Forester’s Arms, Graffham
The pub: The Foresters Arms is a 17th Century Grade II listed building, so not short on the character! It’s located in the pretty village of Graffham at the foot of the South Downs and is a friendly pub with open fires for the winter and a secluded garden for the summer. They have a good selection of real ale and very high-quality yet unpretentious food. They also have rooms; it’s a great place to stay if you fancy staying over. You can also do a slight detour at the end of this walk to the White Horse where the main attraction is the fabulous view of the Downs from the conservatory and garden.
The walk: It’s a 5.5-mile walk with quite a few hills so should take anything between 2-3 hours. There’s a long steep climb to get onto the Downs and then quite a few shorter climbs along the South Downs Way. It’s definitely worth it though, with a great variety of scenery and a cracking pub to head to at the end!
Getting to the start of the walk:
Graffham is reached along a minor road off the A285 between Chichester and Petworth. The turn-off is just to the north of the village of Duncton and Graffham is singed from there. There is free parking in the pub car park as well as limited on-street parking in the village.
Instructions for the walk:
With your back to the pub, turn left until you come to the war memorial on the right-hand side after around 100 yards. At the war memorial, turn left and go through a kissing gate heading along the path across the field towards the Downs. At the end of the field, go through the gap in the fence and continue on the path ahead. Take a fork to the right taking a narrow path rather than the obvious path ahead, passing buildings on your left. Walk towards the church in view ahead of you, following the gravel track until you reach the road in front of the church.
Turn left on the road and pass the private road signed to Lavington Stud on your left, continuing on the wide track ahead. The track climbs steadily and after no more than half a mile you come to a divergence in the path. Turn left just before the gate ahead and where the main path bears round to the right. This path bears downhill and round to the right through woodland. Continue on this path, ignoring several paths including a path to your right, signed by a blue way marker. A few hundred yards past that way marker you reach a crossroads where you turn right up the hill, following the yellow way marker.
At the top of a very steep climb, you reach a crossroads in the path where you go straight ahead following the path up the hill. Very quickly you emerge into a clearing where you continue straight ahead along the left-hand side of the field. After a couple of hundred yards, just before the hedgerow, turn right walking towards the signpost visible straight ahead. At the signpost, turn right onto South Downs Way.
Follow the South Downs Way for just over a mile, then turn right on a path signed to Graffham, just before a sign saying no through route. Almost immediately, the path forks – take the left-hand path downhill. At this point you have some great views opening up to the north towards Graffham and beyond. Continue down a steep, narrow path, taking extra care in wet weather. At a crossroads, continue straight ahead downhill. 100 yards further on, turn right at a t-junction. Follow the wide path downhill until you reach a road and turn left onto the road. Walk through the village past some pretty cottages.
At this point, if you want to take a detour to the White Horse pub, take a road to the left (signposted Heyshott, Midhurst and Cocking) and the White Horse is a few hundred yards along on the left-hand side.
To return to the Foresters Arms, ignore that road to the left, continuing along the road through the village and the pub is about a quarter of a mile along on the right-hand side.