This is a walk from Robust Rambles, a collection of walks across the South East of England
Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
|Map||OS Explorer 135 Ashdown Forest|
|Distance||5 miles/ 3 hours|
|Start||The Coach & Horses pub at Chelwood Gate. Ask about parking.|
|Comment||Lots of wood including Sheffield Forest. Much open access land so be careful of permissive paths not on the OS map.|
With the ‘Coach and Horses’ behind cross to the side road, Coach Lane, opposite. Walk up his lane for 200 metres to reach a T-junction. Turn right on the road going downhill for 150 metres then left down a side road opposite Ashdown House.
Continue down for some way. Just before a house on the left called ‘Rough Acres’ turn left up a footpath along by a garden on the right. This becomes an enclosed path through woods. Emerge over a stile into a pasture and drop down to a second stile. Cross to a third at the back of a farmhouse. Continue steeply downhill with a fence on the right. Where this swings right, go on diagonally right, down the field, to the bottom far right corner.
Cross a stile and footbridge into a wood and go steeply uphill. At the top bear right to pass a house on the right and reach a T-junction of paths. Turn right to pass the house on the right. The path becomes a rough vehicle drive. Stay on this for some way (ignore a path off left). The drive drops down to become a road and passes through a hamlet of Perryman’s Hill. Where the road swings sharp right go forward on a gravel drive.
In a short distance this swings left. Go forward into a field over a stile. Follow the hedge on the right down to the bottom corner of the field. Here cross a high stile into a wood and bear right through the wood towards a wooden fieldgate at the far side. Here cross a stile near the gate into a pasture. Go ahead with a fence and trees on the left the whole length of the pasture and on down the next to the bottom corner with fishery lakes beyond.
Cross the stile and bear left through woods to cross a plank bridge and reach a junction of ways. Turn left uphill on a wide sunken path. At the top cross a stile into a field and bear left along by a treeline on the left. Where trees begin to swing away left, bear slightly diagonally right down the field towards lakes below. At the bottom, cross a grassy causeway between two lakes, to a stile and footbridge into Sheffield Forest.
Climb uphill then drop down to a very soggy patch. Ignore the footpath off left and bear right down to cross a stream by way of a large pipe. Over this take care. Ignore a path going off right. Bear left uphill. Unfortunately a tree has fallen across the path and has to be climbed across.
Keep steeply uphill for some way eventually emerging onto a wide forestry track. Turn left on this and left again at another junction soon reached. Follow this downhill for some way. Where the track swings left over a ravine, go straight ahead up a footpath through trees.
At the very top bear left onto a grassy track and follow this as it becomes a vehicle drive. Pass a house and continue up to a road junction. Cross the road to go forward on another farm track soon passing a barn on the right. A little further on pass through a farm storage area and bear left, still on the farm track.
Stay on this pleasant track for a good distance eventually emerging into a field. Go ahead with a hedge on the right towards the corner ahead. Just before reaching the corner, drop down right through the hedge into a sunken path, through a gateway, into a wood. Keep on all the way to the bottom. Just before reaching the lowest point ignore a path going off left and bear right, round a fallen tree, to reach another junction of paths by a stream.
There seem to be more paths waymarked here than on the map. Look for a footbridge leading into the wood ahead. Cross this and go up the wood. Halfway up cross a forest track and keep on up to the very top. Here bear right on a broad path enclosed between a hedge on the left and a treeline on the right.
Keep on this track as it opens out then reaches a farm. Join a gravel track and pass the buildings on the right to soon emerge onto a road at Ford’s Green. Cross to a rough track opposite by a letter box and continue along by a playing field all the way to a main road and the ‘Nutley Arms’ at the start of the section.