Amberley Station - the Monarch's Way - Bignor Hill - the South Downs Way
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The walk was completely re-written in May 2011, one of my reasons for doing so being to encourage Walkingworld subscribers to leave the car at home and use the excellent rail service to Amberley from London Victoria and other towns en route.
This is a circular walk up on to the South Downs, on the tough side of moderate because of the height gained during the climb! It starts from Amberley Station, and after a gentle introduction along the bank of the River Arun, follows the Monarch's Way through the village of Houghton and through Houghton Forest to the summit of Bignor Hill at 225 metres, where there are magnificent views in all directions. It returns along the South Downs Way.
For six weeks, hotly pursued by the Parliamentary forces under Oliver Cromwell, the fugitive and future King Charles II travelled first north, then south through the Cotswolds and the Mendips to the South Coast, and finally along the South Downs to Shoreham where he made his escape to France. This route is now perpetuated as the Monarch's Way.
As you walk through the National Trust’s Slindon Estate, you also cross a rather older route, Stane Street, the Roman road which ran from what became Chichester to the provincial capital at London.
On 31st March 2010 the South Downs became Britain's newest National Park and the tenth to be designated in England. It is over 1,600 km sq and stretches 100 miles from the edge of Winchester to Beachy Head. The Park is home to over 108,000 people and includes the towns of Petersfield, Midhurst and Lewes.
The full details include a shorter 8km option, also a circular walk, from Whiteways Cafe and Car Park (WP6), taking in Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill. See Additional Info.
England - South England - West Sussex - South Downs
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