Parham House across the lake

10-Aug-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Stopham Bridge

10-Aug-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Amberley Wild Brooks in summer

10-Aug-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Winter view from the Hanger viewpoint, Pulborough Brooks

01-Mar-14 • Sean O'Neill

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River Arun at Pulborough Brooks

18-Jul-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Pulborough Circular walk - does NOT go up there!

Sandstone rocks near Rackham Old School. Sussex. D.Allen: VIVITAR 5199mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Stopham bridge

again.... Pulborough Circular

23-Mar-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Pulborough Circular walk

Long but easy walk which explores the water meadows of the River Arun, with the South Downs as a dramatic backdrop.


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.

Updated: Thu, 17-Jan-19

Date # Post
Sat, 09-Jun-18 24

Saturday Walk – Amberley Wild Brooks & Parham Park (Pulborough Circular)

Extra Walk 14 – Pulborough Circular
Length: 21 km (13 miles), with shorter afternoon options. Toughness: 4/10

09:36 Southampton & Bognor Regis train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:43, East Croydon 09:53), arriving Pulborough at 10:51. You need to be in the rear portion, for Bognor Regis. A return to Amberley is the same fare as Pulborough and would allow you to cut the walk short.

Return trains from Pulborough to Victoria are at xx:24 & xx:55 to 21:55 (more regularly than before with the new timetable). If you finish at Amberley, trains are hourly at xx:17.

I thought this fairly long but easy walk might be scuppered when Amberley's second pub closed recently, but fortunately The Sportsman has been taken over by the local Greyhound Brewery and is up and running again. Its food offerings are untried but at worst you could press on to the reliable Crown Inn in Cootham for a late pub lunch.

After lunch you have a choice. For a short and leisurely afternoon you could meander across the water meadows and finish at Amberley station. The standard option is to complete a circuit back to Pulborough, taking the short cut if you want to be sure of getting to the RSPB reserve's tearoom at Pulborough Brooks before it closes at around 4.45pm. And if you can't resist climbing the South Downs, the Walk Notes point out ways in which you could switch to one of the more challenging SWC walks in this area.

At the end of the walk further refreshment is available at the friendly Oddfellows Arms in Pulborough, and you won't go thirsty if you finish at Amberley either.

You'll need to bring the directions from the Pulborough Circular walk page. T=swc.14
Sportsman: You're a closure out of date... Closed and re opened again since then. The view from the terrace over the flood plain is as lovely as ever, but seemed overpriced. Call ahead for an outside table if its a nice day.
Crown Inn: Popular (so I must be missing something) but variable food. The 2/3 course "smaller portions" set menu is good
There's a new Thai bar/restaurant (?) by Pulborough station
This walk works much better with a lunch stop in Amberley and when The Sportsman closed in January it wasn't looking good (the Black Horse had been closed for many years). But as someone reported on another walk The Sportsman re opened in April and so the walk is feasible again, hence this posting. And next year there should be a choice of two pubs again: a successful campaign by the Amberley Society saved the Black Horse from conversion to two holiday homes, an extensive renovation is underway and it's due to re open in the winter.
This is the only link that I can find for the Sportsman pub sportsman inn/
but unfortunately it doesn't give menus

There is a facebook link but that is of little value and their website address does not seem to be working

