1 - From the centre of Arundel, beside the Queen Street bridge and at the start of Mill Road, go right between the striking remains of the Dominican Black Friars Priory and the splendid Arundel Museum, to the far side of the small green.

Locate and take the wall-enclosed path going left, passing beside the Waterside Tea Rooms (there is no shortage of teashops in Arundel). At the end of the enclosed path, climb through some scrub, above sluices, to the riverbank, with the River Arun swirling down to the right.

Our way ahead keeps to the sweeps of the bank for the first stage, heading south-easterly for 200 yards. On the opposite bank are moored boats and landing stages. Soon the bank-top path bears to the left, above the river’s meanders and heads north-eastwards.

2 - About half a mile from the bend the path comes to a three-way junction, ignore the left restricted byway turning and continue along the bank. Across to the right, just beyond the railway line, is the village of Warningcamp, a location we have visited on previous Argus walks.

In less than a quarter of a mile the river dictates our direction again and we begin to bear left. In a further one-third of a mile the path arrives at a junction beside sluice gates. Pass through a gate (ignore the first left turning) and in about ten yards turn left onto a footpath set above drainage ditches, with the wildfowl reserve on the right.

The path winds its way through woodland and scrub (there are a few steps for baby buggies to negotiate) and arrives beside the Mill Road Bridge in a quarter of a mile. Walkers can divert right up steps to the roadside, baby buggy walkers can go left up a ramp and then turn right over the bridge, with care.

3 - Cross to the opposite side of the road, with care, taking the footpath that rises to the edge of the Swanbourne Lake. Off to the left is the site of Arundel Mill, powered by water from the millpond.

The great English landscape artist John Constable visited the area in 1835, his patron, a local brewer, commissioned him to paint “Arundel Mill and Castle”. The painting shows the dominant hanging tree line, the huge mill building and the distant castle; children are messing about in the millpond, cattle drink and the “Constable skies” add atmosphere. This was Constable’s final landscape, he finished the work in March 1837, on the day he died; the painting is now at the Toledo Museum of Art, in Ohio, US.

Locate and follow the path along the south-western shoreline of the lake, with the woodland of Mill Hanger rising steeply on the left. Note the exposed root plates of the trees across the chalky scarp face, a clue to how these stretches of woodland on the Downs get their designation as hangers.

The wide, rise and fall path keeps close to the shoreline, across the lake people laze in the sun, stroll or take tea at the tearooms, especially constructed for a visiting monarch. One does like one’s cha, on a chair, in the sun. Best foot forward then.

The path comes to the end of the lake in half a mile, just after a very knobbly-rooted beech tree on the left. Do not cross the stile ahead but turn right across the lake-head and climb the opposite bank to a wooden kissing gate.

4 - Go left through the gate (a bit of a fiddle with a baby buggy, but you can do it) and follow the wide path ahead, now having cleared the woodland. The path winds its way up the valley for 400 yards and comes to junction of tracks and delightful dry valleys, with the slopes rising steeply on all sides – a good place for a tea break. From the path junction and sign turn almost full left and follow the well-graded track that climbs the hillside, there are conifers on the right.

5 - The path climbs for nearly half a mile, passing between a midway bordering copse and finally following a more level gradient, close to the top of the hill. The views from this vantage point are just delightful – dry valleys sweeping down, pastureland and woods, you will probably want to stop and take it all in.

Walk along the path, pass through the facing gate and immediately turn right up a bank. At the top of the short climb, walk over gallops on to a grassy hilltop ridge.

Off to the right is the Hiorne Tower, built in the late 18th century, for the then Duke of Norfolk, by the architect Frances Hiorne to show his competence as a designer.

In front of the tower is a plinth with an urn mounted, this was acquired (you know what that means) during the Crimean War, following the siege of Sevastopol in 1854-55. Those who nick the trophies and don’t lose their marbles write the history. Crisis in the Crimea – whatever next!

6 - From the tower continue on the footpath across the grass to a surfaced drive. Turn left down the drive, following this as it bears right and passes through the right hand gate, beside the Park Lodge. Continue down to the London Road, passing estate buildings on the way, and turn left. On entering the town, the route passes by the Roman Catholic cathedral and then the 14th-century Anglican parish church.

As the road approaches the entrance to Arundel Castle it bears sharply right and descends into the main part of the town.

From this point the delights of Arundel can be enjoyed – teashops, bookshops, delicatessens, the riverside and do not miss the award winning Arundel Museum, close to our starting point.

  • Distance/Time: Three and three quarter miles taking two hours
  • By Car: Arundel is adjacent to the A27. Leave the road and head for town centre car parks. Start point grid ref: TQ020070
  • By Public Transport: Arundel railway station is half a mile from start point. Buses from Worthing, Brighton and Chichester stop at Arundel bus terminus, adjacent to start point. Travel details at www.traveline.info, call 0871 200 2233
  • What’s underfoot: A circular walk along river banks and through pleasant parkland on well-defined paths. No stiles; one tricky kissing gate for baby buggy users. Possible with a baby backpack. Possible with an off-road baby buggy, negotiate the gate in stage 4
  • Thirsty Work: More teashops in Arundel than you can throw a buttered scone at, pubs as well
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer map 121, plus a compass for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Arundel circular walk