- Walking Time: 3.5 hours
- Length: 10.5 miles
- Terrain: Mud, Fields, Grass, Tarmac, Gravel, Rock
- Restrictions: None of note
- Maps needed: OS 135 (Ashdown Forest)
- Difficulty: 7/10
A walk that goes from East Grinstead via the countryside and an abandoned horse livery to Owlett’s Farm in the northeast to Thornhill Manor, back into Ashurst Wood then to Forest Row station and back along the Forest Way.
Start in East Grinstead and follow the A22 towards Ashurst Wood. Stay on the road and do not take the Forest Way. Continue along the pavement until you cross over Woodbury Avenue. There will be a footpath signposted behind a wooden fence behind some parked cars. Follow this into a meadow and stay to the right as you go up the gradient. The path goes behind the houses and then to a narrow tarmac drive. Cross over this and follow the path and then into the woods. The path will continue through the woods and then come to a muddy style. Cross over and take the left fork onto a bark footpath (for horses). Follow this path down the gradient until you reach an open field. There should be abandoned horse jumps on your left. This was part of Homestall Stud Livery (which was closed as of July 2017). You can follow the horse track for about 1 mile in a loop or cross over the field to the style in the fence. The path will then climb up the gradient. Make sure you stick to the fence up the field. At the top of the field turn right and head south toward Beeches Farm. The path will bring you out into Ashurst Wood.
In Ashurst Wood, follow the road all the way for about 2 miles until you are opposite Stoke Brunswick School (with a golf course). Take the lane towards Great Water Farm and then Little Water Farm. There should a medieval building called New Barn on your right. The footpath will turn right up the field and hug the treeline. Follow this until you meet a quiet lane. Turn left when upon the lane. Follow this lane for about 2 miles past two long farm buildings and some houses until you are in Owlett’s Farm, with barns on your left and tractors on your right. Continue walking through Owlett’s Farm until you reach a style to the right by a stream. Cross over and follow this, crossing over the stream again, into fields. Follow the path through three fields, the gradient rising sharply until you reach the same lane that you followed before.
Turn left on the lane and follow this for about 2 miles. You should past Thornhill, a large country house, that can be seen from all surrounding areas. The lane should enter Ashurst Wood and lampposts start to appear. Follow the lane until you reach the church in Ashurst Wood opposite the war memorial. Turn left past the blacksmith’s and then enter the small recreation ground. You can follow the path through the rec ground to avoid the busy road. The path will bring you out opposite a bridleway. Take this bridleway and then cross over the A22 main road and then down Brambletye Lane. At the old Brambletye Crossing turn left towards Forest Row, along the Forest Way. Follow the Forest Way, crossing over the A22 again at the pedestrian crossing. Follow the road until you reach some buildings built on the railway alignment. The old site of Forest Row station is occupied by a waste transfer site and scout hut, but the old platforms can still be made out underneath. After this, follow the Vanguard Way back towards Forest Row. There are many signposted routes back into the centre of the village by the church.
When returning towards East Grinstead, follow the Forest Way for the length of the route back towards East Grinstead.