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A S U S S E X

2 0 S U S S E X WA L K S For Pat Bowen, walking is an adventure; sometimes its focus is on health; sometimes it's an enactment of freedom and a celebration of our physical connection with the living landscape. Why not join her to explore the delights of walking in Sussex.

VICTOR HUGO

Snake River Press publishes books about the art, culture, personalities and landscape of Sussex. Snake River books are available by mail order or from bookshops. You can order safely online through our website: www.snakeriverpress.co.uk. If you prefer buying offline you can contact us by telephone: 01273 403988 or by email: sales@snakeriverpress.co.uk

BOWEN

‘To rove about, musing, that is to say loitering, is, for a philosopher, a good way of spending time.’

SNAKE RIVER BOOKS

2 0 S U SS E X WA L K S

2 0 S U S S E X WA L K S

Pat Bowen – grandmother, storyteller, allotment gardener – has been exploring Sussex on foot, bike and public transport since she came to the county in 1969. She has reconnoitred and led hundreds of walks, each one involving trying out different routes and researching landscape, trees, history, creatures, local stories and folklore. She has written articles for various organizations and projects in the fields of World Studies, Storytelling, Environmental Education,Archaeology and Folklore, has edited two collections of stories, and had her own stories published in anthologies.This is her first book of walks.

it's about imagination and creativity; always

A SUSSEX GUIDE

PAT B O W E N

G U I D E 2 0 S U S S E X WA L K S

A good walk can do more than exercise your muscles, heart and lungs – it can enhance your mood, refresh your spirits and leave you knowing a little more about the world. There's no better way of becoming acquainted with the land than walking till you feel it in your bones – even if these do ache pleasantly after one of the more challenging outings. These 20 original walk routes have been designed by veteran Sussex walker Pat Bowen to let you experience every aspect of the rich Sussex countryside from coast to high heathland. The text will also entertain you on the way with historical anecdotes, nature notes, folk stories – the kind of titbits that give each place its local distinctiveness.

PAT B O W E N

BOOKS ABOUT SUSSEX FOR THE ENTHUSIAST

SNAKE RIVER PRESS

SNAKE RIVER PRESS

www.snakeriverpress.co.uk

£8.99


20 SU S S E X WA LK S PAT B O W E N

Car tog raphy by JOHN WOODCOCK Cover Illustration by I VA N H I S S E Y

SNAKE RIVER PRESS


SNAKE RIVER PRESS Book No 7 Books about Sussex for the enthusiast Published in 2015 by SNAKE RIVER PRESS South Downs Way, Alfriston, Sussex BN26 5XW www.snakeriverpress.co.uk

ISBN 978-1-906022-06-8 This book was conceived, designed and produced by SNAKE RIVER PRESS Copyright Š Snake River Press Limited 2007 Text Š Pat Bowen All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. The publishers and authors have done their best to ensure the accuracy and currency of all information at the date of preparation. Readers who intend to rely on the information to undertake any activity should check the current accuracy. The publishers and authors accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by the reader as a result of information or advice contained in this book. Art Director & Publisher Peter Bridgewater Editorial Director Viv Croot Editor RobertYarham Page makeup Richard Constable & Chris Morris Cover illustration Ivan Hissey Cartography JohnWoodcock Consultant Lorraine Harrison This book is typeset in Perpetua & Gill Sans, two fonts designed by Eric Gill Printed and bound in Poland

