This marvellous walk takes you across pretty rolling countryside below the South Downs where the views are far-reaching and outstanding. The route starts by crossing Burton Park before heading south for fine views across a peaceful vale towards the small hamlet of Sutton. Now the way turns westwards to reach Barlavington. After leaving this quiet place, more panoramic views are enjoyed before returning to Duncton.
1. With the pub at your back, turn right and walk alongside the A285. Ignore a lane on your right after a few yards but turn right 10 yards after passing a bus stop onto a signposted footpath along a driveway. When the drive exits woodland by a gateway, bear left over a stile and continue over a grassy area to a small chapel where you rejoin the drive. Maintain direction along the drive between fields and follow it rightwards at a corner by an ancient chestnut tree with a huge girth.
2. The drive finally brings you to what can best be described as a small village green. Here you should continue ahead on a broad bridleway to pass a peaceful lake. Keep right at a fork and after going between banks, cross two stiles in quick succession to pass a cottage and meet a lane. Go ahead along the lane for 150 yards.
3. Turn right onto a bridleway beside a nature reserve. Keep alongside the fenced reserve as the path leads you through pretty woodland. Eventually keep ahead along a drive to meet a road. Turn right along the road and pass a large house called The Old Poor House. At the top of a rise, turn left along a farm track and follow it as it zigzags past the farmhouse and between fields. Soon, with a field gate to your left, you should leave the track and turn right on a sandy bridleway that takes you through the woodland.
4. Turn right by a marker post on a slight downward slope and continue through a hazel coppice. Soon, ignore a left fork and press on ahead to meet a T-junction. Turn right here and ignore the occasional path to left and right. Keep to this straight path now until it meets a driveway. Continue along the drive to reach a road.
5. Go ahead along the road now and at the top of a rise you will come to a small road junction by the White Horse pub in Sutton. Turn right along the road and continue through this quiet little hamlet. Pass the village church and after 80 yards, turn left onto a drive. At the end of the drive continue ahead on a narrow downhill path through woodland. When the path ends at a T-junction with another, turn right on the downhill path. As you enter a ribbon of woodland ignore a stile on your right and press on to cross a stream and a stile ahead of you.
6. Ignore a path to your left and continue on a path that soon bears right to meet a stile in the top corner of the field. Cross this and turn left along a rising field edge until you reach a farm track by large barns. Turn left along the track and soon turn left again on a path through the graveyard of the picturesque 13th-century church in Barlavington. Exit the graveyard and turn left along a lane for 100 yards to meet a bend, where you should now go ahead along a farm track in front of you to meet and pass through a gate.
7. Continue on an enclosed path that goes downhill to cross a stream and meet a lane. Press on up a stepped path opposite and continue through a field to finally meet and cross a stile at a road. Now bear immediately rightwards along a farm track. At the end of a field ignore a right turn and carry on ahead through woodland to reach a private driveway. The route continues rightwards along the drive where you soon pass the buildings of Duncton Mill. Follow this lane now to finally reach the A285, and turn left to meet the Cricketers pub within yards.
Bignor Roman Villa
Bignor Roman Villa is 3 miles east of Duncton on a well signposted minor road. The site contains one of the largest Roman villas found in Great Britain. The beautifully preserved mosaic floors are on display during March and April.
The trail starts at The Cricketers - please seek the landlord's permission before leaving your car whilst you walk. Alternatively, park on the road. The Cricketers sits on the A285, 4 miles south of Petworth.