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Sussex Songbirds

4 days
goat guide

DATES Thu 16th May 2024
- Mon 20th May 2024

4 nights/3.5 days walks

ROOMS ONLY ON REQUEST - PLEASE CALL US ON 01784664063 Sussex Songbirds has become a firm favourite with our fantastic guide Madeline. Our family run hotel in Amberley has the Sussex Downs a walk from our door. Guests loved the walking and Madeline with her detailed knowledge. “ This is my second holiday with WalkingWomen and Madeline was my guide on both. Her enthusiasm in sharing her knowledge and a passion for nature is inspirational” Come and experience a fascinating part of England rich in bird song,spring flowers and wildlife.


Dates: Thursday 16th May to Monday May 20th  – 4 nights/3.5 days walks

Guide: Madeline Holloway

Walking Grade: 1 Goat walks are varied and at a very steady pace giving time to see birds, wildflowers and to be immersed in the beautiful Sussex countryside.

Base: The Amberley Black Horse – a traditional elegant local pub in the heart of the village. There are several walks straight from the door and Amberley is a lovely village to amble around. It is a typical English rural village.

There is a station in Amberley with trains coming via London’s Clapham Junction. The nearest airport is Gatwick.

Arrive for a 3pm check in, settle in and time for a short walk around Amberley, Your guide will be there from 5pm for a welcome briefing before dinner in the Black Horse restaurant serving great local food. There is a dining terrace and garden if we are lucky with the weather.

Departure is after a Monday morning walk. Arrange travel after 14.00.

Price: £1093  per person for a fully inclusive long weekend or £873 if sharing. Our invoice is based on solo occupancy. We will adjust your final payment if you are sharing.

  • Half Board (all Breakfasts and 2 course Dinners) ensuite accommodation in your own room.
  • Packed lunches on 3 walking days
  • All local transport required for walks
  • Expert guiding by Madeline – a naturalist with extensive knowledge of the birds and wildflowers of the area.

Not included:Travel to Amberley. Drinks.Entrance to RSPB nature reserve.
Please note that there is no parking at the pub. Parking is available in nearby roads in the village.

Download the brochure »




This trip is great for lovers of nature, wildlife and especially birds and their spring song. Madeline our guide and freelance ecologist will help you explore this fascinating part of England rich in bird song and wildlife. We go early in Spring this year as with less foliage on the trees we may be able to spot more birds.

Walks are 1 Goat . All slow pace as we stop to experience the wildlife and nature.No walk is more than 6 miles.

Things may change depending on the weather. Our guide will always discuss the next day’s activities with the group the day before.



Itinerary may change depending on the weather and we will provide more information nearer the time. Your guide will discuss with you the evening before. 

Arrival  in Amberley by 3pm. Welcome briefing around 5pm followed by dinner.

Walks will include :

The  Knepp Estate

Distance: 5 miles maximum

Ascent/Descent: 10 metres – virtually flat with some muddy footpaths: one goat level

We spend our day in the heart of West Sussex exploring the Knepp Estate, a previously intensively farmed arable area that has been allowed to ‘re-wild’ over the past 20 years or so with a minimum of human intervention and with herds of free-roaming animals. An astonishing and spectacular array of natural habitats have established themselves across the Estate and these are now teaming with wildlife. We will pause frequently to enjoy the wildlife and listen out for, and even spot, melodious nightingales, soft purring turtle doves, breeding white stork and a whole host of other wildlife delights.

If you are interested in reading more about the estate click on the link above to find the book Wilding by Isabella Tree who is an author and lives and works on the Estate.

Amberley Wild Brooks – a walk from our accommodation. There is plenty to explore here.

Walks will be 5 miles maximum

Ascent/Descent: 20 metres – virtually flat with some muddy footpaths: one goat level

We walk northwards across Amberley Wild Brooks and on towards Waltham Brooks, two of just a few surviving areas of grazed marsh in West Sussex, which together support one of the most important breeding populations of redshank in the UK. Other fenland and woodland breeding birds we may encounter include snipe, reed and grasshopper warblers, yellowhammer, green woodpecker and the acrobatic aerial displays of lapwing to name but a few. This species-rich landscape also supports several plants which are rare in West Sussex and we should spot the jewel-like colours of darting dragonflies and, perhaps, a hobby swooping in to catch one.

South Downs – a walk from our accommodation to explore some of the beautiful South Downs and catch a glimpse of the sea.

Distance: 5 miles maximum

Ascent/Descent: 140 metres – hilly countryside with some muddy footpaths: one/two goat level

Pulborough Brooks nature reserve (RSPB – cost £7/person if not a member) 

Distance: 3 miles maximum

Ascent/Descent: 25 metres – some slopes on muddy paths: one goat level

A gentle 2-mile circular trail which explores the heart of this nature reserve. Here we’ll enjoy the ‘peewits’ of more tumbling and looping lapwing together with a whole range of warblers,thrushes and maybe nightingales. We may even spot rarer breeding birds such as garganey, yellow wagtail, grey partridge and skylark.

Additional Options

On one morning we’ll experience the magic of a dawn (or at least early morning!) chorus starring mellow blackbirds, thrushes and wrens and joined by warblers like blackcap, whitethroat and, perhaps, more nightingales.

On one evening we’ll go out to search the night sky for hunting barn owls, churring nightjars and flitting bats.


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Sussex Songbirds
DATES Thu 16th May 2024
- Mon 20th May 2024

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