Exploring Eartham Woods

Those of you who read my recent post about our trip to Alice Holt forest will know that Liam and I have both been trying to spend more time being active at the weekends instead of staying indoors or just popping to town to mooch around the shops.

Our latest nature adventure was inspired by my urge to hunt down some bluebells. Although not specifically to take very bloggy photos, when we did find blankets of them nestled in Eartham Woods, I couldn’t resist getting Liam to play photographer while I felt very awkward posing trying not to let it show that we had walked a looooong way to find them.

But anyway – I’m jumping the gun a bit here because there’s a story to tell about our exploration to get to the Bluebells.

It starts on Saturday morning. The sky is looking pretty grey, but we decided that a little bit of rain wouldn’t kill us (which is true, but it did make us v v wet and cold), and so we jumped into the car and drove about 20 minutes from Chichester to a place called Eartham. We found out about the walk thanks to some Googling, but what Google failed to inform us of was that the pub where our chosen trail was due to start had the tiniest car park in existence and by midday on Saturday it was jam-packed.

Cue us driving down the road looking for the “official” car park for the forest. We finally found it, parked up and decided to walk through the woods to try get back to the pub and start the Slindon Estate trail as we intended.

I’m not exactly sure how long we spent walking through the wood, but we hadn’t progressed anywhere near as much as we hoped and ended up walking for several miles before we got to the pub. Wet, cold and feeling a little lethargic, some people may have given up at that point – but we’d only seen a smattering of Bluebells on our trek and so we decided to power on and do the trail we had planned to.

The National Trust trail is apparently 3.8 miles (although admittedly it did feel longer!), and takes you through vibrant yellow fields, stunning woodland and farmland. Unfortunately the directions from the National Trust website weren’t exactly the clearest, but we did manage to navigate our way through, find the bluebells and take in the rest of the gorgeous scenery without too much stress. We also met some sheep and cows on the way too.

Walking is pretty much my favourite form of exercise – mostly because you get the chance to take everything in without too much exertion. Although saying that, I am very surprised my body made it through the whole journey, particularly when we got back to the pub afterwards to discover they weren’t serving food so we had to trek back to the car with empty stomaches and soggy shoes. I clearly did some excellent planning when deciding on this activity.

Despite feeling soggy and sorry for ourselves as we drove back to Chichester to grab a late lunch, we really enjoyed the walk as a great way of clearing the cobwebs, having a chat and (slightly) reducing our screen time – I couldn’t resist taking loads of photos and a few Insta stories so I can’t claim to have fully embraced the digital detox lifestyle.

Eartham Woods can be found in the north east of the Chichester District and is great for walking trails (the ground is pretty uneven though so wear walking boots…our trainers did not do the job!) It’s well worth a visit if you’re local to the area, and parking at Eartham Woods car park is free. Here’s the trail we did if you fancy a go!

Leave a Reply