6.8m / 11km circular walk: Limeburners to Bat & Ball pubs

A beautiful waterside ramble across meadows, through a pretty hilltop churchyard and back via one of the areas most popular pubs: the wonderfully quirky, characterful Bat & Ball… a fabulous walk for all but the wettest of weathers, when the ground is likely to be a quagmire!

A sky high forest of Lichen, sparkling in the early spring sunshine…

Set off from the Limeburners pub car park – a 12 minute drive away, near the bustling village of Billingshurst. The Limeburners itself is a housed in a row of converted 17th Century cottages, with a large field which they utilise as a campsite – often quite busy – behind. A Fullers hostelry, it offers home cooked seasonal, often locally sourced food, and has been run by the same family for over half a century. They’re happy for their car park to be used by walkers, if a booking is made before you set off for a meal on your return.

Boathouse on the Arun

The route is low lying – snaking alongside the meandering Arun and across open fields, often very muddy in winter, so wellingtons are recommended! The banks of the Arun are very pretty – shaded by trees, and in more open parts lined with bullrushes and reeds; attractive to the human eye, feathered friends and insects alike, throughout the year.

The Arun-side, late February.

The tidal, 37 mile (60km) Arun is said to be one of England’s faster flowing waterways. The source is a network of small streams in our local St Leonard’s Forest – which itself features on the Horsham 13 mile Horsham Riverside walk. Leaving Horsham the Arun runs south through Arundel to join the English Channel at Littlehampton. There has been a huge amount of canal restoration work around Loxwood, and the several local locks are now attractive and well maintained features (‘search’ the website for a range of local riverside walks).

Where’s Oscar?!

The Wey & Arun Canal network opened in 1816; an attempt to provide an inland route between London & the Channel. However, traffic tailed off as the railways became an increasingly more viable option, and maintenance ceased around 1871. 200 years after it’s opening, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust has been formed and now comprises of some 3,000 members, whose ambition of restoring and reopening this beautiful waterway for pleasure is benefitting walkers and boaters alike. For details of their regular boat trips, and very significant work, click here.

Leading away from the water, the route passes alongside allotments – which manage to look both inspiring and ramshackle at the same time – on the outskirts of the ancient village of Wisborough Green, whose name is derived from the Saxon word for a river meadow, ‘wisc’, and ‘beorg’ a hill.

Having left the ‘river meadow’, climb the ‘hill’ & continue through the churchyard of St Peter Ad Vincula – a sunny vantage point across the graveyard and then village & fields beyond. The mellow, stone built church has a peaceful aura, contrasting with the busy A272 on the fringes of the mound that houses its graveyard. Unusually thick walls (4’6”) indicate that it could have originally been a Norman Fort, guarding the upper stretches of the Arun. The earliest text about the church dates back to the reign of Henry III; 1227. See the ‘church booklet’ here.

Progressing over often damp meadows, shrieks of joy will be heard as the pathway passes by the ever popular Children’s adventure park, Fishers.

Then on to another pub / campsite combo; the fantastically popular, quirky Bat & Ball pub.

The Bat & Ball makes the most of its surrounding ground – with shepherds huts and pop up events & camping. A busy place – in design and well as numbers… it’s a feast for the eye, with interesting, perhaps odd features a-plenty! Very popular with locals (and those not so local!), its food is as renowned as the atmosphere.

The Limeburner is just off the A272 for the B2133 just after the Billingshurst turning if coming from the East, or before you reach Billingshurst town if coming from the West. Set your sat nav for RH14 9JA. Parking at the pub is free for patrons.

The route for this walk can be found here.

View from the church at Wisborough Green
View from the church at Wisborough Green

New Scientist magazine:

“Permanent grasslands hold about a third of Earth’s terrestrial carbon, meaning they can’t be overlooked when we talk about slowing climate change. More grasslands, and especially more biodiverse ones, means more natural carbon storage
The past 100 years has seen this terrain destroyed on a terrifying scale. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the UK alone has lost at least 97 per cent of its meadows. Tall grass prairie in the US once covered 170 million acres, less than 4 per cent of which survives. Pollinators, such as butterflies and bumblebees, that create and depend on these biodiverse environments are also at risk.
While we are all familiar with the idea of forests as Earth’s “lungs”, reforestation isn’t the sole or simple solution to the problems we face. Mass planting of trees isn’t feasible in many human-inhabited areas of the world, and a lot of land that may have had potential for forestry is ultimately lost to grazing and cultivation. On the other hand, even small mown and grazed meadows contain a greater diversity of flora and fauna than equivalent areas of forest.
At either extreme of grassland management – mown short or left long – there are species that thrive. A mosaic of approaches can aid species in both, as well as those that like something in between.
Even long-grass movements such as Plantlife’s “No Mow May” advocate mowing less and at the right time rather than not at all.”

– Something to think about as the weather is warming up, and the grass is starting to regrow: leaving longer areas can be so pretty as well as hugely beneficial (whilst saving time!)

20 thoughts on “6.8m / 11km circular walk: Limeburners to Bat & Ball pubs

  1. Wonderful. I am wondering why I am not getting notifications of your posts. Will have to check as you aren’t popping up in my Reader 😥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really strange – I noticed today that I am not receiving notifications from some sites that I’m signed up to as well… very strange and something else for the ‘to do’ list… let’s hope we get it sorted!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I checked and all seems OK. I’ll have to wait for you next post I guess to see. For the first time I had a look at the Annex, it looks superb so watch out if we ever get to England again 🙂 🙂

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  2. What a fabulous walk, Emma! Definitely one to add to my collection as it is virtually on my doorstep. Thanks you and I look forward to the next walk/hike you publish. Unfortunately, Zeph has a soft tissue injury to one of his hind legs, so we are only able to do short, lead walks at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks June, and hoping for a speedy recovery for Zeph – we should go for a ramble together when he’s better – so many great walks nearby! 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He’s definitely improving! A ramble sound lovely or just meeting up to introduce the hounds!

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      2. Glad to hear Zeph is on the mend…
        I’m always up for a ramble – that sounds lovely, my number is on the website. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, Emma. We’re off for a week from next week but will get in touch on our return 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Have a good trip and look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. After three more attempts I got the pics.

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    1. Hurrah!
      Thank you for persevering: try, try & try again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully described and photographed splendid walk. Unfortunately a number of photos, beginning with the three image gallery, have not loaded on my site

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for letting me know, Derrick; I’ll check WordPress!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The bicycle/wagon/sign contraption is utterly fascinating as well as — probably — practical for transportation, carrying things, and advertising, all in one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s fun, isn’t it – and pretty too!!

      Like

  6. This looks a delight, and easy to boot. With top-class refreshment at start and finish. Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Margaret – always good to have a choice of pubs along the way! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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Location Horsham, West Sussex, UK Phone (+44)07930533916 E-mail theoakswestsussex@gmail.com Hours We will respond as soon as possible, and certainly within 24 hours.
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