Walk 3 begins at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park Visitors Centre which is accessible by car from the A3 in either direction.
The café there gives walkers a chance to shelter and stock up on calories while cars are repositioned at the end of the walk at Cocking. There are no further opportunities for refreshment on this section of the SDW. So we carried a picnic lunch. See transport arrangements here.
The SD Way wends through the glorious mixed woodlands of the QECP up a gentle incline. In fact the whole of this day’s walk is fairly gently undulating with a total ascent of just 627 feet and no seriously long, steep climbs (though when you are tired even short ones seem hard enough). Click on the walk elevation profile below to enlarge:
The wooded landscape continues for most of the way to the Hampshire and West Sussex border.
But once into Sussex, at Harting Down the views over the Rother Valley and beyond open up and the familiar South Downs escarpment becomes more evident.
Beyond Harting Down you are faced by (yet another) Beacon Hill. The official SDW skirts round to the south of this stiff climb in a long dogleg.
But those with the legs, lungs and a delight in a challenge can go straight up it and meet the trail further on (we went round the long way).
There is more woodland around the Monkton Estate and you soon also pass the Devils Jumps, a row of Bronze Age barrows aligned with the setting sun on midsummer’s day.
As you ascend Cocking Down distant views to the south of the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Down open up. From the summit it is a steady descent to the car park on the A286.