- Walking Time: 4.5 hours
- Length: 10 miles
- Terrain: Field, Gravel, Mud, Grass, Tarmac
- Restrictions: None of note.
- Maps needed: OS 135 (Ashdown Forest)
- Difficulty 7/10 (length & some steep hills)
This walk starts in East Grinstead and incorporates a small section of the Worth Way, a lot of rural countryside, via Gravetye Manor, the Bluebell Railway, Weir Wood Reservoir and finishes up on the Forest Way.
Start at East Grinstead station and continue out onto the Worth Way. Continue along the Worth Way until you reach the junction with the trail to Gulledge. Turn south onto the path to Tilkhurst Farm (as walked previously) and continue west until you reach Burleigh Lane. At the junction with Sandhill Lane, turn south and continue until you reach the footpath branching off to the right. Follow this path until you reach the B2110 (main road from East Grinstead to Turners Hill). Cross with care as this can get busy. The footpath continues opposite. Walk past the pond and follow the path up the gradient (this can get muddy) and under the power lines. Follow the path southwards, which will meander in between the tree line and the fields. The gap in the trees is an old Roman Road and extremely straight. The path from the B2110 to Selsfield Common is mostly an uphill gradient! Follow the footpath until you reach Selsfield Common (National Trust). There is a large log bench in Selsfield Common where I stopped for lunch, as it was just under half way through the walk.
After Selsfield Common, follow the signposted footpath through an old equestrian yard with very old brick buildings. The path runs through the middle of some horse fields either side, and out onto Vowels Lane. Continue on Vowels Lane for about 500 metres, then follow the entrance up the gradient to your right. The path divides soon after and climbs, passing round the back of some buildings. The path will then drop down again in a wide ravine-type gap until you reach a metal gate. Pass through the gate and turn left towards some buildings (passing gardens either side). Pass through another gate and you will arrive in a small car park. After the car park, turn south downhill and you will now be entering the Gravetye Estate. The furnace on the Gravetye Estate supplied the 12-pounder guns at Woolwich in the 18th century and is now a luxury hotel! Follow the path through the Gravetye Lake area and out into the fields, up a very steep incline. Continue over and enter a wooded area with ferns either side (this can get muddy). Follow the path up another steep field and into another wooded area. Take the footpath which almost doubles back on yourself and take the right fork. Follow this path through the forest, across a chalk road and then through the forest again, until you reach a lane to Birch Farm. Take the path next to the fence and follow, climbing steeply to cross over the Bluebell Railway on foot (watch & listen for steam trains in summer season).
After crossing the Bluebell Railway, follow the path across the fledgling River Medway and head up the steep hill, through the field with horses in, to the top where you will meet the path from Kingscote Estate (previous walk) and turn right up the the summit to Stone Farm Rocks. Walk along the ridge until you reach West Hoathly Road and then proceed down the narrow lane to Weir Wood Reservoir. Follow the path along the edge of the reservoir (2 miles) until you reach the junction with Millenium Walk by the edge of the dam. Turn north across the fields until you reach Horseshoe Cottage and carry on up Luxford Lane, joining the Forest Way at the now familiar location by the arch bridge. Follow the Forest Way until you reach East Grinstead high street.
This has been the most challenging walk so far, but also the most rewarding and varied and hopefully I’ll get to do many more like this!