THE JOADIAN WAY is one of the most beautiful walks to be discovered in the South Downs National Park – a circular walk from Amberley Station to South Stoke and return.
The once-famous C.E.M. Joad – philosopher, writer and wartime ‘Brains Trust’ celebrity – walked this route regularly to South Stoke Farm, where he wrote many of his 100+ books. He died Easter 1953, of cancer, aged 61.
There is a Joad Archive Research Collection at West Sussex Record Office in Chichester and the Arundel Museum.
THE JOADIAN WAY
Distance : 5.3m (8.5k) – 2 hour walk (round-trip).
Terrain : Grass footpath and track (sometimes muddy and slippery). Walking boots strongly advised. A few hills.
Where To park : Amberley Station (off the B 2139)
1. Head out of Amberley Station Car Park, immediately cross the road and walk left towards Houghton Bridge, passing the Turnpike Toll House.
The small village, called Houghton Bridge, is located on the banks of the river Arun and is home to, rather confusingly, Amberley Working Museum and Amberley train station.
2. Half-way across the bridge cross the road at the footpath signpost, and follow the path to the river.
3. Follow the grass path along the river, then after going over a stile turn left by the disused lock (over another stile). Walk to the end of this narrow, hedged footpath which is likely to be muddy and slippery in places.
4. Turn right and follow the road until a bright red telephone box is reached at North Stoke.
5. At the telephone box (which has been transformed into a miniature Tourist Information Centre!), turn right along the road by the farm.
6. Follow the road until you reach North Stoke Church, then come back the same way. Just after the red telephone box take the footpath to the right.
7. The footpath brings you out to see the vista of the South Downs. Cross the cowfield – over the Gurkha Bridge – and keep along the path until the river is reached, then turn left along the river.
8. Cross over the bridge and follow the path into South Stoke.
9. Pass St Leonard’s Church and reach the Farm with its Chapel Barn.
Return by walking back to North Stoke, and just at the red telephone box turn right, then keep walking along the road back towards Amberley Station.
10. Pass the Old School House and Chalkpit tunnel to the right until the Bridge pub is reached – then Amberley Station.