Isfield to Chailey
FOLKESTONE TO FARNHAM ROBUST RAMBLE
Section 21 Out
Isfield to Chailey
Map: OS Explorer 122 Brighton & Hove
Distance/Time: 5.5 miles/3 hours
Start: The walk starts from the Laughing Fish in Isfield; limited parking in the vicinity.
Comments: Quite isolated countryside of woods and fields. Many stiles and paths that are often feint and hard to find. There are very short sections of roadwalking. Currently the Five Bells pub at Chailey is closed so it’s necessary to carry your own provisions.
With the Laughing Fish pub on your right and the railway behind, walk forward along the road for ¼ mile. Soon after the houses finish, the road bends around to the right. Here turn left, off the road, up a bridlepath (actually a metalled driveway).
Pass a pond on your left and a setback house. Where the main drive swings left, keep forward on a clear gravel track. Soon reach the White Bridge over the River Ouse. Cross and turn right over a stile.
Follow the river bank, on your right, up three hay pastures, passing through a swing gate and a double stile.
Eventually, reach a metal fieldgate with a stile at the side. Cross and go forward over a gravel track to a second metal fieldgate. Cross the stile at the side and go up the edge of a field with a wood on your right.
Where the trees end, cross a stile on your right. Turn immediately left, to go along with the hedge on your left.The path becomes a broad, cattle drove as it approaches Beaks Farm. Keep forward, past the farm, down to a road.
Turn left on the road for ¼ mile, passing the Bradness Gallery (landscape pictures by Michael Cruickshank), a bridge over the Longford Stream, and the old buildings of Longford Farm.
Turn right on a footpath which is actually a wide vehicle drive. Follow this for some way uphill into trees. Where the main drive swings left, keep forward on an earthen farm track, first downhill, then uphill, by a field on your left.
At the top of the hill, where the track swings left, go forward to a stile concealed in ferns. Cross to a narrow track through bracken, to soon emerge into a large open space, possibly used by 4x4 vehicles.
Follow the trees on your left a short distance, then bear slightly right, away from them, uphill, to the very furthest top corner of the field (there is a wooden fingerpost near the top). Do not enter the wood on your right.
At the top corner go through a gateway onto a clear, grassy farm track. Keep on this track as it winds through trees then emerges into the open. Stay with the track as it swings right, downhill, towards trees.
As it reaches the trees, the track swings more definitely right, and the big house at Newick Park is in the distance. Do NOT keep downhill, but look for an overgrown path going off left into trees.
Cross a footbridge and pass several ponds then cross a further footbridge to an enclosed grassy path going up by a garden on your left. Eventually this path leads out to a road.
Turn left along the road, a short distance, looking for the drive to Tutt’s Farm on your right. Turn up here. At the farm, keep around the righthand edge of the garden to a stile in the far corner. Cross and go straight over a field to a further stile.
Cross a second field to a stile and keep forward over a sunken lane (Cockfield Lane), and up, into a further field. Cross, to yet another stile, into trees, hiding a bridge over an old railway.
Over this, join a feint path which goes away from the railway, with trees on your left. The path swings left, around the trees, and reaches a Y-fork.
Bear right on a feint path, crossing a large grassy meadow, downhill, towards a treeline in the distance (up on the hill, slightly right, are the buildings of Wilding Farm).
At the bottom of the field, join a grassy track into trees. Pass between ponds then follow the track left, into a field.
Bear right, uphill, with trees on your right. Where the trees stop, bear left, up the centre of a huge meadow, aiming for a T-shaped pylon at the top of the hill (keep generally parallel with the trees on your left, but don’t go into them). The grass may be very long and the path indistinct; the only clue is the CLOVER, which only seems to be growing on the route of the path.
Follow the clover uphill. On nearing the T-shaped pylon, veer off to your right towards a detached house with a swimming pool.
Cross a stile onto a driveway and turn left down it for a short distance, through a brick gateway. Immediately bear diagonally right, across a patch of grass to a road.
Cross and go forward into trees. Follow a narrow path, down through holly bushes, to a new metal kissing gate leading into a field.
