Easy Countryside Trailsin West SussexRoutes suitable for allincluding wheelchair andpushchair users, familiesand less mobile people.
FOREWORDIt is now more than twelve years sinceI wrote the introduction for the firstbooklet (then titled ‘Wheelchair Walks’),having helped the County Council publishit, and we do still continue to enjoy thesewalks. However I am also pleased to saythat so much has changed since then tomake the countryside more accessible,such as removing some barriers such asstiles, so we now have more choice. I dohope that others will be as pleased as Iwas to find that it is indeed still possibleto reach so many beautiful spots in awheelchair and enjoy a real ‘walk in thecountry’.Jenifer FoxStansted, Rowlands Castle Jane Noble/WSCCWhen I was diagnosed as havingmultiple sclerosis one of the worstthoughts was that someday I maynot be able to go for a good tramp inthe country. Consequently I startedfeverishly walking everywhere Icould, here in West Sussex or awayon holiday. When Tessa, my Labrador,came into my life, she and I, and myhusband at weekends, covered asmuch ground as possible. The countyof West Sussex must be able to claimas many public footpaths as any other,and over such varied landscapes.Gradually however, my walks becameless and less until eventually I decidedI would have to take to the wheelchairand see what we could achieve.
INTRODUCTIONThanks to the initial inspiration fromJohn and Jenifer Fox these walksmay be enjoyed by all, includingwheelchair users, families withpushchairs, those wanting a moregentle walk and walkers who areless mobile. It contains most of theoriginal walks researched by JeniferFox plus three additional new walks.They are for people who want to get outinto the countryside to enjoy a ‘real’ walk,not just a short stretch to a lovely viewor a walk along pavements. The routesin this booklet offer opportunities to getfurther away from the car parks into thewoods, downs or coast of West Sussex.USEFUL INFORMATIONToilets for the disabledToilets for disabled people are oftenlocked, using RADAR keys, to reducevandalism. RADAR keys areavailable from District/BoroughCouncils or directly from RADAR:RADAR, 12 City Forum,250 City Road, London, EC1V 8AFTelephone 020 7250 3222Fax020 7250 0212Minicom020 7250 Public TransportThese routes have no barriers, such asstiles or steps. Some are designated easyaccess trails while others use existingrights of way, and may not be surfaced.Detailed information on the routes isprovided for each walk - some are morechallenging than others and it is up to theuser to decide what is suitable for them.If you wish to use public transport pleasevisit www.westsussex.gov.uk or contactTraveline on 0871 200 22 33 (7am – 10pm,7 days/week) for information on bus, trainand coach times.Every effort has been made to ensurethe information is correct at the timeof publication, however things changeover time. We welcome feedback on thebooklet/routes; details of how to do this areat the end of the booklet. We would alsolike your suggestions on routes that aresuitable to promote as easy access trails.Train stations and bus stops have beenidentified in the walk information if they arewithin easy access of the start of the walk.These walks are also available to download individually from West SussexCounty Council’s website;www.westsussex.gov.ukCover Image: Graffham WSCC/PPL
INTRODUCTIONBlue Badges;disabled parking schemeThe Disabled Badge CarScheme (Blue Badge)provides parkingconcessions for peoplewith disabilities. Forfurther details contact:The Blue Badge SectionWest Sussex County CouncilThe Grange, Tower StreetChichester, West Sussex PO19 1QTTelephone: 01243 777653Email: [email protected]: www.westsussex.gov.ukSee also the Department for Transportweb pages: ntryside CodePlease follow theCountryside Code: Be safe, planahead and followany signs Leave gates andproperty as you find them Protect plants and animals and takeyour litter home Keep dogs under close control Consider other peopleGradients1:1611:1211:8116128Gradients of slopes have been shown onthe maps to help you decide if a route issuitable. Imagine a path with a slope that hasa gradient of 1:8. This means that for every 8units (say metres) along the path, the pathwill rise or fall by 1 unit (1 metre). A gradientof 1:8 would therefore be steeper than 1:16.Some people may find it hard to relate tothese gradients so we have attempted todescribe them below assuming an averagewheelchair user with an averagely strongpusher.1:16Gentle slope. Extra effort may be requiredover long distances. Gradients less than1:16 have not been measured as they areconsidered easy going.1:16 – 1:13Fairly gentle slope, extra effort will benoticeable over longer distances.1:12Slope noticeable but not particularlysteep, extra effort will be required overmedium to long distances.Other easy access walks1:11 – 1:8Other organisations promote easyaccess routes in West Sussex and inneighbouring counties. Contacts forthese can be found at the end of thisbooklet.Steeper slopes, will require extra efforteven over short distances. Only shortsections of gradients of this steepness arefound on any of the routes in this booklet. 1:8Steep slope – nothing of this steepnesswill be encountered on these walks.
