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Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst

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Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst
Author: jsellars, Published: 26 Sep 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star0 Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurststar0 Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurststar0 Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurststar0 Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurststar0 Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst
West Sussex, Horsham
Walk Type: Long distance path
Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst
Length: 10 miles,  Difficulty: boot Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst boot Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst
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0009_light_rain_showers Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst 0002_sunny_intervals Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst 0009_light_rain_showers Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst 0006_mist Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst 0009_light_rain_showers Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst

A 10 mile linear walk from Horsham rail station to Billingshurst rail station in West Sussex, forming Part 22 of the Sussex Hospices Trail. This long distance walk takes in both the undulating countryside of the Sussex Weald and the market town of Horsham. On route you will pass the historic Christ Hospital, one of the oldest schools in England, walk along the scenic Downs Way Link and West Sussex Literary Trail and take in interesting estates and ancient woodland. The return leg can be completed with a single 10 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 Hospice 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 Weald is well known for its mud and after rain the trail can be heavy going in places. You will need to negotiate a number of stiles, kissing gates, narrow footbridges and footpaths, short sections of steps and cross one pedestrian level crossing. There are a few road crossings that need care when crossing and two short sections of road which are only accessible via grass and road side verge. The first stretch of the route takes you through the busy town of Horsham but this soon opens up into woodland and open fields. You are likely to come across livestock in some of the fields so take particular care with dogs. Allow 5 hours.

Toilets are available at the rail stations at each end but there are a number of opportunities for toilet breaks and refreshments along the route, most notably Horsham Town centre and Barns Green for pubs and a very nice campsite café. Picnic spots can be found at many of the locations on route.

The walk starts at Horsham rail station and ends at Billinghurst rail station. The two stations are connected by a fairly regular service and the journey takes just 10 minutes. If you are coming by car, there are pay and display car parks alongside both stations. Approximate post code for Horsham Station RH12 1RD.

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Walk Sections

Start to Railway Footbridge
Start to Railway Footbridge

Start point: 51.0662 lat, -0.3198 long
End point: 51.0566 lat, -0.3431 long

Standing with your back to the front entrance of Horsham rail station, facing the Beefeater restaurant, cross over onto Hurst Road and walk along the left-hand pavement. Stay on this pavement, passing Horsham sorting office, law courts, youth centre and police, fire and ambulance station. Immediately before the first set of pedestrian lights you come to (and adjacent to the fire and ambulance station) take a marked footpath to your left. Walk along this enclosed footpath for a short distance before emerging into Horsham Park.

Horsham Park is a haven of green space with a lake, trees, wildlife and colourful flowerbeds, the remnant of what was formerly the Hurst Park Estate. Within the park is Park House Garden, a tranquil landscaped sensory garden designed with the disabled and visually impaired in mind. The park also has a delightful Human Nature Garden, which offers an attractive educational garden illustrating the link between plants and people in their everyday lives. If you want an early break in the walk, then you could stop at The Conservatory Café; an attractive spot with an opportunity to listen to a concert if playing on the nearby bandstand.

Keep on this footpath, with the playing fields and greens on your right. On reaching a car park, cross over keeping Horsham Leisure Centre on your right, until reaching a waymarked fork at the end of the path. Take the right-hand fork, signed town centre. Continue on this path passing the Conservatory Café, bandstand and keeping the tennis courts on your right. At the corner of the tennis courts take the right-hand fork in the path, walk along this path until reaching a ten pin bowling alley and an ornate silver sculpture. At the sculpture take the left-hand footpath, through the underpass, emerging at Medwin Walk in Horsham town centre.

Horsham is a market town on the upper reaches of the River Arun in the centre of the Sussex Weald. The main centre consists of houses erected in the 17th, 18th and early 19th century and is lined with ancient London Plane trees. Whilst Horsham boasts many reasons to live and visit here it also holds the UK record for the heaviest hailstone ever to fall. On 5 September 1958, a hailstone weighing 140g (4.9 oz) landed in the town! It was similar in size to a tennis ball and it’s impact speed was calculated to be 224 mph!

From Medwin Walk, turn right heading towards the main square. On reaching the pretty main square, pass the Crown pub on your left and bear right along the ‘Carfax’. Turn right into Black Horse Way and follow this road straight, passing Hewells Court on your left and walking between the back entrances to some of the shops. At the end of this road bear left, opposite the central bus station, onto Worthing Road. Walk along the pavement for a short distance crossing the road towards Horsham Library. Keeping the library on your left continue down Worthing Road until reaching the roundabout. At the roundabout cross over to the right-hand pavement, turn left and head over the pedestrian lights onto the opposite side of the road.

Keep on the right-hand pavement and continue to follow the main B2237, Worthing Road crossing over the River Arun and passing Tanbridge Road on your right until reaching Blackbridge Lane. Turn right into Blackridge Lane and walk along this residential street until you reach Jockey Mead on your left. Turn left into Jockey Mead, at the end of the road, cross and head towards a marked footpath between house numbers 63 and 65. Walk along this path which brings you out by the railway and a footbridge over it. Cross up and over the footbridge to join a footpath with views of open countryside.

