Midhurst Footpath Companions
Walking in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.

Gallery


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Marley Walk 11 May 2022

Jean's walk started out from The Mill Tavern in Shottermill and took walkers through Camelsdale village and up Marleycombe Road before reaching Marley Common and a point high above Kingsley Green. The route was then a climb up through to Cognor Wood and then a gradual descent to a point above Linchmere Marsh. Another climb up to Marley and then a final descent down through Brinksway and on to The Mill for a good lunch. The walk was a little over 4 miles.

Ready to go.

Gathering the flocks

Walkers keen to take the "Fancy a swift one" path

What was so amusing??

Top of Marley Common, with a view for miles.

A little bit of wind damage

A whole lot more damage

Walkers saw this one was in danger, but managed to save it with a big heave

A very old man-made pond in the middle of nowhere

Time for a drink on some handy seats

Time for a hop

More trees on the path

But plenty stayed upright

Belted Galloways, not called George, thankfully

Someone trying to outsmile the bluebells!

Little damp towards the end of the walk

 

Nice bit of gardening up Brinksway way

The Mill Tavern


Duncton walk 4th May 2022

The Cricketers in Duncton was the start of  Isabel's wander around the countryside. We headed down the  A285 before turning into the grounds of Seaford College. The Building has had many residents since the original building erected in the late 16th C, including many bishops and lords. Luckily the Canadian Soldiers billeted there during WW2 had old locks and weirs in Loxwood on which to  practice demolition, so the building survived very well.  We enjoyed walking through the College grounds before turning north towards Parsons Wood and Upper Norwood. Early Purple Orchids were plentiful throughout the morning with many Spotted Orchids also seen but not yet in flower. After traversing the Lavington and Duncton Commons we crossed the road again to take the Serpent Trail towards Burton Park. The tiny 11th C church next to Burton Park house has a painting inside supposedly of St Uncumber (aka St Wilgefortis) who was crucified by her father for growing a beard. Seems a bit excessive.

After joining the West Sussex Literary Trail, we ambled back to the Cricketers Arms for a splendid lunch. The pub name was changed to The Cricketers by the landlord, a certain John Wisden in 1867, author of the famous Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

Gathering at the start

Seaford College, here we come!

Early orchids inside the gates

Strolling next to the golf course

Seaford College - an extraordinary breadth of sports from cricket to sailing and almost everything in between.

Pretty as a picture - or even nicer!

Time for some balancing practice

Parson's Copse in bloom

Chestnut poles for a new pergola

Back on the Serpent trail

Pause for chat

Tea time on Duncton Common

Horses could do with a good feed

Burton Park House, rebuilt circa 1828, landscaping by Capability Brown

Appaloosa horses, originally bred by Native Americans on the far west coast of USA

11th C church of St Richard

Pausing to admire Burton Park House grounds

Well earnt lunch in the Cricketers.


Loxwood walk on 27th April 2022

Kathryn and Geoff had volunteered to show us Loxwood, so after gathering in the car park adjacent to the Onslow Arms, we headed north through the back of the village. A stop to hear some of the history of a religious sect called The Society of Dependants was quite revealing. Established in Loxwood with their first chapel in 1861, they believed in no music, alcohol or tobacco, read no books other than the Bible, had no flowers in their houses. Surprisingly they did allow young couples to live together for 2 years, after which they would either separate or marry. The movement spread to several neighbouring villages, but had almost died out by the late 1980's. We had an early coffee stop on some handy furniture somewhere near to Old Songhurst Farm, before turning west towards Alfold. After resisting the temptation to drop in at The Sir Roger Tichborne pub, we crossed the road and headed for Gennetts Bridge Lock on the Wey and Arun Canal. We now took the Wey-South Path back to Loxwood. On the way we met a few of the many volunteers and supporters of the Wey and Arun Canal Trust, who have been working since 1970 to re-open the Canal. They have been extraordinarily successful. Sadly a farmer near the canal has allowed an enormous amount of the highly poisonous Giant Hogweed to prosper, to  fill fields and hedgerows along the canal path, but fortunately the Trust  has managed to keep the path safe. We welcomed guest walkers John and Marg on our walk which ended with a good lunch in The Onslow Arms. The walk was about 4.1/2 miles.

Starting out along the canal

Striding out along Spy Lane

Emmanuel Fellowship Church, previously the home of The Society of Dependants, also known as the Cokelers.

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Lovely varieties of tulips along our route

This bird sang to us for much of our coffee stop- probably a cock linnet

Nice seats today!

Gatekeepers on duty

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Gennets Bridge Lock.

Testing the bridge

Now, listen carefully, we're going THAT way.

Heading down the Wey-South Path

Moorhen eggs in the middle of the mud

Parts are navigable but not exactly flowing very much

Devil's Hole Lock

After being used for demolition practice during WW2 by the Canadians, this lock was rebuilt and reopened by April 2010

Appalling amounts of Giant Hogweed - no sign of this poisonous weed being controlled by the landowner

Early Purple Orchid likes the mud of the canal

Onslow Arms served us well, and took photos!