D E D I C AT I O N

For my daughters & grandchildren


INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . 6

ASHDOWN FOREST . . . . . . . . 56

DEVIL’S DYKE . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

BALCOMBE TO HAYWARDS HEATH . . . . . . 60

HENFIELD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

BECKLEY & RYE . . . . . . . . . . . 64

ROEDEAN TO ROTTINGDEAN 20

HASTINGS & FAIRLIGHT GLEN . . . . . . 68

BOXGROVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

KINGLEY VALE . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

HERSTMONCEUX . . . . . . . . . 28

LEWES TO NEWHAVEN . . . . . 76

LULLINGTON HEATH . . . . . . . 32

MIDHURST & IPING COMMONS . . . . . . 80

MAYFIELD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 PULBOROUGH TO AMBERLEY 84 ST LEONARD’S FOREST . . . . . 40

ROBERTSBRIDGE & BODIAM

88

SIDLESHAM & PAGHAM HARBOUR . . . . 44

TIPS FOR SAFE WALKING . . . . 92

STEYNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . 94

UCKFIELD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

CHALLENGING

MEDIUM

EASY

CONTENTS


2 0

S U S S E X

W A L K S

D E V I L’ S DY K E S C R A MB LE

&

CLAM B E R

S U S S E X EASY

N

Sto Bus

To Henfield

p

A281

Steep Wooded Slopes

1 Poynings

ma i n r o ute al te r na ti v e r oute

Pub

1 km

0

Pub

South Downs Way

th Pa

il’s Dev

Devi l’s

o

rD me m Su

d

Dy ke

wn

Rd

Path to Mile Oak

Saddlescombe Farm

ke

ry Sca

ombe R Saddlesc

To Fulking

8

39 Steps

1 ml

Dy

0

Newtimber Hill

Spring

T

Summary

f Start point: TQ266128 f Map: OS Explorer 122 f Distance: Circular, 5 miles (8 km), but

can be shortened, lengthened or extended to become a linear walk f Description: Some steep climbs. Orchids and downland flowers make it ideal for late spring and summer f Refreshments: Pubs at the beginning and middle f Transport: Bus from Brighton at weekends only to Devil’s Dyke; bus (Brighton to Henfield and Horsham) stops at Poynings roundabout (hourly service on weekdays, two hourly on weekends)

his is a Downs and woodland route mostly on open access land with clear landmarks that make it almost impossible to get lost, so children may safely choose their own paths, scramble in woods and enjoy dramatic slopes and exciting vistas. You can start from the car park at Devil’s Dyke (buses at weekends only) or from Poynings. The bus stop nearest to Poynings is by the roundabout where the road turns sharply north towards Henfield.

[ 12 ]


D E V I L ’ S

1 Looking towards the Downs from the roundabout you can see the footpath going diagonally across two fields towards the square tower of Poynings’ church nestling beneath the wooded hillside.

2 When you reach the farm,the footpath appears to lead into an agricultural machinery cemetery.Walk between the barns and farm buildings until you come to the drive.Turn right towards the church and then left through the village. Pass the pub and take the second footpath to the left, heading up towards the Downs through a twitten (a narrow path between hedges or buildings), then between fields and into the woods where the path forks. The right-hand fork takes you up the ‘39 steps’ (ironically named by the valiant volunteers who maintain all 200 of them) through a hazel coppice and onto one of the finest revetted hillside paths on the Downs.See below for an alternative route. This is not a path for vertigo sufferers or nervous parents with very young children, or when the ground is slippery in wet weather. It follows the curve of the hillside, giving wide

unbroken views to the north and west with violets and cowslips at your feet in spring, and orchids and roundheaded rampion as the year progresses.The steepness of the slope above and below and the narrowness of the path create a delightful sense of adventure and achievement.A little way along you cross a straight, wide trackway in the grass which is all that remains of the steep-grade railway that carried passengers down to Poynings for 2d between 1897 and 1908. 3 The path comes to a gate which brings you to the ditch and bank of the Neolithic hillfort enclosure near the Dyke car park, toilets and refreshments. Alternative route 1 Take the left fork by the ‘39 steps’ and follow the less precipitous route through sycamore woods to a bridle path where you turn right and arrive at the western boundary of the hillfort and then the Dyke car park.

4 From the car park walk west across the road,heading towards a rectangular brick building near the ditch and bank that mark the south-western perimeter of the hillfort. This building may have once housed a camera obscura, one of Mr Hubbard’s attractions. He was landlord of the Dyke Hotel in the 1890s and laid on various inducements to visitors who came at first in wagonettes, and later by train (the line closed in 1938). From this viewpoint

[ 13 ]

EASY

An old oak tree to the west of the path stands beside a spring. It’s not an exciting fountain of a spring like the one in Fulking, more of a muddy ooze with a trickle of water that has worn a groove in the smooth green of the field. However the trickle soon becomes a stream that eventually flows into the River Adur.

