Walk on Fulking
A moderate circular walk, starting and finishing at the Shepherd and Dog pub, comprising ancient landscapes and breathtaking views.
Explore a famous beauty spot on the South Downs
Along the way, look out for the lime kiln dating back to the Victorian era as well as banks of chalk grassland teaming with flowers and butterflies. At the top, take in the spectacular views across the downs before heading back down to the Shepherd and Dog for a well-earned pint.
Shepherd and Dog pub car park, grid ref: TQ247113
To start, look to the left of the pub garden where there is a small track with bushes on both sides and a small concrete public footpath sign at the bottom. Follow this track. Take the turning on the right when you reach the fence.
Continue forward until you reach a stile. Climb over the stile and up the steps. At the top of the steps you will come to another junction which will have a National Trust omega sign on the left hand side, take the path down and to the right.
You will soon come to a fork in the path and you will need to take the left upper fork. Cross over the stile and follow the path until you come to a clearing with a trough in the middle. Go past the trough and continue up the path ahead.
Take the bottom path on the right keeping the wooden sign post on your left. At the end of the track you will come to another large trough. Go straight on keeping the trough on your left until you reach the main track. Turn up to the left, do not take the small track to your immediate left, stay on the main track.
You should now be able to see the top of the old lime kiln on your right hand side which dates back to the Victorian era. Head towards this.
What is a lime kiln?
Chalk was burnt with charcoal and changed into lime, which was mainly used for improving clay fields or in the building industry. What you can see of the kiln is the brick face where lime was removed. Behind this is a bottle-shaped hole the kiln. The kiln was loaded with layers of chalk from the quarry behind it and charcoal, probably from Furze Field woods, north of Edburton. The kiln worked continuously: as lime was removed below more chalk and charcoal was added at the top.
After viewing the lime kiln continue up the main track. This is an old bostal track which snakes up the hill. After the first right hand bend in the track you should be able to see a pylon ahead of you on the top of the hill, head towards this. The part of the track just before the pylon is quite steep.
'Bostal' is a local Sussex name for a track up the side of a steep hill, usually one on the northern escarpment of the South Downs.
When you have passed the pylon you should see a metal gate at the top, take the sunken track on your left immediately before this gate. Follow the sunken track along the hillside. In the summer the banks will be teeming with butterflies, moths and orchids.
Butterflies and orchids
During the summer months the north-facing bank will be filled with butterflies and moths, such as the marbled white and the six-spot burnet moth. Fragrant and pyramidal orchids are also in abundance here. The south-facing bank, which gets the most sun, grows wild thyme.
When you emerge from the sunken track you will be greeted with a breathtaking view. Continue forward through the gate ahead and towards the wooden waymarker post which is by the fence on your right. This path is now part of the South Downs Way which runs from Eastbourne to Winchester. On your right-hand side over the fence from the waymarker post you can see the remains of the Fulking Isolation Hospital.
Fulking Isolation Hospital
Brighton Corporation established the isolation hospital at Fulking Grange in 1901 to keep patients suffering from infectious diseases, most notably smallpox, away from the healthy folk of Brighton.
If you look ahead of you along the South Downs Way there is a small wooden fence which contains a Bronze Age burial mound. Once you have viewed the burial mound walk back down to the wooden waymarker.
Bronze Age burial mounds are found all along the ridges and spurs of the downs. These usually consist of a single bank and ditch, with the bank on the down-slope. Nearly all burial mounds have a depression in the top - this is where Victorian 'archaeologists' plundered treasures found within.
Take the sunken track that leads down the hill, and continue forward. After about 220yd (200m) turn left at another wooden waymarker post. Follow the track round to the left.
Head down towards the trees and you should see the National Trust omega sign which was near the beginning of the walk. Take the right hand track and stick to the fence line, back down the steps and over the stile.
Continue along the path until you can see the pub garden on your left, take the track that runs alongside the garden down to the car park.
Shepherd and Dog pub car park, grid ref: TQ247113
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