Walking Route: Horsham and Denne Hill

A 3-mile circular walk from the market town of Horsham, that makes its way alongside the River Arun before climbing Denne Hill and passing through woodland and farmland to return to the town.

The walk starts from the end of the Causeway in Horsham by the entrance to St Mary’s Church.

By car: the nearest parking is Denne Road Car Park.

By train: Horsham rail station is about three-quarters of a mile from the starting point (a 15-minute walk). From the station, follow North Street towards the town centre and, by the Black Jug, fork right to follow the pedestrian walkway under the main road. Keep ahead along South Street, turn left into East Street, continue through the Market Square and you will reach the Causeway. St Mary’s Church is at the end of the Causeway.

Approximate postcode: RH12 1JH.

3 miles – Circular – 1 to 1.5 hours– Moderate Terrain

Access Notes

  • The walk has a couple of steady climbs/descents and follows a range of woodland and farmland paths that can be muddy after wet weather and in winter.
  • There are no stiles, just a few kissing gates to negotiate.
  • One section of the walk passes through Denne Park where cattle are grazing so take care with dogs.

Walk Sections

Horsham and Denne Hill map

1. Start to Railway Gate

The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin is the oldest existing building in Horsham. Originally a Norman church occupied the spot and remains of this church are to be found in the tower, the west door and the north-west wall. A new church dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin was completed in about 1247.

Take the path to the right of the church and follow this through the churchyard. Continue straight ahead past the fenced Remembrance Garden to the right containing various streams, lawns and flowerbeds. Ignoring paths to the left and right, go straight on across the narrow steel-framed footbridge over the river Arun.

Turn left and follow the path running alongside the river. As you come to the railway bridge ahead, use the footbridge to cross back over the river, and then turn right to pass under the railway arches. After a few metres, turn right into a wide stone path which runs parallel with and to the left of the railway line. You will reach a wooden kissing gate ahead.

2. Railway Gate to Denne Park

Pass through the wooden kissing gate and you are now entering the grounds of Denne Park. This land is privately owned and the pastures are used for raising cattle so take care with dogs. Follow the wide grass path straight ahead, heading towards a large oak tree with a wooden signpost to its left. As you reach the tree, follow the path as it forks to the left and climbs up Denne Hill.

As you reach the next tree line you will come to a green metal bench on the right which provides a good place for a rest and to enjoy the views back over the town. Continue straight ahead following the fenced woodland on your left. On your right you will pass a large oak tree which has grown over the remains of a circular bench which once sat around its trunk. Follow the path winding along the edge of the woodland. Pass through the remains of a tall metal kissing gate into the woods. Follow the main path meandering through the woodland. As you emerge out of the trees fork left along the narrow grass path for about 80 metres and then turn right to join a raised stone track.
After a few paces, fork right onto the tarmac path heading towards the mansion house – Denne Park House.

Denne Park House is a sandstone property that dates from 1605 but has 18th-century additions. Denne Park had several stone quarries on the estate, and these supplied the Horsham stone roof tiles that are still evident today. Around 1950 the property was divided up into apartments and remains that way today.

About 100 metres before you reach the gate to the mansion, and immediately after a clump of four trees on your left, fork left across the pasture heading for the far corner of the properties
adjoining the mansion. You will come to a wooden kissing gate alongside a metal field gate.

3. Denne Park to River Arun

Pass through the kissing gate to enter the field. Follow the path with the gardens to the private properties directly to your right. Halfway down the field, follow the path as it veers to the left to cut diagonally across to the far left-hand corner of the field. Pass through a wooden kissing gate and follow the path straight ahead into woodland. After a short distance, you will come to a T-junction with Pedlar’s Way, a cycleway running from Horsham to Southwater. Turn sharp left and follow Pedlar’s Way downhill.

Continue ahead through a gap beside a five-bar wooden gate and on your left, you’ll see the beautiful white gleaming trunks of the silver birch plantation. Ignore paths to the left and right and continue for more than half a mile. Eventually, you will come to a private residence on the left with large lakes in the garden. Shortly afterwards you will come to a wide concrete bridge over the river Arun – a good place for dogs to paddle in the summer months.

The River Arun’s source is a series of small streams in the St Leonard’s Forest area to the east of Horsham. The river flows south through Arundel and then meets the English Channel at Littlehampton.

4. River Arun to Chesworth Lane

Cross over the River Arun and after a few paces turn left up a stone track, which swings left and leads you to a refurbished stone barn. Follow the path to the right of the barn and continue passing between a house on the right and a local authority depot on the left. Ahead is a small pond and reed bed, where reed warblers breed every summer.

Bear left here with the depot on your left and the pond on your right. Continue straight ahead along the tarmac track. The pastures to the left and right are managed as a nature reserve by Horsham District Council, and you will notice the traditionally laid hedges on your left. Continue to the end of the track where you’ll come to a vehicle barrier.

5. Chesworth Lane to End

Pass alongside the vehicle barrier, over the bridge which crosses a stream and continue straight ahead into Chesworth Lane, a residential street. Continue to the end of the road, passing under the arched railway bridge along the way.

Turn right into Denne Road and then left into Normandy, just before the large brick-built Normandy Centre. You will see St Mary’s Church straight ahead. Follow the path to the right of the church to return to your starting point at the end of the Causeway.


This walking route was walked and checked at the time of writing. We have taken care to make sure all our walks are safe for walkers of a reasonable level of experience and fitness. However, like all outdoor activities, walking carries a degree of risk and we accept no responsibility for any loss or damage to personal effects, personal accident, injury or public liability whilst following this walk. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that result from changes to the routes that occur over time. Please let us know of any changes to the routes so that we can correct the information.

Walking Safety

For your safety and comfort we recommend that you take the following with you on your walk: bottled water, snacks, a waterproof jacket, waterproof/sturdy boots, a woolly hat and fleece (in winter and cold weather), a fully-charged mobile phone, a whistle, a compass and an Ordnance Survey map of the area. Check the weather forecast before you leave, carry appropriate clothing and do not set out in fog or mist as these conditions can seriously affect your ability to navigate the route. Take particular care on cliff/mountain paths where steep drops can present a particular hazard. Some routes include sections along roads – take care to avoid any traffic at these points. Around farmland take care with children and dogs, particularly around machinery and livestock. If you are walking on the coast make sure you check the tide times before you set out.