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Outdoor Activities

From the dramatic and sweeping landscapes of the South Downs National Park in the South to the gently rolling High Weald in the North there is much to see and explore in the Horsham District.

Walking, Cycling and Horse Riding

The Horsham District offers an extensive network of footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways for visitors to enjoy. The well known long distance walking routes of the South Downs Way, the High Weald Landscape Trail and the 'Down's Link' cycle path and bridleway, give easy rights of way and incudes some of the most beautiful countryside and villages in the South East.

For those who like to enjoy some guidance and company on their walks over 200 free guided walks across the District are on offer from Horsham District Council. There is also an excellent range of selected cycling routes as well as options for guided cycle rides suitable for all ages and abilities.

West Sussex County Council publish a range of walking and cycling opportunities online. Additional cycle books, routes and maps can be purchased from Horsham Visitor Information Centre.

Ample access points and car parks nearby make walks easy for whatever time you have available. There are also good train links for walkers, with monthly walks planned specifically to meet train times.

Horsham District Countryside Attractions
The District has some particularly valuable and interesting sites for wildlife. Of special mention is RSPB Pulborough Brooks set in the sheltered Arun Valley within the South Downs National Park. The Visitor Centre and reserve is open all year and boasts a great variety of habitats including wetlands, woodland, and heathland.

Chesworth Farm is a 90 acre paradise of wild grassland and ancient hedgerow. It is also steeped in history, with two of Henry VIII's wives – Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard – once living here. You can walk the dog or have a family cycle ride well away from any roads; watch owls fly during the day and walk through clouds of butterflies; meet friendly cows and see rare sheep in a natural countryside setting which has been a farm since before 1086!

Warnham Local Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Horsham town centre offers a peaceful bird haven including a millpond, woodland and marshes, bird hides and easy walkways, whilst lovers of woodland and heaths may enjoy a visit to the 85 acres of Owlbeech and Leechpool Woods also near Horsham; open all year and are free to enter.

Southwater Country Park, a beautiful 90 acre park south of Horsham offers watersports facilities on its large lake. The "Downs Link" cycle route and bridleway passes through the Park along. Other wildlife areas include: Woods Mill, home of the Sussex Wildlife Trust near Henfield (tel. 01403 492630) and a rare example of Sussex Heathland at Sullington Warren owned by the National Trust with free access. All provide a haven for wildlife while allowing visitors a chance to get close to nature and to enjoy the scenic splendours of the area.

Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods near Horsham are open all year and are free to enter. They are particularly notable for their contrasting wildlife. Leechpool is an ancient woodland covering 53 acres and includes Oak, Ash, Hazel, Hawthorn, Holly, Blackthorn, Sweet Chestnut and Scots Pine. Owlbeech consists of 55 acres of remnant heathland which is being encouraged back to its former glory, supporting a rare selection of flora and fauna.

Fishers Farm

Fishers Adventure Farm Park is the award-winning family day out close to Horsham in Sussex with loads of things to do and a fun packed day of entertainment for the whole family.

Canal Boats
The Wey and Arun Canal first opened in 1816 is now under active restoration by the Wey and Arun Canal Trust. Parts of the route run through the Horsham District from Loxwood to Pulborough and are open for narrow boat cruises as well as attractive tow path walks.

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