Scaynes Hill - 6 miles
This rural figure-of-eight walk passes by six farms in total. There is a pub at the middle so if you need refreshments you could stop on the way out or the way back (or both). Following part of two well trodden long distance paths; the Sussex Ouse Valley Way and the Sussex Border Path the route takes you over a railway bridge spanning the longest straight stretch of the Bluebell Railway.
|OS Grid Ref||TQ 370 235|
|Post Code||RH17 7NY|
Park at The Common car park in Scaynes Hill. At the entrance to the car park you will find two drives heading in to the trees. Follow the path sign-posted to Yew Tree Cottage. You are now on the Sussex Ouse Valley Way. When you reach the cottage you will see a style on the right. Go over the style and take the path which eventually leads you to a field.
Cross the field to a gate in the opposite corner. Passing a pond on the left you will soon emerge on to a field. Looking right you will see a gap in the hedge a few yards away. Walk through the gap and go straight on following the footpath across the field. A building will soon appear in the middle distance. Continuing along this path, you will pass to the right of the building and reach a style that leads you to a road. Turn left at the road and walk past Nash House. Follow the road, curving right, downhill to another house with a collection of outbuildings. Here you will see a footpath sign pointing to the left.
Follow this path, passing though some trees and out on to a field. The footpath leads downhill with views ahead until it plunges you in to another patch of woodland. Here there is a footpath sign that points in three directions. Go straight on over a bank that once formed a dam to a small pond. Here, at the right time of year, the woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells.
Passing through a small cutting and crossing another dam you will soon come to a footpath sign just before the pillared entrance to a private property. Follow the footpath to the left and at the next footpath sign turn right. Immediately you will see another sign. Take the path on the left and follow the narrow path between a mature hedgerow and the fenced boundary of a field. After a while you will see a gate straight in front of you. Go through the gate and head across the field, passing a house (Ham House) on the left, until you reach a style. Cross the style and turn right, now heading down the drive to a road.
Turn left at the road and head down towards the Sloop Inn. Look out for the traction engine in the car park on your left. If you are interested in stopping for refreshments you could drop in now or leave it for the return leg of your journey (in about one hour). Continue along the road and immediately after the second bridge go through a gate in the the field to the left of the entrance to Freshfield Mill Farm. Go diagonally across the field passing behind the back of the farm buildings and over the next style. A small wooden bridge is a few paces in front of you. Cross the bridge into a larger field.
Looking left you will see a railway bridge in the middle distance. You will be crossing this bridge later. Now facing forward, follow the path across the middle of the field and over a small wooden bridge that spans a ditch at the half way point. Continue to the corner of the field and go over a concrete bridge. Immediately turn left and continue until you are funnelled towards a Bluebell Railway bridge. Pass under the bridge and shortly you will emerge at a field. Turn left here.
At the corner of the field look forward in to the next field. Slightly to the right of the gap in the hedge you should see a path heading diagonally across the field towards a clump of trees in the middle distance. When you get here you will see that the clump of trees is actually a ring surrounding an old pond. Follow the footpath sign and head towards two large oak trees at the edge of Kings Wood. Follow the main path through the woods passing the distinctive silvery trunks of a stand of birch trees before you reach the road.
Turn left at the road and walk for about 1/2 mile until you reach Town House. After the house take the footpath that appears on the left. Follow the footpath downhill to a small wooden bridge over a stream. Once over the bridge turn right and eventually you will come to the Bluebell Railway. Just before the path turns left along the railway bank you will see a style on the right. Opposite the style there is a path that disappears into the bushes. Take this path and you will suddenly find yourself crossing a bridge. This is the bridge you saw earlier. If you have time you could wait here for a train. You should hear a whistle well before the train comes in to view so in the mean-time you can enjoy the views across the Ouse valley.
When you are ready to move on, walk downhill to a pair of styles by a large oak tree. After the styles turn right, crossing another style by a gate and then on to the road. Turn left and walk along the road until you reach the Sloop Inn again at way point 11. Past the pub follow the footpath on the right and proceed along the drive back to Ham House. Before a bend in the drive cross the style on the left. Head back the way you came, going straight on after the next gate.
At the pair of footpath signs turn right and then immediately left heading uphill until you come to the pillared driveway entrance. Cross in front of the pillars and follow the path that veers right skirting along the fence. This path eventually takes you to a small field. Cross the field and continue out on to a road. Turn left. Go past Butterbox Farm , then take the footpath on your right.
The footpath soon makes way to a track, leading away from Butterbox Farm. Continue along this track for about 1/3 mile. Here is another great place to see blubells; this time cascading down the hillside from the left. Continue along the track until it stops abruptly at a field on the left. Follow the footpath sign through a gate in front of you and walk along the grassy valley floor keeping a small stream on your left. At the next gate turn left. Continue to the next style and go over it into a field. Go straight uphill following the ridge of a tree lined ancient field boundary until you reach the next style.
Cross the style and turn right then left at the edge of the field following the path alongside outbuildings and on to a road. Follow this road along the route of the Sussex Border Path back to Scaynes Hill, catching views of the South Downs to your left on the way.
At the main road turn right then right again in to Church Road. As you reach Scaynes Hill Common a footpath in front of you will take you back to your car. A bench near the car park is waiting for you in case you need a rest before driving home.
Waypoint Arrival Times – 2020 Timetable