21.8 km (13.6 miles); 604m/718m Ascent/Descent
Landranger 186 and 197, OL 33
7 out of 10.
The route leads from Haslemere station through the town’s centre and along the waymarked Serpent Trail through a small Nature Reserve to rise steeply out of town and back down through Camelsdale to then rise with the Sussex Border Path through pastures and pine and heather covered slopes up to the Black Down. Following the crest through open heathland, with far views across West Sussex and out to Hampshire, you reach the Temple Of The Winds viewpoint, with further panoramic views over the Rother Valley to the South Downs escarpment and easterly across to the West Weald.
A long descent through the sloping open grounds of Blackdown House and through bluebell-carpeted woods leads to the classic Sussex village of Lurgashall, with its pub and church at the corner of a picturesque village green and cricket pitch. The afternoon takes you through a mix of flat farmland and wooded hills to the Cowdray Estate, with its golf course-with-views as well as several polo fields, to the romantic ruins of Cowdray House, as captured by JMW Turner.
Climbing from the River Rother’s banks, Midhurst's Norman castle ruins are passed en-route to the old market town's attractive centre with its many tea options.
A variant of the middle of the route, south of Black Down, enables a lunch stop at the outstanding Lickfold Inn (cuts 900m).
Haslemere station is on the Portsmouth Direct Line from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, with up to four trains an hour Mon-Sat (two on Sundays). Journey time is from 48 minutes Mon-Sat (56 minutes on Sundays). Midhurst Bus Stand has services connecting to Haslemere, Petersfield, Pulborough and Chichester stations. Details on all these connections can be found lower down this page. The most relevant line for this walk, Line 70 to Haslemere, as of 07/16 runs Mon-Sat only, about hourly to 19.05 hours (fare: £4.90).
Take the train nearest to 9.15 from Waterloo.
The Noah's Ark Inn, The Green, Lurgashall, West Sussex (Tel: 01428 707 346). It is open 11.00-23.30 Mon-Sat and 12.00-20.00 Sun. Food is served 12.00-14.30 and 19.00-21.30 Mon-Sat and 12.00-15.15 Sun, and located 10.3 km (6.4 mi) into the walk. Booking is recommended on weekends.
The Lickfold Inn, Highstead Lane, Lickfold, West Susssex (Tel: 01789 532 535). 11.00-23.00 Wed-Sat and 11.00-19.00 Sun. Bar Snacks (‘English tapas’) served 12.00-22.00 Wed-Sat. A la carte menu served 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 Wed-Sat and 12.00-17.30 Sun. The Lickfold Inn is located 11.0 km (6.8 mi) into the walk. Booking is recommended on weekends.
The Cowdray Farm Shop & Café, Easebourne, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0AJ (Tel: 01730 815 152). Open daily 09.00-17.00. It is located 1.9 km (1.2 mi) from the end of the walk.
And plenty of Options in Midhurst (see page 2 of the pdf for details)
Travel from Midhurst Updated Mar-17
There are 4 bus routes to choose from.
Waterloo line to Haslemere / Petersfield
Victoria line to Pulbrough / Amberley / Arundel
Both lines (a more expensive ticket to Chichester, valid for all the above stations)
BJ's Private Hire (01730 716327 or 07732 590806). Uber is about £25 for Midhurst to Haslemere.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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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