Section 23 Return
Faygate to Handcross
|Explorer 134 Crawley & Horsham
|6 miles/ 3 hours
|The Holmbush Inn in Faygate.
|A walk of woods, hills and valleys interspersed with dairy farms; once again permissive paths are used at the beginning and the end. Another flat crossing of the A264 is necessary needing the greatest care.
With the Holmbush Inn on the right, walk back down the road to the roundabout. Ignore the turning left and continue down to a major roundabout on the A264. Go to the left of the roundabout where there is a dedicated pedestrian crossing. The traffic is not controlled so wait until no traffic is coming around the roundabout.
Over the crossing turn right and then left up Tower Road. Keep uphill for ¼ mile. Pass the entrance to Beechwood on the right. Just before the entrance to Seers Croft, a vet nary surgery, turn left off the road on a very feint path through bracken into woods. Keep along the top edge of a clearing. These paths are not public rights of way. In a short distance turn right up a clear path through pine trees. Keep up this path for a good way. At a Y-fork near the top bear right and keep on, to meet a sandy gravel track.
Cross over and go towards a rougher gravel track with a wall on the left. Turn right on this track. In a short distance, just after a corner in the wall, turn right onto a grassy way between pine trees. At the top of the rise the track turns sharp left down to a crossing of ways. Here turn right, uphill, on a broad track.
Near the top bear right and soon emerge onto a road. Turn left along the road and soon come down to a crossroads by The Dragon pub at Colgate. Cross over to a minor road running down the side of the pub. Descend gently passing houses on the left.
Where the road swings sharp right and downhill, turn sharp left off the road on an enclosed sunken path. In a few paces turn right on a narrow footpath enclosed between fence and hedge. Keep along for some way to eventually reach a junction with a cross track. Turn right on this for 50 metres.
At a junction with a pond on the right, turn left into woods. Follow a pleasant woodland path to a stile. Cross and climb up into an open grassy area. Bear right across this to woods at the far side. Enter the woods over a stile. Turn left for a short distance to a road.
Turn right for ¼ mile. Opposite a farm entrance on the right, turn left off the road into a broad track enclosed between bushes. At the bottom cross a metal fieldgate and go up the side of a field with a fence on the left. Continue to the very top corner and cross a stile onto a road.
Turn right for ¼ mile. Soon after passing a farm on the left and just before a tall privet hedge, turn left off the road over a stile into a footpath enclosed between a hedge and wire fence. The drops downhill and merges into a field edge. Keep on following the field edge as it zigzags down to the bottom corner of the field.
Go forward downhill into woods. Cross a footbridge and go steeply uphill to a stile into a field. Bear right across the corner of the field into a stand of trees. Cross through the trees to a stile at the far side into a field. Turn left steeply up the edge of the field to a stile at the top.
Cross into another field and turn right along by a fence on the right. In a short distance the path bears slightly left, away from the fence, and goes diagonally left across the field to a stile at the far side. Turn left onto a sandy farm track. This soon joins a concrete track. Go forward in the same direction as before for nearly a mile.
The track is impressive as it forms the top of a dam across two steep gills. Eventually the outward route is joined. Continue back to the concrete pillars on the left. Turn left between the pillars and through the swing gate and go forward along the lakeside to the long footbridge. Over this bridge turn right steeply up to join a track. Turn right on this following the stream on the right. Continue up to a junction with a sandy farm track.
Turn left on this. Keep up this track for some way ignoring tracks off on the right. Follow a fence on the left. At the end of the fence leave the main track which swings left, and go straight ahead into an open grassy area. Bear left across to a further track leaving the grassy area and going on in the same direction as before.
Shortly reach a crossing of ways. Go forward in the same direction on a gravel track. Soon reach a tarmac drive and turn right to return to Handcross on the route of the outward walk. Continue along the drive to reach a main road. Turn left along the pavement all the way back to the Red Lion and the start of the section.