Pulborough's Purlieu: A Perfect Patchwork of Pleasant Places

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Lowland and Hill Walks
Apr 03

19 people attending

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Distance: 21 km (13 miles); total climb is 370 m; surfaces are grass, dirt, gravel, sand and tarmac.

Please note that following the announcement that organised outdoor sports activities are exempt from the 'rule of six', I have raised the potential number of participants on this event to 20

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 (my 130th lead for ODL) just a little demanding.

The sights:

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. 

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.

Thakeham: A small street of fine bargate stone and timber-framed houses suddenly does a left turn at the hill with the church atop. 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. 

COVID-19: IMPORTANT: Please read the following before you sign up to this event:

  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
  • You must also immediately self-isolate and not attend the event if you or someone in your household or support bubble shows coronavirus symptoms or tests positive. You can find the NHS self-isolation guidance here.
  • The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of taste and/or smell.
  • You may be subject to local lockdown restrictions, which you must fully comply with. Details of the location of these restrictions can be found here for England, ScotlandWales, and Northern Ireland.   
  • We do not encourage car sharing to events during the pandemic. Please comply with the safety travel guidance for EnglandWales, and Scotland. Face coverings should be worn on public transport.
  • OutdoorLads will support the tracing systems in place across the UK  and attendance at an OutdoorLads event is considered permission to use contact details for this purpose if requested by the appropriate authority.  
  • All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m (not 1m) apart at all times, including the lunch stop. Remember: Face, Hands, Space.
  • Unfortunately, there won’t be any planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, and please don’t share sweets or snacks with others – we’re sorry!
  • Please bring your own hand sanitising gel for your own use throughout the day. Use of face coverings is at your own choice, but please bring one with you just in case it's needed. Please bring any other PPE items required. Bring a disposable bag for any used PPE.
  • Members are advised to bring their own small first aid kit for personal use..
  • Be aware that opportunities for toilet stops may be minimal if facilities are closed.
  • Please, please cancel at your earliest opportunity if you are unable to attend or are unwell, so that we can allow others to take up these valuable event spaces.
  • Much as it's difficult - no handshakes or hugs!

Participation Statement

OutdoorLads draws your attention to the fact that travelling and being away from home increases the risk of receiving and transmitting Coronavirus, whilst it is present in the UK. You are likely to choose not to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst there is a risk of Coronavirus transmission. However, should you choose to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst the risk is present, you must be aware of and follow the law and government guidelines, both when travelling to and from events as well as when participating in events.

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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).)


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