This 5.5 km South Downs circular walk from Chantry Post near Storrington in West Sussex is very much about stunning views and walking in the footsteps of our ancestors. If you’re looking for a Midsummer evening walk, it’s a great one.
Take the A283 (from the A24) and head towards Storrington. Just before the town, turn left down Chantry Lane. It’s narrow, long and steep in places but will take you to the top of the South Downs to the Chantry Post car park which is free. You’ll need Ordnance Survey Explorer OL10. At the car park, the South Downs Way runs from east to west but you are heading south through a gate with Angmering Estate signage on it. In the distance, you can see a very distinctive hill (Harrow Hill) and the path takes you straight towards it. As you walk, slightly to the left, you can see Blackpatch Hill.
It’s just short of 2 km to Harrow Hill with cracking views all the way. Harrow Hill is a scheduled monument and as you approach, you can see a sort of dimpling to the left side of the hill. The hill has a Neolithic flint mine and a Martin Down-style enclosure from the Bronze Age. The flint mine is right on the top and there are apparently a large number of shafts and pits. When one of the shafts was excavated in 1924–25, they found engraved designs above the entrances.
A Martin Down-style enclosure is a type of Bronze Age domestic enclosure and includes very visible banks and ditches. Excavations were done in 1936 and pottery shards from about 600 BC were found.
The footpath appears to go straight up the hill but in fact, there is no public footpath up and onto the hill and for this walk, you want to bear right towards Lee Farm. But if you are ever lucky enough to find yourself on Harrow Hill, it is breathtaking. Just ask the sheep.
If you wish, you can follow the path to the west side of Harrow Hill until it loops around to the south where you turn left, and head north back to the South Downs Way passing between Harrow Hill and Blackpatch Hill. This route is about 7 km.
Blackpatch Hill is another scheduled monument and also has a Neolithic flint mine, as well as Bronze Age barrows (mounds of earth and stones raised over a grave). If you wish to climb it, there’s a footpath to it from the Chantry Post car park.
Lee Farm to Kithurst
For our circular walk, you bare right as you pass the foot of Harrow Hill at a little crossroads and towards Lee Farm. In amongst the small crop of farm buildings, there is a bridlepath to the right which will take you all the way back up to the South Downs Way. We walked this way at sunset and so we were walking into the fading day. It was stunning.
Stop and look back often because the panoramic views of Sussex and her coastline are incredible. As you near the South Downs Way, there are two ways back and we took the slightly longer route just because I didn’t want the walk to end.
With a barley crop swaying in the breeze on either side of the footpath, the setting sun ahead and a rising full moon behind us, it was just too magical to leave. Once back on the South Downs Way, turn right and follow it back to the car park at Chantry Post. The views keep on giving all the way back to the car!
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