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Rolling loops of wild clematis by the NT Omega sign
Drovers Estate entrance | © National Trust/Fiona Scully
Sussex

Hat Hill to Levin Down walk

Explore the woodlands and rolling hillsides around Hat Hill on this 4.45-mile circular walk. Beginning and finishing at The Partridge Inn in Singleton, wander under the shelter of ancient beech trees, along mossy, root-bound banks and head uphill to the bracing breeze atop Hat Hill. The route also takes you though the unique chalk grassland of Levin Down.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

The Partridge Inn. Grid ref: SU874131

Step 1

At the main road, turn left and head to the cricket pavilion. At the back of the building, go over a stile and along the edge of a field. Turn right over a second stile and cross a stream bed using the plank bridge. At a stile, you'll see the the National Trust omega sign welcoming you to Drovers Estate. Pass the old railway bridge and turn right at the top.

Step 2

With the cutting and trees to your right, go over the stile and follow the path to a waymark post. Take the middle path along the track opposite (don't go up or down the hill), which leads slightly left and uphill to the woods. The track winds gently up beneath ancient beech trees on a mossy, root-bound bank to your left. With the woodland to your right, the path opens out into a meadow at the top of Honeycomb Copse, continue along the path and then pass through a field gate and stile into pasture. Follow the path round towards the gate and stile near the barn. After the barn, go left at a T-junction, then over the stile on the right where a white marker post points across a field. Head straight across the field towards the stile into Wellhanger Copse.

Step 3

Go over the stile into the woods. After about 11yd (10m), bear left along a moss-edged track through open beech woodland. Dogleg to your right before turning left across an open ride into the path opposite by a marker post. Follow this path to a T-junction, turn right and go downhill out of the woods, crossing another track. Follow the green footpath sign down and then cross the busy A286. Take care when crossing the road.

Step 4

Head to the bus stop and follow the surfaced lane. At the marker post turn left, keeping the hedge to your left. Follow the track into Nightingale Wood. Just inside the wood, look to your right and take an uphill track by the marker post, then turn left by another marker post up a narrow path. Turn right at the T-junction and go up to the edge of the wood, looking out into an open field. Go left and follow the wood edge as it curves round to the left. This is a great place find early purple orchids in spring.

Step 5

The path now bears left and downhill between tall beech trees to a T-junction. Go right here, then follow the path to another T-junction and follow the bridleway up a steady incline as it comes out to the wood's edge.

Step 6

Turn left out of the woods, follow the blue bridleway signs to Broadham House farm and go up the farm track. Turn right through the metal field gate indicated by the 'Charlton' finger of the tall waymark post. Follow the path to your left along the field edge to a small gateway on your left which takes you into a twisting tunnel of trees and dense scrub, with a mix of holly, ash, yew, and hazel. Take care on the narrow, steep hillside path.

Step 7

From here you are in Levin Down, a Sussex Wildlife Trust site, with unique chalk grassland wild flowers. Step over a stile with the SWT sign and carry on walking as the path opens up into steep-sided downland with views towards Singleton. Walk on and pass through another gate. At the signboard, go right and up the slope to enjoy one last view from the hill. Turn right through a single gate into a juniper grotto.

Step 8

Continue along the path to a set of double gates, pass through and head towards the copse of trees. Bear left across the hillside towards the kissing gate in the corner. Before you leave Levin Down, look west over the hillside across to Hat Hill (the hill with the tallest pylon on top). Pass through the gates and follow the path down into Singleton village where you will emerge at the primary school. Turn right to return to the Partridge Inn.

End point

The Partridge Inn. Grid ref: SU879132

Trail map

Hat Hill to Levin Down walk map
Hat Hill to Levin Down walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Enter Estate behind the cricket pavillion, Sheepwash Meadow, Singleton, West Sussex, PO18 0HA

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