- The Bluebell Railway
- Sussex Border Path
- Field, farm, pond and streams
The last in a series of seven circular walks connected with The Bluebell Railway, this walk also takes in part of the Sussex Border Path. Choose between two routes, the shorter being just 2½ miles, the longer being 3½ miles.
With 'The Sloop' pub on your right, go the short distance along the road to the bridge across the River Ouse and turn right into the drive to Freshfield Mill Farm. Immediately cross a stile on the left side of the drive, into a field (sign: West Sussex Border Path). Turn right to stile beyond the left corner of a grey corrugated barn. Cross a short paddock to a stile and footbridge. Go ahead on a cross-field path to a footbridge, cross the bridge and continue on the same line to a field gate to the right of the right-hand corner of the copse. Cross the stile and bridge, turn left and go under the railway arch (OS ref.392248).
Follow the rising track for a few metres and on entering the field, bear left, on the left side of the field, along the edge of the copse. Where the copse turns to the left, continue forward on a cross-field path (signed footpath), passing to the left of a small mid-field pond. Continue on same line to the wood (signed Sussex Border Path). In the wood, go forward over a crossing path (take the path marked 'Sussex Border Path') and continue, joining the road (Ketches Lane) at Kingswood Cottage (OS ref.395254).
FOR THE OPTIONAL SHORTER WALK - On reaching the road (Ketches Lane) at Kingswood Cottage, turn left on the road and continue on it for about half a mile, until reaching Town Place, a house on the left. Here you re-join the main route. The route description continues at b below.
FOR THE LONGER WALK: On reaching the road (Ketches Lane) at Kingswood Cottage, cross the road and take the farm road to Northlands Farm (OS ref.396258). At the pond bear left on the farm road. At the corner of the cottage, turn left through a field gate and immediately turn right, keeping the garden fence on your right. Follow the power lines along the left side of two fields, down to a stile in the far left corner. Cross the stile and a footbridge, and go forward downhill through the copse to cross another footbridge. Continue following the power lines up the left side of the field and into the copse. Keeping the small pond on your right, continue through the copse to a stile. Cross the stile into a field, and with the power lines to your left, go on a cross-field path to a stile and footbridge at the far side. Pass through an overgrown orchard, go over a stile and turn left onto the drive.
In about 200 metres, where the drive curves right, turn left into a field at the footpath sign and follow the right side of the field, continuing on the path through a copse. At the end of the copse, ignore the path to the right, and keep straight ahead. In about 30 metres go over a stile and follow the fence line, with a house ahead of you. In about 100 metres go over a second stile. Continue along the fence line (south) until reaching the road (Ketches Lane - OS ref. 387255). On reaching the road at the house, 'Town Place', turn right on the road.
[b The route of the shorter walk re-joins the main route at this point, and continues as below.]
Immediately past 'Town Place', cross a stile on the left into a field. Follow the hedge round to the left, behind the garden of 'Town Place', and where the garden perimeter turns sharp left again (footpath sign post) keep forward across field (look for rail bridge ahead of you, two fields away).
Descend the field to a stile in the far left corner. Cross the stile and a footbridge into the next field. Continue ahead along a track at the right side of the field; and just before the far right corner, cross a fence onto the bridge over the Bluebell Railway. Cross the bridge (Sheffield Park to the left, Horsted Keynes to the right).
On the far side of the bridge, cross the stile and continue on the same line on a cross-field path (with a road seen directly ahead of you) to a stile in the far right corner. Cross two stiles, bear right to a gate and stile at the road (OS ref. 385247) and turn left on the road back to 'The Sloop'.
Two easy walks (2½ or 3½ miles) designed for family enjoyment. Take care when crossing roads of the railway.
Check services and times with Metrobus at 01293 449191 or www.metrobus.co.uk
Bus 270, Haywards Heath/ East Grinstead calls at Horsted Keynes station.
These walks start and finish at 'The Sloop' pub at Freshfield, between Danehill (on the A275) and Scaynes Hill (on the A272). The OS ref. for The Sloop is 385243.