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Slindon Folly Walk (West Sussex)

Slindon Folly

Distance: 5.25 km. Elevation: 137 m. Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Right on the edge of the South Downs, this walk at Slindon is famous for its folly. There are all sorts of different routes you can take but you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer 10.

Slindon Walk West Sussex
Photo credit Google Maps. Click map to go to Google.

Start at Slindon

Slindon is a very pretty village west of Arundel. It dates back to the Domesday Book and is home to a 12th century church and flint stone cottages. It’s just on the southern side of the South Downs and much of the local woodland surrounding the village belongs to the National Trust.

Although it’s surrounded by a wall, Slindon House cuts a grand figure in the centre of the village. The original house here was the Summer Palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury (c1150–1228) but the current version of Slindon House was constructed in the 16th century by the Kempe family. It was a descendant of the family, Countess of Newburgh, who constructed the nearby Nore Folly in 1814.  The house was later owned by the Leslie Family who apparently mysteriously disappeared in 1902. Today, the house is a private school and wedding venue.

Slindon folly walk

The village is also known for being home to the famous writer, Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953), and for its pumpkin festival (although sadly this is no more). Slindon Estate is made up of 3,500 acres of Sussex woodland, farmland and downland. There is a car park south of the village and another one in Slindon Wood but you can also normally park alongside the school wall. You walk north from the school, and the narrow lane bends sharply to the left. Follow the bend around and after a short distance, you’ll see a small turn to your right downhill. You’ll also start to get the first glimpses of the folly on the hill opposite.

Nore Folly

After you’ve been walking roughly a kilometre (maybe a little less), you’ll come to Courthill Farm and the footpath clearly signed to your left up to the folly. The path is easy to follow and you take the first footpath to your right which takes you directly to the feet of the folly where there is a bench to rest and enjoy the views. The folly was built in about 1814 to provide work for villagers during the depression following the Napoleonic Wars. Apparently, after it was built, the family used to hold picnics here. It’s rather impressive.

Nore Folly Slindon walk

Nore Wood

When you’ve finished admiring the folly, follow the footpath into Nore Wood. This is a gorgeous ancient woodland which is famed for its bluebells in spring and its golden beech trees in autumn. If you wish to try a longer walk, you can keep walking north to Eartham Wood but for our walk, we just followed the footpath that led us around the wood and back down a long path with views back towards the folly and towards the lane where we started. From there, it’s a short walk back to the village, or alternatively, you can walk back the long way through the Park Pale woods and enter the village from the south.

Slindon folly walk

If you’ve liked this Slindon folly walk, you may also like:

South Downs Circular Walk (West Sussex)

West Sussex Walks: Graffham 10 km circular route

Knepp Castle Walk, West Sussex

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