In the heart of the South Downs National Park, just off the South Downs Way, the Blue Bell at Cocking is the perfect place to begin a walk or bike ride. The landscape of green rolling pastures, wide open spaces and ancient woodlands features many bridleways and cycle paths, and the area is perfect for walking (with or without a canine friend), there are options to suit all abilities.
Try some of our favourite ‘tried and tested’ local walks below, ready for you to download and print out.
Don’t forget to book a table before you set off, as you are likely to work up an appetite! If you have your dog with you, we have a water bowl and doggie snacks too…
A walk by West Sussex Country Walks – Distance 5.5km – Climb 75 meters – Time 130 minutes
The whole character of this walk is one of forest and then open downland views. Everything you would expect from the South Downs. When we surveyed this walk it was on a dull day and there is very little cheer to be had on a dull day. Or is there? We were charmed by the forest scenes and saw several deer and rabbits. The Church at Heyshott is very pleasant and as you walk towards the Downs the views become more panoramic, with plenty of activity from birds and animals alike. All in all, there is just enough strain in this to make you feel you’ve completed a walk, but not enough to completely drain yourself. In any event, you will feel you’ve earned that pint at the end of the walk.
A walk by West Sussex Country Walks – Distance 5km – Climb 162 meters – Time 90 minutes
Start at The Blue Bell in Cocking. Drive along the Bell Lane towards Bepton. Stay on this road until you reach St Andrews Church in Didling which is approximately 3 miles from the Blue Bell. In following this road, the rule is simple just keep turning left.
A walk by West Sussex Country Walks – Distance 6.5km – Climb 202 meters – Time 130 minutes
Cocking must be one of the most underrated villages in Sussex. It is the home of world class walks that would thrill anyone and leave you breathless with admiration. Within 1 minute you go from main road to countryside on this walk and then go up the most fabulous hills and scenery that you can imagine. This walk makes you puff and pant, but it guarantees a smile 6’ wide.
A walk by West Sussex Country Walks
At only 3.5 miles this walk might seem a simple leg stretch! Not a bit of it! This is a really splendid walk with wonderful views and a real “stretch of your leg muscles” aspect that is hard to ignore. On the day when we did the full survey, we encountered Muntjack deer, a fabulous array of wildflowers, and butterflies by the ton. On the subject of butterflies, we even spotted a very rare example; none other than the Berger’s clouded yellow. As for view: there is not a moment without a spectacular view. Add to all this some beautiful trees and a wonderful bridge and you will get the right idea; we really enjoyed this walk, and we do a lot of walking, so are difficult to impress.
Distance: 5.4 km, Height Gain: 70 m, Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours, Map Sheets OL8 or Landranger 197