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Chanctonbury and Cissbury Ring circular

Discover two of the most iconic hill top monuments

Distance: <10 miles. 8-9 miles
Location: West Sussex
Type: Moderate
Duration: 3-4 hours

Enjoy the views across the coast and the South Downs from  two of the most iconic hill forts.  Note: Uneven surfaces. Lots of inclines.

Getting here

By bus: There are regular services to Findon, visit traveline.info/se
By rail: The nearest railway station is Worthing. Visit nationalrail.co.uk to plan your journey.

Points of Interest

Chanctonbury Ring

Chanctonbury Ring is one of the most prominent landmarks along the South Downs Way. The ring is an Iron Age hill fort which is best known for the beech trees which dominate the site. The trees were planted in 1760 by Charles Goring, heir to the large Wiston Estate.

With the remains of Bronze and Iron Age forts, a Roman temple and its distinctive ring of beech trees, Chanctonbury Ring is said to be the most haunted site in the South Downs. Stories vary but walking seven times around the ring might summon up the devil, a druid, a lady on a white horse or Julius Caesar and his army

Cissbury Ring

Cissbury Ring, just north of the coastal town of Worthing, is one of the jewels in the  crown of the South Downs National Park.

It’s the largest hill fort in Sussex and has a history dating back over 5,000 years. Set high up on a chalk promontory, its ditch and ramparts enclose roughly 65 acres. From the top on a clear day you can see for miles, with views to the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters beyond Brighton and as far as the Isle of Wight.

Centuries of continuous grazing have produced a wonderful habitat for butterflies and flowers. Rare plants such as the round headed rampion, known as the ‘Pride of Sussex’, thrive here. During spring and autumn you can see a wide variety of migratory birds as Cissbury is one of the first coastal landing points after their long flight across the channel. Visit the National Trust – Cissbury Ring for more details.

South Downs Way

This 100 mile, long-distance, off-road National Trail runs the entire length of the South Downs National Park and offers some of the most stunning scenery in the country. Check the National Trail pages – South Downs Way


  1. From the Findon Valley bus stop at May Tree Avenue on the A24 between Findon and Worthing, follow the sign post for Cissbury Ring car park. Head through the car park to the top right corner and continue across the open field to the woodline at the top of the hill.
  2. Pass through the wood and follow the woodline continuing up the hill towards Cissbury Ring ramparts. Follow the ramparts to the left.
  3. At the next steps head down the steps through the wood and continue straight ahead through a metal gate to a small car park.
  4. From the car park head up the track with fencing on both sides. Continue through a gate on the way to the next major track junction.
  5. Continue past tracks on the left and right remaining on the track that heads to the wooded area. Continue through the wood to the South Downs Way (SDW).
  6. Turn left and continue along the SDW, over the cattle grid to Chanctonbury Ring. Pass Chanctonbury Ring and continue over the cattle grid to the next junction.
  7. Leave the SDW here continuing straight ahead along the restricted byway.
  8. At the T-junction turn left and follow the track into the valley continuing until you reach a house on the left.
  9. After the house take the major track on the right up to the road. Cross the road and enter the field.
  10. Cross the field towards the white house and the wooden bridle gate, turn left. Follow this path straight ahead until it ends at a junction.
  11. Turn left and continue a short distance to the next junction.
  12. Turn right and continue to the small car park at Cissbury Ring.
  13. Exit the car park towards Cissbury Ring, turning immediately right and pass through the metal and wooden gates heading down the field path to the wooden bridle gate at the wood line.
  14. Follow the wooded bridleway back to the bus stop. If the path is blocked by tree fall and difficult to pass, it can be followed in the field and re-entered at the next bridle gate.