Heyshott Down - South Downs Way - Cocking

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There are superb views on this circular walk, so choose a clear day! Starting from the pretty downland village of Heyshott, a gentle climb takes you to the Heyshott Escarpment Chalk Downland and Nature Reserve. Much of the reserve occupies the site of old chalkpits and in 1874 the site was white with mainly disused chalk quarries and spoil heaps. These were abandoned before the 1930s. Now Mother Nature has reclaimed it as her own; not only are the views outstanding but also look beneath your feet for rare chalk downland flowers with many varieties of orchids, harebells and scabious. Because of the variety of flowers, half of the recorded species of British butterflies have been recorded on the reserve. A stiff climb leads to the South Downs Way - but it is so worth it for the spectacular views for many miles all around you! A glorious descent takes you to the church at Cocking. Some parts of this are 12th Century, so take this opportunity to view it and enjoy a rest before passing through the pretty village of Cocking. Then there's a gentle return to Heyshott along field-paths and tracks, with fantastic views of Heyshott Down along the way. There's a good village pub to look forward to as well!!

Dog owners may find it useful to know that there are only two stiles and my Labrador managed them and the gates easily.

England - South England - West Sussex - South Downs

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland
13/07/2010 - Angela Nielsen

I did this in July 2010. This is a very pleasant walk, especially in summer because of the wildflowers. At point 7 of the walk there is now a stile, and I found, of the "2 vague paths", it was the right hand one that afforded the best views, as it follows the crest of the down, but they both peter out before reaching the stile. In Cocking I took the footpath down the side of the church, cutting out the uninteresting lane. Passing some magnificent barns, you arrive at point 14 with the shingle track on your right. At point 17, passing through the fields and woodland, I was made to jump out of my skin by bird scarers firing off randomly - be warned!

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