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Slindon folly, built in 1814 for the Countess of Newburgh's picnic parties
Slindon folly, built in 1814 for the Countess of Newburgh's picnic parties | © John Miller

Nore Hill Folly walk at Slindon

This walk around Nore Hill Folly from The George Inn at Eartham is perfect for warm days in spring, summer and autumn, with much of the route overhung and shaded by trees. Look out for the impressive show of bluebells under ancient beech trees from as early as mid-April.

Total steps: 9

Total steps: 9

Start point

The George Inn, Eartham, grid ref: SU938094

Step 1

From The George, walk towards Great Ballard School and follow the road to your left past a row of cottages. This walk continues straight on beside the farmyard, through a gateway by a public footpath sign, while the road turns right.

Step 2

Keeping the hedge to your left, go down and past the handsome little flint and brick octagonal pumphouse. The track rises gently onwards under the gracefully overhanging boughs of mature Scots Pines until it goes straight ahead through a thin spur of woodland. Turn left at the stile and yellow-arrowed signpost.

Step 3

After about 130yds (120m) turn right at the yellow-arrowed signpost to keep the woodland to your left. In another 220yds (200m), go left at the stile and blue-arrowed signpost to join Puck Lane bridleway.

Step 4

Puck Lane bridleway rises through ancient woodland for around half a mile: mostly beech with a typical Downland mixture of holly, yew and ash. These woods are regenerating naturally after the devastation of the Great Storm of 1987 – we have left many of the fallen trees as havens for wildlife. The way passes a blue-arrowed signpost then curls around the back of Nore Hill for around 275yds (250m) until it meets another bridleway – bear right at the yellow arrow here.

Step 5

In around 160yds (150m) there's a pole-barrier; go through it and follow the straight forestry track across the top for 700yds (650m) or so. We have been thinning here to let more light through, so the remaining trees grow to their full potential, surrounded by wildflowers and other woodland plants. We also deliberately leave piles of brush, logs and ring-barked standing trees to provide a rich habitat for wildlife. As you pass through a farm gateway into the open, your view is to the East over the rich valley and Courthill Farm.

Step 6

Keep the woods to your right for 220yds (200m) until you get to Nore Hill Folly. Beside it is a well-sited bench for enjoyment of the panoramic views, across the coastal plain and way down to the sea.

Step 7

Go down the farm track to a T-junction, turn right to pass Row's Barn, then follow Lees Lane as it bears right to head back towards Nore Hill. Pass the yellow-arrowed signpost into a pleasantly shadowed tree-overhung drovers' way. Turn left at the white-arrowed post when Lees Lane enters woodland.

Step 8

Follow the way ahead as it gradually bears right up through the woods – there is a fabulous show of bluebells all along here in the spring, accompanied later by early purple orchids. In around 500yds (450m) bear left at the white-arrowed signpost and stroll downhill to rejoin Puck Lane.

Step 9

Go down Puck Lane for around 135yds (125m) until you reach the stile to your right that you came over at step 3, then retrace your route to Eartham.

End point

The George Inn, Eartham, grid ref: SU938094

Trail map

Nore Hill Folly walk map
Nore Hill Folly walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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