Beginning at the picturesque Houghton Bridge next to Amberley train station, this walk proceeds along the bank of the River Arun to South Stoke, before cutting across meadows to North Stoke via the Gurkha suspension bridge (so-called because it was rebuilt in 2009 by the British Army Gurkhas after being damaged by a falling tree). From here, a footpath takes you back to the river and Houghton Bridge. The walk is mostly level but features a steepish incline about halfway along. There are two stiles (both easy for dogs) and parts of the walk are quite muddy in autumn and winter.
4.3mi / 6.9km
Start / finish
Amberley train station
Amberely Museum car park (next to train station) is free but be aware that it is locked up at 5pm
—From Angmering it takes about 20-25 minutes to drive to the start.
—Make your way towards Amberley by taking the A27 as far as Arundel, then taking the A284, then the B2139, which you turn off into Amberley Museum / train station car park just after Houghton Bridge.
—Putting ‘Amberley train station’ into your sat nav will get you there if you need additional assistance.
- Cross Houghton Bridge on the left side (1), using the alcoves to let cars pass if it’s busy.
- Immediately after the bridge, turn left (1a) through a kissing gate and follow the path along the west (right) side of the Arun. You’ll go through another kissing gate, then over a stile (2).
- Follow the path until you get to a small wooden plank bridge which leads onto a boardwalk (2a). The path twists and turns through some rather swampy ground.
- Soon the path joins a bridleway where you turn left (3). The path continues hugging the river, offering intermittently lovely views, especially back in the direction you’ve come from.
- After a while the path starts to climb quite steeply, and then undulates for a bit through some trees, and you’ll be able to catch glimpses of the river down below to the left.
- Soon you’ll reach a metal gate (4) with a smaller one beside it – go through and keep to the fence on the left until you reach and pass through another gate with a finger post on the left.
- Follow the wide track until it reaches a barn in a dip – continue on the path (5) to keep on the right side / going above the barn. Soon you’ll see a red brick building / wedding venue – turn right (6) to walk on some grass between the building and a flint wall, then left onto a country lane that winds down into South Stoke.
- The road turns into a track that runs down past St Leonard’s Church on the right (worth a look; sometimes there are sheep in the graveyard) and then to a bridge over the river.
- Cross the bridge (7) and turn left (7a) through a kissing gate to join a path running along the bank.
- Soon the path leaves the side of the river and bears off to the right (7b) into a wooded area. After a few hundred yards, you’ll reach the suspension bridge (8) after which this walk is named. Once you’ve crossed it, look behind you to find a plaque with information.
- Pass through a gate (8a) and up through the field (there are nice views of Arundel Park in the distance to the left) and then through another gate (8b). You’re now in the village of North Stoke. When you reach the road, turn left (8c), then immediately right (9) at the red phone box.
*If you want to make an interesting detour, carry straight on instead of turning right, and at the bottom of the road you’ll find the historic (appx. 1000 years old) Church of St Mary the Virgin.
- Follow the road as it bears right, then left, until you see a metal gate going into a field on your right. On the other side of the road (easy to miss due to no signpost!) is a footpath going off to the left (10, 10a) – join it.
- Follow the path until you reach a gate; go through and turn right (11) to rejoin the river bank (11a, 11b), which will take you back to Houghton Bridge (11c) and the start of the walk.
The numbered images below correspond to the above directions.