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The Black Jug and Warnham Park

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The Black Jug and Warnham Park
Author: Pub Walker, Published: 06 Nov 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Black Jug and Warnham Park Pub Walkstar1 The Black Jug and Warnham Park Pub Walkstar1 The Black Jug and Warnham Park Pub Walkstar1 The Black Jug and Warnham Park Pub Walkstar0 The Black Jug and Warnham Park Pub Walk
West Sussex, Horsham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
The Black Jug and Warnham Park
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Black Jug and Warnham Park Pub Walk boot The Black Jug and Warnham Park Pub Walk
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A 6.5 mile circular walk from the Black Jug in Horsham, West Sussex. The Black Jug is a great town pub centred around a large bar with wooden panelling, old furniture, bookcases and an airy enclosed courtyard. The walking route heads out through Horsham Park and the Warnham Court Estate to reach the nearby village of Warnham, before returning via arable farmland and ancient lanes. You’ll have chance to see the impressive herd of red deer within Warnham Park, the 14th century church in Warnham plus plenty of wildlife along the way.

The walk has several steady climbs and descents. The paths across the parkland and woodland can all get fairly muddy in winter an after periods of rain. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates plus 3 stiles. The stiles have wire fencing surrounds about a foot high, but most dogs should be able to hop over these. You will need to cross over a golf course so take care of any stray flying golf balls and allow the golfers to play their shots before you cross. You will also need to cross a dual carriageway at a designated (but unsignalled) crossing point so take particular care here. There are a couple of sections of road walking along country lanes so beware of any passing traffic. The walk passes through a deer park and a deer farm so take care around the deer with children and dogs. (The deer can become aggressive towards dogs during the rutting season from late September to early November and in May/June when there are young calves around). Allow 2.5 to 3 hours.

Horsham is located just east of the A24 in West Sussex. The walk starts and finishes at the Black Jug on North Street. Approximate post code RH12 1RJ.

By Train: The pub is about 400 yards along North Street from Horsham rail station so it is very convenient if you are travelling by train. (From the station come out onto North Street, cross over and turn left along the road – you’ll find the pub on the right-hand side).

By Car: The pub does NOT have its own car park. At weekends/Bank Holidays the District Council offices car park (about 200 yards along North Street) is available for public parking. Look for the brown signs for the Conservatory Cafe. (From this car park exit to the road and turn right, you’ll find the pub further along on the right). Alternatively the rail station (about 400 yards along North Street) has a car park, or use one of the many town car parks and then make your way to the pub.

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Walk Sections

Start to North Parade
Start to North Parade

Start point: 51.064 lat, -0.3242 long
End point: 51.0701 lat, -0.3279 long

Standing on North Street facing the Black Jug, turn right and follow the pavement passing in front of St Leonards House on the left. Immediately afterwards turn left signed for Westhope Lodge. You will pass under an old ornate street lamp which acts as an arch across the alleyway. Keep ahead to enter Horsham Park.

Keep straight ahead, passing the tennis courts on the right. Immediately after the courts, turn right onto a narrower tarmac path. As you draw level with the Bowls Club, follow the path as it bears slightly left to reach a star junction of paths in the centre of the park. Take the third path on the right (at about 1 o’clock), passing a large open grass area to the left and a children’s play area to the right.

At the end of the path you’ll reach a T-junction with a fenced tarmac path. Turn left along this. When you come to a fork in the path (alongside a vehicle barrier), stay on the main path as it swings left. Follow the path for some distance and eventually it will lead you out through a gateway to reach North Parade.

North Parade to A24 Underpass
North Parade to A24 Underpass

Start point: 51.0701 lat, -0.3279 long
End point: 51.0774 lat, -0.3404 long

Turn right along the pavement for just a few yards and then cross over with care to turn left into Milnwood Road (the first turning on the left). Just before the end of the road, turn right into another residential street and follow this all the way along to a T-junction. Turn left along this one-way street, West Parade, and shortly you’ll come to a staggered crossroads. Go straight ahead into Kempshott Road. Follow this long straight residential road all the way to the T-junction at the end.

Cross over with care, turn right for just a few yards and then turn left through the staggered barrier to join the public footpath and cycleway signed to Warnham. Follow the path through a section of woodland and over a small bridge. (Note: from this point you will be crossing a golf course so take care of any stray golf balls and be sure to let the golfers play their shots before you cross.)

