Section 17 Out
High Hurstwood to Nutley
|OS Explorer 135 Ashdown Forest
|5 miles/ 3 hours
|The Maypole in High Hurstwood, ask about parking.
|Increasingly wooded and steep countryside with sandy heathland.
With ‘The Maypole’ pub on the right, walk uphill with a playing field on the right. Pass a side road on the left and soon reach a Y-fork. Bear right, uphill, for ¼ mile. Just past a farm entrance on the left, look for a gap in the holly hedge on the left. Go through a swing gate into an area of scrub (this path is part of the Vanguard Way). Follow this pleasant path as it passes through woods then continues on across a field towards a church. Exit onto the church drive and turn left down to a road.
Turn right on the road for a few paces then almost immediately turn left through a swing gate into a secluded wood path (no longer on Vanguard Way). Cross a footbridge at the bottom and exit the field through swing gate into a rising field. Go straight up the slope to follow a line of solitary trees to a swing gate in the far hedge. Keep forward with a hedge on the right. At the top corner of the field emerge onto a road and turn right for ½ mile.
On reaching a junction with a main road turn right for a few paces then turn left to cross the road and go down a side road called Oldlands Hill. Follow this for ½ mile. Pass Oldlands Farm on the right and at the bottom of the hill ford a stream. Continue on up the road until it makes a sharp left turn by a white weatherboarded house. Pass the entrance gates to Oldlands Hall and turn right.
Pass the white house on the left and soon reach a junction of ways. Turn left on a feint, grassy footpath passing outbuildings on the left into an area of bushes (this path is part of the Wealdway). Keep forward a short way to reach a broad cross track. Ignore the Wealdway which crosses straight ahead. Turn left on the broad track down to cross a bridge, then keep forward steeply uphill for ½ mile ignoring all side tracks to eventually reach a main road.
Cross and go forward over a cattle grid and down a gravel vehicle track. Keep on for some way, down, then up to emerge at a clearing by farm buildings on the left. Go forward and at a Y-fork keep left, basically straight on, downhill on a broad sandy track. At the bottom cross two footbridges, and go on up a broad rutted way into open heathland.
At the top go forward, ignoring a track off right. Drop down into a ravine and cross a small stream at the bottom. Go on up again by trees on the left. In 100 metres, where slope becomes less steep, look for a short path off left through the trees to a rough vehicle drive. Turn right on this drive.
Where the drive bends right uphill, go left through a cottage gateway (there were eggs for sale) into a grassy area. Turn right along the top edge to a barrier of poles at the end. Go through these onto open heathland with Nutley on the hill ahead. Go straight forward across the heathland and down into a valley. Cross a stream and go on steeply uphill, keeping on the main track.
Ignore side tracks until reaching a Y-fork at the top of the hill. Go left here for a short way to meet a drive. Cross straight over and soon pass cottages on the left. At the end of buildings go forward on an enclosed path between garden fences. This soon becomes a road. Keep on uphill through houses to eventually meet a main road.
Turn left past the village shop and keep on down the main road for 150 metres to reach the ‘Nutley Arms’ and the end of the section.