1 - Locate Beggars’ Corner, the quiet, semi-circular back-lane behind The Halfway Bridge inn. Turn right, passing dwellings and a commercial unit. Climb for about 100 yards and turn left onto a footpath leading to Woodbarn Cottage.

Walk for 300 yards between paddocks, arriving beside the remote house and continuing to a three-way path junction. Bear left over a stile and walk quarter-left to a second stile leading into River Wood.

Follow the rise and fall of the path in the mixed woodland, noting, in the early stages, the steep, cliff-like drop on the left that falls to the depths of the River Lod – care required with children and dogs.

Keep to the signed path for almost half a mile to a bridleway, ignore the left turn and climb ahead for 50 yards, turning right up a tree tunnel.

2 - On coming to a minor road, River Lane, turn left through the small community of River for about 100 yards. When opposite a VR Royal Mail post box, climb a signed path on the right, on rough steps.

Cross a stile, going left to a second stile and turning right (yellow arrow). Climb to a third stile; go ahead through a wooden kissing gate, taking a quarter-left line across a rising paddock field.

At the top of the paddock pass through a gate, walk ahead a few yards and turn left down a gully path beside a high, buttressed sandstone wall, which is on the right.

In about 50 yards, ignore paths going left and right and continue down the path, bearing right, to a three-way signpost.

Turn right onto a bridleway, bearing left and right. At a footpath junction in 300 yards, ignore a left turn and bear right on the continuing bridleway. Ignore the second left turn in 350 yards, keeping to the bridleway.

In a further 300 yards, at a marker post, take an almost full-left, descending bridleway turn, ignoring branching tracks and bearing slightly right.

3 - The bridleway widens, heading through woodland for one third of a mile on River Common to a four-way path junction. Take the bridleway going right for 300 yards, coming to isolated dwellings and a minor road termination.

With Rock Cottage ahead, cross to the continuing track, left of the cottage, walking ahead for 250 yards to take a left footpath turning in hedgerow into a meadow.

Keep to the left field-edge for about 200 yards then branch quarter-right heading for gates at the top, right corner of the field.

Pass into the next field through the single gate, walking to a wooden kissing gate left of Lodge Farm. Pass through the gate and descend to a surfaced track, bearing left and crossing a bridge above the River Lod.

4 - Turn left on the far side of the bridge following the surfaced track, ignore a right turn in 75 yards. Climb a rise for about 75 yards and, as the track bears right, locate an unsigned, unsurfaced descending track through trees on the left – take this turning, leaving the surfaced drive.

Pass through an opening (marker post) into a large field, turn left along the fence line. Turn right at the field corner, following the rise and fall of the field-edge path for one- third of a mile. The river cuts a dark ravine down to the left.

Pass through a hedge opening and continue to the left field corner. Turn right for 100 yards and near a hedge corner turn left, passing outbuildings at Salmonsbridge Farm.

5 - Take a few paces left, crossing the opposite stile into a sloping meadow. Follow the field-centre path, descending at the far side to a stile leading into woodland.

The footpath now follows the valley floor, through undergrowth, tree cover and beside paddocks for one-third of a mile, crossing plank bridges and stiles before finally coming to an uphill sloping meadow.

Turn left along the fence a few paces to a metal gate, then go left onto Eel Bridge. Here the river, which rises on Marley Heights, near Haslemere, has cut a meandering path and rushes across a weir to join the River Rother. This spot was, reputably, the inspiration for an artist whose illustrations have delighted generations – more shortly.

Return through the gate and climb up the field ahead towards the hilltop village of Lodsworth – there is a droopy, aged bridleway sign on the left.

At the top of the field, pass through a bridlegate, turning left to arrive beside a delightful stone cottage – St Peter’s Well.

Go left beside the wall, soon bearing right on Church Lane and climbing towards the lychgate of St Peter’s Church.

6 - A short diversion from the lychgate leads up Church Lane to Lodsworth village street, with fine, stone houses, hanging baskets and trim cottage gardens.

On the right, behind a high wall, is a substantial brick-built house, a blue plaque indicating that the artist EH Shepard, creator of the illustrations for Winnie The Pooh and The Wind In The Willows, lived here from 1955 to 1976.

Locals suggest that the artist was inspired by his visits to Eel Bridge and the swirling waters of the River Lod.

The stone used to build many houses, barns and walls in this part of Sussex comes from locally quarried Lower Greensand. Early evidence for the stone’s use has been found across the south of England in the form of querns used for grinding grain into flour and the Lodsworth area was the source for these late Iron Age exports.

Return to the lychgate and turn right, following the track for 100 yards and taking the field-side footpath ahead (yellow arrow) – ignore the left turn.

Descend the path and join a bridleway, branching right. In a few yards, bear left, following the hedge-enclosed track for a quarter of a mile back to Halfway Bridge, with the steps of the inn opposite.

Distance/Time: Six miles taking three hours

By Car: Midway between Petworth and Midhurst on the A272 road. Parking at rear of Halfway Bridge Inn at Beggar’s Corner. Start point GR SU931220

By Public Transport: Stagecoach South service No. 1 between Petworth and Midhurst stops opposite Halfway Bridge Inn. Connections at Petworth with services from Chichester. Travel details from www.traveline.info, call 0871 2002233

What’s underfoot: Woodland walking across hilly countryside, with pleasant meadows and riverside scenery. Some rougher, slippery paths, plenty of stiles and gates. Possible with a baby backpack, but tough going. Not possible with an off-road baby buggy

Thirsty Work: The Halfway Bridge at the start/finish of the walk

So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer Map 133, plus a compass for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Halfway Bridge walk