Horsted Keynes Station - 3 miles
There is a good chance that you will get a really close view of a train on this walk as the footpath takes you within a few feet of the rails for a third of a mile. The views are typical of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and at one point (on a clear day) you will be able to see the South Downs in the distance. A perfect combination of steam trains and countryside with a few surprises on the way.
|OS Grid Ref||TQ 3710 2951|
|Post Code||RH17 7BB|
From the Horsted Keynes railway car park, walk uphill and follow the path over the railway bridge. Looking south from the bridge you will be able to see Horsted Keynes station (as shown in the first photograph). Once you are over the bridge turn right and follow the footpath until you reach the railway track again.
Turn left and follow the path along the railway. The path continues for about 1/3 mile and there is plenty of opportunity to see a train anywhere along this stretch. If you do not see a train by the time you reach the end of this path it is worth waiting a little while for the experience.
At the end of the path there is a level crossing. Do not cross the railway track but instead take the footpath on the left, immediately crossing over a style. Now head across the field to another style. After crossing this style carry on downhill to another style at the edge of woodland.
Cross the style and enter Hudds wood. Dropping down a number of steps you will soon find yourself at a wooden footbridge spanning a small stream. The path then winds its way through the trees, heading uphill and eventually emerges from the woodland at a metal gate.
Follow the footpath along the edge of the field to another style. Continue uphill until the slope starts to level out at a gate. Perhaps take a break here to look at the view behind you. Across the High Weald landscape you may even catch sight of steam rising from a train in the distance. Go through the gate and follow the track which eventually passes the distinctive cylindrical shape of 18th century Highbrook Smokery before meeting a road at All Saints Church.
Turn left onto the road and continue past a red telephone box. As the road turns sharp left take the footpath immediately in front of you and cross the style. Turn right as soon as you can in to a small field though a gate. Walk around the edge of the field to the opposite corner where you will find another gate.
Go through the gate and follow the footpath to Brook House Farm. Turn right onto the tarmac track which bears left past a barn. Then continue along a grassy track between two fields. Go through a gate at the end of the grassy track and after a few yards keep to the left side of the field until you reach a kissing gate. Note at some times of year this gate can be quite hidden and overgrown.
Go through the gate and follow the path to the rear of a cricket pavilion, continuing along the path to the next kissing gate. After passing through this gate, follow the path along the edge of a vineyard all the way to a road. Turn right then very soon take the footpath on the left.
Follow the footpath signs through a garden leading downhill to a footbridge. Now cross the footbridge and head steeply uphill to a gate. After going through the gate go straight on all the way along the footpath through Orchard Wood. At the end of your journey through the woods, proceed downhill across a field until you meet a road.
Turn left onto the road. The road soon winds round a double bend (which used to pass under a section of railway called the Ardingly Spur) then under a bridge beneath the Bluebell Railway. A hundred yards or so after the bridge turn left into Horsted Keynes Station. From here you can make your way back to the car park.
As this walk is only 3 miles long it is ideal to combine with a trip on the Bluebell Railway. One option would be to park your car at Sheffield Park Station and get the train to Horsted Keynes, returning to Sheffield Park after your walk. Another option could be to catch a train to East Grinstead and back after your walk. Or perhaps just a platform ticket to explore Horsted Keynes station. This walk has so much to entertain you that it might take longer than you think. So leave plenty of time!
Waypoint Arrival Times – 2020 Timetable