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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heath

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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heath
Author: FSH Team, Published: 19 Aug 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heathstar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heathstar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heathstar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heathstar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heath
East Sussex, North Chailey
Walk Type: Long distance path
Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heath
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heath boot Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heath
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IMPORTANT NOTE: This linear walk uses a bus journey for the return leg which runs Mon-Sat ONLY. On Sundays you will need to use taxis or make other arrangements.

A 7 mile linear walk from North Chailey to Haywards Heath, forming the 19th stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. A lovely walk starting at Red House Common, with its views over Ashdown Forest to the North and to the Downs in the South, it then zigzags through very pleasant agricultural country (with opportunities for refreshments in Scaynes Hill or Lindfield) to finish at Haywards Heath.

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 follows a mixture of woodland and field paths, which can get muddy at times. There are gentle gradients only. You will need to negotiate several gates and there are three stiles on route (all of which have gaps underneath that medium dogs should pass through easily). You will be sharing one of the fields, within a stud farm, with horses (and foals in the spring and summer) so take particular care with dogs at this point. Allow 3.5 hours.

The walk begins at the bus stop opposite the Kings Head pub in North Chailey and ends at Haywards Heath rail station. If you are coming by bus, the start point is served by the Sussex Bus Number 31, Compass Travel Bus 121 and the Compass Bus 769 from Brighton. If you are coming by car, there is a large car park at Haywards Heath rail station at the end of the walk with a fee of £8 Mon-Fri, £4.90 Sat and £2 Sun (correct Aug 2016).

For the return leg, from Haywards Heath to North Chailey, you can take the Sussex Bus 31, a journey of 25 minutes. Buses normally run hourly Mon-Fri with four buses on Sat and NO SERVICE on Sun. On Sundays you will need to make other arrangements, such as taxis or using two cars. If you are planning to use the bus, please ensure you check your own arrangements for the particular day and time that you will need to travel. You can plan your journey in advance using

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Walk Sections

Start to Memorial Pond
Start to Memorial Pond

Start point: 50.9719 lat, -0.0193 long
End point: 50.9793 lat, -0.0281 long

The walk starts from the bus stop in North Chailey, alongside the garage and opposite The Kings Head pub. With your back to the garage forecourt turn left onto the pavement and follow it bearing left to walk in a westerly direction along the A272. Carefully cross the road to swap to the right-hand pavement and continue in the same direction, passing the old post office. At Mill Lane, turn right towards Chailey Windmill and up towards Red House Common. You will come to the entrance gate for St George's ahead. Your walking route turns right just before this entrance, but first it is worth taking a detour a few steps ahead (through the entrance gate) to see Chailey Windmill. There has been a mill located here since 1595 and the yew tree, which stands at its side, is said to mark the centre of the historic county of Sussex.

To resume the route, retrace your steps back through the St George's entrance gates and turn immediately left. Continue along the wide grassy track with the fence on your left and then follow the path as it bears left again under trees. At the footpath junction, go (diagonally) across and along the path as it leads downhill through the bracken. NOTE: There are many interconnecting paths in this area as you continue downhill. Continue along the most well-trodden path through the wood until you reach a pond dedicated to Philip & Foye Ridley.

Memorial Pond to Clearwater Lane
Memorial Pond to Clearwater Lane

Start point: 50.9793 lat, -0.0281 long
End point: 50.9898 lat, -0.0371 long

Continue straight for a short while with the pond on your left and then, at a footpath sign, turn left to cross a wooden footbridge. Go through a kissing gate, cross a stile and a further gate then follow a wire fence on the left across the field. Reaching a metal gate at Great Norven Farm (with a stable on the right), go through to reach a farm track.

Cross the track and turn left (signposted to Vale Farm) keeping the tall hedge on your left. Turn right at the corner of the barn on your right, taking a path through another metal kissing gate. Follow the path, cross a farm track and go through an un-gated entrance to a field. Continue along the left side of this field, going under the pylons to reach a five bar metal gate at the corner of the field. Using a wooden gate at the side, cross a plank bridge and fork left into the next field.

Follow the hedge on the left and continue along the edge of the field into an un-gated opening into a wood. Continue along the trodden path which has some marshy areas on both sides. On reaching an open field, go straight on to the corner of a wood ahead and then continue past the wood, which is now on your left. At the top corner of the field, go straight on downhill along a path under the trees. After passing some tall willow trees on the left, the path turns over a stream and continues slightly uphill. Follow the path, passing some more trees on the left and go through a five bar metal gate into a field with brick barns to the left. Turn left along the edge of the field to a wooden gate at the corner, by the brick barn. Follow the path to meet Clearwater Lane, which is also signed Sussex Border Path, and turn left.

Clearwater Lane to Costells Wood
Clearwater Lane to Costells Wood

Start point: 50.9898 lat, -0.0371 long
End point: 50.9946 lat, -0.0492 long

Continue along the lane into Scaynes Hill, where it meets a road (the A272) opposite the Inn on the Green. Turn right past the Esso garage then bear right again into Church Road, swapping to the left-hand pavement. Continue along Church Road, passing the Grade II listed St Augustine's Church which has some attractive stained glass windows. Keeping left alongside a hedge, join a tarmac path then turn immediately left through an opening at a wooden five bar gate to enter Costell's Wood.