D Y K E


2 0

S U S S E X

W A L K S

ROEDEAN TO ROTTINGDEAN S E A S I D E

&

SK Y LARK S

S U S S E X al te r na ti v e r oute

0

1 km

0

1 ml Roedean Café

1

Ovingdean School

sta

Beacon Hill

A25

9

Marina

Und

7

ercli

Summary

f Start point: Roedean café on the A259,

TQ344033 f Map: OS Explorer 122 f Distance: Circular, about 4-5 miles (6.4-8 km), though could be shortened by taking the bus back from Rottingdean f Description: Some short climbs, route easy to find. A good walk for a summer evening but not ideal for children f Refreshments: Café (closed in the evening) at the beginning, and lots of possibilities for refreshments in the middle and at the end f Transport: Buses 12 and 13 (Brighton to Eastbourne) run frequently along the coast road past Roedean and Rottingdean

ns

St. Dun

EASY

N ma i n r o ute

ff W

alk

Win dm

ill

Rottingdean

T

his easily accessible walk along the coast east of Brighton includes wide downland views, a Saxon church, cliff tops, rock pools, and the village of Rottingdean where Kipling wrote Kim and you can see Burne-Jones windows in St Margaret’s church. 1 Start from Roedean Café (closed in the evening) and walk across the miniature golf course towards Roedean school,whose red roofs and gothic sandstone towers dominate the skyline.

[ 20 ]


R O E D E A N

T O

2 Find the footpath by the school’s western entrance and head east up the side of a field.The path continues along the field boundary, climbing slowly and bending north.Climb over a three-step stile on your right and walk up the hill. In summer you will pass clumps of red-brown flowered hound’s tongue, a plant which it is said, when stuffed in your shoes, will ward off dogs. As you climb, on a clear day you can see west as far as Selsey Bill. 3 You come to a field (full of cowslips in May) that slopes steeply down towards a flint wall where you can see an opening with a stile.The path leads down towards the square flint tower of the 11th-century church of StWulfran, Ovingdean.

St Wulfran was a missionary in Saxon times who spent some years attempting to convert the Frisians. Around the church is a conglomeration of fine Sussex flint buildings, including barns (now converted) whose size tells of agricultural prosperity. 4 When you leave the church area turn right at the road and continue through Ovingdean until you come to Beacon Hill where you turn left. Soon you can turn right to walk onto the grassy slope and continue climbing.You will probably hear skylarks singing even in winter and sometimes until dark. On the western slopes of Beacon Hill, hawthorns, blackthorn and elder have been bent by the prevailing southwesterlies to make natural shelters appreciated by the shepherds in previous centuries when these hills were known as ‘mutton barracks’.Then, the most desirable weather was strong, cool winds to keep the sheep’s fleeces dry and in good condition. St Dunstan’s stands high here, positioned to catch the sea-sweetened air for the benefit of servicemen blinded during the war. It is now a residential rehabilitation centre for people who lose their sight through illness or accident. On the top of the ridge the path passes a long barrow: a Neolithic burial mound that, 5000 years ago, would have been an imposing chalkclad structure, visible far across the

[ 21 ]

EASY

The school was radical in the late 19th century in its insistence on giving girls education in sciences as well as arts, and physical outdoor games. Sisters Millicent, Penelope and Dorothy Lawrence raised the money for this building which was finished in 1899 and all three taught there. During World War I, as well as knitting garments, the girls made walking sticks, splints and crutches in woodwork lessons. During World War II the school was occupied by the Royal Navy, leading to Old Boys’ reunions with jokes about a bell in each dormitory which you could ring if you needed the help of a mistress in the night.

