Walk completed August 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014 -- Day 24, Amberley, 10 miles

My guidebook describes Amberley as “one of the loveliest of all Sussex villages,” so I booked an extra day here to explore. I'm glad I did, but what might have been considered a rest day turned into a 10-mile stroll, but with a light backpack.

First, I walked to the neighboring hamlet of North Stoke, visited the old church there, and intended to proceed to South Stoke and its 11th century church. Unfortunately, the footpath to South Stoke was quite overgrown with stinging nettles, so I improvised a route to follow the River Arun into Amberley. When I met up with cattle blocking the footpath, I followed Inkpen Andy’s advice and talked calmly to them so they wouldn’t get nervous. I wasn’t nervous, either, because they were cows, not bulls, and they parted and let me have the trail just like they are supposed to do.

Church at North Stoke

Former phone booth now an
Information Kiosk

Cattle on footpath by River Arun

Back on the road to Amberley, I met Elena and Kieran, who are leading a group of Duke of Edinburgh Award candidates in hiking and camping exercises along the South Downs Way. (I later met the group in Amberley, but as they are all minors, my custom is not to take their pictures unless their parents are included.)

Elena and Kieran

Amberley is indeed a lovely village, with flowers adorning centuries old residences.


A five-minute train ride took me to the neighboring town of Arundel, where I strolled around town, but resisted the castle tour. My experience is that castle tours are best avoided when wearing a large backpack and carrying hiking sticks. (Although I had left much of the weight in my room, I was still carrying a large volume of essentials.) The River Arun is tidal at Arundel, and a large tourist boat gives 2-hour boat tours. Although that prospect interested me, the afternoon was waning, so I skipped that also and headed back to Amberley.

Arundel (note castle in background)

River Arun in Arundel
An email from Rupert Grey enlightened me on the derivation of the word “downs:”

[Downs] comes from the dutch duin, or dune.  Here is the etymology - Old English dun "down, moor; height, hill, mountain," from Proto-Germanic *dunaz- (cognates: Middle Dutch dunen "sandy hill," Dutch ruin).


I understand now why I have to climb up the downs.

Reminder: Click on any picture to enlarge.

© 2014 Ken Klug


  1. Arundel looks a lot like Woodbridge, funny how the little towns look alike. Still hanging around the cows......at least they listen to you there. Their American cousins are not always so understanding!
    Have more fun.

  2. Well, an other explaination as I gave on yesterdays post. Didn't know this and being Dutch, I like this one better.