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The South Downs Way
Gumber Corner and Glatting Beacon
There are several footpaths and bridleways which traverse and encircle the top of Glatting Beacon and you need to pay attention otherwise you may have to retrace your steps.
You could find yourself heading off along the Monarch's Way or perhaps turn onto Stane Street - the Roman Road from Chichester to London - or Noviomagus and Londinium as the signpost would have you believe.
Gumber Corner is an especially lovely spot up here - there's a bench where you can look towards Slindon, Eartham and the coastal plain beyond. It's tempting to stay there.
Belloc, who knew a thing or two about walking in Sussex, went so far as to claim that, if pushed to choose, the walk from Eartham to Hardham by the River Arun and the section of Stane Street across Gumber would be his favourite of all.
This spot crops in his work time and again.
He wonders what ancient engineer's eye picked out the straight line of the Roman Road from Gumber to Chichester. Belloc's Sonnets and Verse (1923) contains the phrase "lift up your hearts in Gumber". and in his essay The Slant of the Land Belloc writes that the he would remember the windblown scent of the first flowers in North Wood or Gumber and be reminded of home.
On 27 July 2003 the fiftieth anniversary of Belloc's death was marked here by the unveiling of a plaque near the bothy which the National Trust at the Slindon Estate maintains for the benefit of walkers needing overnight shelter.
If you're walking with a friend you're fully entitled to point southwards and say "Great Bottom" to them without fear of them taking offence - for Great Bottom is the name of the wooded valley below Gumber Corner.
Places to visit close to the South Downs WayAmberley | Arundel | Ashington | Bepton | Bignor | Bramber | Bramber Castle | Burpham | Bury | Chanctonbury Ring | Charlton | Chilgrove | Clayton | Cocking | Compton | Cootham | Devil's Dyke | The Devil's Humps | Didling | Duncton | East Dean | East Harting | Edburton | Findon | Graffham | Harting Down | Heyshott | Houghton | Hurstpierpoint | North Marden | Parham House | Poynings | Pyecombe | Rackham | Singleton | Slindon | South Harting | South Stoke | Stedham | Steyning | Storrington | Torberry Hill | Treyford | Trotton | Truleigh Hill | Uppark | Up Marden | Upwaltham | Upper Beeding | Washington | West Dean
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