There are two excellent local trails: The Lower Horseshoe and the more challenging Upper Horseshoe. This climbs high into the South Downs and then follows the horseshoe shaped ridge before descending back into the town. Whilst it is a short walk, the climb is fairly strenuous so it is ideal for people who may be short of time but still want a challenge.
The path follows chalk and clay paths which may be muddy after wet weather. There is a long and reasonably steep climb to reach the ridge and some sections of the descent are also a little steep. There are no stiles and just a few gates and kissing gates. Approximate time 1.5 hours.
Start by walking up Sir George’s Place in Steyning – just off the High Street. Turn right up a footpath when you see the tennis courts. Turn left just as you reach an open field for the Lower Horseshoe walk. Keep heading for the trees on the skyline for the Upper Horseshoe walk. Once you approach the trees you will be able to enjoy magnificent views down to Steyning and across the Downs to the east …
Bear left as you walk through the trees. When you leave the trees head along the footpath back down into the town. You will come into Newham Lane and later the High Street.
If you would like a longer demanding walk I suggest walking to Chanctonbury (3 miles) or further to Cissbury (5 or 6 miles).
Just north of the coastal town of Worthing, Cissbury Ring is one of the jewels in the crown of the South Downs National Park. It’s the largest hill fort in Sussex and has a history dating back over 5,000 years.
Set high up on a chalk promontory, its ditch and ramparts enclose about sixty-five acres. It dates from around 400 BC and was used for defence for about 300 years.
From the top on a clear day you can see forever: Enjoy views across to the chalk cliffs beyond Brighton and as far as the Isle of Wight.
Long before the hill fort was constructed, Cissbury had extensive Neolithic flint mines. Miners used antler picks to dig shafts up to fifty feet deep, with several galleries opening out at the bottom. Flint was the common material for making stone axes to fell timber and work with wood during the Neolithic period.