Costells Wood to Snowflakes Lane
Costells Wood to Snowflakes Lane

Start point: 50.9946 lat, -0.0492 long
End point: 51.0064 lat, -0.0629 long

Follow the trodden path, with electric cables overhead to your right. Keep right, parallel with the cables and next to a fence. Continue ahead then bear left at the junction and keep going as the path becomes grassy with bracken on both sides. At an open, grassy area with cables overhead, turn right and take a diagonal path into the wood. Follow the path downhill and bear left at the next signpost. This path can be muddy.

At the edge of the wood cross the footbridge and go through the metal kissing gate. (NOTE: This field is owned by Walstead Stud and there may be horses and foals so please keep dogs on a lead.) Bear diagonally right to cross the field (NOTE: Do not be tempted go to the top left of the field where there is a visible gate). At the far side of this field, go over the stile (which has space underneath for a medium-sized dog). Follow the path through the gap in the hedge and cross the next field bearing slightly to your left, heading towards the buildings that you can see in a gap in the hedge ahead. You may hear the sound of the Bluebell Railway steam train here.

Go through the open metal gate and continue, keeping the domestic outbuilding on your right and a hedge on your left, into what looks like a private drive. With the pretty, half timbered residential property on your right, cross straight ahead over the concrete forecourt. Go over the wooden stile (with space for a medium-sized dog below) and follow the narrow trodden path through the next field. At the steel gate, cross the tarmac drive and then go through the gap in the fence opposite to take a narrow trodden path through the crop field ahead.

Snowflakes Lane to Lindfield
Snowflakes Lane to Lindfield

Start point: 51.0064 lat, -0.0629 long
End point: 51.0148 lat, -0.0796 long

Exit the field and carefully cross the road into Snowflakes Lane ahead, which is signposted Walstead Forge. Follow the lane and, where the lane bends to the right, take the footpath straight on through a wood and over a footbridge. (NOTE: It could be muddy here and you may find a small makeshift diversion to the left which avoids the worst of it.)

Cross a wooden footbridge and climb over some tree roots then follow the track ahead with hedges on both sides. Emerge onto a concrete lane, turn right and carry on up a tarmac track. Cross the concrete bridge over a stream and continue up a the lane with electric cables overhead.

When you reach a metal gate, go through the gate, turn left and follow the path with open fields on both sides. Take the second of two paths on the right (with a field on the left) towards Lindfield. Go diagonally across a field, through a kissing gate and along an earthen path with wooden fences and hedges on both sides. Emerge onto Brushes Lane and turn right. At the T-junction with the High Street, cross carefully to the far pavement, turn left for a few steps and then turn right into Hickman’s Lane.

Lindfield to End
Lindfield to End

Start point: 51.0148 lat, -0.0796 long
End point: 51.006 lat, -0.1066 long

(NOTE: Although your route now takes you along Hickman's Lane, you may wish to make a short detour ahead along Lindfield's pretty High Street. It has over forty timber-framed houses, distinctive lime trees, several pubs, a cafe, many individual shops and a charming natural spring-fed pond.)

Stay on the left-hand pavement of Hickman’s Lane as it arcs to the left around the pleasant playing fields and crossing four side roads. At the Witch Inn, cross over to turn right into Sunte Avenue. Follow the left-hand pavement of Sunte Avenue and continue along to the small roundabout. Cross carefully into Gander Lane ahead and continue on the left-hand pavement. Gander Lane becomes College Road as Lindfield and the suburbs of Haywards Heath merge.

If you are continuing onto Trail Part 20, just a few metres before the end of College Road turn right into Wickham Way, a quiet private road but clearly signed as a public footpath. Otherwise, at the junction with Mill Green Road, turn sharp left into this and continue. Before the roundabout, and opposite the Burrell Arms pub on the corner, carefully swap to the right-hand pavement. Stay with this pavement swinging right at the roundabout. You will see the entrance for Haywards Heath rail station to your left, where this stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail ends. To reach the bus stop, continue ahead under the railway bridge and along Bannister Way. Carefully cross the supermarket approach road to reach the bus stop ahead (from where you can catch the bus back to North Chailey Mon-Sat).

We hope you have enjoyed walking this stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. Its creation was possible thanks to the kind donation from David and Peta Crowther who know this area well. They applaud the innovative project to create the Sussex Hospices Trail and wish it great success.

Hospices deliver their services for free but such care is not cheap and they largely depend on funds raised from their local communities. We would be very grateful if you would consider making a donation either to your local hospice, wherever that may be, or to the Friends of Sussex Hospices in order to support these invaluable services. Tap the Listen button below (App only) to hear Kathy Gore, Chair of Friends of Sussex Hospices, explaining why donations are so important.

Friends of Sussex Hospices, Registered Charity No. 1089306

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network Sussex Hospices Trail Part 19: North Chailey to Haywards Heath Original GPX source file

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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