Pulborough's Purlieu: A Perfect Patchwork of Pleasant Places
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24 people waitlisted
Current restrictions will need to change by the date of the event in order for it to go ahead. We will update closer to the time.
The landscape northeast of Pulborough isn't majestic like the South Downs (which will form a fine backdrop), but is just as lovely. Rather than downland chalk, we'll be walking on Wealden sandstone which forms an intricate pattern of heath and coppice-clad hills and provides the honey-coloured stone from which, along with some tile-hanging and timber-framing, the pretty villages of West Chiltington, Thakeham and Nutbourne are built. Chocolate-box cottages, suave Georgian houses and ancient churches are two a penny, but if this all sounds too dainty, the surprisingly rugged hills do rise to ninety metres and so make this delightful daywalk just a little demanding.
Pulborough: On the A29 and being heavily developed into a sizeable town north away from the River Arun. Lots of old houses in the area we'll see in stone, brick and tile. St Mary's Church is perpendicular gothic, C14-early C15. Old Place is a barn converted into a house but containing C15 and C16 details and New Place is a C17 stone farmhouse. Beedings, now Beedings Castle for marketing purposes, occupies a ridge-top site and is battlemented with four corner towers. Strong in personality but weak in architecture, C19.
West Chiltington: Two parts, both pleasant, a close-built, town-like village on a grid-iron plan. Fine views to the Downs to the south. St Mary's Church is unspoiled C13 with a C17 shingled belfry and spire. Massive C12 arcade. Extensive wall early C13 paintings, vividly coloured, depicting the beginning and end of the life of Christ as well as apostles and saints. Friar's House is C17, the smock windmill, octagonal and weatherboarded is c1800. Nearby Nutbourne is a lane of yet more mellow bargate stone houses with a redundant brick tower mill.
Thakeham: A small street of fine bargate stone and timber-framed suddenlt does a left turn at the hill with the church atop and going up to the church offers a wonderful view of the sweep of the South Downs. St Mary's Church has a Norman nave but all the rest is C13 apart from the sturdy tower which is C14.
The route (please click the link in red to be taken to the Ordnance Survey site to see it):
Heading north from the railway station along an alleyway we'll reach Old Place, then heading further north we'll cross the Combelands horse racing gallops and reach Codmore Lane. Heading east we'll cross the A29 and venture further east on footpaths and bridleways over Broomershill Lane and continuing until we reach Nutbourne Lane at Borough Farm. Heading south along the lane a little, we'll again head east and use footpaths to reach Crowell Farm and Nyetimber farm. Then, veering south we'll follow footpaths to West Chiltington, walk around the village and then head east to Town House Farm. Then we'll loop around Thakeham, which is where we'll have lunch. We'll then head west to Abingworth pass through some suburbia and head to West Chiltington Common. We'll almost return to West Chiltington itself before taking Stream Lane past Gay Street Lane and up Nutbourne Road north to Nutbourne. A bridleway then heading west will take us all the way back to Pulborough which necessitates a second crossing of the A29 before we go along Church Road back to the alleyway back to the station.
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I love having dogs on my walks and this walk is suitable for them, except that there will be a number of stiles to cross (you may have to lift your muddy beast over them) and lanes to walk along, plus some fields will have livestock which may necessitate them going on a lead. Any dog off the lead must be under control.
(Picture credits: Hilltop track descending dry valley to Brook House by Dave Spicer; Footpath with a view by Peter Holmes; Houses at Broomershill by Dave Spicer; Old Place by Simon Carey; Training Gallops near Coombelands by Simon Carey; House and paddock by Dave Spicer; House at the junction of Mill Road and Stream Lane by Shazz; West Chiltington Church by Colin Smith; West Chiltington: St. Mary's Church: Wall paintings 1250-1275 by Michael Garlick; Hayling Pond Cottage, Church Street by Simon Carey; West Chiltington by Colin Smith; Church House by Andy Potter; Village centre of Thakeham, West Sussex by nick macneill; Little Thakeham: an early Lutyens country-house by Stefan Czapski; Path to the windmill by Shazz; Stream alongside Stream Lane by Dave Spicer; Ebbsworth, Nutbourne by Simon Carey; All photos are copyrighted but are above credited to their copyright holders and are licensed for further reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).)
What to bring
Walking boots with thick socks will be essential to cope with the climbing. Wear clothing appropriate to the weather including warm kit in case of cold weather and waterproof kit in case of rain. Gaiters might be an option too in the event of muddy conditions.
Food & drink
Please have with you a packed lunch and lots to drink before we set off as there will be nowhere to get these items on the walk. We could have a drink at the Rising Sun in Nutbourne or the Queen's Head in West Chiltington if restrictions allow.