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|Sussex Hospices Trail Part 11: West St Leonards to Crowhurst|
|Author: FSH Team, Published: 24 Apr 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|East Sussex, Hastings|
|A 5 mile linear walk from West St Leonards rail station to Crowhurst rail station in East Sussex, forming the 11th stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. The route takes you around the open land at the edge of Bexhill into the tranquil Sussex countryside. On route you will walk through mixed woodland, stroll through the Combe Valley Nature Reserve and follow a section of the 1066 Country Walk. Combe Valley is a site of of biological importance due to its diversity of habitat supporting many species of flora and fauna. Alluvial meadows and reed beds cover a large section of this area. The return leg can be completed with a single 6 minute train journey. |
The hospices of Sussex are dedicated to providing specialist end-of-life care. Friends of Sussex Hospices has worked with partners and supporters to create the Sussex Hospices Trail, a 200 mile long-distance path to support and raise awareness of the twelve hospice care providers that serve the adults and children of Sussex.
The route includes several gentle gradients. Along the way you will need to negotiate one kissing gate, farm gates, footbridges and one stile. There are some sections of walking through quiet residential areas and one or two sections through woodland which may be muddy. You will be sharing some of the fields with grazing livestock so take particular care with dogs. Allow 3 hours.
There are no facilities for the bulk of the walk, but you will find a pub in Crowhurst at the end of the walk. We recommend that you check the opening times by telephone as they can vary. There are many spots for a picnic along the walk.
The walk starts at West St Leonards rail station and ends at Crowhurst rail station. The two stations are connected by an hourly train service which is just a 6 minute journey. There are pay and display car parks at both stations. West St Leonards parking rates are: Mon-Fri £3.20, Sat £2.50 Sun and Bank Holidays £1.00 (correct April 2016). Approximate postcode for West St Leonards is TN38 ONL.
|Start to Harley Shute Road|
Start point: 50.8529 lat, 0.5395 long
Leave West St Leonards Station and, with your back to the station, turn right. Head up St Vincents Road on the right-hand pavement and before the T-junction, swap to the left-hand pavement. Turn left at the junction for a few paces and then cross over Filsham Road using the zebra crossing. At the far side turn right then immediately left into a tarmac footpath which is signposted Combe Valley Countryside Park.
|Harley Shute Road to Wooden Causeway|
Start point: 50.8614 lat, 0.5348 long
Follow the footpath closest to the railway line as it heads downwards towards the open land ahead. At the lowest point you will come to a wooden causeway in front of you, crossing a stream.
|Wooden Causeway to Crowhurst Worsham Sign 4|
Start point: 50.8633 lat, 0.5308 long
Cross the wooden causeway and follow the footpath (signposted towards Hollington) upwards into the wooded area ahead. At the top of the rise take the left fork downhill and into the woodland. The path here twists and is uneven and may be very muddy.
|Crowhurst Worsham Sign 4 to Bridge Corner|
Start point: 50.8608 lat, 0.5211 long
Turn right to continue your walk along the clearly marked path keeping the stream, which is called Combe Haven, on your left. You are now in the central area of the Countryside Park with its open water, ditches, grassland, scrub and woodland. The park contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the diversity of flora and fauna includes a nationally important population of dragonflies. Cattle graze some of the fields through the summer months and help to manage the water meadows.
|Bridge Corner to Crowhust Fingerpost 56|
Start point: 50.8637 lat, 0.5122 long
You will come to a divide in the path by a tree. Cross the bridge and bear to your left. In this wetland area you are likely to see many types of wildfowl such as pipets and marsh harriers. Continue on the path (with Combe Haven still running on your left) until you reach a signpost saying Crowhurst No 56.
|Crowhust Fingerpost 56 to Sandrock Hill|
Start point: 50.8662 lat, 0.5013 long
At this signpost turn right, cross the bridge and follow the path which is part of the 1066 Countryside Walk long-distance path. Continue on this path, around the left-hand field edge (which swings right), heading towards the new raised road that is ahead. Bear left onto a temporary footpath (correct April 2016) that leads you under the road. (This much-contested road was opened in Dec 2015 and is the A2690 Hastings to Bexhill Combe Valley Way. The road cuts right across this formerly tranquil valley and although the sight of cars has been hidden by banks and wooden baffles, the tops of larger vehicles can be seen).
|Sandrock Hill to Grandilly Cottage|
Start point: 50.8779 lat, 0.5 long
At the junction with this road, turn right to follow the direction marked by the 1066 Country Walk signpost. Carefully cross the road and then turn left into Sampson's Lane. After about 80 metres turn left again at Grandilly Cottage and go through the gate (bearing a Southern Water Services sign) into the field.
|Groundilly Cottage to End|
Start point: 50.8785 lat, 0.5027 long
Follow the grassy path downwards to the entrance to a large field. NOTE: This section may be very muddy and you may come across livestock in these fields. Your route continues with the church ahead. Go through the first field (following the hedge line on your left), over a footbridge and then along the right-hand edge of a second field (in which there may be sheep). You will see a farm gate ahead which leads you into Forewood Lane. (Across the road is the parish church which is dedicated to St George. The ruins of the manor house lie to the south of it).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author korman 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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