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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15: Etchingham to Burwash Common

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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15: Etchingham to Burwash Common
Author: , Published: 29 Sep 2016 Walk Rating:star0  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Commonstar0  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Commonstar0  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Commonstar0  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Commonstar0  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Common
East Sussex, Etchingham
Walk Type: Long distance path
Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15: Etchingham to Burwash Common
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Common boot  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Common
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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 Etchingham rail station to Burwash Common forming the 15th stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. The route, entirely within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, includes two charming rural villages. Burwash is steeped in history having been the heart of the Wealden iron industry, a notorious route for highwaymen and the home of author, Rudyard Kipling (1902 - 1936) at Bateman's. Etchingham was a manor long before the Norman Conquest and has a fine 14th century parish church, a community shop and a butchers (Jarvis & Sons), that has been a family business since 1870.

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 criss-crosses the course of the River Dudwell and winds across gentle meadows and farmland, the easy footpaths and bridleways often being shared with large herds of dairy cattle and horses (these all remained calm when we walked through). There is a variety of stiles and footbridges but three of the stiles are entirely enclosed so dogs would need a lift over (this situation is being addressed and may improve over time - please let us know so that we update the details). Be prepared for boggy areas of ground in winter, especially around Bateman's Mill Pond. Allow 4 hours.

There is excellent hospitality en route with breakfast and lunch being served at the Bistro@the station in Etchingham on weekdays (restricted hours at weekends). Two pubs can be found in Burwash, the historic Rose and Crown and the more modern Bear Inn, both are open all day and offer both snacks and meals. Bateman's Mulberry Tearoom is available to National Trust members between March and October.

The walk starts at Etchingham rail station (approximate post code TN19 7PA) and finishes at Burwash Common bus stop. Parking at Etchingham rail station costs £4.20 Mon-Fri, £2.50 on Saturdays and £1 on Sundays (correct Sept 2016). Trains run hourly from Hastings to London, Charing Cross. The return leg from Burwash Common to Etchingham can be completed with a short bus journey (Bus No. 31). Buses normally run about every 2 hours Mon-Fri, with 4 buses on a Saturday and NO SERVICE on a Sunday.

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Walk Sections

Start to High Street
Start to High Street

Start point: 51.0105 lat, 0.4425 long
End point: 51.0071 lat, 0.4307 long

To begin the walk, go down the station access road and turn right when you meet the main road, the A265. The level crossing is now behind you. Cross the road with care and walk for nearly a mile up Etchingham High Street. On the way you pass the 14th century parish church of The Assumption and St Nicholas. It stands in the water meadows near the confluence of the rivers Dudwell and Rother and was once moated to protect it from the recurrent flooding that still affects this part of the village. On your left is the white weatherboarded community shop, soon followed by Jarvis and Sons, the butcher where a Jarvis has been working behind the counter for 46 years.

(NOTE: If you are continuing your walk from Trail Part 14, pick up the directions from this point.) Ignore the side road, Oxenbridge Lane, on the left. Eventually at the top of the hill you will see a school road sign and 30mph sign on the road, marking the entrance to Borders Lane.

High Street to Borders Lane
High Street to Borders Lane

Start point: 51.0071 lat, 0.4307 long
End point: 51.0016 lat, 0.4153 long

Turn left into Borders Lane which leaves the High Street at an acute angle. Walk for one mile along this quiet lane, passing Red Rose Cottage on your left and March Farm and Broomwood Farm on your right. Ignore a track from 'Borders' entering from the left but continue down the lane until it turns sharp right. On this bend take the track on the left signposted Borders Farm (pictured).

Borders Lane to Grandturzel
Borders Lane to Grandturzel

Start point: 51.0016 lat, 0.4153 long
End point: 50.9942 lat, 0.4123 long

Turn left down the concrete track but, before you reach the farm buildings, find a waymarker on the single gate on the left. Go through this gate and down the path between laurel hedges until you reach a house and drive ahead. Follow a wooden arrow with lettering worn away, which points you right, down a narrow track with a close-boarded fence on your left. This leads you to a gate.

NOTE: These next fields may be occupied by up to 180 dairy cows, that provide organic milk to Tesco (pictured). They were curious but friendly when we walked.

Go through the gate and follow the waymarker, straight ahead across a field keeping the hedge immediately on your right. Cross a footbridge and squeeze stile and proceed slightly left across the field (ignoring two field gates in the hedge on the right). Aim for the telegraph pole ahead diagonally.

Go through a gap in the hedge by the telegraph pole and make for the far left-hand corner of the field. About 50 metres before the corner, take a gate and stile in the left hand hedge.

Beyond the stile, keep the hedge on your left to reach a 3-way signpost. Take the bridleway over the River Dudwell through double gates into a large paddock. Make your way diagonally ahead to the far right corner. The paddock may be subdivided by electric fencing but your way will be clear if slightly indirect. Ignore a path leading right. The house on the left is Grandturzel.

At the paddock corner the bridle path is waymarked to direct you to the right of the tennis court. Proceed straight up the edge of an open rising field to a 3-way signpost.