Follow the main path as it bears right and then left across the first fairway (the golfers will be playing from the tee to your right). Keep ahead over the next larger bridge and go straight ahead on the stone path over the next fairway (this time the golfers will be playing from the left). Pass out alongside the gate to reach a T-junction with the golf course access lane.

Turn right along this lane. Just before you pass under the main A24 dual carriageway, look to the left and you’ll see a mobile phone mast which is carefully disguised as a pine tree. Follow the lane through the underpass.

A24 Underpass to Byfleets Lane
A24 Underpass to Byfleets Lane

Start point: 51.0774 lat, -0.3404 long
End point: 51.0855 lat, -0.3605 long

Follow the lane beyond the underpass and you’ll emerge out to a T-junction with the corner of another road, Robin Hood Lane. Cross over with care and keep left along the narrow verge. Continue along the road edge, taking care of any traffic, passing the house called Salmons. A little further along, soon after a right-hand bend, look out on the right for a gate into the Warnham Court Deer Park (ensure you have your dog on a short lead for this section).

Pass through this tall kissing gate and follow the public footpath across the park, marked with black and white waymarkers. A little way in, between the clumps of woodland to the right, you’ll have great views of Warnham Court itself.

Warnham Court is owned by the Lucas family. Charles Thomas Lucas (1820-1895) who bought the house in 1865 was most famous for founding the building company that built the Royal Albert Hall. After the construction of Warnham Court in 1825, the surrounding farmland was enclosed in 1837 to create a deer park, initially for a herd of fallow deer. In 1851 a large red deer stag jumped in to the park whilst trying to escape a hunt and was gifted to Warnham Court. By the time the Lucas family purchased Warnham Court in 1865, there were 30 red deer in the park. Today the park extends to about 215 acres of which 180 acres are permanent meadow pasture for the deer. The park supports a winter herd of about 200 (including 20 - 25 breeding stags) increasing up to 280 animals each summer with the calves. A private museum within the park houses a vast collection of antlers dating back as far as 1890. Most interesting are the historic British antler records for length (121 cm in 1914) and numbers of points (50 points in 2011). Red deer are Britain’s largest land mammal and with the stags having antlers as impressive as this herd it is wise to keep your distance!

At the far side of the park, pass through the kissing gate, cross over the road (Bailing Hill) with care and go straight ahead into the yard of Bailing Hill Farm. Keep ahead on the concrete driveway between outbuildings and passing a small pond on the right. You will reach the tall fenced enclosures for the deer that are farmed here.

In 1986, this small 72 acre dairy farm adjoining the park was developed into a modern stud deer farm. From here, live stock, embryos and semen are exported to many parts of the world including New Zealand and Canada.

Keep ahead through the first pair of wide metal gates and you will pass a footpath signpost on the left, confirming you are on the right route. Continue in the same direction through the deer enclosure, via two tall kissing gates. In the next enclosure, follow the obvious path which heads diagonally left over the brow of the hill. The next kissing gate leads you out to a fenced woodland path. Follow this out to reach a T-junction with Byfleets Lane.

Byfleets Lane to St Margaret's Church
Byfleets Lane to St Margaret's Church

Start point: 51.0855 lat, -0.3605 long
End point: 51.0909 lat, -0.3469 long

Turn right along the lane and follow this for some distance, ignoring any footpaths off to the left. Take care of any occasional traffic and use the grass verges where these are available for your own safety. Take a moment to enjoy the views of the surrounding Sussex hills which occasionally open up each side.

Ignore the first turning off to the right (Tuggles Plat). Simply keep straight ahead on the lane where you can join the pavement (ignoring the footpaths signed off to the left). Take the next turning off to the left, Tilletts Lane, signed to Northlands. After passing Number 34, you’ll see a signpost marking a footpath crossing the road. Turn right here down the side road, Lucas Road.

Ignore the first right turning, Hollands Way, simply keep straight ahead on the main lane as it bends left and then right. You will reach the gates to the village primary school ahead. Join the footpath with runs just to the right of the school. When you draw level with the end of the school playing field, keep straight ahead on the concrete footpath. You will emerge out to a T-junction with Church Street with St Margaret’s Church directly opposite.