R O T T I N G D E A N


2 0

S U S S E X

W A L K S

HERSTMONCEUX O L D

H AU NTI NGS, NE W

SCI E NC E

S U S S E X N

MEDIUM

Herstmonceux Place

Lakes

0

Chestnuts

1

71

A2

Pub

Wartling Wood

Castle Science Centre ath 1066 P

rtling R Wa

Spring

1066 Path

Wo Lan od e

Boreham Street

alte r nati v e r oute

d

0

m a i n r o ute

0

1 ml

T

Summary

f Start point: Boreham Street,TQ665114 f Map: OS Explorer 124 f Distance: Circular, about 5-6 miles

(8 km-9.7 km), can be extended to Pevensey f Description: High Weald woods and farmland – no steep climbs, sometimes muddy. Ancient woodland with lots of flowers and fungi – good at any season. Route passes Herstmonceux Observatory Science Centre and Castle f Refreshments: Pub at the beginning and end, and Observatory Science Centre midway (entrance fees apply) f Transport: Buses from Eastbourne and Bexhill go along A271 through Boreham Street

1 km

his is a walk through varied Wealden landscapes: small fields and ancient woods with some huge trees and extensive areas of coppice. There are old hedges too, and sandy banks with rabbit warrens, primroses and cuckoo flowers in spring.There is a splendid castle and science centre on the route, and views over Pevensey Levels where the sea used to come right up to high ground where Herstmonceux’s church has stood since Norman times.

[ 28 ]


H E R S T M O N C E U X

1 From Boreham Street, just west of the Bull’s Head (on the A271) you will find the 1066 CountryWalk long distance footpath going south.Follow it across the fields. At the first lane, turn right and then left staying with the waymarked 1066 path.

Science Centre.

You will come to Wartling Wood which is ancient mixed woodland with coppiced hornbeam and sweet chestnut rising out of mossy banks and bluebells bright as the sky in May. There are wood anemones and pink campion and you can hear all the woodland birds, including the cuckoo in the spring. Some of the aged chestnut coppice stools are 10 feet (3 m) in diameter but still full of vitality – they may date from the 17th-century heyday of the iron industry when coppiced wood was used to make charcoal for smelting.

The Science Centre was established here in 1945 by the Royal Greenwich Observatory which was being hampered by light and smoke pollution in London.The same fate overcame this site and in 1979 the Isaac Newton telescope, the pride and joy of the Observatory, was moved to La Palma in Spain.The six green domes you can see have been carefully positioned to house huge telescopes in such a way as to avoid interfering with each other’s view.Their tops can rotate so the telescopes can point to different parts of the sky.

2 The path stays by the edge of the wood, passing great oaks and beeches and a pond. When you reach the road turn right towards Herstmonceux castle and walk a little way until you see the 1066 path on the other side just before the entrance to the Observatory Science Centre.

3 To continue your walk, stay with the 1066 trail which takes you into more woods and a damp valley.

This stretch of road can be avoided by cutting across the southern corner of Wartling Wood. As you walk alongside it the field starts to slope

When you reach a clearing on your right, look for the footpath going left past a pond. This is the main path through the wood and it will bring you out opposite the gates of the

You will hear the hum of pumping equipment which is part of the reedbed water purifying system for the college (Queens University, Ontario) that now owns the castle.You will pass an enormous fallen sweet chestnut tree with grooves and knot-holes forming shapes like Eastern dragons.

downhill and you come to an open, brackencovered section where an informal path goes to the right between two oak trees. This becomes a little-used forestry track

4 The path continues through rich pastures past a storm-damaged oak from where you can see the red-brick castle.

[ 29 ]

MEDIUM

Alternative route 1

which winds south-west past an old metal hut.


2 0

S U S S E X

W A L K S

M AY F I E L D ST

D U N S TA N

& THE

D E VI L’S

NO SE

S U S S E X N

Tidebrook House Chittinghurst

Harewood Lodge ma i n r o ute

MEDIUM

al te r na ti v e r oute

Pond Bay

Disused Swimming Pool

Springs Palace

Sharnden Manor Farm

Combe Wood

8

Pub

1

treet High S Mayfield

0 0

T

Summary

f Start point: Mayfield,TQ587269 f Map: OS Explorer 136 f Distance: Circular, about 6-7 miles

(9.7–11.3 km), but may feel longer because of hills and stiles f Description: Often muddy. High Weald – ancient woods, pasture and streams. Particularly good in autumn for fungi lovers. Route has remote sections with little-used paths which are not always easy to find f Refreshments: Lots of possibilities at the beginning and end, none on route f Transport: Bus service, route 52 Eastbourne/Tunbridge Wells (hourly service, weekdays only, including Saturdays)

