Weekend Walk: Midhurst, Bepton and Cocking (9.5 miles)

This walk has very little in the way of ups and downs as it passes through woods and fields south of Midhurst, then, at one point, briefly climbs up to skirt the South Downs. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk).

From the bottom of the car park cross a footbridge and turn right to follow a path behind houses to a road. Turn right, cross and walk past a fire station and on up the road to go left into Bepton Road. Immediately fork right on a road signed Industrial Estate. A little further on again go right at a signpost and into trees. Follow the path right, running along next to a fence on your right and up a slope until you are underneath some power lines running off left. Turn left and follow the path (now west) along the power line ride, underneath the power lines. Keep going until you come to a cross paths junction at the corner of an open area.

About 100 yards ahead of you are some more power lines, running off to the left, at right angles. At the cross paths, take the path left (i.e. south). Follow the new path, after a few yards running alongside a collapsed fence and about 10 feet above a flat, treed area (a disused pit), gradually converging on the second set of power lines. At about the point where you are under this second set of power lines there is a barrier (several vertical metal posts) at the left-hand side of the path and another path going off left. Here, you turn right and go forward, with the barrier directly behind you. After a couple of hundred yards cross Severals Road. Carry straight on then take the left fork to Tyelands Cottage. As you reach the house, turn left off the drive, over a stile, across a field, through a gate and along the edge of the next field to a stile into a lane. (To your immediate right is Woolbeding Cottage.) Go left to Bepton Road.

Turn right and walk down the road, past Fairfield and Fairfield Cottage, to take a bridleway going right (i.e west). About 400 yards along it a path goes off left (south again). Follow this along the left-hand edge of two huge fields and gradually swing right (i.e. west). Pass a cottage on the other side of the hedge on your left and about 100 yards later a path escapes left, close to an oak, over a plank into another field. Follow the sign right and anticlockwise around the edge of the field and eventually out on to a track exiting from the far right-hand corner. Follow this track past some barns and up into a farmyard. After the track turns to go down left, you turn right on a little path which has wooden railings on its left. A few yards further on, go into the churchyard. Go through the churchyard and out at the bottom onto the road.

Go right and down beyond a pond to a T junction and there go left along Bell Lane. About 400 yards further on turn right, along the side of a tudor cottage and opposite the road running off left towards Midhurst. You are on a ‘restricted bridleway’ (dark red arrows). Follow this, at first south south west and then turning east (ignore the blue arrow path going off right at this point) and climbing gradually up the flank of the South Downs. At the top turn left (onto Henley Lane, a track) and follow the track down again (east south east). At the T junction at the bottom turn right and wind down and around a well-hidden residence, turning left to follow its metalled drive past a lake and under a (disused) railway bridge to emerge at the A286 in Cocking. The tea rooms and a small green are to the right, opposite, and the Blue Bell is a few yards further along.

Just past the pub, on the other side, is the Post Office. Take the lane at the side of the Post Office, running right, and follow the footpath sign down the track to Stone Cottage where the track swings left and then squeezes right and onto a little concrete track running along the edge of a garden. Follow this up and along the edge of a field. About 200 yards along the field a sign points left, down a path into woods. After 10 yards along this path, go right at another sign. Another 50 yards and you go left at a yellow arrow. Then, after walking through trees, emerge at a plantation of new trees. Walk along the right-hand edge of this and at the far edge take the right-most of the two paths going straight ahead. At the next cross track follow a sign pointing right. Proceed along this wide track, gradually climbing a little and swinging left and through trees until you reach a road. Turn left along it and, after 150 yards, take a bridleway going off right. Follow this down until you cross a small footbridge and meet a crossing track.

Turn left and walk along a metalled road to pass Dunford House and climb gently up its drive to meet a road at a bend at the top of the rise. Cross and follow the sign into woods, squeezing between the sign post and the big Pendean House sign. This path takes you on, over stiles, to emerge on a road a few yards to the left of the Royal Oak. Go right for 800 yards then left into Church Road. Walk along here until you see High Standing Lane heading off to the right. Follow this down to another road, cross and go right for a few yards to pick up a sign taking you left and behind stables. Follow field edges, over stiles, down to Wharf Bridge. Cross the bridge and go left and back along the road to the starting car park.

DISTANCE: 9.5 miles

OS MAPS: Explorer 120 Chichester, South Harting and Selsey

START GRID REFERENCE: 4 885 1 213

STARTING POINT: The Grange Road car park on the southern side of Midhurst. Go through the centre of town to find it.

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