Monarch’s Way is a 1,006 km long-distance footpath that roughly follows the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. It runs from Worcester to Shoreham in West Sussex. It’s waymarked all along the way including the large section that wiggles and winds its way around Sussex. The waymark is a drawing of the ship Surprise above a crown and the route takes in some stunning Sussex countryside and views. The route was established in 1994 and is one of the longest English long-distance footpaths.
The Sussex section of Monarch’s Way
The West Sussex section of Monarch’s Way is roughly 90 km long (distances are approximate). We’ve divided it into four parts. If you ever get the chance to look at the route on the map, you can easily imagine the king desperate to evade captures and having to constantly change direction.
Stansted Park to East Dean
21 km. Ordnance Survey Explorer 8.
Monarch’s Way enters West Sussex from Rowlands Castle in Hampshire via The Avenue to Stansted Park. From there, it makes its way to West Dean (and just south of Chilgrove where they make the gin). It then passes south of The Trundle and Goodwood Racecourse before cutting through Goodwood Country Park to East Dean. If you’re walking this in four parts, you might want to stay at the Goodwood Hotel.
East Dean to Arundel
21 km. Ordnance Survey Explorer 10.
From East Dean, Monarch’s Way travels through Selhurst Park and eventually picks up the old Roman road of Stane Street until just south of Bignor and Glatting Beacon. From there, you walk on to Houghton before dropping down into Arundel which is another great place to stay overnight.
Arundel to Bramber
20 km. Ordnance Survey Explorer 10 and then 11
From Arundel, you cross over the river to the south of the town and head towards Findon, walking parallel to Long Furlough. From Findon, Monarch’s Way runs just north of Cissbury Ring over to Steyning Bowl and then into Bramber where Charles II is rumoured to have stayed the night at St Mary’s House. There are a couple of hotels here so it’s another good spot for an overnight stay.
Bramber to Shoreham
30km. Ordnance Survey Explorer 11
This is the longest part of your Monarch’s Way walk. When you leave Bramber, you head up Beeding Hill and across to Mile Oak just north of Southwick but you do not take the most direct route to Shoreham. Oh no. Instead you head north again across West Hove and Brighton and Hove Golf Clubs before walking south east to West Blatchington and on to the centre of Brighton. The route goes almost to the pier before doubling all the way back along the seafront to Shoreham Harbour. From here, King Charles was smuggled to France.
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