Gravetye - 5 miles
Occupying one of the high spots in the High Weald, on a clear day you can see both North and South Downs in separate places on this walk. Passing the Kingscote Estate, Gravetye Manor and St. Margarets Church, architecture is not in short supply either.
|OS Grid Ref||TQ 366 326|
|Post Code||RH19 4PN|
Head gently downhill on the footpath past the Finche Field car park entrance. At the bottom of the steps, bear left and cross the road. Walk behind the barrier and follow the footpath steeply downhill. Ignore the footpath to the right and continue downhill.
At the bottom of the hill take the permissive bridleway to your left. Before you continue, it is worth taking a short detour to the level crossing in front of you to see a train or just have a look at Sharpthorne tunnel. Back at the bridleway you will find yourself on a well-made track which winds its way through managed woodland, deciduous woodland giving way to pine forest, then back again.
After about ¾ mile from the start of the track look for a footpath on the right. The sign post is not that clear but the path is well walked. Follow the footpath through the woods until you reach a style. Cross the style and follow the path across the field. Here you will find another style opposite the large house at Birch Farm. Cross the style and turn left on the road downhill.
Take the next footpath on the right and when you reach another style, climb the railway bank to a level crossing. Cross the track and continue down to another style which then leads you into woodland. Go through a gate and walk across the field in the direction of an electricity pylon. It can be a bit boggy here but there is a thoughtfully placed double planked bridge here over a ditch. At the pylon you will find a footbridge on the right.
Cross the footbridge and turn left. Now the path takes you steeply uphill across the middle of a field. At the top of the hill go through the gate and turn left, now heading downhill on a track. Just after a lake on the right, turn left over the bridge, crossing over a stream. Walking between the buildings at Mill Place you will see a Farm House, holiday cottages and a 15th century Tithe Barn managed by the Kingscote Estate. Here, when the shop is open, you can also buy Kingscote Estate wines and cider.
Proceed under the Bluebell Railway keeping on the track after the bridge (ignoring the footpath on the left). When the track reaches a single track road, turn right. As you walk along the road here you will see the Bluebell Railway track on the right through the trees.
After about ¼ mile take the footpath on the left by a small layby. Take the footpath on your left at a footpath crossroad. Cross a bridge over a stream and follow the path uphill. Bear left at the top of the hill and continue until you see Home Farm ahead of you. Join the main farm track continue to the farm, then onwards to another road. Turn left towards Gravetye Manor.
At the Manor Gates turn right towards an outbuilding (Stable House). Then go through the gate in front of you. This path loops round to the front of Gravetye Manor. Follow the path all the way to another house (avoiding all footpaths leading off to the right). At this point you will see a gate in front of you.
Walk through the gate, then straight on to the corner of a field. Go up the steep slope going diagonally across the field. The path is not always well defined here but as you climb, views across the valley to Gravetye Manor start to appear. Keep going to the far corner of the field.
Go through the gap in the hedge over a rubble surface (laid to reduce the mud) or alternatively take the footpath in the very corner of the field over a double planked bridge spanning a ditch. Very shortly take the footpath on the right heading uphill. Soon after a couple of sandstone steps you will be in another field. Continue along the path uphill along the right hand side of the field.
Follow the footpath through a gap in the hedge on the right and continue uphill. On a clear day you can see the North Downs behind you. When you reach another path turn right and head uphill. The sunken path here can be a little muddy at times and you may need to stick to the edge.
When you reach a road, go straight across and proceed along North Lane. As you walk past the Cat Inn, turn left along the road (or take a look around the churchyard and emerge at a gate further down the road).
As the road straightens out and goes gently uphill, look out for steps up a bank on the left. Climb the steps and turn right. Along this path you will see a plaque showing views in the distance. On a clear day you can see the South Downs from here.
When you are finished at the view point, continue along the path and soon you will find yourself back at your car.
Waypoint Arrival Times – 2020 Timetable
Please check the Bluebell Railway Timetable to find which service below is running today.