • Bus East to Pulborough (7 days).
    • Take Stagecoach bus #1 (destination Worthing) east to Pulborough. Fare: £4.90 (11/21)
    • Mon-Sat: about hourly until 19.00. Takes 27 mins.
    • Sun: every two hours, last at 18.30. Takes 27 mins.

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

  • South to Chichester (daily, until late Mon-Sat)
    • Take Stagecoach #60 south to Chichester. Fare: £4.90 (11/21)
    • Mon-Sat: every 30 mins until 19.12, then 20.07, 21.37 and 23.07, Takes 36 mins.
    • Sun: hourly until 18.32. Takes 41 mins.
    • 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.

Taxi from Midhurst

BJ's Private Hire (01730 716 327 or 07732 590 806). Uber is about £20 for Midhurst to Haslemere.

Help Us!

After the walk, please leave a comment, it really helps. Thanks!

You can also upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr (upload your photos) and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

By Train

Out (not a train station)

By Car

Start GU27 2PD Map Directions

Finish Midurst GU29 9DJ, West Sussex Map Directions


National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Traveline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Apr-24 KarenG

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

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