Go down the field, following the fence on your left, to another kissing gate at the far end. Emerge onto grass in a residential area. Go forward towards a house, then bear left, down a roadway, to the main road at Chailey. This is the end of the section. (5 Bells pub just south is closed)
FOLKESTONE TO FARNHAM ROBUST RAMBLE
Section 21 Return
Chailey to Isfield
Map: OS Explorer 122 Brighton & Hove
Distance/Time: 6 miles/3 hours
Start: The main road in Chailey.
Comments: Constant variety in this countryside of woods, fields and water meadows. Many stiles and paths prone to mud in wet weather. There are short sections of roadwalking. A particular wooded section has to cope with many informal paths and scrappy waymarking.
Having emerged onto the main road in Chailey, turn left down it to pass the former Five Bells pub(now closed) on your right. Pass this and reach a side road on the left called Cinder Hill.
Do not turn up it, but look across to the corner where the side road meets the main road, for a stile onto an overgrown path. Walk along this path, parallel to the main road over on your right. Eventually emerge into a clearing with a wooden fieldgate on your right by the road (if the path is impossible walk along the road to this point).
Here turn left, away from the road, and cross a stile into a field. Go straight over the field to a stile in the hedge. Cross and turn immediately right, to follow the hedge on your right, downhill, to a stile onto a road.
Turn left along the road. Pass Furzeley Farm on your right and keep on, through woods. Just before a single storey building on your right, go over a stile on your right in a flint wall, into a wood (the usual problems with woodland paths now with confusion from informal, unmarked paths, not on the map. Basically, keep in a southerly direction).
Over the stile go forward a short distance to a Y-fork. Bear right here, and soon reach another junction. Go right, over a footbridge.
At the next junction bear left. Keep forward, ignoring a track going off left, and keep on the main, grassy path, to a T-junction. Turn left. At the next Y-fork, go right.
Reach yet another junction and turn left, on the main track. There are more junctions to come.
At the next junction, go right, then left at the following junction (keeping on the main path).
Eventually, cross a two plank footbridge and meet a bridlepath. Turn left on this, for some way.
At a clearing, by a holly tree at a meeting of tracks, bear right, downhill, to the edge of the wood.
Here, turn left on a broad, level track (Balneath Lane) and continue for a mile, with a field over on your right. Eventually, reach a gate onto a road. Turn right along this road for ¼ mile.
Pass Down View Farm, on your left, and, just after a bridlepath comes in on your right, go left off the road, over a stile, into a field.
Go straight down the field to a stile in the centre of the end hedge. Cross and go under an old railway line into woodland.
Bear right, down the main, broad path, for a good way.
Eventually emerge from the wood and go on with a field on your right. Keep ahead through Knowland’s Farm and follow a concrete drive, uphill, to eventually emerge onto a road at Mount Pleasant.
Turn left up the road a short distance. Turn right, just past Forge Cottage, to a gate leading to an enclosed path, alongside a wall, to a stile into a field.
Go on, down the field, by a hedge on your left, to a stile at the bottom. Cross a footbridge, then go diagonally right, up a slope, to a swing gate. Keep ahead along the side of a pasture, with farm buildings on your right. Eventually emerge onto a road (Ignore the footpath to Bank’s Farm opposite).
Turn left up the road. Where this turns sharply right, go straight ahead, up a private road (Dallas Lane). Keep forward between houses, to a green, metal fieldgate. Use the built-in step to cross the gate, then keep on, uphill, on a clear track.
At the top of the hill turn right on a footpath into a field (ignore path off left). Follow the hedge on your left, to a corner. Turn right, along with the hedge, still on your left, to a metal fieldgate. Turn left here, into another field and go up with trees on your right.
At the top corner, go through a gateway, into a field, and turn sharp left, along the field edge, with a hedge on your left.
At a corner, turn right, still along the field edge, with the hedge on your left, down to the bottom corner.
Turn right a few paces, once again alongside the hedge, and soon find a stile on your left, in the hedge. Cross, into an enclosed path. Follow this pleasant path, downhill in woodland, for some distance.
Cross a stile at the bottom, into a water meadow of the Old Ouse River (now part of a country stewardship scheme). Bear left to follow the wire fence on your left, along the course of the old river.
Cross a substantial footbridge (this is now a bridlepath), into a further meadow. Bear diagonally left across the centre of this meadow, to a gate at the far side onto the White Bridge, crossed on the outward route.
Cross the bridge and turn right along the farm track and drive, out to a road. Turn right on the road, back into Isfield and the Laughing Fish at the start of the walk.