Back in 2018 I spent six days walking the South Downs Way, it was a cracking walk with the bonus of bagging a number of Ordnance Survey trig pillars as I travelled from Winchester to Eastbourne. Most the trigs were on the route, but occasionally I made a short diversion to bag one. There were others which I had in mind but the diversion would have added too many miles to my walk.
Today I plan to revisit two trigs on the South Downs way at Rackham Hill and Kithurst Hill and combine this with bagging two I have not previously visited at Barpham Hill and Blackpatch Hill. The starting point for my walk is just off the A27 in the car park at the end of Dovers Lane (Grid Ref: TQ060063).
From the car park I join the tarmac track and head north towards Wepham Wood. It is a bright sunny morning which makes a pleasant change from yesterday’s overcast grey sky.
At a junction of paths I keep heading north through the trees and pass a cottage and continue through Lower Oldfield Copse.
I cross the route of the Monarch’s Way and continue on a path which soon leaves the woods and passes fields as I head towards Upper Barpham.
These days Barpham consists of farms at Upper Barpham and Lower Barpham, but in the past there was a medieval village here known as Bargham. In 1952 an archeological survey discovered the remains of a small Anglo-Saxon church which is thought to have been demolished in the 16th century with the masonry used to build Upper Barpham Farm. The demise of the village started around the time of the Black Death in 1348-49 and depopulation gradually followed to the extent that the village no longer exists.
After passing a fine barn at Upper Barpham I continue along the track to a junction of routes. Here I go through a metal gate to enter a field and head up Barpham Hill.
Soon on my left I spot the Barpham Hill Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar and wander across the pasture to visit it. This is the 417th trig I have bagged.
From the trig I rejoin the footpath which follows a track across the field towards a gate.
Through the gate the track continues across another field and then starts to descend with fine views in front.
After going through a gate I join a track and turn left to reach a junction of paths and soon turn right to head north on a track on Wepham Down.
Within a couple of hundred yards I keep straight on where the track divides and join a hedge lined path.
Soon the path gradually ascends. Ignoring paths to the left and right I keep going until I reach a track where I turn right and then almost immediately left to take a path which continues uphill to join the route of the South Downs Way. Here there is a view over Amberley and the flooded fields beyond.
I now turn right on the South Downs Way and keep going steadily uphill on a track. Soon I see the Rackham Hill Ordnance Survey trig pillar and pop across to bag it. I have visited this trig before, there are fine views from here.
Back on the South Downs Way I keep heading west over Springhead Hill and then bump into a mountain biker who stops for a chat. These random conversations with total strangers are always interesting. Often I learn something interesting about the area, but on this occasion it is a chance for us to share stories about how recent bouts of Covid have impacted on our ability to exercise.
I head off again along the broad track enjoying the warmth of the sunshine.
After passing a car park on the left I leave the South Downs Way and fork to the left to follow a path heading up Kithurst Hill.
As the path levels I reach the Kithurst Hill Ordnance Survey trig pillar, this is another trig which I bagged whilst walking the South Downs Way.
A few hundred years beyond the trig I reach a junction of paths and turn right to follow a path to return to the South Downs Way. Turning left I follow the track past a Dew Pond.
The track continues along to reach a car park where there are a selection of paths I choose one on the right which goes through a metal gate and heads diagonally across a field. At the far side of the field the map shows the path going diagonally across the next field, but it is clear that most people walk around the wide field margin so I turn left and then right around the edge of the field.
Now heading south I pass a boundary stone with a clear ordnance survey benchmark upon it.
I keep heading south passing further boundary stones with benchmarks on them and then reach a fork in the path, here I go to the left heading up Blackpatch Hill.
The route goes through a gate and continues along the fence line, I take a short diversion to the top of the hill to see the Blackpatch Hill Ordnance Survey trig pillar. I didn’t bag this when walking the South Downs Way, so it becomes my 418th trig.
From the trig I turn to the right and follow a fence line downhill to rejoin the footpath and then turn left through a gate and join a track which heads steadily downhill to pass Longfurlong Farm. The route continues along the concrete farm driveway towards a minor road.
At the end of the concrete driveway and the start of the minor road I turn right to join the Monarch’s Way. This follows the tarmac driveway to Myrtle Grove Farm.
After passing the farm buildings, which are occupied by various businesses I stay with the Monarch’s Way and head west along a bridlepath. Repair work is being carried out but so far it appears to have resulted in a muddy mess.
I pass an old barn and continue along the track to a tarmac lane. Here I turn left, still on the route of the Monarch’s Way passing Michelgrove as I continue along the lane.
At a footpath, with a Monarch’s Way way-marker, I turn right and take a track that soon ascends steadily onto Michelgrove Park. The tranquility of the afternoon is disturbed by the constant sound of guns as game birds are slaughtered.
At a fork on the track I keep to the right and continue a short distance to a four way crossing of paths. Here the Monarch’s Way goes to the right, but I go straight on following a broad path between the trees.
At a junction of paths near the edge of the woods I turn left and then very quickly reach a point where the path divides. Here I go to the right and head through Stonyland Copse.
This is a pleasant path through an area of mixed woodland.
At a junction of paths I go straight on and then turn to the right on a track heading west towards my starting point in Hammerpot Copse.
Back at the car I have walked 13 miles. It has been a cracking day to be out and there have been some splendid views. It is days like today that remind me what a great area the South Downs are to walk.
To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey OS Explorer OL10 – Arundel & Pulborough
17th November 2023
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2023)
All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.