It has been two weeks since my last walk (Deal to Sandwich), and right up until yesterday, my leg was still hurting with every step. I had barely left my flat in that time, willing it to get better. I really shouldn’t have gone out to walk from Amberley to Arundel today. In this case, absence of pain isn’t absence of injury. It needs much more time, and I had a plan in place. I was going to throw everything at it. Apart from the rest and rehab, I had bought some ‘special shoes’ to wear once I began proper walking again.
My shoes arrived today.
I couldn’t resist.
I reasoned with myself, that I could do something short and not hilly (without going into the specifics of the injury and biomechanics, the not hilly thing is to do with that. Basically, hills are not my friend right now). That’s why I chose this particular walk along the river from Amberley to Arundel. It was due to rain all of next week, then I am away the week after. Plenty of time to rest incase of flare up.
What was the walk like from Amberley to Arundel?
It wasn’t anything like I expected….it was better. I expected an easy open river walk, but what I got was river, woodland and hills.
Hills. The very thing I was avoiding. They took me a bit by surprise. Nothing aggressive though. Nothing I would call challenging. But a hill is a hill when you absolutely mustn’t walk up or down any.
You have a couple of options when walking from Amberley to Arundel. East or west side. I chose to do the walk on the west side because it seemed the trail ended some way along the east side. However, I now don’t think this is the case. I saw people walking over there.
If you do choose the east side though, when you reach a river crossing point, you should take it to get onto the west side, otherwise you will be cut off by a river branch later on.
The east side of the river is more open, if that’s what you want, whilst the west side is very woody. About half way in from Amberley, the woods end and the rest of the walk to Arundel, is along the riverside ridge.
Thats why I liked the side I picked, as it gave more variety.
Logistics for the river walk from Amberley to Arundel
- Start: Amberley
- Finish: Arundel
- How to get there: Both stations are on the Southern train line, one station apart. You can get a direct train from London Victoria in about 1h 20min.
- Distance: 5.5 miles
- Time: 2 hours with stops
- Difficulty: Easy
- Amenities: Just under 4 miles in, you will reach the Black Rabbit pub. Other than that, there are no benches or any other facilities en route. Arundel has everything a town would have. There are toilets in Arundel Station.
- Dog friendly: Partially. There is one field with horses, another with sheep. Other than this, your dog can roam free. I saw a few of them around. There are a number of stiles on the walk. Most have gaps big enough for a human to fit through, some have gate alternatives. However, there are a couple that could be an issue (see tips for more info).
- Time of year: I did this towards the end of winter
Map for the river walk from Amberley to Arundel
More walking ideas will be at the end
Tips for the river walk from Amberley to Arundel
- If it’s recently been raining, it can get muddy. Waterproof footwear would be good.
- Stop at the Black Rabbit pub for a drink or bite.
- Following on from the above, there are no benches apart from the pub. So, if it’s been raining recently, take a waterproof jacket to sit on (if you decide you want to sit at some point)
- If arriving by train from the north, buy a return ticket to Arundel, then get off one stop early to start the walk from Amberley.
- If you don’t think your dog could handle some of the stiles then this is still a lovely area to walk in, you just won’t make it the whole way. In this case, I would suggest starting the walk from from Arundel, as you will have a few options to change the route on the fly and loop back a different way, instead of having to simply walk back the way you came if you started from Amberley.
A guide to the Amberley to Arundel river walk
Out of the station, head to the river and cross over the bridge. There is no designated walking lane on the bridge so you need to be carful of the cars. Once across, go through the gate on the left to start the walk along the River Arun.
It’s a little noisy along here with the road so near, but as you go further, it will start to fade a way.
The walk from Amberley starts off along a grass ridge, then you go through a horse field, after which, it can start to get a little muddy.
My ‘special shoes’ are in no way waterproof, and they are also white….so I was quite carful with my footing. Little did I know what was in store for my shoes next week.
Walk through the woods
Gradually things become more woody, and you will walk across a wooden plank type walkway. Now, for the next while, the walk will be though the woods. There is the occasional opening to the left, for a view along the river and to the fields on the other side, with the hills in the distance.
Top tip: through one of the openings, make sure to look back to see the chalk cliffs.
There comes a point (maybe 2, I can’t remember) where the trail actually takes you away from the River Arun for a moment. Don’t panic. Just keep on the trail and it will guide you.
The uphill and the farm
The trail will take you away from the river and uphill to a gated field. There is a livestock sign here, although, you seem to be separated from the livestock by and electric fence. Follow the trail down the edge of the field, and back up another hill towards the farm.
I was a little confused here as I didn’t at first notice the trail to the right of the farm building. I stood there looking at the cow in the barn wondering if I was supposed to walk through there.
Taking the trail to the right of the farm, you will have a lovely view to some quant buildings at the end.
When you reach the driveway road, turn right and past the rich person garage to pick up the trail on the other side. Maybe you will get to see a horse.
Walk back to the River Arun
Walk downhill along the trail and this will lead you back to the River Arun. You might see some trains go by on the other side of the river. At the bottom, keep following the trail, so the river is on your left.
Somewhere along here, just past one of the gates, look out for the plank of wood over the river branch. You need to cross this, so don’t miss it.
Now you will be walking along a nice grassy path with the River Arun to your left. Occasionally you will see more trains pass by, and can say Choo Choo as they run along.
Taking a break
This walk from Amberley to Arundel is quite short, and I realised I was nearing the end, so took this moment by the bridge to have a sit down for a snack and to enjoy my river surroundings. So far my leg had been feeling good. I knew this sit down was risky….
It backfired. As soon as I stood up to continue the walk to Arundel, my leg let itself be known. Well, at least I was near the end. The flare up hopefully wouldn’t be too bad.
The Black Rabbit and Arundel Castle views
You will next reach the Black Rabbit Pub. Being so close to Arundel, it would make a great stop before finishing off the remainder of the walk along the river. It has a lovely riverside settings and views to Arundel Castle.
I don’t have a photo of the pub, but I got one looking back towards it.
The final stretch of the Amberley to Arundel river walk
Past the pub, there will be a couple of options coming up to take a right turning trail for an alternate route to Arundel. I decided to stick to the river because I like rivers. Plus, you will get a nice view of Arundel Castle along this bit.
The rest is quite simple, just follow the grassy trail as it curves alongside the river on your left, with the castle to your right. This will lead you all the way into Arundel.
More walks near Amberley and Arundel
Amberley to Pulborough River walk – This walk takes you from Amberley and partially along the River Arun in the other direction. I absolutely loved this walk.
Arundel Circular walk – This walk takes you along the River Arun and around Arundel castle and up to the Hiorne Tower.
Littlehampton to Worthing – This walk is just south of Arundel. It’s a very simple walk and not as scenic, but it is dog friendly and the kind of walk to do if you want to switch off and not worry about navigation.
Other similar walks
If you like simple river walks, then you might like these:
Henley to Marlow walk – Over in the Chilterns, this walk takes you along the River Thames from one pretty village to another. It’s less rugged, and more posh.
Little Marlow walk – Sticking with the Chilterns theme, this one is a little more rugged than the section from Henley to Marlow. It’s very dog friendly. (Coming soon)
Guidlford to Godalming – This is a lovely little walk which follows the River Wey, the river river in Britain to be made navigable.
Rye to Camber Sands – This walk follows the river from the Medieval village of Rye, to a lovely long stretch of sandy beach. The beach is very dog friendly.