Distance: 8.5 km. Elevation: 237 m. Difficulty: Medium to hard.
This South Downs circular walk is a fabulous route with views for miles north and south. It takes in Chantry Hill, Sullington Hill and a section of the South Downs Way. There is a steep climb involved but once you’re at the top, it’s pretty level.
From the A283 travelling west from Washington to Storrington, turn left to Sullington Manor Farm. Drive down this narrow lane to the end where you’ll find a farm shop café, a church that dates back to the Saxon and Norman periods, and a Yew tree that is 1,300 years old! There is signed parking on a grass verge. You need Ordnance Explorer 121 and the post code is RH20 4AE.
From the church and parking area head west down the lane and follow the bridlepath until it reaches Chantry Lane. This is a well-maintained path and the views are already impressive.
Turn left into Chantry Lane and when you reach the gorgeous house overlooking a lake, you take the first footpath to your right. After passing through a yard and past some fields, you start the steep climb to the top. As you start to ascend the path does bear right but you want to keep left and go straight up! It is a tough climb but so worth it as the views behind you just keep getting better and better. This is Chantry Hill and the keen-eyed amongst you may be able to spot your car parked far below.
As you reach the top, the path seems to bend round to the left but you want to go straight forward until you reach the South Downs Way at Kithurst Hill. Now you have almost 360-degree views of the world below although you have only walked just over 2 km!
With the hard work of the climb behind you, now you simply follow the South Downs Way east for 2.5 km past the Chantry Post car park and along the ridge of the South Downs.
Look out for a small clump of trees and a large stone carved into seats with engraved names. This is Barnsfarm Hill and where you begin your descent.
After about 1.5 km of down hill, you’ll reach a rather attractive house on your left and two left turns: the first left turn is wooded, the second is into a narrow lane with houses. You want to take the first turn left.
Just follow this country bridlepath through fields and past the occasional grand house, back to the start! In the summer months, the Sullington Manor Farm café where you parked is open Thursday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm and in addition to coffee, cake, or lunch, they also offer a picnic hamper service.
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