Natalie Leal explores the salt marshes and farmlands of Pagham Harbour, an area of West Sussex rich in birdlife and bio-diversity, on this five and a half mile circular walk.

The walk starts from the car park and bus stop at the Lamb Inn pub on Pagham Road in Nyetimber. From here walk down Summer Lane which is located directly opposite the bus stop. The houses soon give way to open fields. Follow the lane until you reach the water treatment works (don’t worry, the prevailing south westerly winds keep it down wind). At the water treatment works continue straight ahead ignoring the lane as it turns off to your right. Follow the path to a footbridge over the rife and continue along as it skirts the field.

After 50 yards the path forks. Keep to the right and follow the hedgerow towards a raised area. The raised area is the bank of the reservoir used to irrigate this agricultural area.

Once past the reservoir you come to a T-junction. Turn to your left and follow the tarmac lane. The lane winds through field and hedgerows for approximately half a mile until you reach a small group of houses at Honer Farm.

Pass the first house and take the path to your right just before a garage/woodshed.

Climb the stile and take the path to your right and go through a gate. The path heads across a small field to a second small field. Cross this to a gateway located under a group of trees. Once past the trees the path splits. Take the left path along the edge of the field.

After around 150 yards the path splits again. Take the route to the right. This is not clear on the ground but you need to head diagonally across the field towards the right hand corner. A faint path can be picked up leading towards a gate at a gap in the hedge.

Once through the gate follow the path as it leads along the right hand side of the field to a gate and a footbridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path over the next field to another gate.

Go through the gate and take the path until you arrive at a driveway. Follow the driveway to the lane and turn left.

Follow the lane into the village until after approximately 400 yards you reach the Crab and Lobster pub and the salt marshes.

Past the pub take the path to the left as it leads along the edge of the salt marshes towards Pagham Harbour. Keep the walls and hedgerows to your left and follow the path around the salt marshes for around half a mile enjoying the expansive views over the marsh and harbour. At this point a permissive footpath leads to the left through a gap in the hedge marked by a post and short section of fence. This can be a useful short cut if the tide is getting high. If taking the short cut you can regain the main route by taking the right hand path at a T-junction after around 200 yards.

If not taking the short cut continue along the edge of the marsh.

Once you reach the end of the hedgerow bear left passing a section of old flint wall and a small pool. The path is on a well-defined raised bank and after around 100 yards reaches some concrete steps across a creek. Continue along this path for a further 100 yards until you reach a T-junction.

Take the path to the right. It is here that you reach the harbour wall.

After around 100 yards the path forks. Take the right hand path and follow it along the top of the harbour wall for around three quarters of a mile until you reach a set of gates and a small building (the old salt house). There are great views to both sides of this path and plentiful bird life in the fields, pools and creeks.

When through the gates you cross a creek and pass the old salt house and a private house on your right. Follow the broad gravel path towards a small paddock and stable. Take the left hand path which leads behind the stable.

Follow this path along the hedgerow for around 150 yards until it reaches a small timber footbridge. This path then turns right and leads you across open farmland. Remain on this path as it criss-crosses the fields for around half a mile before you reach the road.

Once on the road turn left and continue until you arrive back at your starting point (approximately 300 yards).


Distance/Time: A circular walk of five and a half miles, taking around three hours.
By car: The start point of the walk is located by the Lamb Inn pub on Pagham Road. Free parking on the road or in a small car park behind the bus stop. Postcode: PO21 4NJ.  Grid Ref: SZ 89067 98341
By public transport: Nearest rail station is Chichester. The number 60 bus runs from Chichester to the bus stop outside the Lamb Inn pub at the start of the walk, phone 0871 200 2233.
What’s Underfoot: Check the tide timetables! This walk is best undertaken around low tide. A flat route on a mixture of level footpaths and quiet lanes. Some of the areas around the salt marshes may be muddy and slippery at times.
Thirsty work: The Lamb Inn pub is situated at the start and end point of the walk. The Crab and Anchor at Sidlesham Quay marks the halfway point.
So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer map 120, plus a compass for general direction.