Start point for the walk: Arundel Station (TQ 023 063)

Finish point for the walk: Amberley Station (TQ 026 117)

OS 1:25 000 maps: 121 Arundel & Pulborough

Length: 23.40 km

Maximum height: 213 m

Minimum height: 2 m

Height ascended: 448 m

Estimated time for the walk: 5 hrs 25 mins

Outline route description

(Route description based on a survey walk undertaken on 22 June 2008, checked again on 06 March 2010. My thanks to Viv for accompanying me on the walk to re-survey the route.)

This walk from Arundel to Amberley, calling at Kithurst Hill, uses parts of the Monarch's Way and the South Downs Way.

View back to Arundel, over the River Arun

Leave Arundel Station and follow the station approach road to meet the A 27. Walk along the A27 towards Arundel as far as the pedestrian crossing. Cross the road, and continue towards Arundel, passing a roundabout. You are now on ‘The Causeway’. Just beyond a house offering B+B take the footpath off to the right (at TQ 021 067), leading to the river. On reaching the river, turn right, away from Arundel.

Valley below Warningcamp Hill

The route now follows the waymarked Monarch’s Way for some nine kilometres. At Warningcamp the route turns east, away from the river, and crosses the railway on a level crossing. It then follows a minor road (with signs to a Youth Hostel off to the left) to reach a crossroads. At the crossroads turn left, towards Burpham. After about 400m leave the road (at TQ 034 075) and follow the Monarch’s Way on a bridleway up the picturesque valley below Warningcamp Hill. You have entered the Amering Park Estate, and won’t leave it until reaching the Chantry Post, on the scarp of the downs.

Harrow Hill
Harrow Hill from Blackpatch Hill

At the head of the valley several bridleways converge, but continue to follow the Monarch’s Way up a steep slope to reach the estate road through Wepham Wood. This is a metalled road for much of its length, and you will almost inevitably come across groups of horse riders from the estate. The Monarch’s Way continues through the wood for over three kilometres, the metalled road eventually becoming a muddy track. Navigation is straightforward, but there are a couple of points where you need to keep an eye out for the waymarks at junctions.

Towards the eastern end of the woods, the Monarch’s way takes a sharp left turn (at TQ 082 077) to drop down the scarp to reach the minor road into Mitchelgrove. The route then heads north along the road for about 700 m, before turning east again along the bridleway to Myrtle Grove Farm. It then goes through the farmyard and follows the farm’s access road to reach Longfurlong Lane (TQ 093 082).

Chantry Post
The Chantry Post

At Longfurlong Lane the walk finally leaves the Monarchs Way, which continues eastwards. Turn north along the driveway to Longfurlong Farm, then continue northwards along the bridleway that skirts the west flank of Blackpatch Hill (169 m). There is a trig point on the top of Blackpatch Hill.

Continue on the bridleway northwards to reach the Chantry Post (a fine oak finger-post) at a car park (reached by a road from Storrington). The bridleway approaching the Chantry Post doesn’t quite follow the route shown on the OS map – it diverges from the fence line later than shown, and at a sharper angle, but is quite clearly visible on the ground.

Valley between Chantry Hill and Sullington Hill

At the Chantry Post it might be tempting to follow the South Downs Way, but instead go a short way down the road to Storrington and then take the bridleway off to the left (at TQ 087 121) leading to Kithurst Hill. This follows the edge of the scarp, and has fine views northwards across the weald.

The summit of Kithurst Hill (213 m) is marked by a trig point. Having touched the trig, continue westwards along the bridleway, following the edge of the scarp, as far as a car park. At the car park, the walk picks up the route of the South Downs Way. Follow the South Downs Way over Rackham Hill (193 m). At the time of writing, the trig point on Rackham Hill was inaccessible behind a new fence.

Kithurst Hill
Trig point on Kithurst Hill

Continue with the South Downs Way until it reaches the road leading down into Amberley Village (TQ 033 125). At this point it is possible to take a short cut and walk directly to Amberley Station, passing above Amberley Chalk Pits Museum. However, the walk itself takes the road into the village. The road forms the very last section of the Wey-South Path. The village has a tea shop which does excellent scones.

Walk through the village towards the church and castle, and then continue along the road as it drops down behind the castle. From here continue westwards along a footpath that soon crosses the railway on a level crossing. The footpath then continues almost due west to reach the banks of the River Arun, opposite the village of Bury. This section is nearly always very wet underfoot, and can flood. Once you have reached the river, turn left and walk southwards along the embankment.

View over Amberley from the South Downs Way

The embankment will eventually take you to a large modern footbridge over the river, used by the South Downs Way. Don’t cross the bridge, but continue along the embankment. Fairly soon the path leaves the embankment and drops down to pass behind some fixed caravans before reaching the B 2139 at Houghton Bridge. Amberley Station is reached by turning left under the railway bridge, and then immediately right into the station car park.

However, I’d recommend stopping for a pint of Harveys in the Bridge Inn in Amberley, which also does good food. On the opposite side of the road to where the footpath meets it is a small wooden gate. The Bridge Inn can be reached through this gate.

River Arun
River Arun, between Bury and Houghton Bridge