Just east of Storrington, Sullington Warren is a rare area of lowland heath with woodland paths, the site of an old windmill, wide open spaces, a Bronze Age “bowl barrow” and a wonderous sense of somewhere that is lost in time. Approach it from Water Lane (just off the A283) where you’ll find a car park. Then, having climbed a steep wooded path, step through what feels like a portal into an alternative world.
National Trust heathland
This 63-acre National Trust site is a haven of flora and fauna. It has a central green area, ideal for lazy picnics in the sunshine and it has dozens of little paths that lead you hither and thither. I walked the circumference which took me up hills and down, off the beaten track, along wooded paths and round in a pleasant circle. Bearing in mind Sullington Warren is next to a built up area, it felt silent and remote, and I met few people. The entire circuit was only about 2 km (I may have missed a bit) and it occurred to me that this is the perfect spot for a walk and talk. You don’t have to worry about getting lost but at the same time you can soak up what feels like a remote little wilderness and the abundance of wellbeing that goes with it. Bring a friend, bring a picnic and just meander about chewing the cud and putting the world to rights.
What’s a Bronze Age bowl barrow?
When I visited Sullington Warren, one particular area had been closed to the public to protect both the adder population and also to preserve the Bronze Age bowl barrow. A bowl barrow (as I now know) is an inverted bowl-shaped mound with a surrounding ditch. They were burial places but they were also used by the living for carrying out different rituals. They are Scheduled Ancient Monuments hence the protection. At Sullington Warren, the mounds are hard to make out, covered as they are by a mixture of heather and bracken. Nonetheless, it’s pause for thought, isn’t it? That you’re walking in the footsteps of Bronze Age man.
Sullington Warren is a wonderful find. It’s a pocket of total tranquility, and whether you’re short of time and just want a quick leg stretch or want to sit and observe the wildlife, it’s worth putting on your list of places to visit.
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