Section 20 Out
Horsted Keynes to Ardingly
|OS Explorer 135 Ashdown Forest
|3 miles/ 2 hours
|Village shop and Crown Inn in Horsted Keynes.
|Shortish section with constantly changing countryside, some steep climbs and the possibility of a steam engine on the Bluebell Railway.
With the village shop on the right and the old Crown Inn on the left, walk down the main road, passing the Green Man pub on the right to reach a crossroads by the Post Office. Turn right down through concrete bollards onto a roadway heading towards the church on the hill ahead.
Go downhill, ignoring all sideroads. At the bottom of the hill, turn left down a narrow, enclosed asphalt path. Soon go through a wooden swing gate then a wooden kissing gate into a path enclosed between wire fences and fields. Keep on for some way. Pass a pond on the right and pass through a wooden kissing gate into woods.
On reaching a cross track, go over and up a bank, then down to a second vehicle track by fisheries. Turn left on this track for some way to eventually emerge onto a road. Turn right over a small bridge, and immediately left over the road to a stile by a metal field gate.
Cross into a field and bear diagonally right uphill across the centre of the field to a stile and metal fieldgate in the far top corner. Cross and turn right on a farm track. In the centre of the farm go left and immediately right up between cattle byres to a T-junction. Turn left on a rather odorous track through a rusty fieldgate.
In a few paces, at the end of the last building on the right, look for an old metal swing gate on the right. Go through and into a field. Go down the field by the hedge on the left to far bottom corner. Go through a metal fieldgate onto a farm track. This soon enters a field. Go forward across the centre of the field and down towards a distant railway signal. Drop down to a stile in the far hedge and emerge onto a road by a bridge.
Turn left on the road under the bridge. Keep on along the road. The road begins to climb and then turns sharp left. Just around the bend look for a stile on the right. Cross into a field and turn diagonally left uphill to a gap in the hedge at the top. Go through and then through a small wooden gate. Continue in the same direction uphill through a tree plantation.
At the far side exit via another little wooden gate. Cross a track to a stile beyond and continue steeply downhill between two lines of trees. At the bottom cross steps and a footbridge to enter an ornamental garden. Bear slightly right uphill to join a vehicle track and continue a short distance to pass a workshop on the left to a metal kissing gate by a large oak tree. Go through and bear right along the top of a bank to gradually drop down to a road. Turn right on the road a few paces then go left up steps to a stile into a field. Bear left alongside the fence on the left. Go through a metal fieldgate into a second field and continue with hedge and trees on the left.
Just before reaching the end of the field turn left through a metal kissing gate in the hedge into a cricket pitch. Bear right across the front of the pavilion to reach a large tree stump. Turn right to a metal fieldgate and go through the metal kissing gate at the side. Cross into a sloping field and go diagonally left downhill, aiming just right of a distant house across the valley.
At the bottom of the field reach a metal fieldgate with a wooden swing gate at the side. Go through into an enclosed path through trees. Go down to reach a steeply sloping field. Go up with hedge on the left towards an isolated house. Ignore a path going off left just below the house. Pass the house on the left and bear left through a swing gate to go steeply up through trees, by a garden fence on the left, to a stile at the top of the wood.
Cross into a field and keep on uphill by the hedge on the left to the top corner and a further stile. Cross and keep forward to a final metal fieldgate and swing gate. Enter the end of a sideroad which soon reaches the High Street in Ardingly opposite the village shop. Cross the road and turn left downhill.
Turn first right to reach the Ardingly Inn and the end of the section.