1 - Leave the Kithurst Hill car park, passing around the double metal gates and taking a few paces right to a four-way signpost on the South Downs Way. Pass through a bridle gate on the south side of the trail and follow the half-left bridleway (blue arrow) that climbs across the field.

On passing across the top of the hill keep direction towards a clump of scrub and stunted trees. Ignore the branching bridleways, pass through the hedgerow, continuing across the next field for 200 yards to a stand of trees.

Enter the tree cover, go left for a few paces, then turn right to descend beside the copse for one-third of a mile (ignore a mid-way right turn) to a left-turning bridleway (blue arrow). In 125 yards, turn right on to a gravel track, following this for a little over half a mile between fields and hedgerow.

Away to the left are the prominent tops of Harrow Hill and further on Blackpatch Hill, sites of Neolithic flint mining and settlement.

Finally, the bridleway passes through a copse to arrive beside the extensive buildings of Lee Farm.

2 - Turn right on the surfaced track between the farm buildings for 200 yards, then descend to pass by an isolated house and arrive at a track junction in a further 200 yards, beside a copse.

Ignore the left turning, a sign indicates that you are not welcome anyway, and keep direction on the bridleway between pastures.

In about half a mile, climb more steeply around the northern flank of Barpham Hill. The path bears left as it nears the top of the climb, ignoring a left-turning bridleway, and climbing to a junction of tracks, gallops and gates.

3 - From the small plateau, turn right and, ignoring a footpath that goes left, pass around a metal gate and follow the bridleway that heads north over Wepham Down.

In a quarter of a mile, the bridleway arrives at another track and gate junction, beside scrub. Take the half-left branch, a wide chalky track, descending into the shallow valley. The way ahead is clear as it follows a westerly direction for about a mile, ignoring any side turnings and dipping in and out of Downland valleys.

The final climb on this bridleway comes to an area of low trees and scrub, known as The Burgh; tumuli exist in the area as well as earthworks or enclosures.

4 - From the junction of tracks turn right, soon clearing the bushes and heading north-east for 300 yards to an unsigned turning, beside more hilltop field gates.

Turn left on to a restricted byway, following a slow descent for about a quarter of a mile. On arriving at a junction of footpaths, bridleways and a four-way signpost, turn right (blue arrow) for a few yards and descend to and pass through a metal bridle gate.

The bridleway now bears left, following a terraced line down the southern side of a deep valley. Keep on the track to a point where it levels off, close to the valley floor.

The steep sides of the sheltered defile rise on all sides and the bridleway crosses to the right, over the floor, passing by a dry, circular depression off to the left, possibly a former water hole or dewpond. Cross to and pass through the opposite bridle gate, then turn left (blue arrow) up the steep hillside, amongst scrub.

The steep climb bears right as it clears the scrub and continues up the left fence line for about 100 yards to pass through a bridle gate. Keep to the left fence line as it bears leftward, with the extensive buildings of Downs Farm away to the left, above the coombe.

5 - The bridleway continues northward, being joined from the right by a restricted byway and then in a few yards comes to a junction of bridleways and farm tracks. The bridleway coming from the right, down the hillside, is the South Downs Way (SDW).

From this busy convergence of tracks turn right, steeply climbing the SDW bridleway to the summit of Amberley Mount. Wonderful views open up from this vantage, along the line of the Downs westward and out across the Weald over the Amberley Wild Brooks to Pulborough and beyond.

The exquisite village of Amberley nestles at the foot of the Downs, with its prominent castle, church and enchanting cottages. With its teashops and pubs, it makes for a wonderful lazy afternoon visit – maybe on another Argus walk.

The River Arun snakes its way across the Weald, cutting through the Downs on the other side of the valley, close to Bury, another village that demands a future visit. To the south the Arun valley continues, winding through Arundel and onward to the sea.

6 - Having recovered from the climb, the way ahead is now eastward along the South Downs Way. Follow the level, enclosed bridleway, with the promise of a short climb half a mile away up Rackham Banks.

The earthworks, through which our path cuts, comprise a cross dyke boundary marker, together with an ancient settlement, probably dating from the middle to late Bronze Age.

Having climbed through the earthworks, the way ahead now becomes clear across the top of Rackham Hill, soon passing an OS trig point that registers the high point of the walk at 634 feet.

On either side of the trail are tumuli, the burial mounds from ancient times of chieftains who wished to keep an eye on their domains from the afterlife. Just over a mile from the foot of the Downs, northwards, the parkland and stately pile of Parham House can be seen.

In a little over half a mile, the bridleway passes through a Downland copse on Springhead Hill and descends for a similar distance to our starting point at the Kithurst Hill car park.

  • Distance/Time: Seven miles taking three and a half hours
  • By Car: Kithurst Hill car park is south off the B2139 Amberley/Turnpike Road, two and a half miles south-west of Storrington. There is a surfaced road up to the car park. Start point GR TQ070125
  • By Public Transport: There is no public transport to the start point. Compass Travel bus from Storrington on to B2139 towards Amberley, request driver to stop at Kithurst Hill turn-off. Walk up the road to the start point adds a total of two miles to walk, return by same route. Travel details from www.traveline.info or call 0871 2002233
  • What’s underfoot: A circular walk over open Downland on well-defined bridleways, some descents and a couple of short, steep ascents. No stiles. Possible with a baby backpack, but a tough route. Just about possible with a robust off-road baby buggy, a resilient passenger and a super-fit buggy driver required – think twice before attempting
  • Thirsty Work: No refreshments en route, teashops and pubs in Amberley and Storrington
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer Maps 121, plus a compass for general direction

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