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View East from Bignor Hill at dawn
View East from Bignor Hill at dawn | © National Trust/Bob Epsom

Bridle Road to Bignor walk

Slindon is the largest traditional estate cared for by the National Trust on the South Downs and this circular walk captures its scale, depth and variety. Remaining firm underfoot and opening up new vistas through the bare trees this is a perfect winter walk.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Opposite Slindon College (five-bar gate at bottom of Butt Lane), grid ref: SU959086

Step 1

From the five-bar gate at the beginning of Butt Lane, walk steadily up towards Bignor Hill. Ignore the many left-hand tracks and turnings and either keep level, or go up-slope, and go straight or go to the right. There will be trees or a hedge to your left, while to your right the view will frequently open out over fields and downs.

Step 2

Around 2 miles (3.2 km) into the walk, the way re-enters rough woodland, opening up to your right again for the last few hundred yards up to Gumber Corner.

Step 3

You'll see the sweep of 'The Gallops' to your right. At the top you'll meet an east–west bridleway at Gumber Corner (grid ref: SU969125). Turn left here, slightly downwards, on this track into mixed woodland.

Step 4

Continue for about 55yd (50m) along the path until you see, to your left, the fence, farm gate and walkers' stile (with a dog stile) at the top of Stane Street. Mature ash and beech trees cast welcome shade in summer over a bench and grassy banks; a great picnic spot. You'll probably need to keep your dog on a lead down Stane Street – for much of the year it, and the neighbouring grassland, is grazed by sheep.

Step 5

Continue South along Stane Street, mostly downhill, for about 1 mile (1.8km), heading for Eartham Woods. As you approach the woods, Stane Street is criss-crossed with old roots.

Step 6

Through mature beeches you reach a clearing at the 'Six-Ways' signpost (where eight ways now meet). Take the way to your left, with a 'No horses' sign to its right and a waymark post to its left.

Step 7

About 270yd (270m) after a Forestry Commission barrier partially crosses the way, turn right at a signpost to your right. The increasingly chalky way goes through a dip – which in summer has a splendid show of the chalk-loving pyramidal orchid – then up the northern flank of Nore Hill.

Step 8

Turn left and uphill at the next signpost. Follow the way up Nore Hill where it becomes a forestry track across its top.

Step 9

As you come into the open, take a moment to savour the view to your east, downwards and over the rich valley of Courthill Farm.

Step 10

Keep the woods to your right for 220yd (200m) until Nore Hill Folly – there's a well-sited bench here to enjoy the panoramic views, way down to the sea.

Step 11

Take the farm track downhill, then at the T-junction adjacent Row's Barn turn away from it, down to your left.

Step 12

Just past the farmyard to your left, turn right onto Nore Hill Lane. This takes you out onto Top Road, a few metres down from your starting point.

End point

Junction of Nore Wood Lane and Top Road, near to where you started, grid ref: SU959086

Trail map

Map route for Bridle Road to Bignor walk
Map route for Bridle Road to Bignor walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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