Railway Footbridge to Christs Hospital
Railway Footbridge to Christs Hospital

Start point: 51.0566 lat, -0.3431 long
End point: 51.0464 lat, -0.3528 long

Follow the footpath as it begins to ascend, past fields, and then into a small woodland until emerging onto a road. At the road, take an immediate right, following the public bridleway marker onto a tarmac lane. Walk along this, passing a number of residential properties, open fields and woodland until you see a small pond on your left-hand side. Immediately before the pond take a marked footpath to your left. Follow this footpath, which gets very narrow in places, passing thorough one small gate which leads you through a further two gates with stiles until reaching the main road through the village.

From the main road turn right. Walk down the road, keeping on the right-hand verge until the verge ends and you are forced to walk on the road for a short distance. Keep in tight, until you see a pavement on the right-hand side. Cross and join this pavement. Continue down the road, passing under the A24 road bridge, until you reach a gate house on the opposite side of the road and a right-hand turn into Christ Hospital Road (signed Barns Green). Take this right turn and walk along the pavement, passing the vast grounds of Christ Hospital on your left and into the village.

Christ Hospital, one of the oldest boarding schools in England originally opened, as primarily a charitable institution, in London in 1552 with King Edward VI as its patron and founder. In 1902 the school transferred to the site you see today and it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer scale of the site and the ornate architecture. You may bump into some of the children on your walk who are easily recognisable by their uniform. It is one of the school's most public features with its Tudor-style of long dark blue belted coat with knee breeches, yellow socks and white neck bands which have remained virtually unchanged for over 460 years.

Christs Hospital to Barns Green
Christs Hospital to Barns Green

Start point: 51.0464 lat, -0.3528 long
End point: 51.0322 lat, -0.3877 long

Continue through the village, always keeping the school on your left and following signs to Barns Green until you reach a fork in the road. At the fork, take the left-hand lane, heading towards one of the entrances to the school. Just before reaching the entrance, take a right turn through a small meadow, marked Downs Link Way. Walk through the meadow and onto a gravel path.

The Downs Link follows two disused railway lines and crosses the Surrey Hills, the Low Weald, the South Downs and the Coastal Plain. Since the trains departed in the 1960s, the embankments and cuttings have become a green corridor for wildlife and people. The route connects a variety of habitats, passing banks of wildflowers, trees, hedges, woodlands, rivers, ponds and streams.

Walk along the path, which turns into a cycle track, and keep following this until it enters the woodland. Continue through the woodland, following the Downs Link Way markers and passing a property on your right-hand side. A very short distance after this property, take a right turn at the first public footpath fingerpost you reach. Pass through a wooden kissing gate and into a field. Head on the obvious path towards the field edge and rail track on the opposite side of field. Take the left-hand path at the field edge.

Continue straight along this path for some distance, always keeping the rail track on your right. Ignore all waymarkers either side of this path until you eventually reach a woodland pond on your left-hand side. Walk past this pond to a junction in the woodland and another waymarker. At the waymarker, turn right and walk under the railway bridge (No. 367). After the railway bridge, follow the path to the left and after a short distance take another left turn up a short flight of steps and into a housing development. You are now on the outskirts of Barns Green.

Barns Green to Ten Acre Copse
Barns Green to Ten Acre Copse

Start point: 51.0322 lat, -0.3877 long
End point: 51.0214 lat, -0.4063 long

Keeping the houses on your right and with the rail track now on your left, walk through the development until you arrive at a main road, Two Mile Ash Road. From here, turn right and walk up through the village passing Barns Green Primary School on your left. At the end of this road you reach a T-junction, turn left here into Chapel Road. Walk along Chapel Road, passing the Queens Head pub on your left and until you see a footpath fingerpost and a sign for ‘Sumners Fishery and Campsite’ on your right. Turn right into the car park and walk towards the camping area. Pass the reception building for the campsite on your left and continue walking straight along a gravel driveway until you will see another fingerpost. Take the left-hand footpath at the fingerpost, between two hedges, and head through the campsite towards a woodland.

Enter the woodland and walk along until you reach a driveway. At the driveway, turn left and walk along until you reach a wooden gate and the main road. Go through the gate, turn right along the pavement and you will see a left-hand turn, a very short distance away on the opposite side of the road. Turn left down this road and you immediately come to a pedestrian railway crossing. Taking extreme care to look and listen for trains before you proceed, cross the railway line, making sure you shut the gates. Walk along the tarmac lane at the other side of the crossing, passing over a small stream and passing a number of farmhouses on either side. At the end of this track you will reach a wooden gate at the entrance to a private estate.

