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Halnaker Windmill

Halnaker WindmillThis 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?

Knapweed at hill topHalnaker 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.

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How to get there

Interactive map

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).

Walking

Mill laneFrom 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 Shoreham-by-Sea.

By bike

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.

Supporting document

By bus

The nearest bus stop is at Halnaker Crossroads, by the Anglesey Arms pub, a 1.4 mile walk to Halnaker Mill. Use the Traveline website.

The bus stop is on Compass Travel route 99 between Petworth and Chichester. Halnaker is a request stop - prebooking required.Route 99 timetable.

The bus stop is on the Hearts 55 bus route between Chichester and Tangmere. See supporting documents below.

Supporting documents


By train

By train to Chichester railway station then cross the road to Chichester bus station for the 55 bus (see above). 

By car

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 hilltop.

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 SU938,106.

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Getting around

Large skipper butterflyThe 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.


Facilities

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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