INTRODUCTIONKey to mapsEasy Access Trail1:1335mGradient InformationPublic Footpath or BridlewaySeating or Picnic AreaPermissive ater ChannelCaravan ParkParkland/Wooded AreaGateUrban/Built-up AreaMarshlandChichester Canal WSCC/PPLExtension to Easy Access TrailParking
1 CHICHESTER MARINADistance1.9km (1.2 miles) round trip. Extension to Birdham Pool extra 1.3km (0.8 miles) return tripTerrainTarmacMaximum gradient: 1:16, levelStart/finishPublic car park on the right at the entrance to the Chichester MarinaGrid reference: SU 835 010Post code: PO20 7EJDirectionsApproximately 5 km (3 miles) south of Chichester, the Marina is clearly signposted from theA286 Chichester to Wittering roadO.S. MapsExplorer 120, Landranger 197Public Transport Bus stop: Chichester Marina (near car park - unmarked)Points of interest Boats, coastal viewsBird hide, seats, café (open every day except Christmas Day) with disabled toiletChichester Marina Katherine Eels/WSCCFacilitiesThis is an interesting walk at all times ofthe year but being tarmac is particularlygood for one of those lovely winter dayswhen other paths may be too muddyto enjoy. This circular walk can be doneeither way, however here the route isdescribed travelling anti-clockwise(along the northern side first).After leaving the car park and passingthrough the barrier, there is an accessiblebird hide on your right overlooking somefresh water. The path continues along theedge of the marina down to the harbourside passing the boat berths. The routecontinues around the marina but toexplore the Harbour further you couldtake the path northwards alongsideSalterns Copse up to Dell Quay, on partof the Salterns Way Cycleway; this canbe a little bumpy in places. For furtherinformation contact Chichester HarbourConservancy, contact details are in theback of this booklet.To continue on the walk turn left at thepath junction and cross the lock; youmay have to wait a short while as boatstravel through, but it is always interesting
CHICHESTER MARINA 1to watch. At the far end of the marina, ashort way past the lock, there are someseats that overlook the water. This is adelightful place to stop; if you are verylucky you may spot one of the harbourseals nearby on the mud. The path nowturns back inland taking you along theside of the Chichester Canal, where a fewhouseboats are moored.To make the walk longer, after a shortdistance cross the canal at EgremontBridge, follow the path for nearly 200mand turn right along Lock Lane throughto Birdham Pool. Birdham Pool wasoriginally developed in the late 1930’sfrom one of the last working tidal millpools in Sussex and was probably thefirst purpose built marina in England. Theold mill building still stands with the lockbeside it. Retrace your steps to rejoin themain walk.Continue along side the canal and youwill pass by the Spinnaker Café, from hereit is less than 400m back to the car park.NSalternsCopseTo Dell QuayLockSalternsLock Yacht ClubEgremontBridge(Swing)Spinnaker CaféChichester0250mCanal (disused)To the A286Crown copyright. All rights reserved. West Sussex County Council. 100023447.To Birdham PoolChichester Marina
2 CENTURION WAY CHICHESTER TO LAVANTDistance4.1km (2.5 miles) one way, 8.2km (5 miles) return tripTerrainTarmac. Low level staggered entrance barriers allow access for most wheelchairsMaximum gradient: 1:10 for short section only. The whole route gradually climbs going north.Some entrance points are fairly steepStart/finishThere are a number of entrance points onto the Centurion Way (shown on map). The easiestto use with only minimal gradients is at the southern end off Westgate by Bishop Luffa School,Chichester (limited on-road parking along Westgate). The route can be done in either directionbut is described from south (Chichester) to north (Lavant). Parking at the Lavant end is difficulton the residential roadsGrid reference: SU 848 047Post code: PO19 3HRDirectionsFrom the A27 take the A259 (Cathedral Way) signed to Chichester. Pass Tesco and then take thefirst exit off the roundabout and then the first exit again into Westgate. The entrance on to theCenturion Way is at the back of the lay-by near the end of the roadO.S. MapsExplorer 120, Landranger 