Sussex bluebell walk through Angmering woods
PUBLISHED: 10:09 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:42 05 October 2017
Hazel Sillver saunters through a sea of bluebells on this circular walk through Angmering woods
Angmering woods are a safe haven for our beautiful native bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), which blooms in dense swathes here during April. Growing alongside it is a lesser-known native, the wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides). This evergreen perennial produces a gorgeous show of lime-yellow heads in spring; technically these are ‘bracts’ rather than flowers. The flowers themselves are tiny, but you can see them if you get up close. Gardeners love this species of euphorbia for its tolerance of dry shade, often planting the hybrid Purpurea, which has burgundy leaves and lime bracts. Picking the wild flowers in Angmering woods is illegal and potentially painful: the sap in wood spurge stems can cause irritation and, in the worst case, blistering, if it comes in contact with skin.
Where to refuel
The Woodman Arms pub (woodmanarmsangmering.co.uk, 01903 871240, BN16 4EU) is very close and offers vegetarian options. Rejoin the A27 east and take the first turning left. Alternatively, The Fox (thefoxpatching.co.uk, 01903 871299, BN13 3UJ) at Patching welcomes dogs in the garden. Rejoin the A27 east and take the third turn left. If you fancy a cream tea, there are lots of tearooms in Arundel. Rejoin the A27, take the exit signed for Horsham and London, cross over the motorway and join the A27 west to Arundel.
Good to know
• Location: Angmering, near Arundel, West Sussex
• Distance: 5m (8k) – 2½ hrs to walk.
• Terrain: Mostly flat. Paths can be muddy – wellies or hiking boots are a must!
• Where to park: In the car park off Dover Lane. To reach it, drive east on the A27. After the road becomes dual carriageway at Crossbush, take the second turn left; this is just after a lay-by and signed Dover Lane. Drive ½ mile to the car park.
1 Walk to the north end of the car park and head right along the lane.
2 At the crossways head straight over onto a wide (and often muddy) path. Eventually you will come to another crossways – again maintain direction straight ahead.
3 Ignore the path to the right and maintain direction. The path curves around to the left and then the way forks. Here, head right onto a wide forest path that leads through bluebells.
4 At the crossways, continue straight ahead, walking upslope past wood spurge. Eventually you will come to another crossways – again maintain direction straight ahead.
5 Ignore the paths that lead off left and carry straight on. The path soon leads out of the woods and into the wide expanse of Patching Hill. Walk between fields, with Patching church on your right.
6 Go through the gap in the hedge and head left. Walk north on grass with the hedge on your left.
7 Walk past oak trees and through a gate beneath an immense beech tree. Maintain direction, walking straight on back into woodland. You will reach two crossways – carry on straight ahead at both. The past leads through beech trees and bluebells.
8 Ignore the path left. Then at the crossways maintain direction straight ahead. After this ignore two more paths on the left.
9 After dense carpets of bluebells, the way forks. Head right and then immediately left onto a wide hard track.
10 At the house on your left, cross the lane and walk straight on down the road. At the bottom of the slope, you reach a field. Head left here.
11 Walk past conifers and ignore the path on the left. Then, further on at the house, again ignore a path left.
12 You will come to a gate on the right where the way forks. Take the left hand path, which soon leads past fields. Upon reaching the house (on your right), turn left and walk between a field and a hedge. Then cross the lane, walking up the bank onto the narrow dirt path that leads back to the car park.