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Bluebell Railway Walks

A selection of walks crossing the line

West Hoathly

7 miles

This circular walk has three great places to see trains steam past (see photos). Part of the route follows the High Weald Landscape Trail and there are are plenty of views and historic buildings along the way. Remember to take your camera.

Start Location
OS Grid RefTQ 366 326
GPS Latitude51.076338
GPS Longitude-0.050448
Post CodeRH19 4PN
West Hoathly Walk Map
1Take path furthest from car park entrance
2Go down steps to road and turn right
3Follow the road and at the Bowls Club take track ahead to quarry
4At end of track turn right
5At footpath sign take left path downhill
6Cross track and follow bridlepath
7At footpath sign turn left downhill
8Cross footbridge and head uphill
9Bear left at style and follow path uphill
10At road turn right
11Take footpath along lane to left
12Turn left following footpath in front of house
13Cross style on left then turn right downhill
14Cross footbridge
15Climb hill to gate and take path on right through farm
16Turn left at road then right at church
17Follow path to bottom of hill
18Cross footbridge and follow path to level crossing
19Go over crossing and turn left
20At railway bridge cross road and take footpath ahead
21At road turn left
22Take next footpath on left
23At bottom of hill take footpath on right
24At Sharpthorne turn right then left in to Station Road
25Turn right along Hamsey Road
26Go over level crossing
27Take bridlepath ahead along Bluebell Lane
28Cross road and take footpath on right back to car park

West Hoathly

West Hoathly This walk starts from the Finche Field car park in West Hoathly. 1 Take the path gently uphill (furthest from the car park entrance). After a few yards you will see a metal plate indicating what you might see from this viewpoint. Continue along the path to the right of the viewpoint until you reach a barrier and steps leading downwards on your left. 2 Go down the steps and turn right on to the road. Follow the road, turning left at the Cat Inn and passing the Priest House, until you reach West Hoathly Bowls Club.

3 Take the track in front of you that leads to Philpots Farm and Quarry. Continue to along this this track for about half a mile and you will reach Philpots School. Continue to the end of the track until you see a bridlepath sign that points to the right. 4 Following a bridlepath sign takes you between buildings then steeply downhill in to woodland. 5 After a few yards turn left at another footpath sign and continue downhill along the side of a wooded valley.

West Hoathly Building

To your right you will pass a square pond and a small stream hidden in the undergrowth. After a while you will cross the stream. At this point you may hear the sound of waterfalls although they are likely to be hidden behind undergrowth and bamboo thickets in the private property on your left. Follow the path until you reach a track leading down to a private lake. 6 Go straight on over the track and continue along the bridle path in front of you. The bridle path continues through woodland for about half a mile.

7 As you emerge from the woods take the path on the left as indicated by a footpath sign and head downhill eventually back into woodland. At the bottom of the valley you will reach a stream and a footbridge. 8 Cross the bridge and continue uphill until the path takes you to a field. 9 Bear left here and follow the path upwards across the field. It is worth taking a break half way up the hill and looking behind you. If you stop at the right point you might be able to see an astronomical observatory near a large house in the distance.


Continue along this footpath until you reach a road. 10 Then turn right. The single track road winds downwards for a few hundred yards. You will see a footpath sign pointing left as the road goes round a corner. 11 Take the footpath, passing Bellows Nose cottage to the left.

After a sunken stretch you will see a footpath sign and a timbered building (Old Holly Cottage)in front of you. 12 Follow the footpath past the cottage, then past Holly Farmhouse, until you find a footpath on your left, opposite a barn. 13 Cross the style and turn right, following the footpath downhill all the way to the bottom of the valley (ignore any paths that fork to the left). Crossing a style into woodland you will see yet another stream with a footbridge.

14 Cross the bridge and onwards to the next gate. 15 Head uphill towards the right hand corner of the field (this bit is steep) until you reach a gate. Turn right through the gate and follow the path through a farm and out on to the road at Highbrook. 16

Steaming Backwards

Turn left, continuing onwards until you reach All Saints Church. Turn right here. Passing the church you will find Highbrook Smokery. It is believed that this circular structure was built in the18th century for preserving meat. 17 Following the path from here you will be treated to fantastic views over the surrounding countryside. As you make your way down the hill on a track you will go through a couple of gates before entering a field. Continue downhill along the left hand side of the field. At the bottom of the hill you will enter woodland again and then the final bridge over a stream. Cross the bridge and take the steps upward and out into the next field. 18

Follow the path over a couple of styles until you reach the Bluebell Railway at a level crossing. Cross the track here. If you wait behind the fence for a train at this point you could be rewarded with a view at close quarters (see picture on the right).

Horsted Hill Farm Bridge

19 Turn left after the level crossing and carry on to the bridge. Here is another great place to see trains steaming past (the photo on the left was taken here).

20 Take the footpath on the opposite side of the road and follow the path through several fields (keeping to the right of each field) until you reach a road. 21 Turn left and continue along the road for about 300 yards until you see a footpath sign on the left. 22 Take this path proceeding downhill until you see a footpath sign pointing to the right.

23 Take this path and follow it across several fields for about 3/4 mile until you reach Sharpthorne. 24 At the main road in Sharpthorne turn right and then, just after The Sharpthorne Organic Cafe , turn left in to Station Road . 25

Sharpthorne Tunnel

After a while turn right in to Hamsey Road and follow it all the way to a level crossing. 26 Looking left you will see Sharpthorne Tunnel. Another great place to watch steam trains trundling past! If you stand in the right place you can see all the way through the tunnel.

27 Go over the level crossing and keep straight on following the public bridleway along Bluebell Lane passing houses on your left. At the end of the lane continue uphill along a path that skirts along a fence. Halfway up the hill is another footpath sign. Keep going uphill until you reach a road. As you regain your breath, you will see the The Fox pub to your left. 28 Cross the road and take a footpath on the right that returns you to the car park.

Waypoint Arrival Times - 2020 Timetable

West Hoathly Walk Arrival Times