1 km 1 ml

his walk in the High Weald just south of Tunbridge Wells takes you through countryside characterised by hilly woods and fields, isolated hamlets and farms, oast houses (now converted) and ironmasters’ mansions. These were often built (during the 16th and 17th centuries) in splendid positions dominating the valleys where streams powered bellows and hammers to heat and smelt locally dug iron ore.This land, a rural idyll now, was once an industrial region of smoke

[ 36 ]


M A Y F I E L D

1 Walk up to the Palace end of the High Street and follow the road round to the left until you can see the children’s swings and playing fields on the right.Behind them is a stunning view across the land to the north, east and south. Follow the tarmac path down the left side of the playing field and, when it forks, go right past a basketball court.A footpath sign by another fork shows the path across the grass to trees beyond the football pitches.In the trees the

path joins a track – turn right and when you come to a white gate look for a stile to the left of it.Climb over and you can see a path beside the hedge on your right; there is another stile and another field and then you come to a footpath crossroads where you turn left.Walk downhill towards the hedge where a stile leads into a twitten running behind a house and garden.Climb a stile into another field where the path stays near the hedge on your right.There is another stile and field before the path bends away from the hedge and leads down the hill towards a stile that brings you into woods. Continue in the same direction through the woods,cross a stream and turn right at a gate. You will pass the huge upturned root pad of a lime tree, casualty of the 1987 storm. A grove of young limes is growing up from the horizontal trunk. At a wide bridge you can see that you are on a dam: on your right is the pond bay where bellows and a furnace stood. 2 Turn right after the bridge to walk by the stream. A magical, steep-banked woodland stream winds over rocks and around the roots of great beech trees. One of the trees fell long ago and still lies horizontally across the water before standing up tall where it grew strong again like its neighbours.These woods are still worked for timber and coppice so some sections are cut back to

[ 37 ]

MEDIUM

and noise, its roads ruined by the passage of cannon and munitions to the coast or London. In the 16th century, the ironmasters here had to be bound over by the Privy Council to prevent them selling their wares to the Spanish who were making an armada. The walk begins in Mayfield, a ridge-top village with a long and proudly vaunted history.The Archbishops of Canterbury built a palace here: its great 16th-century hall is now the chapel of a school.The village church site dates back to Saxon times. That was when St Dunstan practised smithcraft as well as preaching here. It is said that one day he took redhot tongs from the fire to catch the Devil by the nose and send him howling to the cooling waters of Tunbridge Wells. (The Devil had disguised himself as a beautiful woman to tempt the saintly Dunstan, but cloven hooves beneath the skirts gave him away.) The reddish staining in the stone of the church and nearby houses shows the presence of iron.


2 0

S U S S E X

W A L K S

STEYNING S T E E P, S T R A N G E

&

M I STY

S U S S E X

MEDIUM

Wiston House

Farm

Path

Bridleway

Steep

Lane

Chancto n

bur

yR

N

ing

So uth D

Mo

Massive Beeches

ow ns W

use L ane

Old Barn

Woods

6 ay

Old Dew Pond

Rifle Range Sou th D owns Way

To Cissbury Ring & Worthing

f Start point: Steyning,TQ177112 f Maps: OS Explorers 121 and 122 f Distance: Circular, about 6-7 miles

(9.7-11.3 km) with linear option (about 8 miles or 12.9 km) f Description: Climbs to the (often windy) top of the Downs. Route is easy to find. Downland flowers best in late spring and summer f Refreshments: Refreshments at the beginning and end, none on the route f Transport: Brighton/Horsham bus service goes to Steyning (hourly on weekday, two hourly on Sundays)

Court Mill

1

ma in rout e a lt erna t ive rout e

0 0

Summary

Springs

Steyning

S

1 km 1 ml

teyning is an excellent starting place for a walk. Its buildings are a mellow conglomeration of brick, flint, oak-beam with tile, thatch and Horsham stone roofs.The High Street has shops with bow windows, elegant Georgian houses, Medieval Wealdenstyle cottages and fine refreshment opportunities.There are narrow lanes and twittens that open up into small green spaces with blossom trees, flintwalled gardens and buildings of great interest. In fact, the only difficulty

[ 48 ]


