Circular walk 2
Distance approx 5½ miles: Chilgrove – Stapleash – West Dean Woods – South Downs Way – Hooksway (The Royal Oak pub) – Chilgrove.
This route is well known locally for the profusion of wild daffodils which flower there in the early spring and for bluebells later in late April/May. There are also spectacular views to the north and to the south from the South Downs Way
Turn right out of the farmhouse courtyard and walk along the lane approximately 1km to Stapleash Farm. Just before you reach the farm take the turning to the right and keep walking 100 metres along the lane and up hill, looking out for the bridleway which is signposted off to the left.
Take this bridleway which climbs steadily through the woods for just over 2 km, until it eventually meets the South Downs way. Here turn left and walk west along the scarp face of the downs across open fields with far reaching views to the north and south. After approx 1.5 km the trail enters woodland once more and after another 1 km you will come to a crossroads where the South Downs Way is signposted turning off to the right. At this point leave the SOuth Downs Way and continue to follow the main track which contiues straight on down hill, eventually arriving at Hooksway where you will find the Royal Oak pub on the right hand side of the lane.
On leaving Hooksway take the bridleway which turns left off the lane at the side of the house directly oppisite opposite the pub. Follow this track through the valley. As the track comes into open countryside and begins to climb uphill towards the road take the footpath which leads off to the left, staying below the road and coming out just above the Fish House restaurant with Chilgrove Green in front of you. Retrace your steps across the green to arrive back at Chilgrove farmhouse.