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Sat, 30 Mar


Victoria Station

Two castles, Swanbourne Lake and delightful thatched houses -Arundel to Amberley

Two castles, Swanbourne Lake and delightful thatched houses make this Arundel to Amberley walk a truly fairy tale like experience.

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Two castles, Swanbourne Lake and delightful thatched houses -Arundel to Amberley
Two castles, Swanbourne Lake and delightful thatched houses -Arundel to Amberley

Time & Location

30 Mar 2019, 09:00 – 16:00

Victoria Station, Victoria Station, Victoria, London SW1V 1JT, UK

About the event

Two castles, Swanbourne Lake and delightful thatched houses make this Arundel to Amberley walk a truly fairy tale like experience.

Length: 18.8km (11.7 miles), 5 hours 30 minutes. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 10 hours

Start and End: London Victoria, by the ticket counter, opossite to the platform 13.

Time: 09:00am at the station.

At 9:23m sharp we will make our way to the platform, so please make sure that you arrive on time as we will not be waiting for the latecomers.

We will arrive in Arundel at 11.02am. It is very difficult to predict exact return time as it depends on the walking speed of the particular group and the choices we make along the way (lunch, route etc). If you decide to join, please consider yourself committed for the day.

Fee: £7 for a guided hike +PayPal fee

Toughness: 7 out of 10.


We should get to Burpham for around 13:30, halfway through the walk. The table has not been booked as it is a very long walk and the pubs in the village start getting extremely busy at this time of the year. The service for over 30 people would simply take too long and we wouldn't be able to get to Amberley before it gets dark. So please make sure you bring packed lunches. We will stop for lunch here for one hour., but to stay on track we will have to leave at 14:00. So if we are walking slower then average the time for lunch may be shorter.

More about the walk:

The walk starts and ends along the River Arun. It goes up Arundel’s old High Street, lined with ancient buildings, to the Duke of Norfolk’s castle. The Norfolk family have been Roman Catholics for centuries, hence you pass the only church in the UK that is part Catholic and part Protestant (the Catholic part is their chapel, separated off by an iron grille). You pass the Roman Catholic Cathedral then enter the 1,240-acre Arundel Park (the park is closed on March 24th each year, but the public footpaths should remain open on that day). From the Hiorne Tower, you descend to Swanbourne Lake, then go up and through the Park to exit it through a gap in the wall, to walk above the River Arun again. The route leads you to the isolated hamlet of South Stoke, with its unusual church and from there you walk beside the river all the way to the village of Burpham, with its church, and pub – your lunchtime stop. The afternoon’s walk, up, over and down the chalky South Downs, makes for a nice contrast to the morning’s walk. Amberley is a delightful village with many thatched houses, a pub, tea shop and village store, in addition to its castle and church. Next to the railway station is the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre.

Please note that we will not be entering the castle grounds.


Arundel Castle was built at the end of the eleventh century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel. The castle was damaged in the Civil War (changing hands twice) and was largely rebuilt in ‘idealised Norman’ style by Dukes of Norfolk in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. P

The lack of labourers after the Black Death in 1349 led to the decay of St Nicholas Parish Church, Arundel, which was rebuilt in 1380. There were no pews, but there were stone seats around the side (hence the expression ‘the weakest go to the walls’). The building became barracks and stables for the parliamentarians during the Civil War – their guns laid siege to the castle from the church tower. In 1969, the then Duke of Norfolk opened up the wall between the Roman Catholic and Protestant parts of the church. For ecumenical special occasions, the iron grille dividing them is opened.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady and St Philip Howard in Arundel was completed in 1873. Entry is free. St Philip, thirteenth Earl of Arundel, whose father was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth I, was himself sentenced to death but died in 1595 after eleven years in the Tower of London, aged 39.

The eleventh century St Leonard’s Church in the hamlet of South Stoke (population 57) has a thin tower with a ‘frilly cap’, topped by a nineteenth century broach spire with four slatted dormer windows. The church is still lit by candles. Since the last resident Rector left in 1928 the parish has been in the care of the Vicar of Arundel.

A Roman pavement was uncovered in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin Church, Burpham, and parts of the church date from before the Norman Conquest.

Amberley Castle and St Michael’s Church, in Amberley were both built shortly after the Norman Conquest by Bishop Luffa, using French masons who had been brought over to England to build Chichester Cathedral. The castle, one of three country palaces for the Bishops of Chichester, was considered necessary to defend the Bishops from peasants in revolt and from marauding pirates. Today, the castle is an exclusive hotel.

A hundred men once worked at the lime and cement works that now form the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre , next to Amberley railway station. The museum occupies a 36 acre site and is dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south-east, containing a wide range of exhibits, including vintage transport, tools and telecommunications. The museum is also home to a number of resident craftsmen and craftswomen, working in traditional ways.


Please note that unless the trip is cancelled the payments are non-refundable as the costs need to be paid in advance. However, you may be able to sell your place to your friends or other group members.


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