Temporary path closure of the Downs Link at Southwater
The path closure is necessary to protect public safety during the construction of Broadacres Phases 1.6 and 3.1. Use is temporarily prohibited with effect from 9 July 2018. There are no alternative routes available using the public rights of way network. This Notice will be effective for 21 days from the date given above and will be followed by a further closure.
Flood defence scheme
The Environment Agency has started on a major flood defence scheme that will significantly reduce the flood risk in Shoreham. The whole scheme, that affects the southern end of the River Adur, is due to be completed in 2018.
The works mean that the Downs Link in Shoreham from south of the Old Shoreham Toll Bridge to Shoreham High Street will remain closed.
A signed diversion will be in place until the works are completed.
Can be accessed all along the route.
- St Martha's Hill (start) - TQ 032484
- West Grinstead Old Station (mid-point) - TQ183225
- Shoreham-by-Sea (finish) - TQ 208060
For use by
Walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Shoreham-by-Sea, Bramber, Steyning, West Grinstead, Southwater and Rudgwick
All of the Downs Link is surfaced and largely follows the route of the disused railway line from Guildford to Shoreham-by-sea. Some sections are on the road network.
At West Grinstead Old Station a railway carriage has a new life as an information centre run by our volunteers, who aim to open it most Sundays (generally 10.00am-4.00pm). To find West Grinstead Old Station, launch our iMap, select 'British National Grid' from the search menu and enter TQ183225 in the search box.
- By road: The AA
- For details of public transport, visit our public transport pages, or call Traveline.
- An additional bus service operated by Southern Transit follows the route of the Downs Link between Shoreham and Horsham.
- OS 1:25,000 Explorer series: 122, 134, 145
- OS 1:50,000 Landranger series: 186, 187, 198
Organising a sponsored event on the Downs Link
About Downs Link
Our six-stage route guide provides details of walks or rides of 4-7 miles (6-11km) accessible by public transport or car. The trail can be completed in stages, as a weekend walk or a full-day's ride. There is also an off-road route from Guildford Station for walkers and cyclists only that joins the Downs Link at Bramley.
The Downs Link follows two disused railway lines and crosses the Surrey Hills, Low Weald, South Downs and Coastal Plain. Since the trains departed in the 1960s the embankments and cuttings have become a green corridor for wildlife and people. The route connects a variety of habitats, passing banks of wildflowers, trees, hedges, woodlands, rivers, ponds and streams.
Butterflies, such as Fritillaries and Admirals, can be found fluttering in the sunny sheltered woodland glades, and Kingfishers fish from the railway bridges. Bats can be seen foraging and nightingales heard singing during the summer evenings. Glow worms are an exciting find on warm summer nights.
The landscape is varied as the trail crosses the different layers of rock and soil that lie between the North and South Downs. The acid sandy soils of the greensand ridge at St Martha’s Hill give way to the Low Weald clays at the county border, then in places there are beds of hard sandstone known as ‘Horsham Slab’, much used for roofing in days gone by.
Between Henfield and Steyning, the route enters the River Adur flood plain. The river cuts through the South Downs. Until the 14th Century, the estuary covered a much wider area where there are now arable fields and grassland, surrounded by ‘rifes’ or drainage ditches.