Harting Down (NT)

LOCATION

SOUTH HARTING, WEST SUSSEX

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Our View

Harting Down nature reserve in West Sussex is one of the largest areas of ancient chalk downland cared for by the National Trust. A tapestry of pristine downland blends beautifully with scattered scrub and woodland. When you reach the brow of the hilltops you are met with views across the Weald and to the Isle of Wight. Venture off the South Downs Way into a more secluded valley where you will find species-rich downland turf, edged with scrub full of songbirds. It is also home to one of the best juniper sites in the south. Butterflies such as the Grizzled Skipper thrive here. Look out for the exquisite Blue Carpenter Bee and the rare Cheese Snail. Of historical interest is an Iron Age hill fort and cross-ridge dykes. The remains of a Napoleonic war telegraph station can be found on Beacon Hill, the highest point on Harting Down. In the last ten years grazing of livestock has been reintroduced in order to sustain the diversity of flora.

Harting Down (NT)
SOUTH HARTING, GU31 5PN

Features

About the area

Discover West Sussex

Divided from East Sussex back in 1888, West Sussex is so typically English that to walk through its landscape will feel like a walk through the whole country. Within its boundaries lies a wide variety of landscape and coastal scenery, but it is the spacious and open South Downs with which the county is most closely associated.

In terms of walking, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Studying the map reveals a multitude of routes – many of them to be found within the boundaries of the South Downs National Park – and an assortment of scenic long-distance trails leading towards distant horizons; all of them offer a perfect way to get to the heart of ‘Sussex by the sea,’ as it has long been known. If you enjoy cycling with the salty tang of the sea for company, try the ride between Chichester and West Wittering. You can vary the return journey by taking the Itchenor ferry to Bosham. 

West Sussex is renowned for its many pretty towns, of course. Notably, there is Arundel, littered with period buildings and dominated by the castle, the family home of the Duke of Norfolk, that dates back nearly 1,000 years.

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