Somebody must be able to find it

The Sportsman has no website, just its Facebook page. Odd, but oddly, not unusual for a reopened pub! The food is "OK", the usual suspects... burger, fish & chips, and a few more interesting options... mine didn't quite work.
Good to hear about the Black Horse. I'd heard locally that it was going to be more of a upmarket restaurant. Seems it'll be part pub after all.
24 turned up on a warm humid day. Quite a pleasant walk and would have been uneventful had not a slightly crazy woman with a dog (not one of us) insisted on following me through a field of cows, shouting at them, waving her stick and even chasing them towards me at one point. Mercifully, the cows were docile. At the other side she said “you got to be strict with cows”. Yeah, right. Amberley Wild Brooks was dry for Amberly Wild Brooks. (Slightly sploshy but not as sploshy as it could have been). Amberley's gardens were pretty as ever. About half the group made it to the Sportsman. A friendly place. I foolishly declined the Harveys, opting instead for "Treefrog" pale ale. Big mistake. I don’t even like pale ale and I think this particular pint could well have once been treefrog habitat. And so, on down an uneventful lane to Pulborough Brooks for tea and cake. Wiggonholt churchyard had flowering orchids. Then a final push back to the station for the 16:55.
Beautiful walk. Added bonus for the picnickers opposite the Sportsman was a kind offer of tea from the lady in the cottage. She gave me a lovely cuppa, in a china cup with saucer, and digestive biscuits!
Sun, 30-Oct-16 6

Sunday First Walk - Sussex water meadows

SWC Walk 14 – Pulborough Circular

Length: 21km (13 miles) Toughness: 4 out of 10

09:17 Havant train from Victoria (Clapham Junction 09:23, East Croydon 09:38) arriving Pulborough at 10:28.

Return trains are at xx:26 (journey time 1 hour 25 minutes) and xx:43 (journey time 1 hour 15 minutes). The cheapest option is to buy separate Advance tickets for the outward and return journeys before Sunday. You will need to specify the particular trains you intend to catch, and cannot change your mind. With dusk arriving around 5pm you’d probably be safe to choose the 17:26 train back.

With British Summer Time having ended, you’ll have had an extra hour in bed this morning, so the apparently early start is not really that early, and is necessary to ensure that the walk can confidently be completed before the light fails. If you’re worried that you might not make it back in daylight, you can omit the Parham Park loop after lunch, as described in the Walk Directions. This reduces the length of the walk to 11 miles.

This a longish but easy walk that explores the water meadows of Amberley Wild Brooks and the RSPB’s Pulborough Brooks, both of which are flooded in winter. So this may be a last chance until next spring to enjoy this tranquil walk with its bird-watching opportunities.

The recommended lunchtime pub is the Sportsman (01798 831787) in Amberley.

You will need to download the Walk Directions, suppressing any sections you plan to omit.
5 off the train, 1 woman and her dog up from Brighton by car, i.e.: 6 walkers in initially foggy but soon bright and clear weather. Largely uneventful and only modestly pacey walk, in an attempt to keep the group together and due to all the stops ogling up the wildlife en route (herons, geese, other birds, more birds, and then some other birds, deer, antlered deer and then more deer, especially in Parham Park, of course). Amberley Brook muddy in places, but always with an easy deviation around the bloopy spots.
Splendid walk all in, with a nice lunch at The Sportsman (inside, as no big enough table was available on the terrace) and with a tea stop at the Cafe in the Visitor Centre at Pulborough Brooks (interesting Chocolate and Vanilla cake, if with too much icing), this time at an outside table with views across the wetlands.
By then our most famous SW London walkers had had enough of the rest of us and hitched a hike to Pulborough Station.
16.43 train for the rest (minus the woman with a car and the quietest dog ever on an SWC walk).
p.s.: the SWC Roast Potatoe Inspector was on the walk, but he had a curry, so he's not writing the walk report
Sat, 18-Jul-15 20

Saturday Second Walk - Away from it all on the Sussex marshlands

SWC Walk 14 - Pulborough Circular
Length: 21km (13 miles), but with lots of shorter options (eg 17.5km/10.8 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10 (officially: actually I would say about 2 out of 10… a largely flat walk)

9.32 train from Victoria (9.38 Clapham Junction, 9.48 East Croydon) to Pulborough, arriving 10.51

For walk directions click here.

This interesting walk has not had an outing since May 2014 (and it is even longer since it was done on a Saturday). It is an ideal walk for high summer, exploring various landscapes to the north of the South Downs. These include the semi-marshland of Amberley Wild Brooks, which has interesting flowers and usually good displays of butterflies at this time of year, the very pretty village of Amberley, the Elizabethan Parham Estate, and finally Pulborough Brooks, with its RSPB visitor centre. You never climb onto the South Downs (though see para in italics below) but you have fine views of them all day.

