Walks in Sompting
Many different beautiful walks can be enjoyed in the Sompting Downs, usiing the excellent network of public footpaths, and the two open access flower- and butterfly-rich wildlife sites.
Start points with (limited) parking for exploring this part of the downs, if you need to arrive by car, include: St Marys Church Sompting, the Lyons Farm retail park, Beggars Bush Car Park and Picnic Area, Cissbury Ring, Chanctonbury, Lancing clump.
Sompting Estate trustee Mike Tristram has been walking these downs for many years and loves their life, history and folklore. He has written this
Guide to a circular walk from the Sompting Downs Barn to Cissbury and back
with comments at a series of stops along the way, so that you can find out more about this landscape. Other walking route guides will be added here later.
Where you can walk or ride
The dotted green lines below are Public Rights of Way: We have also provided some permissive paths, shown as dotted red lines.
Below this map you can see a plan on which we have also marked pathway improvements we are making, planning or considering for the future, for you to use on foot or, if it's waymarked any other colour arrow than yellow, also ride. Cyclists please ride slowly and protect pedestrians.
Please read and observe Natural England's Countryside Code - click here for a short version, or click here for a much more useful longer version.
Our plan to maintain and improve walking and cycling opportunities for the community in our countryside:
KEY to map below:
- Red = Existing public rights of way (including ‘permissive paths’ west of N.Sompting)
- Hatched Red = Open access areas
- Orange = Potential new/improved access routes.
Notes on the numbered routes below can be read beneath the plan.
Access is already very good across the northern part of the parish. Following the orange numbers on the map above, potential further improvements are:
- a. This route which is a partnership project with the National Park Authority will bring walkers off the narrow road, enabling a safer circular walk from the Beggars Bush car park and from other footpaths.
b. This route is under consideration in particular for guided circular dewponds walks.
c. This route under consideration for the future could make it easier for walkers from North Sompting to more directly access the Lychpole Side Hill SSSI Open Access Area and Cissbury, without disrupting the Estate’s plans for secluded areas for holidaymakers on Upton / Titch Hill Farm.
- A proposed daytime circular Nature Trail within the Community Farm & Local Wildlife Site.
- The footpath that we are creating with our Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust partners, as part of the HLF supported EPIC project.
- In collaboration with Worthing Borough Council: a foot and cycle link across the old tip to Deacon Way, Worthing Station and the coast.
- A direct country cycle link from W.Sompting to Worthing could be added here.
- A footpath linking the EPIC path to the new Worthing Local Plan housing allocation site at Upper Brighton Road, or to Clarendon Road, is also under consideration for the future.
- This indicates foot and cycle path within the West Sompting development area (south)
- New footpath and community orchard within the West Sompting development area (north)
- New footpath along south side of Upper Brighton Road
- Existing permissive footpaths, widened in 2020 to improve walker enjoyment and Covid distancing safety.
- Foothpaths north from (west side of) St Mary's Church, and east from Lyons Farm to Lambleys Lane, widened in 2021 to improve Covid distancing safety and walker enjoyment.
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