Fittleworth Morning and Day walk 20th April 2022

Catherine led an 8 mile walk from The Swan Pub in Fittleworth covering rather a lot of her childhood which the group very obligingly took interest in. We started with the morning walkers by walking down to see the Mill and the Mill House and Mill Cottage before saying goodbye to them and setting off across the fields, up through the arboretum (QR codes tried out!) and up through Churchwood. We passed Brinkwells, a cottage lived in by the composer Elgar from 1917-1919 and headed to the ruined Bedham Church/School for a picnic lunch. A hilly morning walk became much easier in the afternoon as we headed down through Flexham Park, the fishing ponds in the Lynch and through Little Bognor to admire both a cottage Catherine had lived in, and a house the singer Bryan Ferry has owned since 1970. Onwards across the fields, past Fittleworth House and through the churchyard and up onto Hesworth Common. The whole walk produced an abundance of Blue Bells at their most glorious and we even saw the first Wild Garlic out and most important of all, were able to rescue a baby Thrush which had got itself trapped behind chicken wire.

Tree spotting in Wynkcoombe Arboretum

This tree probably needs a spot of water

Looking at the blue bells AND the South Downs

Plenty of bluebells

Coffee stop.

Walking through Churchwood

Heading towards Brinkswells, the steepest part of the walk

I'm sure it'll be worth it!

Celina in the garlic

Even more bluebells

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Brinkswells, Elgar, composer, fisherman, lived here from 1917 to 1919, the sign tells us. Local fishing club say he lived here from 1917 until 1921- who to believe!?

Lunch stop was Bedham Church/School, built in 1880, eventually closing in 1959, Lady Elgar supposedly heard the bells ringing from here at the end of WW1

Pond where Elgar fly fished - he said he caught a massive trout but it may just have been one of his many enigmas

This building deserves a plaque for Catherine

Someone has been busy with her tripod

Back into Fittleworth village

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The strolling group started with the Day walkers from the Swan Inn but after a look at Fittleworth Mill we soon parted ways and headed in the  opposite direction up towards Hesworth Common. After walking through the village we turned off towards Brookdean, passing Fittleworth House on the way. We stopped and had a look down the driveway of Bryan Ferry's house, but nobody deigned to come and say hello. Moving north we admired the wonderful garden of Crowsole, an ancient Watermill. Whilst some went east looking for a picnic spot, others went further to see the mill itself. After a break we all headed to Amen and then walked through Sellings Wood. A slight diversion, a busy road crossing and we were in Fittleworth Common, the site of Wynkcoombe Arboretum. Here is an amazing collection of trees, many very rare, planted and tended by a Mr N W Smith. Many trees have a QR code on them and by using a free phone app, the age, cost, origin and whole history of each tree can be discovered. Well worth a visit. After a walk of a little less than 4.1/2 miles we then made our way the The Angel in Petworth for a very tasty lunch.

The Swan Inn - yours for £1.1/4 million. 15 en-suite rooms as well as separate private accommodation.

Fittleworth Mill

Day and Morning walkers gathered at the start

Look, there's a sea trout!

Hidden bluebells and a hidden walker?

A closer look reveals it to be a terrestrial globe.

Hello Bryan?!

Crowsole mill pond

Crowsole garden

Whilst the day walkers were busy saving thrushes, we failed miserably to save this pigeon.

Coffee spot chat

Sheep sheltering in the shade in Sellings wood

Wynkcoombe Arboretum - Small leaved Eucalyptus, planted 1983, cost £3.75 from RHS in Wisley.

Photographer was a bit slow - walkers have all walked!

Under 4.1/2 miles.


Rogate walk on 13th April 2022

Janet and Pauline's walk set off from the Forestry Commission car park at Tullecombe. We then took the road through Fyning Common to Fyning Lane where we said goodbye to John, after admiring the garden and also the views to the South Downs. A sunken lane took us down into Fyning village where we crossed the A272 to get to Fyning Moor, an interesting damp wood now full of bluebells. Crossing the Rother brought us to Habin Bridge, probably built in the 15th or 16th century by the monks at nearby Durford Abbey. We then travelled a little further west to cross the Rother again before heading north past Souters Copse to Rogate village. The path across the field north of Rogate  needed the footpath reinstating after some heavy tractor work, but we eventually found our way out. At this point Denis headed for home as did Barbara a little further on. After reaching our cars we headed for the Drovers Arms for a very good lunch. 

Starting out from Tullecombe

This used to be Rogate's playing fields but  the newer ones near the village proved much more convenient.

Descending towards Fyning Lane

Leaders striding out

Bluebells building up for a big show in a week or two!

Treading carefully through the marshy bits of Fyning Moor

A very ancient plant - Mare's Tail also known as Field Horsetail, Common Horsetail, Pipeweed, Lego Plant, Bottle Brush, Cat's Tail, Colt's Tail, Frog Pipes, Horse Pipes, Scrub Grass, Shave Grass, Snake Grass and Snake Pipes. Poisonous to livestock.

Testing the bridge over the Rother

Habin Bridge

Crossing the Rother once again

Boardwalk installed by The Public Rights of Way Volunteer Rangers over the marsh

Downhill towards Rogate

Drink stop on a handy fallen tree

Ukranian flag outside Rogate Church

Denis taking a short cut home

Ever present South Downs in the distance

Barbara saying farewell

Walkers trying to work out why the red paint?  We got there eventually!

Food is on its way

Nice walk, under 5 miles