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Worthing, Sussex, United Kingdom

Monday, 28 March 2011

Around the Rings

A short bus ride from Worthing drops you in Findon, at the foot of Cissbury Ring, which I have described in an earlier walk. The familiar pull up the steep slopes, occasionally eased by cut steps brings the walker onto the northwest corner of this enormous ancient monument.

Today there are no views, it's claimed you can see the Spinnaker tower in Portsmouth from here, but early spring haze means the views extend only just as far as Littlehampton to the west.

The gorse is now coming into flower, and some of the scrub is thickening, offering the ubiquitous rabbit some cover when the rumble of walker's boots approach.

Traverse the hillfort and notice the view slightly east of north where the tree covered Chanctonbury Ring is visible on the horizon. Take the steps deeply down to the car park and walk straight through.

Here there were curious piles of luminous material. Not fall out from a Japanese nuclear reactor, and all was shortly revealed with a scout tent at the roadside and the masters standing around waiting for their charges to return from their orienteering run.

The path is easy to follow, gently climbing, and straight. Do not be tempted by the side paths leading east and west but pursue the northern path until it meets the South Downs Way and join this to turn west to shortly arrive at Chanctonbury Ring.

This is a good spot for lunch, and usually the views across the Low Weald and the Sussex market towns below are fantastic. Today, although the haze is clearing it's hard to see past Washington, and Shoreham is hidden totally, despite being so close.

Explore the site here, and find the stumps of beeches first planted in the 18th Century, destroyed by the storms of 1987, and now new growth which is slowly restoring the site's profile. On the fort are remnants of two Roman era temples, built on the orignal neothlic site, itself protected by cross dykes - noticebale when you walk the South Downs Way.

Below, sadly untraceable today but visible in good light ran the Sussex Greensand Way, which joined the road north to London at Barcombe, and crossed the river at Stretham, mentioned in my earlier Adur walk.

Continuing west the path leaves the South Downs way after a cattle grid and descends gently to emerge on the road that leads to the car park we crossed earlier.

Follow this road down, and have your senses assaulted by the noise of the A24 for about 500m, before turning into Findon village.

Fortunately the bus was missed and a difficult two hours was spent waiting for the next one in the local pub, which serves a good pint of well-kept Harveys.



  1. Liking the sound of the pub bit :-)

  2. It's an essential ingredient of any walk.

    Although trying to get across the 500ft cliffs of Seaford head in the dark after an afternoon in the pub has convinced me it's defintely an end of walk activity.