Lindfield - 10 miles
This walk starts and finishes in the pretty village of Lindfield. Crossing rivers and streams (all tributaries of the River Ouse) with views across to the distant South Downs, this walk has many ups and downs in the best possible way. A strategically placed pub waits half way round (unless you want to wait for well-earned refreshments when you make it back to Lindfield)!
|OS Grid Ref||TQ 346 251|
|Post Code||RH16 2EB|
From the car park head towards a tall brick wall marking the boundary of Lindfield Common. Walk past the pond and up the high street, lined with pollarded Lime trees. A range of village shops and ancient buildings will keep you entertained until you reach the top of the hill. Keep to left hand side of the road as it curves past All Saints Church and look out for the Thatched Cottage over the other side of the road with the date AD 1390 marked above the front door.
Cross the road into Francis Road, passing the red brick and timber front of Old Place. Continue past the church as the road bends to the left. As the road turns to the right go straight on along a path between a high wall and a fence. Keep going until you reach another path. Turn left and continue until you come to the farm at Hangman’s Acre. Pass the entrance to the farm and into the field in front of you. Now follow the footpath downhill until you cross a bridge over a small stream.
Go across the field and soon you will come to the River Ouse (and Lindfield golf course over the other side of the river). Follow the path along the river until you come to a road. On the opposite side of the road, a flight of steps lead you down to a pool where the river, when in full flow, rushes out from under the bridge cascading down to the pool in a foaming torrent. Returning to the road, cross the bridge and walk past East Mascalls Cottages and East Mascalls Farm.
After passing East Mascalls House, and before the road disappears around the bend, you should see a footpath sign over the other side of the road. Follow this path, past the clubhouse and into the next field. Now walk along the lefthand side of the field and continue to Little Plummerden Cottages. Once you have passed the cottages take the footpath on the right. Now take the footpath on the right and continue towards Great Plummerden Farm.
Turn left into a lane, then immediately right onto a footpath as the road bends. Cross the middle of the large field and into the trees. Follow this path until it meets another track. Turn right along the track for a short while and then take the footpath on the left. Follow the footpath downhill across the field to a concrete bridge over a river. Ahead you will see a gate which leads you to the crest of a bank. Walk along the bank, covered in wild garlic in May and you will soon come to the Bluebell Railway.
If you have time and the trains are running, the level crossing is a great place to see a train thundering past at close quarters. Be sure to stay behind the protective fencing.
When you are ready to move on, continue over the railway and down the bank. Once you are away from the railway start picking your way across a series of small fields. Start by following the footpath until you come to a style. Then cross the corner of the field to another style. In the middle of the next field there is a style in the middle of a fence. Once over the fence go diagonally across the corner of the field until you come to a road. Cross the road and take the footpath to the right. You will pass a deep lake left over from previous quarry working.
Once past the lake look out for a footpath on the right which takes you over a bridge and then uphill. At the top of the hill follow the track to the left and keep going through the woods until you emerge in a field. At the other side of the field take the footpath uphill on the right. This path snakes around an even larger quarry until suddenly turning left and spitting you out onto a road.
Turn left onto the road. Take the track opposite the entrance to Latchetts (signposted towards Kidborough and Longridge). Take the next footpath on the right and keep to the righthand side of the field until the path disappears into woods. After a while you will emerge from the woods and, with the Bluebell Vinyard on the opposite side of the fence, head towards Town Place in the distance ahead.
Turn right onto the road. Once past the Town Place, take the footpath on the left. Keep the hedge on your left until the path leaves the hedge and takes you downhill across the middle of the field. Cross the bridge and turn right. Follow this path until you come to the Bluebell Railway again. Cross over the railway bridge. Head downhill across the field towards farm buildings in the middle distance. Cross the style and make your way to a road.
Turn left at the road. Eventually you will cross the River Ouse once again and pass the Sloop Inn. Take the footpath on the right towards Ham House and then immediately left across a small meadow with some houses on the right. Once through the next gate take the footpath on the right. The path passes through woodland covered in bluebells in April/May. When you come across a dry earthen dam, take the footpath on the right out into a field. Now follow this path uphill and keep going as the path turns into a road. Just past the last house on the right (Nash House) take the footpath on the right and cross the field.
After passing through a gap in the hedge, look out for another smaller gap in the hedge on your left and follow the footpath into the bushes. Within a few yards you are once again in another field. Follow the footpath diagonally across the field towards a gate. Pass through the gate and proceed along the path, now sandwiched between two hedges. After going through another gate, bear left walking along the drive away from the house. Take the next track on the right towards Costells and Silver Birches. Go through the gate into the grounds of Costells and follow the drive until you see a path between an avenue of trees on your right. Take the path downhill.
When the footpath splits into different directions, go straight on downhill. At a footpath junction veer to the right and take the footpath (initially parallel to the overhead cables) downhill through the woods. At the next footpath sign take the footpath on the right (or straight on, depending how you see it, but definitely NOT left). Cross over a bridge, through a kissing gate and then across the field to a style. Cross the next field and then pass Keepers Cottage. Follow the path to a road (which is actually the drive to Nether Walstead). Cross the drive into a field and continue to the main road.
Cross over the main road and proceed along the road ahead which leads you towards Walstead Forge. At the entrance to Walstead Forge take the footpath on the left. Continue along this path for some time, eventually crossing a stream before heading uphill again on a concrete track until you reach the farm at Hangmans Acre once again. Turn left here. You should recognize the path from earlier in your walk.
Now take the first footpath on your right and continue all the way back to the church. When you reach the church turn left on the brick path through the churchyard. Leave the church, turning left down the high street and make your way along the old buildings, shops and cafes (perhaps taking a well-earned refreshment break here). Pass Lindield pond and you will soon be back at your car.
Waypoint Arrival Times – 2021 Timetable