Midhurst Footpath Companions
Walking in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.



Bubble Walks 2nd December 2020

We started in Midhurst car park and headed to Easebourne to pick up June, the walk leader for the day. We then took to the fields to head towards Budgenor Lodge but turned north towards Bexleyhill, then turning southeast towards Grevatts. There were some fine views across to the South Downs but it was a fairly cold grey day. We returned back to the Cowdray Cafe via Easebourne Lane where we stopped for refreshments. The last leg was back down to Cowdray ruins and then up the Causeway to the car park. Probably over 6 miles.

Gathering in the car park, Midhurst.

Fields just above Easebourne.

Walk leader resting.

Lovely old mossy wall

Time for a break

Now, let's just see how far we can get with our eyes shut.

OK, you can open your eyes, we're going this way!

Sun trying hard to shine, but not succeeding.

Well deserved break.

Please excuse spikes in the mapping. Over 6 miles.



Peter’s bubble walk started at Benbow Pond off the A272 between Easebourne and Lodsworth turn-offs, ambling across open farmland and woodland with lovely long reaching views, stopping at Lodsworth Church for coffee break, then on to Leggitt Hill, through Lodsworth village and cross country back to Benbow Pond just before the rain started, a good 5 mile walk, just what we all needed after lockdown.

Benbow Pond. with Memorial Temple erected in 2000 in memory of the late Viscount Cowdray the Third.

There's no hiding place for some.

Seasonal berries.

The Church of St Peter, Lodsworth, 12 or13th Century

Coffee break

Home to Ranulph Fiennes?

Back to Benbow Pond



Jean led a walk around the backroads of Bramshott, a walk of many interesting parts. From the memorials to Canadian soldiers once stationed nearby to extraordinary sculptures in a garden. One house was particularly interesting - the man who sold eggs! Buried up the end of a dead end lane the owner told the recent story of the house. Apparently the original cottage is very old and belonged to the Arundel estate, which seems a bit odd. It was on a lease for 10,000 years and the rent was an annual red rose. Someone was living in it when the egg man bought it 12 years ago, but he says it was in a dreadful state and not really fit for human habitation. He did all the work on it himself to get it to state it is now in and even used wood from the oak trees nearby! The weather managed to stay dry till the end of the walk - about 5 miles.

I think we'll go that way.

Passfield Manor 1

Passfield Manor 2

Plenty of painted stones on Conford Common.

Boot testing at Conford

The pump outside the house of the egg man.

Restoration egg man!

Two dancers suddenly appear on the lawn.

Boathouse at Conford Park Farm.

Not the normal horse - anyone know the name for the breed?

Bubble Walks 4th November 2020

With the start of another lockdown and the prospect of no bubble walks for 4 weeks, it was only fair that we were given a perfect autumn day to finish this session. There was frost on the ground but clear sunshine all morning.

Pauline's bubble of six walked from South Pond towards Todham Rough and Heyshott Common where the area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), continuing on just a small part of the 64 mile long Serpent Trail, (so named because of its shape) to Dunford Hollow and then back to the cars, having covered just over five miles.

Car park start, Isabel looking a shadow of herself

South Pond

Goose snoozing

Cowdray Castle from the New Lipchis Way

One's thatch should always be well maintained!

Coffee stop with the autumn colours all around.

Time for a break

Horses, just chillin'.

Nice old plough.

A special window on the world.

Nearing the end of the walk.

Just over 5 miles.



Marians walk started from the car park at the end of Woolbeding Lane where we welcomed several guests from Peter's Bubble.

A frosty start over the meadow beyond Woolbeding Bridge and then up the small hill above the Rother as far as Stedham Mill.

Here we stopped for refreshments which included small amounts of a delicious alcoholic nip to sustain us through the forthcoming lockdown. Thanks Mary! After a wander though Stedham village we traversed the polo fields before entering The Severals and Midhurst Common..

A lovely walk with good company - a great way to end the current season.

Starting out

Crossing  Woolbeding Bridge. Despite some repair work and alteration, Woolbeding Bridge survives in a good state of preservation. It is a fine example of a medieval multi-span bridge,  largely unaltered, of which fewer than 200 still exist.

Chilly morning.

Probably too late to try fertilizer...

Receiving instructions from our leader.

Stedham Mill, C18th or C19th House. Mill originally used for the manufacture of blotting paper - there's a blast from the past!

Stedham Mill, sluice gates open so we could stand around the stepping stones.

What a great still day.

Mary, showing off her latest fascinator.

Some idiot looking for goldfish.

Leaving the Mill

Hollow Yew in Stedham churchyard.

Crossing the Polo grounds

Plants ignores the pandemic, thank goodness.

Sunset Hill on Midhurst Common.

About 4.1/2  miles.

Bubble walks 28th October 2020

Denis led the walk from the Grange car park and we did a circular tour of West Lavington and it included finding out where the air raid shelters where in WW2. Very enjoyable but unfortunately the rain had not seen the forecast and seemed to carry on for much of the morning. We walked the path below St Ann's Hill fully prepared to do our final walk up the Causeway and back through the town, but at that point the heavens opened and after sheltering we decided to climb and explore St Ann's Hill instead. A coffee stop in the square was very welcome before finally walking along West Street and back to the car park. A damp but very enjoyable walk. Walk was around 3 miles.

Not a promising start!

Bridge at the bottom of The Wharf. The Wharf once was an unloading point for coal, brought up from the River Arun.

