I have to admit this walk is a favourite of mine having done it many times. It was pleasing therefore to find it as one of the walks featured in volume 66 of the Pathfinder Guides West Sussex and the South Downs. On a bright clear Sunday morning I was anxious to get up and out early for the first time during the summer season. What I was not prepared for though was the freshness of the morning - it was seriously cold when I went out at 8am!
Instead of parking at the top of Kithurst Hill as suggested I actually parked in Amberley village. This gave me the advantage of getting the steep climb of Amberley Mount out of the way at the start of the walk rather than at the end. Amberley had not yet properly woken up when I arrived and so my walk down through the village was pretty quiet. That also meant that I was at liberty to admire many of the beautiful houses in the village without appearing to be too nosy!
|The Black Horse|
|Amberley Mount View|
Eventually I puffed my way to the top of the hill and was glad that I had warmed up considerably from my climb for the breeze on the ridge was pretty stiff. It was pretty difficult to hold the camera still for any kind of photography so thank goodness for plenty of fence posts along the way. When I thought I had got to the top of the hill I discovered that the climbing continued for some time afterwards. Luckily I was mostly distracted by the fantastic views to the left and right of me. I was soon joined by a farmer who drove across the field to my left to tend to his sheep. Looking at the field they were in you could be forgiven for thinking they had had a pillow emptied out all over it for the grass was covered in what looked like little balls of cotton wool.
|Best View in the World|
|Parham House From the Downs|
I turned sharp left and headed along the estate road to Parham House. Sadly for me when I approached the lodge house I found the ramblers that I had lost earlier. I had to wait for them to move on before I could get a decent shot of the old lodge. This took longer than expected for they used the opportunity to wait for all the stragglers - bloomin' typical! Eventually they moved on and I got my picture and headed in the opposite direction.
Once through the estate I joined the section of path I had walked on one of the Arun Valley walks that I blogged a couple of years back. I headed off the sandy ridge that Parham is built on and across the gault clay to the south. Catch this on the wrong day and you could be squelching past Rackham watermill and across the fields - not pleasant walking then. Today though was a delight for the dry conditions meant that the last mile was a lot easier than most times I have been this way.