Shepherd & Dog, Fulking, West Sussex
The pub: This is an outstanding pub in a beautiful rural location. There are 5 or 6 real ales on tap with an emphasis on the local, eg. Darkstar and always a couple of guest beers on at any one time. The food is great, the staff are friendly and from the garden you get a great view of the Downs – what more could you ask for!
The walk: This is a five mile walk and takes 2-2.5 hours. If you only have a couple of hours or so to spare and you want to see some of the very best scenery the South Downs has to offer, we’d recommend this walk! There’s a long and at times quite steep climb to get up on to the Downs but the spectacular views make it worth the effort! Once you’re up there, it’s mostly flat or downhill. Some of the paths are quite narrow and steep so we wouldn’t recommend doing it in icy or very wet weather.
Getting to the start of the walk:
Fulking is reached along a minor road between the A2037 just north of Upper Beeding and the A281 at Poynings, off the A27 around 2 miles to the east of Arundel. There is a free parking in the pub car park.
Instructions for the walk:
The walk starts from the back of the pub car park. You take the narrow path heading up hill to the left of the beer garden. Very quickly you come to a T-junction overlooking a field and you turn right. After a couple of minutes you come to a stile which you cross then ascend the steep steps. Just after the steps you come to a wider track where you turn left heading up the hill. Ignore the path heading off to the left and follow the yellow way marker ahead. After a climb over the brow of a hill, you come to a wide, deeply rutted path where you head straight across taking the path continuing up ahead in front of you.
As you continue to ascend on the meandering path, take the time to stop and enjoy the fantastic views over Fulking and beyond over the Sussex Weald. There is a bench about half way up which makes the perfect stop for a breather! When you reach the top of the hill you come to a gate. Go through the gate and go straight ahead to a way marker about 50 yards ahead of you. Turn right at the way marker and within no more than 20 yards you come to another path which is the South Downs Way where you turn right.
At this point you have views out to sea to the south, looking over Shoreham, Hove & Brighton. Go through a gate and continue on the South Downs Way for just under a mile until you head down to the bottom of a slope and pass a large electricity pylon on your right. At this point, the South Downs Way veers round to the left but you head straight up the hill, heading for a clump of 6 or 7 trees at the top of Edburton Hill. Walk through the trees and go through a gap in the fence straight ahead.
This brings you to what was a Norman motte and bailey and what is now a ditch and mound. Skirt the edge of this until you get to the other side and walk along the path at the top of the slope with the fence immediately to your left. After a few hundred yards you turn left, following the fence and head to the way marker visible just ahead and to the right, about 50 yards from where the path rejoins the South downs Way. You follow the yellow way marker straight ahead along a narrow path heading downwards as it hugs the hill. Take care as it is steep and can be slippy in places.
Follow the narrow path as it snakes downhill until you reach a style under some electricity cables. Cross the stile and continue to follow the narrow path down the hill and descend some steps to emerge in to a small car park. Go straight ahead, passing a house on your right and emerge after about 50 yards on to a road where you turn left. Almost immediately, turn right on to a lane passing a sign for Coles Automotive, Brown Meadow.
Follow the lane as it bears left by the entrance of the garage where you emerge into a field. Turn right following the footpath sign with the hedge immediately to your right. When you reach the field edge, cross a footbridge and turn right following the public footpath sign. Pass a house to your right and follow a narrow path over another footbridge and follow the path with the hedge again immediately to your right. A couple of hundred yards on, you reach a wide path where you turn left.
Almost immediately, turn right at the public bridleway sign and follow the path along the right hand side of the field. After another couple of hundred yards, cross yet another footbridge and go over a stile, following the right hand edge of an overgrown field. After a couple of hundred yards, cross a wide path and go straight ahead over the next footbridge. Go straight ahead with the wood to your right. When you reach the edge of the wood you turn right over another footbridge. And go over a stile.
Follow the direction the sign is pointing across the field, aiming for a point just to the left of the electricity pylon. Cross another stile and go straight ahead across a lane to follow the path in front of you across the next field. This will bring you to a drive where you turn left. After about 20 yards you climb a stile on your right and follow the footpath in the direction the sign is pointing, diagonally right across the field.
After less than a hundred yards, cross another stile and follow the narrow path through the field straight ahead. Go through a gate and follow the public footpath sign straight ahead, so you skirt the left hand side of the green. After about 20 yards, drop down through a gap in the trees on to the road. Turn right on to the road and after only about 50 yards you come to the Shepherd & Dog on your left.