This circular walk explores the splendid Cowdray Estate in Midhurst. There's miles of trails taking you to woodland, parkland and ponds. There's also nice riverside trails along the River Rother which runs through the park. On the way look out for the ponies and horses some of which are used for the polo matches you can see on the estate. Other highlights include the ancient Queen Elizabeth tree which is between 800 and 1000 years in age. The tree is the 3rd oldest Sessile Oak in England and is so named because Queen Elizabeth 1st visited it in 1591.
The walk starts from the ruins of Cowdray Castle on the eastern outskirts of Midhurst. This ruined castle dates from the early 1500s. It's heyday was during the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, both of whom visited the house, with Henry VIII also being a regular visitor. This area also includes a lovely walled garden and tea room.
After exploring the castle the route heads north east towards the remains of the priory before heading east to visit Steward's Pond and Benbow Pond. The later is particularly photogenic with the memorial to the Third Viscount Cowdray on the banks of the pond.
The route then heads south, skirting the edge of the Heathend Copse Wood before reaching the River Rother at Ambersham Bridge.
You cross the river to South Ambersham and continue west to Todham Rough before crossing the Crosters Brook and returning to the castle.
Cowdray Park PostcodeGU29 9AL - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
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Cowdray Park Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Cowdray Park Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Cowdray Park OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Cowdray Park Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Cowdray Park Pubs/Cafes
The Cowdray Farm Shop & Cafe can be found near the start of the walk. It serves a fine range of meals and snacks with locally sourced food. There's also fine views of the estate to enjoy with your meal. You can find it at postcode GU29 0AJ for your sat navs.
If you head into Midhurst you can visit the noteworthy Royal Oak. The 17th century pub includes a splendid large garden area with an outdoor grill. It's a lovely place to relax with a meal on finer days. You can find them near Goodwood on Oaklands Lane at a postcode of GU29 0EP for your sat navs.
Cowdray Park Dog Walking
The expansive park is ideal for dog walking with its country and woodland trails. It's likely you'll bump into other owners with their pets on a fine day. The cafe mentioned above is also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The New Lipchis Way passes the site and provides an opportunity for exploring the surrounding countryside on a waymarked trail. You could follow it north east to visit Iping Common and Stedham Common for example.
Also of interest is the circular Midhurst Way which will take you to the splendid Arundel Castle and Arundel Park.
For more walking ideas in the area see the South Downs Walks page.