Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 16 Return
Five Ashes to High Hurstwood
|Map||OS Explorer 135 Ashdown Forest|
|Distance||5 miles / 3 hours|
|Start||The Maypole Inn, High Hurstwood, ask about parking.|
|Comment||Very attractive and varied countryside with hills and stiles.|
With the Maypole Inn on the left, walk downhill on the main road out of the village. At the bottom of the hill, by a crash barrier, turn left off the road down a drive to White Coppice Park. Almost immediately, at the gateway, turn right down a bank and around to a stile into a wildflower meadow.
Go forward passing below farm buildings up on the left across a slightly marshy meadow supporting a host of wildflowers and orchids. Cross a stile in a wire fence and continue across a second meadow with a stream on the right. Cross a further stile into a pasture and soon reach a meeting of ways. Keep straight on passing a telegraph pole to enter trees. Cross a footbridge into a paddock and go over to a kissing gate (notice an impressive outcrop of rock on the right). Cross the next paddock to a stile leading into a wood. The path becomes enclosed between fence and bushes and emerges onto a road. Turn left up the road a short distance and over a bridge.
Immediately turn right off the road over a stile and follow the edge of the field with trees and a stream on the right. Leave the field over a wide farm bridge to reach double metal fieldgates. Turn left here down the side of a field with a treeline on the left. Bear right at the corner ahead and continue along the field edge and treeline. Where the treeline bears away to the left keep on across the field to a footbridge at the far side. Cross into a rising pasture and go up to a railway bridge at the very top.
Over the bridge go straight ahead up the field ahead, first parallel to the hedge on the left then alongside it to the very top corner. Exit over a stile by a rusty fieldgate to a rough track. Turn left on this, passing buildings on the left to cross a stile by a metal fieldgate. Go on to cross a stile into an enclosed path dropping downhill.
Near the bottom reach a stile and crossing of ways. Keep straight on down through woods and then on up to emerge onto a road by a cottage. Go forward a few paces then turn left into a path enclosed between holly bushes. This path continues in the same direction for some way across extensive backgardens, crossing three stiles to emerge into a sloping field.
Cross straight over passing by two isolated trees to a stile into woods at the far side. Leave the wood by a stile and cross a field bearing slightly right towards a white weatherboarded house in the distance. Cross a concrete track at the far side followed by a stile into the field ahead. Cross this to a stile at the far side into the garden of the white house. Turn immediately right up the side of the garden to a gate at the top onto a road.
Turn left along the road a short way. By a cottage on the left and a shed on the right, turn right off the road over a stile and climb up to bear round left behind the shed. Go between ruined huts and under power lines to follow a fence on the right. This soon becomes an excellent woodland path winding down to a footbridge. Cross this and turn immediately left alongside the stream on the left (ignore an uphill path off right).
Wind up through the woods for some way. Emerge at the top on to an asphalt drive and go forward up it. Reach a public road and turn left a few paces to a crossroads. Go over the main road to continue forward on Stockland Lane. In ½ mile, at a junction, go left then soon right along Brick Kiln Lane.
At a sharp left bend go right, off the road, through poles and on up a bridleway for some way. Go steeply uphill to reach a metal fieldgate at the very top. Go by it to a road. Turn left for 100 metres. At a metal fieldgate on the right enter woods on a permissive path. At a fork soon reached, keep straight on then follow a winding trail for ½ mile, there are waymarks all the way. Cross a broken footbridge midway and immediately turn left along by the stream on the left.
Soon the path winds away uphill. After a stiff climb meet a byway at the top. Turn left down to a road. Turn right on the road for ½ mile. At a junction bear left and continue for one mile to emerge onto a main road. Turn left a short distance to reach the Five Ashes Inn and the start of the section.