Press Release: Chichester Walking Weekend 6th-8th September 2019

September 2019 sees the launch of the first ever Chichester Walking Weekend; a collaboration between Visit Chichester and The Ramblers Association South West Sussex Group.  Covering the magnificence of the South Downs National Park, the stunning stretches of coastline, the natural beauty of Chichester Harbour (an AONB) and, of course, the historic Roman City of Chichester itself, the weekend will showcase the wealth of attractions this wonderful part of Sussex has to offer as a premier walking destination; and what’s more, many of the guided events will be free of charge.

The weekend will offer walkers the chance to take in the stunning scenery that this unique part of the country has to offer, while being led by a knowledgeable guide. Over 14 different walks have been organised so far, with more being added on a weekly basis. 

Trails led by the Ramblers will lead walkers over the picturesque Downs, while other routes will amble around the Manhood Peninsular, exploring the local history of Selsey and Sidlesham, against the backdrop of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  City routes will guide walkers through Chichester’s 2,000 year history, discovering lesser-known nooks and crannies and exploring the City’s celebrated landmarks too.  Further walks explore the areas around the quaint market towns of Midhurst and Petworth, famous for their arts, antiques and cobbled streets. 

There is something for everyone in this celebration of the area whilst embracing the health benefits of walking. Paul Bould of South West Sussex Ramblers says “The Ramblers do a lot more than organise walking groups. They have a passion for protecting footpaths and the countryside, and this is at the heart of all their campaigns. I am delighted so many local groups are participating and offering walks in their specialist fields”. 

Louise Adlam, Destination Marketing Executive for Visit Chichester, added “We live in one of the most uniquely beautiful areas of the country where we have access to stunning stretches of coastline, picturesque coastal villages, a harbour brimming with wildlife , beautiful countryside,  and a city centre rich in heritage and historical importance.  We hope the Chichester Walking Weekend will give walkers a chance to experience some of this wonderful part of the world while encouraging people to get outdoors”.

With something for everyone, including a wheelchair ‘wheel, roll, stroll’, booking in advance is essential. 

For more information, and to see the full schedule of events, visit www.visitchichester.org

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Notes to editors

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

For further information and images please contact helen.broom@visitchichester.org / louise.adlam@visit chichester.org / 01243 950412

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday 6 September walks:

Ramblers - Iping Common Walk, 8.3 miles

Join Ramblers for a stunning walk close to the market town of Midhurst - from Iping Commom car park to Woolbeding Common and back. The route passes through the picturesque Stedham Village and over the River Rother at Stedham Mill. Other places on the route include hidden treasures such as Lords Common, Woolbeding Common and Ash House.  The landscape is farmland, commons and woods plus two crossings of the River Rother. The route has no steep hills but rises approximately 150m in the circuit.  Paths are generally good but may be muddy in wet weather. 

Time: 10am
Meeting point: Iping Common car park (approx. 3kms west of Midhurst). Grid reference SU853 220. Postcode GU29 0PB.
Cost: Free of cost. Registration in advance is essential. Register at www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/friday

Tillington River Rother Walk, 3 miles 

Join Gerald Gresham Cooke, a local guide, for the perfect summer stroll.  Enjoy a gentle circular walk down to the River Rother, which flows through some of the most stunning countryside in Hampshire and West Sussex. The walk starts and ends in the village of Tillington (just outside of the market town of Petworth) and is graded ‘easy’. Return via Smugglers Lane - a wonderful Sussex sunken 'Green Lane'. Dogs welcome.

Time: 10.30am
Meeting point: The Horse Guards Inn, Upperton Road, Tillington, GU28 9AF. Parking roadside. 
Cost: Free of cost. Registration in advance is essential. Register at www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/friday

Saturday 7th September walks:

Ramblers - Eartham Woods to the Downs, 8 miles

Join Ramblers to walk through the historic Eartham Woods (keep an eye out for deer and butterfly!) up to the South Downs Way and back.The route starts by crossing Eartham Woods on Stane Street, the Roman road from Chichester to London Bridge. Then, move through farmland to open downland and a steady ascent up Great Down, with incredible views back to the coast. There is a steady gentle ascent up Great Down for about 20 minutes and some short inclines in the rest of the walk. The landscape is mature woods, farmland and open downs. Paths are generally good but may be muddy in wet weather. 

Time: 10am
Meeting point: Eartham Woods forestry Commission car park, off the A285 going north from Chichester to Petworth. Grid reference SU938107. Postcode PO18 0NA.
Cost: Free of cost. Registration in advance is essential. Register at www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/saturday

Ramblers - Linking the countryside to the City, 9 miles

Join Ramblers for a nine mile flat walk around the North West of Chichester. The route will take you into the the historic Roman City of Chichester, through several charming parks and then returns to the start point at Lavant. Lunch will be in Priory Park where you can admire the City Walls, the Guildhall and the remains of a Norman motte, there are also toilet facilities and a cafe in the park. Some of the parks visited on this walk have restrictions on dogs so this walk is for registered assistance dogs only. There is the option of using public transport to travel to the start (No 60 bus).

