Route for walk through historic Arundel and around Swanbourne Lake

PUBLISHED: 16:31 19 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 20 October 2020

View over St Wilfrid's Priory to Arundel Castle. Photo: Deirdre Huston

View over St Wilfrid's Priory to Arundel Castle. Photo: Deirdre Huston

Deirdre huston

This walk takes in Arundel’s historic high street, grazing fields and the serene surroundings of Swanbourne Lake

For a short stroll, this walk packs in a lot: spectacular buildings, extensive views, and a watery oasis. A quiet section through grazing fields is a welcome contrast to the bustling high street and popular boating lake.

Much of this route is hard-surfaced, making it a promising choice for winter, but stout boots are essential as that middle section could be muddy. In Arundel, the river is a focal point for people and wildlife, and you may wish to pause to observe and enjoy.

As you climb past the imposing walls of Arundel Castle, the French Gothic style of the Victorian Catholic cathedral draws your eye. But don’t miss the 14th century parish church of St Nicholas which nestles between castle and cathedral.

View down to Swanbourne Lake. Photo: Deirdre HustonView down to Swanbourne Lake. Photo: Deirdre Huston

When building work began in 1380, using flint and local stone, Henry Yeveley and William Wynford, two celebrated masons and architects, were the designers.

During the Reformation, the 12th Duke of Arundel, Henry Fitzalan, seized the church along with the Priory buildings and it subsequently became the private property of the Earl and his descendants.

Footpath through Norfolk Estate to Swanbourne LakeFootpath through Norfolk Estate to Swanbourne Lake

Where to Refuel

The Edible Sandwich Company has a terrace by the river on the far side of the bridge.

Motte & Bailey serves bruch and light lunches.

Swanbourne Lodge Tearoom has a terrace overlooking the boating lake. Its nearby kiosk sells takeaway hot drinks.

Hiorne Tower, Norfolk EstateHiorne Tower, Norfolk Estate

Information

Location: Arundel

Distance: 3 miles (5 km) - just over an hour to walk plus stops.

Terrain: some mud and chalk paths make stout boots essential. Get a steep climb out of the way at the start on easy town pavements. One stile.

Where to Park: Fitzalan Pool car park BN18 9JJ.

Map: O.S.Explorer 121 Arundel and Pulborough

Navigation: straightforward

Dog-friendly: yes, but on lead in town and under close control through the Norfolk Estate

MORE: The perfect route for a South Downs walk near Alfriston

The walk

1. Exit the car park through a gate onto the riverbank and turn left towards Arundel Castle. Emerge at the other end of the car park and turn right, as signed towards the town. Pass Bridge House and Jubilee Garden. On Queen Street, turn right across the bridge. Cross Mill Road.

2. Stroll up the High Street. Walk past the war memorial and a flowerbed with a plaque to Bill Beere. Climb the steep hill up past the castle walls. At the private entrance, keep left and then turn right, following the signs for the Monarch’s Way. Cross the road to walk past Arundel or St Wilfrid’s Priory on the pavement. Pass St Catherine’s Cathedral Church, Cathedral Centre and St Philip’s School.

3. Turn right into Arundel Park, part of the Norfolk Estate. Pass a noticeboard.

4. At the two gates and Park Lodge, turn left. Stay on the signed public footpath and main track.

5. Turn right at the signpost . Walk past the unusually shaped Hiorne Tower. Head for the right-hand end of the fence. Walk along the waymarked footpath and down some steps between trees.

6. Turn left across the stile along the signed footpath through grazing fields. Walk down the slope (caution: chalk can be slippery).

7. Turn right at the signpost. Keep left at the next signpost.

8. Walk through a kissing gate. Continue straight ahead. This track is on a high bank with views of the lake from above. Arrive at Swanbourne Lodge Tearoom and picnic benches. Exit through the gate.

9. Turn right along the road. At the bridge, go momentarily left on a signed footpath to cross Swanbourne Footbridge. Continue along the pavement to walk back to your car, passings Arundel Museum.

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