Wandering: Horsham Riverside Walk

22 Apr

It was a very good Friday today, the weather was perhaps a trifle too warm for walking any great distance, bright sunshine and very little breeze. Nevertheless my friend Chris and I ended up walking 11 miles or so around the town of Horsham, West Sussex on what is laughingly called the Horsham Riverside Walk.

It would be better described as the Horsham Circular Walk, without any pretence of it being a river walk at all because for what seems like a large part of the walk there is no sign of the river at all, unless you count streams and ditches as rivers. The south-western and southern parts of the route do follow the River Arun especially near Chesworth Farm, where the photo below was taken.

The walk does pass through a variety of environments and it has to be said that there are some quite nice parts, but I think that is largely down to the fact that it is spring and there are lots of flowers coming into bloom. Some of the stretches of woodland were full of bluebells and further along the route there were large patches of wild garlic.

One major problem with the route is the rather poor waymarking for large parts of the route. The map and directions provided by the local council are not really that helpful either. The route is crying out for a decent guide and I had wondered whether it was something I should take on.

However, having walked the complete route I am not sure that I would recommend anyone actually bother to do the same. It is not particularly difficult once you know where you are going although some parts will obviously get very muddy in winter, but it just lacks any real points of interest to get enthusiastic about. Your time would be much better spent exploring the historic streets of Horsham and it’s museum.

So having said that why did we bother walking it? Well, it was something of a personal challenge. We have attempted to complete the walk twice in the past and on both occasions we have become frustrated by the lack of waymarking (coupled with poor weather on the second attempt) and have given up and wandered off on our own route. I am pleased to say that we completed the route, but probably won’t be bothering again.

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