There’s something magical at the best of times about walking through the woods in the Autumn sunshine, but take a stroll under the leafy canopy of the tree tunnel in Halnaker, near Chichester, and you’ll find yourself transported into another world!
Such a beautiful place – magical in its own right. And with the vibrant glow of rich autumnal colours, it’s particularly spectacular this time of year. This ancient path follows the route of Stane Street (the old London to Chichester road) and as you walk along it, it’s hard to imagine how many thousands of other people must have walked this way over the centuries… after all, it’s down to the footfall the track has sunk and formed the mystical-looking hollow path it is today.
To savour this wonderful experience for yourself, if you start at Warehead Farm in Halnaker, near Chichester, West Sussex and head north-east up Denge Lane (the track to the right of the farm) you’ll easily find it.
Walking through the tunnel is a surreal experience and a wonderful sensory delight. Narrow tracks also intricately weave their way through the trees on the side of the tunnel which is perfect for adding a little extra adventure for the little-uns – and for us oldies too that decide to follow in their footsteps!
Continue walking through this enchanting tree tunnel and you’ll end up on the path that leads to Halnaker Windmill. The photo below shows the exit/entrance to the tunnel in the middle of the glorious South Downs.
Once out it the open, it’s a short uphill walk to the windmill. The views are glorious on-route so take your time to savour these moments. On clear days you can even see the Isle of Wight!
The windmill is perched high on top of Halnaker Hill and, weather permitting, can be spotted for miles around. In the same vein, you are treated to glorious panoramic views from up here!
Seeped in history, the old windmill is a Grade 2 listed building. For those interested, Neolithic Earthworks and a World War 2 Observation Post can also be found at this site.
The walk through the magical tree tunnel up to the old windmill and back is roughly a mile and a half. If you’re driving to Halnaker look out for the little lay-by/parking area on Denge Lane just off the A285 – it’s also the entrance to Warehead Farm. Hope you enjoy the walk as much as I did!
STANE STREET LEGEND….
Where lie the bleached bones of the raiders from Rome?
Copiously scattered ‘cross commandeered lands
For theirs were the kingdoms the power and the glory
The mountain, the valley, the seas and the sand
Creators of empire so distant from home….. JB
Scant sign now the Roman Road
hat once passed through this way..
Long and straight across the hill
with time a slow decay..
Where feather plumed centurions to ancient battle grounds..
Once charged along its metalled strip, blood curdling their sounds. JB
This look’s like a most winderful place to seek out after this virus is gone from are shore’s,i will pay a visit there,to seek out its beauty on the land scape.john
I know we’re still not free of the virus, but I hope you’ve managed to visit and enjoy the beauty of this place!
Are dogs permitted on this walk?
Absolutely Sue. You see many a dog walker along that route. Enjoy!
Thanks for sharing this, hopefully will be able to visit shortly and try it out!
Hope you’ve managed to visit and enjoy the tunnel Jodie. It really is lovely there!
Denge lane and stane street( mill lane ) are two different tracks!which one do you take to walk the halnaker tunnel of trees?
Hello Brian, if you start at Warehead Farm in Halnaker, and head north-east up Denge Lane (the track to the right of the farm) you’ll easily find the tunnel. Enjoy it, it’s wonderful!
Bernadette; the lane is actually called Mill Lane; Denge Lane is private and no access although it’s pretty obvious when you get there, only one way to go which is via the tree tunnel. We went today I think it needs a couple more weeks for the full autumn glory although the views from the windmill were superb!
It’s also worth doing the whole Windmill Trail from Boxgrove as there are some lovely autumn leaves on the way; it only adds a mile or so to the trail and it’s all well signed from Boxgrove village hall where there is free parking. Be sure to go through the churchyard on the way back and visit the remains of the Priory
Thank you for pointing that out Martin, I’ll correct the road name in the blog for sure – and I’ll certainly take your advice and walk the entire Windmill Trail from Boxgrove. I’d love to go back there with my camera and see the autumn colours in all their glory! Many thanks for sharing. Bernadette
We went down again today; just made it in time to observe 2 minutes’ silence outside the closed Boxgrove church, there were the 11 chimes of the bell then nothing except quiet birdsong until a single chime to end, We took a slightly longer walk today out up high towards Eartham then back down to the short section of the A road that uses the Roman road formation before striking back up where the road has completely vanished just a footpath until you reach the tunnel. So it looks like the windmill was the reason for the traffic which wore the path down into the present tunnel.
One thing; the A road near the tunnel was heaving today with cars parked on the verge all the way up as well as by Mill Lane where the tiny grass triangle has become very muddy. Vsitors please use the Boxgrove vilage hall car park and enjoy the extra mile each way!