A lovely walk around the crown of a beautiful hill steeped in ancient history. The route approaches Cissbury Ring from the south, before going in a complete circle round the top, following Iron Age fortifications constructed over two millennia ago. The views throughout this walk are superb, especially the panoramic ones from the hill, and if you’re lucky you’ll see the small herd of wild New Forest ponies that call this place home.
3mi / 4.8km
Start / finish
Coombe Rise car park
–From Angmering it takes about 15 minutes to drive to the start.
–Make your way onto the A27 from Angmering via the Angmering Bypass, heading eastbound, and when you reach the roundabout next to Durrington Cemetery, turn left onto the A24 / Findon Road. About half a mile along, turn right onto Lime Tree Avenue and keep straight on until the road bends to the left – just to the right of the bend is Coombe Rise car park.
- From the car park, go through the wooden gate to join a path ascending through a copse. After a few yards it forks – keep straight ahead on the wide/main path.
- After passing through a wooden gate (1), take the path on the right side, following it up along a treeline, with open grassland on your left. Soon you’ll come to another wooden gate (1a) – go through and keep straight on, walking along a narrow path through hedgerows.
- When you reach a T junction, turn left (2).
- Follow this path, enjoying views of Findon Valley and the coast down to the left, until you reach a gate. Go through and keep straight on (3), joining a track going into some trees (3a). Soon after, on the gently ascending path, you’ll reach another gate – again, go through and keep straight on (3b).
Just to your right at this point there is a water trough for the New Forest ponies that live here, so it’s a good place to look out for them!
- Soon after this, the path goes between two high banks (4) – climb up onto the right hand one (4a), using the steps.
These banks, which encircle the entire crown of the hill, are the original earthwork fortifications that protected the Iron Age settlement that existed here over 2000 years ago. Inside the circle itself, just to the left of the path you approached on, there are remains of flint mines which date back even further, to the Neolithic period, about 6000 years ago.
Find out more about Cissbury Ring here.
- To continue the walk, simply follow the path that runs along the top of the bank (4b). It will take you in a complete circle (about a mile), offering majestic views in all directions. About halfway around, you’ll see a lone tree with a bench underneath – a good spot for a break.
- Once you’ve completed the circle, retrace your steps back down the path you approached on, until you reach the junction that you went straight on at earlier.
- At this point you can either continue retracing your original steps back to the car park, or to mix things up a bit, take the path going off to the right (5).
- Stay on the path as it bends around to the left (6), going through woodland. When the path goes through a wooden gate to emerge onto open grassland, go down the middle/diagonally (7) towards a wooden gate in the far corner. Once through that gate, the car park is a few yards away down the wide path you started off on.
The numbered images below correspond to the above directions.