by Robert Veitch
New Year, new walk, new views, and back to accompany Robert Veitch is Lucy Sayers. Let’s ramble!
From the Beeding Hill car park take the footpath heading north, by the wooden post. Walk along the bottom of the gully as it drops away for around 200m after which five steps and a handrail appear on the right. Once up the steps and through the kissing gate, the line of the footpath rests like a shadow on the grass. Be aware of any livestock.
About 100m into the field head for the yellow sign atop the fingerpost in the longer grass to the left. Beyond this, the path follows the contours of the landscape, occasionally lumpy and briefly wooded. Wander around the end of the valley towards the summit of the lime pit. “Keep clear of the edge, there’s no fence… the drop is almost vertical,” Lucy observed.
Bear right at the fingerpost, then straight on at the next fingerpost, towards the stainless steel gate. Beyond the gate, the path goes uphill gently then arcs left around the end of the valley, under Tottington Mount, before trundling downhill. Down in the bowl of Room Bottom is a motocross circuit and in the distant Adur Valley are Upper Beeding, Bramber and Steyning. Walk to the point where the fences converge, then take the gate on the left. The land drops away steeply, between fences, through a rusted gate, past new fence posts. Near the bottom it passes a large fallen beech tree before ending at the road.
Across the road, head between the barns of Tottington Manor Farm, before turning right and following the drive to the two houses. The drive degrades to a track, leading to a pair of wooden gates at the entrance to Longlands Wood. Walk through the woods for about 200m to the fingerpost, turning right then following the at and sometimes squelchy path beneath the trees to the low-lying branch and stile at the edge of the woods.
Once over the stile, hug the hedge on the left all the way to the pair of metal gates. Beyond these, walk across the next eld, keeping the hedge on the left once again. Walk to the three-way fingerpost at the end of the eld, turning left towards the gap in the hedge. Across the slippery sleeper footbridge, turn right into the adjacent eld and walk past the pretty cottage. Across another slippery sleeper footbridge, keep the hedge on your right, to the end of the final field.
Amble south along the track between the hedges towards the Downs. The path narrows shortly before it enters the driveway of Aburton Farm House, then approaches the gate and finally the road. Veer left when crossing the road and the first ascent of the year begins. New year, new climb… and it will feel brutal at first. A gate opens onto Fulking Escarpment. Turn right, then left by the fingerpost at a jaunty angle.
The path snakes uphill, twisting and turning on the lower slopes, emerging quite quickly at the bottom of a ramp which looks more like a long, green, stationary travelator. There’s no other option, except pacing it step-by-step, acclimatising to the altitude as the air thins! “The Downs look beautiful enveloped in the winter light,” commented Lucy as she paused to catch her breath. 300m later the gate and 154m (505 feet) summit of Edburton Hill is reached. Congratulations… but there’s more ascent to come.
Turn right and follow the South Downs Way as it curves left, then right, before arriving at the top of Truleigh Hill at 216m (708 feet). “I’m truly, madly, deeply in love with the views,” chuckled Lucy as she paused to absorb the surroundings.
Once past the radio transmitters, the track is at. There’s a feeling of remoteness here, a small clustered community high on the hills. Beyond the Youth Hostel, the track passes through a glade of pine trees, hardens to tarmac, then rolls downhill for another mile, all the way to the car park. “A delightful winter walk and a great start to the year,” said Lucy as we went in search of some well-deserved tea and cake.
Distance: 6 miles
Walk Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 0L11
Refreshments: Take your own
Parking: Free parking at the Beeding Hill car park at the northern end of Mill Hill
Robert has tested the route personally, making sure it is suitable for walking. However, even he cannot guarantee the effects of the weather, or roadworks, or any other factors outside of his control. If you would like to send your feedback about a local walk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org