This well-known Sussex landmark, perched
on a ridge and visible from a wide surrounding area, is well worth
the climb to admire close up. The wildflower-rich chalk grassland
at the hilltop is a great spot to get away from it all and enjoy
fine views of the coast across a patchwork of woods and farmland.
You may see the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower.
What's at Halnaker Windmill?
Halnaker Windmill has a striking
sixteen-sided beehive cap on top of a 4-storey brick tower. It was
built in the 1740s to replace one which had ground flour for the
Duke of Richmond’s Goodwood estate since the 1500s. Production came
to a halt after a lightning strike in 1905. Hilaire Belloc wrote a
well-known poem ‘Ha’nacker Mill’ about its state of ruin. The
outside of the mill has been restored and you can look inside
although there are no internal workings.
Enjoy the colourful flowers which thrive
amongst the chalk grassland. You may find some less common species
such as bee orchid and white horehound. Chalk downland is a rich
habitat for insects and a food source for farmland birds such as
the lovely yellowhammer. Look out for buzzards soaring over the
landscape. Skylarks may be singing overhead - one of the
quintessential sounds of the English countryside.
Butterflies attracted to the flowers up here
include the marbled white, common blue, large skipper and red
admiral. Along the lane on the way up keep an eye out for
silver-washed fritillary, large, small and green-veined whites,
meadow brown, ringlet and gatekeeper.
How to get there
To find Halnaker Windmill, launch our
interactive iMap (opens
in a new window), select 'British National Grid' from the search
menu and enter SU920096 into the
search box (top left).
From Warehead Farm (¾ mile) head
north-east up Mill Lane, a public footpath. This ancient track
follows the route of Stane Street, the London to Chichester Roman
road. There’s a feeling of stepping back in time as you pass
through a wonderful tunnel of trees. A path then turns off north up
to the hill top.
Alternatively start at Seabeach House (1 mile to hilltop) or
Eartham Wood (2miles) and walk south-west along the Roman road, to
pick up the path north to the hilltop.
The Roman road is also part of a long-distance
walking route the Monarch’s Way, which
follows Charles II’s escape route from Worcester to
From Chichester, follow the Tangmere Cycle
Route (see supporting document) to the centre of Boxgrove, then
head North to pick up the A285 to Halnaker. Use West Sussex
Cycle Journey Planner.
The nearest bus stop is at Halnaker
Crossroads, by the Anglesey Arms pub, a 1.4 mile walk to Halnaker
Mill. Use the Traveline
The bus stop is on Compass Travel route 99 between
Petworth and Chichester. Halnaker is a request stop - prebooking
The bus stop is on the Hearts 55 bus route between
Chichester and Tangmere. See supporting documents below.
By train to Chichester
railway station then cross the road to Chichester bus
station for the 55 bus (see above).
A small lay by offers limited parking beside
the A285 at the entrance to Warehead Farm. Follow the Mill Lane up
hill from here (see ‘walking’ above). Another lay by offers parking
for a few vehicles one mile from the mill, by the A285 next to the
entrance to Seabeach House. From here a footpath leads south-west
along Stane Street Roman road, then turn right up the path to the
The car park and picnic site at Eartham Wood
(Forestry Commission) is a good starting point for a 2 mile walk to
Halnaker Windmill following Stane Street Roman road. This is
located 1.5km north of Eartham at National Grid Reference
The site has about a hectare of open
grassland but no surfaced paths. The footpaths up to the hilltop
are too steep and rough to be wheelchair or pushchair friendly.
There are no toilets, refreshments or other
facilities at the site itself. The nearest option for refreshments
is the Anglesey
Arms pub at Halnaker crossroads (1.4 mile walk).
How we look after the site
The site is managed by West Sussex County
Council Countryside Services. The grassland needs to be mown
annually, removing the cuttings to avoid making the soil too rich
for the delicate downland plants. Halnaker Windmill is in the South
Downs National Park.
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