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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Parham House across the lake

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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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

book3 rackham walk14 swcwalks

Stopham bridge

again.... Pulborough Circular

23-Mar-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Arun and Wey Canal

Thats it in the foreground.... Pulborough Circular

23-Mar-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk14 swcwalks

Pulborough Circular walk

This is a 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.

Date # Post
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