Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 15 Out
Mayfield to Five Ashes
|Map||OS Explorer 135 Ashdown Forest|
|Distance||5 miles/ 2 ½ hours|
|Start||The old Carpenter’s Arms in Mayfield. If starting from the Rose and Crown turn right along Fletching Street towards the village centre. Where The Avenue turns off left is the site of the old Carpenter’s Arms.|
|Comment||A varied walk in undulating countryside with stiles and sometimes feint paths. Some stretches of walking on country roads.|
With the old Carpenter’s Arms building on your right, cross the main road to the side road (The Avenue) opposite. Go along this between houses for some way. At a Y-fork bear right up to a car park. Here turn sharp right up a narrow road to emerge onto the main shopping street in Mayfield.
Cross to the other side and turn left. Walk along this road for nearly a mile ignoring all side turnings. As the houses begin to thin out, pass a Catholic Church on the right. Eventually the road drops downhill to a lefthand bend and a junction of side roads.
Turn right by a residential home and old red telephone box into Fir Toll Close. This is also an official cycle route. Go downhill to reach a bypass road. Cross to a road opposite and go forward away from the bypass. Keep on for some way. When housing comes to an end ignore a footpath going off left and continue over a bridge and on uphill.
Halfway up ignore a concrete bridleway going off right and keep on up and over the brow of the hill and on down the far side. Just before the garage of a house on the right, turn off the road across the front of the garage to a metal swing gate by a metal fieldgate. Go through the small gate into the corner of a field and turn immediately left along the field edge to the corner ahead. Here cross a ditch and broken stile onto a lane.
Turn right up the lane. At the top bear left to a stile leading to a narrow enclosed path. Follow this down to the bottom. Ignore a stile on the left and go straight ahead over a stile into the bottom corner of a rising pasture. Continue up with a hedge on the right. Climb over the brow of the hill and on down to the far corner. Here cross a stile then a footbridge into a rising field. Go forward uphill bearing right up a very long field. On reaching the fence and trees at the far side bear right to continue along to the furthest bottom corner and a stile into woods.
Follow the path down and around and through a metal swing gate to reach a road. Turn left up the road. As farm buildings appear on the left look for a footpath going off sharp right up a forest track. The track soon disappears but follow an old barbed wire fence on the right through the woods to reach a rusty fieldgate at the top.
Cross and turn immediately left up the field edge with the wood on the left. At the top cross an old stile and bear diagonally right across a field towards a distant barn. Exit onto a road and turn left along it for some way. Eventually pass a house on the right then a row of cottages. Keep on past a side road on the left.
Look for a footpath going off right down the drive of a house called ‘Freemans’ by a telegraph pole. Pass the house on the left. Keep forward to a wooden fence with an oast over on the left. Look for a stile in the fence hidden behind a bush on the right.
Cross in to a pasture and follow the field edge with a hedge and trees on the right, downhill to the bottom corner. Here, cross a stile into a further pasture and turn immediately left to follow the hedge on the left a good way along to the bottom corner. Here drop down to a footbridge and cross to the pasture beyond.
Head forward and uphill across the centre of the field to the top opposite corner and a junction of paths. Ignore the path going off right and turn immediately left to follow hedge on the left along to a kissing gate. Through this turn right to follow the hedge on the right up to a further kissing gate. Pass into a small lawned area and cross straight over to a swing gate beyond.
Enter a path going downhill between wire fences. At the foot enter bluebell woods and keep straight on downhill. Reach a stream at the bottom and make a difficult crossing, part over a footbridge. Go up the far bank to the corner of a steeply sloping pasture. Follow the edge uphill with trees and bushes on the left. Where the hedge ends go forward across the open field towards a storage tank and industrial building. Ignore a concrete track going straight ahead and bear right on an older track. Follow this past areas of dumping to reach tall spiked gates. Pass through a gap at the side to reach a drive. Turn left down to a road. Turn left on the road for half a mile. Pass Great Dewlands. Soon after passing the entrance gates to Coe’s Place, look for a stile hidden in the hedge on the left. Cross into a field.
Go straight downhill, parallel with the fence over on the left towards a power line pole. In the bottom corner bear left to a stile. Cross to go on down a gravel track to soon reach a stile on the right into an enclosed grassy track. This then enters a section through trees and emerges at the bottom by a stream. Bear left for 200 metres along with the stream on the right.
Eventually reach a footbridge on the right and cross to go up through woodland. Soon reach a cross path and turn left on it a short distance. On reaching a barrier of wooden poles ahead, leave the path as it drops left, and go through the pole barrier and forward on a feint path through a clearing in the trees. At the end bear right up through a green fieldgate and on up the edge of a field with a hedge, trees and a ditch on the left.
Halfway up, turn left, through a wooden swing gate and go straight across the field ahead aiming for a white weatherboarded house in the distance. Exit through another swing gate onto a road. Here turn left along the road to Five Ashes. In half a mile bear right at a bend. Soon after reach a crossroads. Cross straight over to Holly Beech Lane. At the next junction bear left to soon reach a main road. Turn right down to the Five Ashes Inn and the end of the section.