197Public Transport Train station: Chichester 1.5km (0.9 miles)Bus stop: Chichester, WestgateLavant, Midhurst Road (near St Nicolas Road)Points of interest Wildlife, views, sculpture and historyFacilitiesOpen area and benches at Hunters Race. The nearest disabled toilets are at Tesco (Cathedral Way),visit Chichester District Council, website www.chichester.gov.uk, for details of others nearbyThis route follows a disused railway andis therefore easy to follow and is mostlylevel. The tarmac surface provides arelatively easy and interesting walk intothe countryside. It can be accessed froma number of points although car parking(roadside) can be limited. Some accesspoints can be fairly steep for a relativelyshort distance. The easiest access pointis from the southern end; details above.The Centurion Way follows the line of thedisused Chichester to Midhurst railwayline which was opened in 1881 to improveaccess to London. The railway’s declinestarted with the withdrawal of passengerservices in 1935. The line north of Lavantwas closed in 1957, however the sectionbetween Lavant and Chichester remainedopen and was used to transport sugarbeet and gravel until 1991. Two yearslater the tracks were removed.The trees and vegetation along theroute provide an important corridorfor a variety of wildlife and there are anumber of sculptures reflecting localhistory to discover. Several areas areof archaeological importance, such asBrandy Hole Copse and the Devils Ditch,where there is evidence of the ChichesterEntrenchments which were Iron Ageterritorial divisions and/or defences.Brandy Hole Copse is open to the publicvia a kissing gate (unfortunately notaccessible by wheelchairs) from theCenturion Way.
CENTURION WAY CHICHESTER TO LAVANT 2At the amphitheatre, where the routemeets Hunters Race there is a wide grassyarea which lends itself to a picnic.do this head north through the housingestate (it is signed but signs sometimesgo missing). The tarmac surface is soonreplaced by crushed stone which in placescould be difficult to use especially in wetweather. The final section is on a tarmaccycle path which runs parallel to the A286.This walk ends at Lavant but it is possibleto continue on the Centurion Way up toWest Dean (a further 4.5km/2.8 miles). To0Mid Lavant1 kmEast odMotorCirSummersdaleBrandy HoleCopse51:128mW1:1310mB2817RdrnerboSpitalfield LaneoadRing RChichesterCathedralTesco6A28SheBroyle 010mHospitalscraanPSt.The HornetCrown copyright. All rights reserved. West Sussex County Council. 100023447.College
3 PAGHAM HARBOUR NATURE RESERVE AND SIDLESHAM QUAYDistance3.0km (1.9 miles) return trip (Shorter circuit – 1.1km/0.7 miles)TerrainCompacted stone, can be bumpy in placesMaximum gradient: 1:16, generally levelStart/finishPagham Harbour Visitor Centre, Selsey RoadGrid reference: SZ 856 965Post code: PO20 7NEDirectionsTake the B2145 to Selsey. The turning on the left (if heading south) to Pagham Harbour andLocal Nature Reserve car park is approximately 2 km (1.2 miles) south of SidleshamO.S. MapsExplorer 120, Landranger 197Public Transport Bus stop: Pagham Harbour Visitor CentrePoints of interest Wildlife (particularly wintering birds and summer flowers and butterflies), coastal viewsVisitor Centre with displays, information and toilets (disabled access using RADAR key).Bird hides, benches, Crab and Lobster pub (accessible to wheelchairs), Mill Lane, SidleshamView over Pagham HarbourThis walk has been made as a circulareasy access trail. Even when the Centre isnot open it is usually possible to obtaina useful introduction leaflet to PaghamHarbour Local Nature Reserve from acubby-hole at the Visitor Centre. The areais a wetland of international importanceand is of interest in all seasons forflowering plants, butterflies, summerbreeding birds and the winter visitingseabirds. It is slightly preferable to dothe walk in an anti-clockwise direction,as described, as it is easier to get throughthe gates.Take the path going south from the carpark. After a short distance there is abird hide on the right overlooking theFerry Pond. There is good access into thishide and there is a window at the endat the right height for wheelchairs. Keenbirdwatchers recogn