Route for a Sussex walk around Itchenor
PUBLISHED: 15:53 14 February 2019
Enjoy an easy loop around Itchenor linking superb waterside sections with peaceful agricultural footpaths
West Itchenor is a natural place for people to gather, boasting both uplifting beauty and a sheltered harbour. One benefit of visiting in winter is that it will be quieter, particularly mid-week. A well-established saltmarsh at Chaldock Marsh attracts waders such as curlews, dunlin and godwits. At low tide the exposed mud flats are a rich source of food.
Look out too for Brent geese and ducks such as wigeons, pintails and teals. The coastal path near Chaldock Point is lined with wind-twisted stunted oaks which provide welcome shelter for small birds such as green woodpeckers.
St Nicholas Church
Prior to 1931, when the sea wall was built, barges would come as far up as the church but otherwise, much remains unchanged here. The main chamber, font and some windows date back to the 13th century. A previous chapel on this site of worship reflected the Manhood Peninsula’s significance during Saxon times. A local legend talks of Vikings who stole a consecrated bell during a raid on nearby Bosham. While fleeing their longboat sank. Unsuccessful attempts to recover the bell from the water by Itchenor villagers using a consecrated rope of white oxen hair were blamed on one black devil’s strand among the white. Listen carefully and you may hear the watery clang of this lost bell.
Where to refuel -
• Quarterdeck Cafe, Itchenor Shipyard - This dog and family-friendly cafe is tucked away near the car park and offers breakfasts, paninis and hot drinks every day except Monday, 9am – 4pm.
• The Ship Inn, The Street, Itchenor - This popular pub offers locally sourced fresh food and fine ales.
• Location: West Itchenor
• Distance: 3.7 miles (6km) – one and a half hours
• Terrain: Flat, some mud tracks, some hard-surfaced. One low stile
• Where to park: Itchenor Car Park is signposted left from the village centre, near north-shore shipyard. Pay machine or MiPermit app. Sat nav PO20 7AW
• Map: OS Explorer 120
• Dog-friendly: keep on leads near birds
• Further information: www.conservancy.co.uk
1 Turn right out of the car park and left at Main Street. Cross the road, and opposite The Ship, turn right along a signed public footpath. Walk on the right hand side of Itchenor Sailing Club. Turn right at the wooden sign and walk along the harbour edge. The path curves into a fenced section between gardens. Go through a gate.
2 Turn left along a signed footpath and lane. Pass Harbour House and other residences. At the end of the road, turn right at the signpost. Go through a gate and along a footpath between copse and fields. Turn right at the wooden signpost by the entrance to the next field but stay this side of the hedge. Walk along the mud track and, at the end of the hedge, continue straight ahead into the next field and on towards the farm. At the signpost beside the barns walk straight ahead along a fenced footpath.
3 Turn right along Itchenor Road, using the verge where possible. Pass Itchenor Pond and then St Nicholas Church.
4 Where the road curves, walk straight along the footpath and drive to Itchenor Park House and Farm: a waymarker signpost is a few steps along the drive. Turn right at the signpost by the white gates to Itchenor Park House. At the next signpost, pass through the gap to walk on the other side of the cobbled wall keeping the same direction.
5 At the end of the flint barn, climb over a low stile and turn left along the signed footpath. Continue straight ahead at the next signpost, enjoying pleasant views to distant downlands. After a while, this farm track is lined by trees. Glimpse the water ahead and walk to the right of a gate, past a waymarker and through a walker’s gap on along a mud footpath beside a hedge. Go through another walker’s gap.
6 Turn right along the signed footpath back to Itchenor. Glimpse the tidal inlet to your left. Cross a footbridge. There are a few benches along this wooded path with views over Chaldock Marsh. Keep straight ahead where the path joins an asphalt track.
7 At the signpost to the car park, turn right through the kissing gate and along a permissive path.
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