Midhurst Way At Cowdray Park
Type of walk
Free Parking, Off Lead Areas, Pathed Routes, Picnic Areas, Refreshments Available
About this walk
The backbone of this circular walk across Cowdray Park is the Midhurst Way, part of the 29 miles from Haslemere to Arundel, a relatively new long distance path. The walk may be started at either Benbow Pond or The Cowdray Farm Shop & Café.
Option 1. Cowdray Farm Shop, Easebourne, free 100 space CP off the A272
Walk north along estate road - The Midhurst Way - and cross the A272 into the old avenue of chestnut trees called The Race – or use the path on the inside of the adjoining field - and go as far as the first turn-off to the right, about 0.25 mile, and climb the gentle slope between trees and meadows to the fairway of the Cowdray Golf Course.
Cross straight over – about 100 yards – and immediately drop down through a small wood into a grassy, parkland valley with very old trees interspersed with new limes. In late Spring the gentle slopes of this valley are carpeted with bluebells.
After a few hundred yards, espy a switch gate in the fence to the left into a parkland meadow with a stream, pond and a few majestic plane trees. Pass through this gate and follow the path past Stewards Pond. The Queen Elizabeth Oak, now about 1000 years old, and hollow, with a girth of 41 feet is a short walk up the valley to the north. It’s easy to recognise as it is dumpy with hat-like foliage, totally different to the majestic giant which welcomed Queen Bess under its canopy in 1591. It’s now protected by an enclosure fence; but 14 people have together managed to fit inside the trunk.
Walking north-east up the gentle slope though the new Queen Elizabeth 2 Jubilee Lime Avenue, over the saddle, you start to drop down to a small woodland with a style into a field. Before you get there, look up the slope, left, to the north-west towards the fir copse, the Broomhill Plantation, and you’ll see interspersed on the slope a number of huge, champion trees of great age. This area was all part of the initial 600 acres fenced by Cowdray in 1532, before the castle was built, and has remained substantially the same ever since.
Cross the style, turn left, follow the woodland margin and the field until you hit a deep sunken path going from right to left up the slope to Vining Farm. The Midhurst Way continues straight ahead to Lodsworth and then to Tillington. However, you need to turn left and follow the track to Vining Farm. Immediately after the farm turn left and join the sandy, farm drive westwards with views to the horizon and the South Downs.
Ignore the farm track to Loves Farm down the slope in a south westerly direction but turn left where sign posted to Lower Vining and walk along the hedge and tree-lined field margin for 100 yards and turn right into the manicured, grassy approach to the house. Follow the drive, curling left past the new barn conversion onto the brow of the hill with amazing views to westward. The lane now drops straight down hill until it hits Easebourne Street. Turn left into this beautiful, characterful village with old houses and picturesque gardens and follow on down the slope for 0.25 mile until you see on the right hand side a footpath sign post pointing to the left past a white cottage called Bachelors Gate.
To re-join The Race walk up the drive past Bachelors Gate and a new wooden outbuilding on the left, over a private CP, to a swing gate in a tree-lined sunken path which leads to a meadow. Walk through the meadow to The Race, and thus back to where you started
Option 2. Benbow Pond, off A272,
Follow the sandy track up hill from the five bar gate where the private drive at the end of the pond bears right to Cowdray Cottages, pass the big tree on the right and join the path along the field margin. This leads to the style at the wood mentioned in Option 1.
On returning, instead of passing through the swing gate at Stewards Pond just continue down the grassy ride to Benbow or walk through the arboretum, if preferred.
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5 years agoTHE MIDHURST WAY LONG DISTANCE PATH. There are several well-advertised spin-off circular walks, and bus-return walks, along the 29 mile arterial route, The Midhurst Way. from Haslemere in the north to Arundel in the south-east Cowdray Park to Midhurst Old Town The Duke of Cumberland Pub Walk Benbow Pond. The Midhurst Way at Cowdray There is a bus return walk from Cowdray CP at Easebourne to Tillington via Lodsworth and Upperton Vineyards. You can do bus-return walks from Haslemere to Henley. Using the Easebourne CP you can also use the Midhurst Way to connect with Woolbeding Parkland. There are two - a long and a short -circular walks from Woolbeding Parkland or North Street, Midhurst CP. More info on Midhurst River Walks and Cowdray Estate Walks.
5 months agoThe first part is OK for powered wheelchairs but a bit bumpy in places. Nice to start and finish off at Cowdray park
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