St Margaret's Church to Daux Hill
St Margaret's Church to Daux Hill

Start point: 51.0909 lat, -0.3469 long
End point: 51.0847 lat, -0.3353 long

Cross over the road with care and turn right along the pavement, passing the church entrance and the war memorial. Immediately afterwards, turn left down the signed public footpath. Follow this concrete path between hedges with the church over to the left.

St. Margaret’s Church was built in the 14th Century, but contains substantial later additions. It is host to monuments belonging to many influential families, including the Shelley family. Percy Bysshe Shelly was born nearby and was educated by the vicar here. Percy was renowned as one of the early 19th century romantic poets and was also an early advocate of vegetarianism. His wife, Mary Shelley, was the author of the famous novel, Frankenstein.

Beyond the church yard, bear left to join the footpath with fenced open fields to the left and a small belt of trees to the right. (Take care as this path can be a little slippery when wet). Keep ahead for a section heading steadily downhill between fields. You’ll reach a fork – take the right-hand path which bends right along the bottom of the field for a few paces and then bends left through an open gateway into the next field. Follow the path as it crosses diagonally over the large open field, passing to the left of a large oak tree after just a few paces.

At the far side of the field, pass through a wooden gateway to join a footpath fenced between fields on the left and the parkland of Warnham Court on the right. Eventually you will emerge to a T-junction with a public bridleway, an ancient lane known as Daux Hill.

Daux Hill to Spencers Place
Daux Hill to Spencers Place

Start point: 51.0847 lat, -0.3353 long
End point: 51.074 lat, -0.3368 long

Turn right along Daux Hill. Just after passing a small lake behind the wall on the right, fork left down a signed public footpath which heads into the trees. Follow the path between these uniform rows of oak trees and you will reach a stile. Cross this and go up the steps to reach the busy A24 dual carriageway.

Cross over with extreme care. Don’t be tempted to rush, it is best to take your time and wait for a suitable gap in the traffic. At the opposite side, follow the tarmac path along and down some concrete steps to reach the next stile. Cross this and you will emerge to a track. Do NOT turn left or right along this track, instead take the footpath at about 1’oclock through the belt of woodland opposite. After just a few yards you’ll reach the footpath signpost which sits on the edge of the golf course, confirming you are in the right place.

Cross the fairway (taking care as before) at about 1 o’clock, passing between the two green and yellow distance markers. You will see the next footpath signpost in the next belt of trees. Follow the signed path through the trees and across a small tarmac lane. Cross the next part of the golf course, passing to the right of the tree and the green. Cross the next stile and follow a short tarmac path out to a small parking area (for Warnham Local Nature Reserve).

Cross the car park in the same direction and go out through the staggered barrier to reach Warnham Road. Turn left along the pavement, passing Mill Cottages to the left. Next you will cross over the large weir at the edge of Warnham Mill Pond, also on the left. Warnham Mill Pond was originally created as part of the Sussex iron working industry, but more recently provided the water for a mill to grind grain. Today this mill building is a veterinary practice.

Soon after the weir cross to the right-hand side of the road and then take the first right into Redford Avenue. Follow this residential road for some distance, eventually passing a sports field to the right. Soon afterwards, turn left into Spencers Place.

Spencers Place to End
Spencers Place to End

Start point: 51.074 lat, -0.3368 long
End point: 51.0641 lat, -0.324 long

From this point you will be retracing your steps back to the Black Jug. Keep straight ahead along the long, straight residential road. At the crossroads at the end, go ahead into West Parade. Take the first right, Newlands Road, and at the T-junction at the end turn left along Milnwood Road. You will come to a T-junction with North Parade.

Cross over with care and turn right for just a few yards and then turn left through the gateway into Horsham Park. Keep left on the tarmac path which runs along the left-hand edge of the park. Follow the main path as it swings right, passing a vehicle barrier on the left. Continue with the metal railings running on the left. Just before a play area begins on the right, turn right onto the tarmac path passing the open grass sport areas to the right and the playground to the left.

When you reach the star junction of paths, take the third turning on the left. Follow this path past the bowls club and tennis court on the left. At the corner of the tennis courts turn left and then keep ahead through the gate out of the park. A few paces later you’ll reach a T-junction with the road. Turn right and soon you will come to the Black Jug on the right for some well earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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