S T E Y N I N G

mend it. He called on Heaven to reward their laughter with weeping and rain ruined the haymaking that day, and on that field forever afterwards. He stayed and built a wooden church which stood where now the mostly Norman one stands next to St Cuthman’s field, useless for haymaking but great as a park. 1 The walk begins from the north end of the High Street where the road forks; take the left branch, Mouse Lane, and go up past the old workhouse. It is a highbanked lane, often with a stream of water running down it. Pass the toads’ crossing place and continue to the sound of skylarks over the fields. In spring they engage in shrill aerial battles over disputed territory with the winner hovering, wings beating and song rising, over his precious nesting site.You can see the wooded scarp slope of the Downs on your left.This walk will take you to the top; Mouse Lane can be considered a warm-up. 2 Follow the footpath sign into the field on the left and through a band of woodland with a stream.Keep on this path until you come to the lane that leads toWiston House,the stone mansion that you can see in gardens to the right of the path. The house is at present the HQ of Wilton Park, an organisation founded in 1946, which organises conferences

[ 49 ]

MEDIUM

for a visitor might be leaving the village to start the walk. It was once one of the larger towns in Southern England with a flourishing port on the river Adur (called Brembre then), but the river silted up and retreated across the fields to the east so that, by the end of the 14th century, the port no longer existed. But there were two fairs a year (famous for trading Welsh cattle and New Forest ponies), two markets a week, and it was on a coaching route between London and the south coast. In 1861 the railway came and finished the coaching business, then in 1966 Dr Beeching put an end to the trains. The railway route is now a bypass leaving the village quiet but apparently thriving still. St Andrew’s church porch contains the stone that may have given ‘Steyning’ (people of the stone) its name. This huge stone, which was being used as a doorstep, was discovered during building works in 1938. It has carvings on the underside and there is some evidence, from the way it is weathered, that it once stood upright. So it may have been a focus point for pagan worship when, in the 8th century, St Cuthman came this way, pushing his aged mother in a onewheeled cart from the West Country. He was looking for a place to settle and begin his vocation, which was to convert the heathen.The wheelbarrow broke near here and haymakers in the field mocked his efforts to


2 0

S U S S E X

W A L K S

B A L C O M B E T O H AY WA R D S H E AT H WOOD S

S U S S E X

Summary

Walk Wood Balcombe Lake

mb

eM

ill

Pub

Victory Hall

1 Balcombe Station

co Bal

Causeway Ardingly Reservoir

f Start point: Balcombe railway station, TQ308302 f Map: OS Explorer 135 f Distance: Linear, about 8-9 miles (12.9-14.5 km) f Description: Explores the Upper Ouse and Ardingly reservoir, with optional close-up of Balcombe viaduct. Mostly flat, with lots of stiles, some muddy stretches and a golf course f Refreshments: Refreshment possibilities at the beginning and end, and sometimes midway f Transport: Regular trains serve both Balcombe and Haywards Heath stations from Brighton and London though only one per hour stops at Balcombe

Watersports Centre

t Viaduc

Rivers Wood

HWLT

alley Ouse V

CHALLENGING

& WAT E R

Rivers Farm

N

Copyhold Lane Golf Course

T

his is an ideal walk for a hot summer’s day as it has plenty of shade and is often beside water. 1 Come out of Balcombe station on the east side and turn left to walk along the road for about 200 yards.Over to your left you can see wooded hills and valleys stretching away towards St Leonard’s Forest.Turn right up Bramble Hill into Balcombe village.

! Haywards Heath

Wickham Farm

Station main route alternative route

0 0

1 km 1 ml

On the right you will find Victory Hall, opened in 1923. It is worth going inside to see the murals by Lord Lytton. These show scenes from village life as a softly coloured rural idyll alongside powerful depictions of World War I. Local people provided models for the figures and the murals

[ 60 ]


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T O

H A Y W A R D S

have been carefully looked after.The Hall is home to a private members’ club but when it is open you can see the paintings. Balcombe has a pub, tea shop and village shop. 2 Take the road to the right of the pub and walk past the village shop to a bend where you will find a well concealed footpath sign pointing to the right.Go through the kissing gate to the left of a large metal gate across the track,and take the path over the field heading towards a big oak. When you look back you will see Balcombe House which was built in the 18th century as a rectory.

