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/ 2 ½ hours|
|Start||The Crown pub in Horsted Keynes|
|Comment||A varied walk full of interest. Look out for the Californian Big Tree.|
From the village shop, cross the road and walk down the side of ‘The Crown’ pub to a playing field. Bear right across to a gap in the hedge and reach a lane. Turn left on this to soon reach a crossroads. Go straight across and down Wyatts Lane (this is on the Sussex Border Path) for some way as it winds downhill. Ignore two footpaths going off left. At the bottom of the hill the vehicle road finishes. Ignore a footpath off right and go straight ahead into a wide earthen track enclosed by trees.
Continue through woods for some way, ignoring two paths off on the right and eventually cross a stream and climb steeply to a left bend at the top. Follow the sandy track around to meet a tarmac drive. Keep on along this and climb steeply uphill. Over the top join a grassy path on the left, going parallel with the drive. As the drive swings away right, keep straight ahead across the field aim just left of a house ahead. Go down between gardens to reach a road. Turn right a few paces then left, over the road, and down the entrance drive to Butchers Barn.
Continue down for 200 metres. At the lowest point cross a stream and then bear left, off the drive, up to a stile and on along the edge of a field with a treeline on the right. Keep on across a corner to a point where the trees stop and a footpath comes in on the right over a stile. Do not cross but continue straight ahead along the field edge with a hedge on the right.
As the hedge nears woods ahead there is a gap on the right. Ignore this (the Sussex Border Path swings off here). Keep forward to a second gap with a stile into a wood. Cross this and go up a gently sloping path through the trees. At the top emerge into a field. Bear left down the edge with a hedge on the left.
Halfway down pass a large Wellingtonia or Californian Big Tree which marks the Greenwich Meridian. At the bottom turn right on a vehicle drive and continue up to the buildings of Heaven’s Farm. Bear left between a shop and café and museum to leave the site on the car park access drive to reach a main road.
Cross straight over to a path going down through trees to emerge onto another road. Turn left here, gently downhill for 100 metres. Where the slope steepens, turn right off the road to a stile between two wooden fieldgates, onto a farm track. Keep down this to the very bottom and reach a car park by a fisheries lake. Cross straight over to a stile and footbridge into woods.
Soon reach a junction. Bear left around to and over a footbridge, then wind down then up to a stile by a pole barrier. Cross into a field. Go straight up the field edge with trees on the right for 10 metres then turn left and cross the field, bearing slightly right, to a gateway in the hedge at the far side. Go through and on downhill to a new footbridge. Over this bear slightly right uphill to a stile by a metal fieldgate out to a road.
Turn right for a few paces looking for an unmarked path going left into woods. Follow this up to a corner where the path divides. Bear right, uphill, on a wide muddy track. Stay on this for half a mile as it becomes a concrete access track then a tarmac road between houses (ignore side paths). Eventually reach a T-junction at the top. Turn right here to pass a school on the right.
The road crosses a bridge. Immediately look for a footpath on the left going up into woods. Follow this for some way. Cross a footbridge and keep on up to meet a concrete drive. Turn left on this and where it soon swings right, go ahead on a grassy track to a junction of ways. Turn right over a stile and go down a grassy path to a Y-fork. Here bear left steeply downhill.
Cross a footbridge at the bottom and turn right to reach a pond. Here bear left across an overgrown area up to a metal fieldgate, and exit onto a road. Turn left along the road for 150 metres to return to the ‘Coach and Horses’ pub and the completion of the walk.