- Walking Time: 3.5 hours
- Length: 9.5 miles
- Terrain: Mud, Gravel, Fields, Rock, Grass, Tarmac
- Restrictions: No major restrictions
- Maps needed: OS 135 (Ashdown Forest)
- Difficulty: 7/10 (length & navigation needed)
A large loop walk that goes from East Grinstead to Tilkhurst Farm, Kingscote station, Stone Farm Rocks, Weir Wood Reservoir and back via the Forest Way.
Start outside East Grinstead station. Take the Worth Way for about 1 mile and head south towards Tikhurst Farm. At Tilkhurst Farm take the Sussex Border Path heading west. Then head south until you reach a sloped field and a small footbridge.
The path will meander through some fields and up and down a few gradients. Follow the path & the OS map and you will come out at Hurst Farm (a small private lane). Walk down this lane to the B2110 road (this is relatively busy so be careful). Follow the B2110 for about 400 metres and then turn down a footpath to the south. There will be a style at the roadside to climb. Follow this path (well signposted here) until you reach an open field that is quite steep. Head through the farm and you will reach Vowel’s Lane, with Kingscote station on your left. This is part of the preserved Bluebell Railway.
Cross over the road and carry on down the lane. This lane passes next to the railway tracks twice so you can stop and wait for the steam trains if you want. You will need to walk about 1.5 miles on this lane and then take a left turn by some houses into the private Kingscote Estate. This is a large vineyard, B&B, fishing ponds and equestrian centre in rural surroundings. The footpath carries on through the middle of the estate and out the other side: Here it is a bridleway but fully open to the public. Follow the path up the steep incline until you reach the top of the hill and you will come across a high geological ridge.
The ridge is a geological feature of the area and was formed about 400 million years ago when the soft sandstone (that forms most of the Weald) was worn away. The ridge is bedrock and still stands marking the valley below to the south. On the ridge are noticeable rock formations and quite rare for the south of England: These are Stone Farm Rocks. Follow the path along the ridge until you reach West Hoathly Road. Take the first left down the narrow lane (cars pass here so watch out) and follow down to Weir Wood Reservoir. The path cuts in between the water and the car park and is marked by a finger signpost. The path follows the edge of the reservoir and meets with the path that was feature in ‘North of the Reservoir’. Follow this path along the north bank of the reservoir for about 1.5 miles until you reach the electricity pylon where the four paths diverge.
Take the path heading north and back towards Horseshoe Cottage. Then follow the path to Luxford Lane, then down by the familiar arch bridge and back along the Forest Way. This will take you back into south of East Grinstead
Thanks once again for stopping by and I hope you get to experience one of my walks so far. All paths are mostly signposted but do require some map reading to complete.