South Downs Odyssey
Odýssey n. a long, wandering and eventful journey!

South Downs Way legs

Leg 8

Harting Down
 to Cocking
Hill Barn  
7 miles

Walking on the grassy path at the start was to seem really luxurious as very soon this gave way to flinty chalk, which was quite hard on the feet with extra care needed not to turn ankles.

An impressively on-time rendezvous at The Half Moon (outside) in Midhurst saw the start of today’s leg from Harting Hill to Hill Barn, just south of Cocking, a distance of 7 miles.

Having found the Hill Barn car park, it was then back to Harting for the start of our longest walk so far.

Off we go!

The view, although a little hazy, was spectacular, with miles of rolling farmland and fields of yellow rape. In the far distance we could see the sea as well as the unmistakeable canopies of Goodwood racecourse.

Towards Bexley Hill, Midhurst

Our usual discussion about food turned to the need to have a bit more to eat on our longer walks to keep the energy levels up (must bear this excuse in mind when we are scoffing biscuits and cakes in The Rosemary Foundation office).

Grassy path morphs into chalk and flint lanes

At times it was wonderfully quiet with just the sounds and timbres of nature the only things to be heard from pheasants, wood pigeons, chaffinches, bees and at one point, a peacock! This turned out to be at Monkton House, where at one time, Edward James lived. He was a British poet known for his patronage of the surrealist art movement.

The car is in sight … oh no that’s where we head next time!

The last mile was a bit of a slog, luckily downhill with the A286 tantalisingly in sight.

Today’s reward was a large ice cream each.

In the car on the way back to South Harting we came across a road closure, which turned out to be for a herd of cows returning from being milked to continue with their peripatetic lifestyle.

It was another great achievement today, particularly as the up hill challenges were so energy sapping, which needed many stops to admire the views!

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Winchester to Cheesefoot Head

Sun 21 Sep 2014

3.5 miles


Cheesefoot Head to Beauworth

Sun 31 Aug 2014

5.5 miles


Beauworth to Exton

Sat 2 Aug 2014

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Exton to Old Winchester Hill

Mon 28 Jul 2014

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Old Winchester Hill to East Meon

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East Meon to Petersfield

Sat 12 Apr 2014

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Q.E. Park to Harting Hill

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Harting Hill to Cocking

Thu 17 Apr 2014

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Cocking to Duncton

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Sat 23 Aug 2014

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Bury Hill to Storrington

Sat 23 May 2015

6 miles


Storrington to Washington

Fri 11 Sep 2015

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Washington to beyond Chanctonbury Ring

Sun 6 Sep 2015

2.75 miles


Chanctonbury Ring to Beeding

Sun 20 Sep 2015

4.5 miles


Beeding to Devil’s Dyke

Sun 4 Oct 2015

5.25 miles


Devil’s Dyke to Ditchling Beacon

Sun 5 Jun 2016

6 miles


Ditchling Beacon to Housedean Farm

Tue 21 Jun 2016

5 miles


Housedean farm to Southease

Sun 31 Jul 2016

7 miles


Southease to Alfriston

Tue 6 Sep 2016

7 miles


Alfriston to Cuckmere River

Mon 26 Sep

3 miles


Cuckmere River to Birling Gap

Fri 7 Oct

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Birling Gap to Eastbourne

Mon 10 Oct

5 miles