The full walk is 13 miles, but a short cut down a road in the afternoon (omitting the Parham Estate) saves 3.5km - the 17.5km/10.8 mile option. An even lazier option would be to finish the walk after lunch at Amberley (12.3km/7.6 miles).

(Another intriguing idea, hinted at in the text, is to finish with a walk up onto the downs. If you turn right and not left on the road you come to at the end of section 6 of the directions (just past Old Rackham School) you are in paragraph 74 of the directions for SWC walk 9 (directions), which takes you on a lovely flowery climb up onto the downs and then along the downland ridge into Amberley - a walk of about 10 miles. You would need a day return to Amberley (or to pay the excess) to do this option. Note that there is a charity cycle event on the South Downs Way today but this route gives you ample opportunity to avoid the actual SDW path.)

Lunch is probably at the Sportsman pub just beyond Amberley, but it is just possible that the Black Horse in Amberley itself, saved by a recent campaign by locals, has now reopened. It was supposed to open earlier this year, though does not yet have a website. Otherwise, the Amberley Tea Rooms is a light lunch option.

For tea, you will have to step on it to get to the RSPB visitor centre before it closes at 4.30pm. The Crown in Cootham is a mid afternoon option but is closed 3pm to 5.30pm, according to its website. Otherwise, a pub option is mentioned in the directions in Pulborough and in 2014 the station taxi office at Pulborough was selling an impressive range of snacks and hot drinks.

Trains back from Pulborough are at 23 and 55 past till 18.23, then 19.05, 19.35, 20.35, 21.35.
20 or so on this walk. Largely sunny but cloudy and cooler later. Path through the Wild Brooks almost overgrown in places. From Amberley, one or two split off to Arundel. Black Horse still shut but Sportsman fine. Most went through Parham, some didn’t. Pulborough Brooks reserve’s teashop was also fine. Large herd of deer seen from there. Big population of white doves too.
"…and willows, willowherb and grass
and meadowsweet and haycocks dry
No wit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky."

(Adelstrop by Edward Thomas)

Just want to add two things to the above report

1) The morning was beautiful, full of butterflies and flowers. 5 minutes after the start there was a thistle ridden verge of an arable field which had painted lady, gatekeeper, peacock, small tortoiseshell and skipper butterflies all over it. The meadowsweet came later by the river. On the Wild Brooks, more butterflies.

2) Two of us who lingered over these delights hooked up with four members of the main party on the terrace of the Sportsman, with its gorgeous panoramic views, and decided (six of us in all) to go off piste and go up onto the downs: a beautiful climb with more flowers and butterflies. At the top, alas, the skies clouded over, so it was rather grey on the walk down to Burpham, but again with luxuriant verge flowers as a compensation. We got to The George in Burpham for tea/drinks at 6pm (or rather 5.55pm: they made us wait the extra five minutes for the kitchens to open before they would take a pudding order), and we then took the river route to Arundel (with some drops of rain), getting the 8.30pm train from there.
Sun, 18-May-14 6 Pulborough Circular
Sat, 10-Aug-13 14 Pulborough Circular
Sun, 04-Mar-12 Pulborough Circular, omitting Parham Park
Sat, 01-Oct-11 Amberley to Pulborough, via Cootham
Sun, 10-Jul-11 Pulborough Circular
Sun, 12-Jun-11 Pulborough Circular
Thu, 15-Jul-10 Pulborough Circular
Sun, 28-Jun-09 Pulborough Circular
Mon, 24-Mar-08 Pulborough Circular
Sat, 18-Aug-07 Pulborough Circular
Sat, 18-Aug-07 Pulborough to Amberley (short walk)
Sun, 13-May-07 Pulborough Circular