Time: 10.15am
Meeting point: Sheepwash Lane, Lavant (north side of village green). Grid reference SU 858038. Postcode PO18 0AH.
Cost: Free of cost. Registration in advance is essential. Register here www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/saturday

Roman Chichester Walk, 1 hour

Join the team from the Novium Museum to discover the role played by the Romans in creating the stunning City of Chichester that we see today. From walking the walls to the road layout in the centre, modern day Chichester has many features put in place by the Romans close to 2,000 years ago. This fun and gentle walk will last approx. one hour and is aimed at a family audience.

Time: TBC
Meeting Point: TBC
Cost: £3 per person. Registration in advance is essential. Registration coming soon. 

All Aboard, 2 miles

Join Dr Bill Martin from the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group on a fascinating two-mile stroll around seaside haven of Selsey, exploring the town's fascination for railway carriage homes. Originating from various railway lines, these carriages arrived in the 1930s and helped to meet the ever-growing demand for accommodation during the summer. See how the ‘railway homes’ look today while taking in the views of the stunning coast. 

Time: 2pm 
Meeting point: East Beach car park PO20 0SZ
Cost: Voluntary contributions to the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group are welcome. Car park charges apply. Registration in advance is essential.  Register here www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/saturday

Sunday 8th September walks:

Discover Medmerry East, 4.5 hours

As summer gives way to autumn, this is a great time to join RSPB guides for a walk around the east side of the Medmerry reserve - a beautiful ‘wild and wonderful’ nature reserve on the Sussex coast. The nature reserve is home to a host of rare wildlife and offers panoramic views across Pagham Harbour. 

Time: 9.45am
Meeting point: RSPB Pagham Harbour Visitor Centre, Selsey Road, Sidlesham, PO20 7NE 
Cost: £7 per person / £4 members. To book, call 01243 641508 or email pagham.harbour@rspb.org.uk

Ramblers - Trundle and Kingley Vale, 8.5 miles

Join the Ramblers on a walk from the Trundle (an Iron Age hill fort on Saint Roche's Hill, about three miles north of Chichester) to the enchanting Kingley Vale and Bowhill. The route descends West from the Trundle to the Midhurst Road, then onto Binderton to the Kingley Vale Nature Reserve and Bowhill, before returning. The Kingley Vale reserve contains one of the finest yew forests in western Europe, including a grove of ancient trees which are among the oldest living things in Britain. From Bowhill (weather permitting!) there are fine views North to the South Downs and South to the Coast. There are two long, steep ascents on this route. The route passes thorough farmland and woods, and the nature reserve. Paths are generally good, chalky in places, and can be muddy or slippery in wet weather.  

Time: 10am
Meeting point: 7 point car park at the Trundle, North of Goodwood. Grid reference GU872 109. Postcode PO18 0SP.
Cost: Free of cost. Registration in advance is essential. Register here www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/sunday

Wheel, Walk and Stroll, 6 miles 

Join Amanda Worne on a leisurely 'Wheel, Roll and Stroll' along the Centurian Way - a lush pathway following the old dismantled Chichester to Midhurst railway line, which closed in 1991. The walk will take you up to the soldiers on Centurian Way where the land opens out - a real highlight! This walk is suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users.

Time: 10am
Meeting point: Westgate outside the entrance to Bishop Luffa School.
Cost: Free of cost. Registration in advance is essential. Register here www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/sunday

Ramblers - Around Thorney Island

Join Ramblers for a coastal walk around Thorney Island, which was used as an RAF station until 1976. The remote shoreline path offers excellent views over the harbour and the vast number of sea birds which congregate there. This a flat nine mile route from the centre of Emsworth - a delightful coastal town - through the marina, Longmire Point, West Thorney, Thorney Marina and Prinsted. The paths are generally good, sometimes narrow. In a few places it is uneven underfoot.  There is one step-thru stile, and steps at Thornham Marina. The paths may be muddy if the weather is wet.

Time: 10.15am
Meeting point: Emsworth Square. Grid reference SU750057. Post code PO10 7AW. Village car park is £2 all day on a Sunday, limited free parking in village. 
Cost: Free of cost. Registration in advance is essential. Register here www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/sunday

Sidlesham Heritage Trail, 3 miles 

During the industrial depression in the late 19302 over 1,000 unemployed miners and ship builders from the noth-east of England and south wales were given the opportunity to join Land Settlement Associations and begin new lives as market gardeners – the largest being in Sidlesham, West Sussex.  Join Bill Martin, from the Manhood Peninsula Wildlife and Heritage Group to learn more about the fascinating local history of this delightful coastal village on an easy walk.

Time: 2pm
Meeting point: RSPB Pagham Harbour car park (PO20 7NE)
Cost: Voluntary contributions to the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group are welcome. Car park charges apply. Registration in advance is essential.Register here www.visitchichester.org/walkingweekend/sunday

Posted on June 17th 2019Category: General News