Go through the gate, and head straight on, along the driveway through the estate observing the amusing signage, curious alpacas and the distinctively American feel. At the end of the driveway, you reach another wooden gate and the exit to this part of the estate.

Ten Acre Copse to Woodhouse Copse
Ten Acre Copse to Woodhouse Copse

Start point: 51.0214 lat, -0.4063 long
End point: 51.0184 lat, -0.424 long

Pass through the wooden gate and onto a small lane. Walk along this lane, passing more farmhouses and stables (look out for the interesting vintage vehicles on the left-hand side) eventually reaching a sharp right-hand bend in the lane. Continue right around the bend and ignore the footpath signs which would take you straight on. Continue on the lane until you reach another wooden gate and a stile. Cross over this stile, and walk along the lane and over a railway bridge.

Immediately after crossing the railway bridge you will see a well vegetated (and almost hidden) footpath on your left. Take this and walk along the narrow footpath with large garden grounds and a pond on your right and the train track on your left. Take care, as the path emerges quite suddenly onto a country road, cross the road here to the opposite side and join the clearly marked footpath. At the footpath go down a short flight of steps and turn left onto a gravel track, walk along the track, bearing right and heading under an electricity pylon.

Walk under the pylon, along a grassy path through a small field, until reaching a footpath marker in a small copse. Turn left here, over a small footbridge across a stream and then over a ‘plank’ type stile into a small field. Almost immediately after entering this field, turn right, cross over another small footbridge and enter into another, much larger, field. Keeping the tree line to your right, walk along the edge towards the far corner of the field.

Woodhouse Copse to Fewhurst Farm
Woodhouse Copse to Fewhurst Farm

Start point: 51.0184 lat, -0.424 long
End point: 51.0124 lat, -0.4325 long

At the corner of the field, follow the immediate path to your left into the woodland. Keep on the rather cattle worn path through the woods but always keeping the stream on your right-hand side. Cross over a small footbridge and continue on to a small clearing. At the clearing, bear right along the footpath and you will reach a metal gate. Go through the gate and head towards the railway bridge (No.372). Go under this bridge, walking along a narrow path, to reach a T-junction and a more substantial footpath over the river.

Turn right at this junction and continue through the woodland along the path and always keeping the river on your right. The path crosses a larger wooden footbridge over the stream and emerges into a clearing. Follow the path through the clearing and between an avenue of trees until you reach a farm where the path turns from grass to gravel. Bear right along the gravel path and then bear left, still walking through the farm grounds, towards a small wooden gate.

Go through this gate and onto a larger gravel track. Turn right, walking along the track until you reach a cottage, Fewhurst Lodge, and a T-junction. Turn right here and walk the short distance towards the main road.

Fewhurst Farm to End
Fewhurst Farm to End

Start point: 51.0124 lat, -0.4325 long
End point: 51.0149 lat, -0.4499 long

At the busy main road, cross over to the other side and turn right, walking a short distance along the verge until reaching a left-hand turn into a driveway. Turn in here and head towards a metal gate and a stile. Cross over the stile and take the right-hand footpath which leads you to another stile. Go over this and into an open field.

Keeping the tree line on your right, walk along the field edge leading you through a gap in a hedge into a second field. Continue along this field until the tree line ends. At the end of the tree line follow the path that bends around to the right and over a small stream and into another field. From this field take the obvious path diagonally towards the large oak tree. Continue past the oak, still following the path until reaching a metal gate.

Pass through the gate, across a clearing and into a small copse. Walk through the copse to reach a kissing gate. Go through this, turning left onto a gravel track, passing Daux Farm House on your right. You are now on the outskirts of Billinghurst.

At the end of the track, turn right onto Daux Road. Walk along this road, passing industrial units on either side to reach Billingshurst train station which marks the end of Part 22 of the Sussex Hospices Trail.

We hope you have enjoyed walking this stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. Its creation was possible thanks to the kind donation from Carolyn Oakley on behalf of Mecmesin Ltd, a Sussex-based manufacturer.

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
http://www.friendsofsussexhospices.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donations

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author jsellars and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Sussex Hospice Trail Part 22: Horsham to Billingshurst"

I walked the section from Barns Green to Billingshurst with my dog on a sunny day. the directions were faultless but as a local I felt the route did not make use of the stupendous views available if you walk on the higher land above Barns Green rather than following the railway. These paths will be good for winter walking however, being mostly on lanes and gravel farm tracks.

I live in Horsham and would recommend from the park folllowing signs to St Mary's church through town, this is all pedsestrianised and takes in both the main square (Carfax) and the prettiest street in Horsham (Causeway)and the path at the back of the church follows round the cricket field which is also very pretty, then out onto Worthing road and turn into Blackbridge Lane as per these instructions. Walking up Worthing road is unpleasant due to heavy traffic so should be avoided.

By ClairusMaxim on 2016-10-05 08:04:15

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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