The stream on your left runs through reddish banks, indicating iron in the soil – iron-making flourished in this area during the 16th and 17th centuries in particular. All the ingredients were present: ore in the ground, clay for bricks to make furnaces, water to power bellows to heat them and trees to coppice for a constant supply of charcoal. 4 Continue over several wooden footbridges until you come into a clearing. Here in late summer you will find many varieties of butterflies visiting eyebright, devil’s bit scabious,

tormentil, betony, knapweed and wild goldenrod. Different seasons offer other delights including glorious apple blossom in spring. 5 Follow the path through the woods until you come to a lake.A gate takes you into a field and you walk close to the lakeside (on your left) until a metal gate leads to a sharp left turn,another field and then a road. Here you turn right and continue to a left turn which takes you round a bend beneath rocky cliffs and past what remains of Balcombe Mill where corn was ground by water power from 1844 until the 1920s.The road crosses a causeway and Ardingly reservoir stretches serenely away between its wooded shores.When you reach the other side you will see an unmarked path going away from the road on your right to follow the edge of the lake among the trees.This is the old footpath route and is a fun, up-and-down woodland walk which can be muddy and slippery in wet weather.Alternatively,a hundred metres up the road there is a gate on the right leading into a wide track going through the woods – which the lower, narrower path eventually joins by means of a gate (marked Anglers Only, although it is definitely the route of the old path).Continue along the track that follows the edge of the reservoir. It is possible to take occasional detours down onto the bank where New Zealand pygmy weed makes a verdant cushion when the water is low.This plant is a fairly recent arrival which appears to be crowding out other

[ 61 ]

CHALLENGING

3 Continue across the field with its parklike plantings of unusual trees until you come to woods.At a T-junction turn right.

H E A T H


A S U S S E X

2 0 S U S S E X WA L K S For Pat Bowen, walking is an adventure; sometimes its focus is on health; sometimes it's an enactment of freedom and a celebration of our physical connection with the living landscape. Why not join her to explore the delights of walking in Sussex.

VICTOR HUGO

Snake River Press publishes books about the art, culture, personalities and landscape of Sussex. Snake River books are available by mail order or from bookshops. You can order safely online through our website: www.snakeriverpress.co.uk. If you prefer buying offline you can contact us by telephone: 01273 403988 or by email: sales@snakeriverpress.co.uk

BOWEN

‘To rove about, musing, that is to say loitering, is, for a philosopher, a good way of spending time.’

SNAKE RIVER BOOKS

2 0 S U SS E X WA L K S

2 0 S U S S E X WA L K S

Pat Bowen – grandmother, storyteller, allotment gardener – has been exploring Sussex on foot, bike and public transport since she came to the county in 1969. She has reconnoitred and led hundreds of walks, each one involving trying out different routes and researching landscape, trees, history, creatures, local stories and folklore. She has written articles for various organizations and projects in the fields of World Studies, Storytelling, Environmental Education,Archaeology and Folklore, has edited two collections of stories, and had her own stories published in anthologies.This is her first book of walks.

it's about imagination and creativity; always

A SUSSEX GUIDE

PAT B O W E N

G U I D E 2 0 S U S S E X WA L K S

A good walk can do more than exercise your muscles, heart and lungs – it can enhance your mood, refresh your spirits and leave you knowing a little more about the world. There's no better way of becoming acquainted with the land than walking till you feel it in your bones – even if these do ache pleasantly after one of the more challenging outings. These 20 original walk routes have been designed by veteran Sussex walker Pat Bowen to let you experience every aspect of the rich Sussex countryside from coast to high heathland. The text will also entertain you on the way with historical anecdotes, nature notes, folk stories – the kind of titbits that give each place its local distinctiveness.

PAT B O W E N

BOOKS ABOUT SUSSEX FOR THE ENTHUSIAST

SNAKE RIVER PRESS

SNAKE RIVER PRESS

www.snakeriverpress.co.uk

£8.99

20 Sussex Walks  

A good walk should do more than exercise your heart, lungs and muscles; it should enhance your mood, refresh your soul and leave you knowing...

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