West Lavington Churchyard contains the grave of  Richard Cobden, politician and leading figure of the Anti-Corn Law League who was born nearby at Heyshott in 1804, attended school in Midhurst, and spent much of his later life at his family home in Heyshott, Dunford farmhouse.

Denis checking his route.

Ah ha - it's not raining!

West Lavington church. As a result of falling congregations and the church's poor condition, St Mary Magdalene church was closed in September 2008 and the congregation transferred to neighbouring Cocking.

Heavy rain failed to dampen spirits.

Climbing up St Ann's Hill

The house on St Ann's Hill. What is highly likely is that Midhurst Castle on St Ann's Hill was built to safeguard the Normans' stronghold in Sussex immediately after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

The monument includes the earthworks and ruined walls of a castle dating from the 12th century. The central area of the castle is the artificial mound, or motte, an existing natural prominence which was heightened using rubble. On the motte was built a roughly oval enclosing wall up to 1.7m thick which defined an area 65m north-south by 50m east-west. Backing on to the wall were a number of chambers used for living quarters, kitchens and storage, as well as a small chapel dedicated to St Denis.  Quite right too!!!



Peter led us on a wet and windy walk, (complete with thunder) from Cowdray car park at Easebourne to Glaziers Lane, then across open farm land passing some very friendly ponies, then to Easebourne Street and on to our coffee stop on Fenced Common. Then through Vining Rough back to Easebourne Street where we passed several comical pumpkins, a colourful clump of Nerines and a Victorian commemorative drinking font, finishing at Easebourne church.

Don't eat these!

Bubble walk 21st October 2020

Rain had been forecast for several days and the prediction proved correct. Four of us braved the rain, which luckily was only vertical so umbrellas were very useful. The walk was around the outside of the park and we were keeping a look-out for the deer in the midst of their rutting season. There were plenty around but mostly some way away in the middle of the park. A great deal of bellowing was going on and there were some magnificent set of antlers on view, looking far too heavy to be anything other than ornamental status symbols. The rain petered out towards the end of our walk and we ended up after our 4  mile stroll in a reasonably dry state. Very enjoyable.

Starting our walk in the Cowyard Tunnel.

Lower pond having a top-up.

The rain wasn't quite continuous.

Plenty of mushrooms on view - shaggy parasol mushroom - edible by most people.

Parasol mushroom - excellent food, but always check twice!

What's that over there?

Don't I look magnificent?!

Me and my girls.

Raining again.

There were some splendid chestnuts on the ground.

Wonderful Petworth Park

Tillington Church tower

Tillington church before the rebuild in 1807

Bubble Walks 14th October 2020

Linda and Marian's walk had two starting points, one in North Street car park, the other in Cowdray Cafe car park. From there we walked between the ancient Chestnut trees known as The Race. A quick joggle across fields and then we were heading North for Whitters Copse. In the woodland we found an ideal drink stop point with distance seating provided for all - there was even an undercover table and benches - luckily not needed this time. Turning south we reached the area of Budgenor Lodge, a workhouse from 1794, which, in 1843 was serving  men on Sundays with 6 oz. of bread and 1.1/2 pints of gruel for breakfast. However do not despair, things really improved for supper with 6 oz of bread and 1.1/2 pints of broth. Women were obviously dieting as they had the same, but less bread. From there we headed for the Cowday Cafe picnic spot where, by some miracle bubbly and cake was produced for a birthday treat. It was good to meet up once again - distantly - with Jeff and Christine before the Midhurst starters left to finish their longer walk. It was a pleasure to have a guest walker join us, Nalani, who is new to the area.

Crossing the A272 at Easebourne

Heading for Whitters Copse

Yet another stile to hop over

Room for all and time to share chocolates

Good for a rainy day

Cheers - it was well worth the walk!

Those faces look familiar?

Cowdray with the funny filter on the camera - it wasn't quite that dramatic.

About 4.1/2 miles or 6+ miles with a North Street start.



Peter’s walk started from Iping/Stedham car park, through Iping common towards Didling, then along Ingrams Green Lane, left through the woods where we bumped into a couple of very friendly Gloucester old spots! Then on to the perfect ready made coffee stop complete with seating, fire pit and surrounded by tumuli, on to Quaggs Meadow then through Stedham common to the car park. a really lovely walk.

Where shall we go from here?

Gloucester Old Spot spotted.


Nice picnic spot

Cauliflower fungus, very tasty but difficult to clean.



Pauline led our walk around Petworth Park and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the start of the autumn colours around the park. As it is the rutting season, we had a number of stops to watch the deer and to listen to the roaring of the stags. We were so pleased that the sun shone and that a rain shower started only as we were driving out of the car park.

Inside Petworth Park

 The house is famous for its art collection which includes works by JMW Turner of the park.

Striding out. During Second World War the park was used for 3,700 army troops and at the end of the war as a Polish resettlement camp, this closed in 1959.

Designed & landscaped by Lancelot Capability Brown in the 1750s

There are around 700 deer roaming freely within the park. The wall around the park is 14 miles long

May be a Shaggy Parasol Mushroom, edible by most people.... but more likely a plain Paraosol Mushroom, edible.

Honourable leader with a coat carefully chosen to match the vegetation?

Petworth House, one of the homes of Lady Elizabeth Percy (1667-1722). In 1682, at the age of 16 and already twice widowed, she married the 20 year old Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset.