Broadhurst Manor - 5 miles
This walk is only 5 miles long but passes by no less than 11 lakes and ponds on the way. Views open up half way round, marked by the ridge-top churches at Highbrook and West Hoathly and a long stretch of path along the Bluebell Railway is ideal for spotting trains. There is something for everyone on this walk.
|OS Grid Ref||TQ 383 281|
|Post Code||RH17 7AE|
If you came by steam train and are doing this walk from Horsted Keynes station, start the walk from waypoint A.
If you came by car leave your car in Horsted Keynes recreation ground car park or park along the main road through the village. From there head towards a white direction sign to the west of the village. At the direction sign you will see the spire of St Margaret’s church in the distance. Walk downhill along Church Lane towards the church spire in the distance. The road soon begins to climb and eventually arrives at the gate to St. Margaret’s church. Follow the road as it continues to the left of the church.
Proceed to the end of the road and go forwards though a gate. Now walk downhill for about ¼ mile until you reach a large lake (often with fishermen belonging to Isfield and District Angling Club sitting quietly on the banks).
Continue on the path, now passing along a string of ‘pen ponds’ (together with more fishermen). The pen ponds once served as mini reservoirs to help regulate water flow at the watermill lower down in the valley. After ½ mile you will reach The Garden House on your left. Now the track curves around the wall on your right and you will see the grand entrance to Broadhurst Manor. Continue along the track until you reach a road.
Turn left and continue to a T junction. Turn right at the T junction. As you walk along the road, to the left you will see views across the valley towards the church spires of All Saints Church, Highbrook and St Margaret’s Church, West Hoathly on the ridge in the far distance.
Just before a thatched barn take the footpath on the left and descend towards the bottom of the valley. Go through a metal kissing gate into Hang Wood and cross a stream by a footbridge at the bottom. Climb out of the woods and proceed along the edge of a field, following the path around the corner of the field. Follow the path as it dips into the woods again. Soon you will come to another pond.
Walk along the narrow path along the top of the dam and pass through a gate into the next field. Continue up across the field, through a gate and out onto a road. On the road turn left, passing the old ‘Tanyard’ buildings which you will have previously seen whilst climbing the hill. In a few yards take the footpath on the right at Vox End Barn. Follow the footpath, soon crossing a style into a field. Keep left until you reach a gate in the corner of the field.
Go through the gate. In this field you will see the Bluebell Railway in the valley below. Continue along the footpath to a stile. After the style continue on the footpath to a bridge over the railway. There will be many opportunities to see trains from this point onwards. Go straight across the road and cross the style into the next field. Walk all the way down the edge of this field until you reach another style.
Go quickly over the foot crossing making sure to look out for trains. Turn left and walk along the footpath parallel to the rails. This path continues along the railway for about 250 yards. Leave the railway by a style and follow the path all the way round to Leamland Bridge. Peering over the top of the wall on the bridge, you will be able to see Horsted Keynes station and Railway Cottages on the right.
Cross the bridge and continue along the track. Just as the track begins to drop downhill and the station buildings come into view there is a short section of track to your left. At this point you can choose to continue your walk or have a look around Horsted Keynes Station (perhaps buying a platform ticket to look around or returning to your train if you came by steam).
To continue your walk, turn left to end of the short section of track where you will find a kissing gate.
If you are coming from the station, walk up the hill and turn right at the short section of track at the top of the hill.
Go through the kissing gate and continue along the path to a road. If the path is muddy or overgrown, climb a style on the left. Then walk in the field parallel with the fence until you encounter another style which returns you to the original path.
When you reach a road, turn right and walk along the road. After a few yards take the footpath on the left and continue along the path through the woods gradually descending until you meet another footpath at the bottom. Turn right. You will soon see a lake which once provided water for a mill.
Turn left as soon as you can (at a junction between footpaths), keeping the lake on your left. After a few yards you will see a beautiful timbered barn with brick infilled panels and shortly afterwards the Old Mill House. An old waterwheel can also be seen at the side of an outbuilding. Way before the existing mill pond and mill house there was an iron furnace nearby, now lying under the water. Follow the footpath as it snakes past the Old Mill House and continues uphill.
At the top of the hill you will come to a road. If you parked your car at Horsted Keynes turn right and walk back along Church Lane back to your car. There are a couple of pubs and a shop in the village if you are in need of refreshment. If you came by train, turn left and continue the walk from way point 2.
Waypoint Arrival Times – 2021 Timetable