Section 16 Out
Five Ashes to High Hurstwood
|OS Explorer 135 Ashdown Forest
|4 miles/ 2 ½ hours
|The Five Ashes Inn, ask about parking.
|A varied walk through undulating countryside with stiles and the odd rough patch.
With the Five Ashes Inn on the left walk up the main road. Turn down the first road on the left and walk along for some way. Just past a converted oast turn left along a side road. Keep on for ½ mile. Pass a farm on the left then reach the entrance drive to Broadreed Farm on the right. Turn off here along the concrete drive.
Pass stables and farm buildings on the right to reach the centre of the farm. Turn left to go down past a converted oast. Keep forward down the lane, past a pond on the right to the bottom of the hill. Go forward over a stream then bear left to a wooden fieldgate leading to an enclosed path between trees. Continue up for some way.
Eventually pass through a barrier into an area of new woodland, a millennium project of the Woodland Trust. Keep straight forward to emerge finally at the far side onto a road. Turn left downhill along the road. In a short distance, turn right off the road on a wide gravel track.
Follow this to eventually pass buildings and cross a bridge and on past an oast. Stay on the main track. Ignore a footpath off right into a field and a little further on ignore a footpath off left. Cross a cattle grid and keep on uphill.
Wind through buildings at Huggett’s Furnace. Keep on main track with the buildings on the left up past the last cottage. Head for a stile ahead into a field. Go right up to the stile but do not cross. Turn left to a footbridge and cross a small paddock to enter a wood through a small wicket gate.
Keep on for some way. Eventually reach a barrier. Turn left here over a footbridge to the edge of the wood. Turn immediately right to walk along the edge of the wood with a fence on the left. At the end of the main woodland do another quick right and left turn to continue in the same direction in a belt of trees. Soon cross a broken stile.
On reaching a fallen tree, climb over and keep on in the same direction passing a pond on the left, the path is rather feint now. Cross a farm track and go over another broken stile into bushes. The path drops down and becomes boggy but soon emerges onto a road.
Turn right up the road for 150 metres. Just past a field entrance on the left and opposite a fishery, turn left off the road over a stile in the hedge. Go forward away from the road following the hedge on the left. At the far side of the field go through a gap into the field beyond and keep on in the same direction. Go through another wide hedge gap at the end of this second field and on past a circular group of trees on the left. Keep forward again, bearing slightly right but basically in the same direction, across a very large field to a stile in the middle of the long fence at the far side.
Drop down through trees to a stile into a descending field and go straight down to a broken stile by an oak tree in the bottom hedge. Cross into an area of scrub. Go down to a hidden footbridge at the bottom ignoring a stile over on the left. Cross the footbridge into another scrubby area and go across to a second footbridge. Emerge into a field and go forward slightly right following the fence on the right to go under a railway arch. Bear left up to gates onto a road.
Turn left up the road. At a sharp left bend turn right onto the drive into a cattery. In a few paces turn left on a footpath along the side of a wooden building to a stile into a field. Go down the field by the hedge on the right to a stile into woods on the right. Drop down to a wide sunken track. Turn left down it to an open grassy area. Bear right to go through a metal fieldgate into a field. Go down the field to the bottom left corner and exit onto a track.
Turn right uphill. Cross a stile into an enclosed path and follow the fence up to an asphalt roadway. Turn left on this. At a T-junction soon reached, turn right on a rough vehicle track uphill (this is on the Vanguard Way). Eventually reach a junction of ways. Turn left on a road bending left and follow this all the way to The Maypole inn and the end of the section.