Grandturzel to St Bartholomew's Church
Grandturzel to St Bartholomew's Church

Start point: 50.9942 lat, 0.4123 long
End point: 50.9976 lat, 0.3891 long

Take the marked footpath, angled sharp right, to pass through a waymarked gate. Veer right to go through a waymarked gate, then maintain direction to take a footbridge across the River Dudwell. Keep the hedge and wire stock fencing close on your right to reach a stile (which does not give access for dogs). Follow the waymarked direction diagonally half left up the field (NOTE: The OS map shows a fence dividing this field east to west. On the ground this no longer exists.) Cross another stile (that is equally unfriendly to dogs). This is adjacent to a copse on your right-hand side.

Ignoring a gap to the right, go round the copse for a few metres then go left down the slope towards the line of trees where you will find (to the left of a dead tree) another stile (again dogs will need a lift over). Cross the ditch and a tangle of roots and continue up the slope, half right, to a large eroded gap in the facing hedge. These fields are full of horses which seemed well accustomed to walkers and paid little attention when we walked.

From the gap, go diagonally left up the slope to a stile and gate. Ignore a gate in the crossing hedge. A pond (in wet weather at least) is on your right. Go over the stile and maintain direction with the hedge on your right, ignoring a gate on the right. In the corner you will find a stile leading into a dell with a path entering from the left. Ignore this path and keep right to a stile with no waymarker. Go over the stile and veer half left to the top of the ridge to meet an east-west path and a line of trees.

Turn left onto the path to reach a gate (with a bungalow nearby on the right). Go through the gate to a magnificent oak and a welcome, shaded path. Ignore a fenced path entering from the right and proceed past benches to a gate through which you enter the graveyard with the church ahead.

From the benches there is an attractive view over the Dudwell Valley, and on the horizon to the right you catch a glimpse of the Obelisk, one of the four follies erected in the area by “Mad Jack” Fuller of Brightling. Soon you find St Bartholemew’s Church Burwash on your right. The church is largely a Victorian reconstruction but the tower, with a fine oak-shingled spire, dates back to the 11th century.

St Bartholomew's Church to Bateman's
St Bartholomew's Church to Bateman's

Start point: 50.9976 lat, 0.3891 long
End point: 50.9896 lat, 0.3801 long

Leaving the churchyard at the front, ignore the side road on the left (signposted to Brightling) and proceed left along the picturesque High Street. This is a designated conservation area and is composed of unspoilt medieval cottages, inns and grander dwellings with a row of pollarded Limes adding to the singular charm of the village.

There are plenty of facilities here. 200 metres along on the right-hand side (just into Ham Lane) is the Rose and Crown pub and on the left is the Bear Inn and Motel. Adjacent to the Bear Inn is a large public car park complete with public lavatories.

Enter the public car park beside the Bear Inn. From the road proceed straight ahead for a few metres then circle the lavatory block's right-hand side; your next footpath can be found in the left-hand corner (to the left of the scout hut). Follow the signpost and go down the field for 150 metres to a 3-way signpost (National Trust walking route signs sit alongside the waymarkers).

Turn right over a footbridge and go through a metal gate. Go forward to another metal gate and, again following the National Trust Walk signs, keep the hedge and line of oak trees on your right and cross a further stile. Aim just to the left of a copse (with a pond) and proceed ahead through a gap just to the right of a metal gate. Turn left keeping the hedge on your left until you reach a stile and a lane where you turn right. Walk down the lane for 200 metres with the distinctive six Jacobean chimneys of Bateman’s, Rudyard Kipling’s former house, (pictured in the next section) in view ahead of you.

Bateman's to Rye Green Farm
Bateman's to Rye Green Farm

Start point: 50.9896 lat, 0.3801 long
End point: 50.988 lat, 0.372 long

At the T-junction with Bateman's ahead of you, turn left for 350 metres, until you see a waymarker on your right by Corner Cottage.

Turn right and, with the mill house and sluice on your right, veer left round the millpond. Continue with the hedge and ditch on your left for 250 metres, passing through a gate (with National Trust waymark) with a sluice on your right.

At the waymarker turn right over a footbridge and proceed through a large field keeping trees and hedge on your right. At the end of the field ignore a gap on the left and keep right for a few metres to a gate and stile. Once over the stile turn left and follow the hedge on your left to reach a gate and waymarked stile.

Rye Green Farm to A265
Rye Green Farm to A265

Start point: 50.988 lat, 0.372 long
End point: 50.9865 lat, 0.3555 long

Ignore the path that climbs the slope to the right and cross the stile beside the gate (pictured) to follow a wooded track which soon passes a derelict barn on your right. This is part of Rye Green Farm. 300 metres from the stile the track is metalled, there is a house on your left and the track bends to the right before an oak tree. To the left of the tree is an entrance to a field, which you need to take. (The gate here appears to have been unused for some time).

Cross the field heading slightly to the right and up the slope. Half way up you will see on your right the Burwash ridge with the A265 traffic passing along its crest. Arriving at a copse with a small pond on the left, proceed to a stile followed by a gate, each with a National Trust waymarker. Keeping the hedge on your left go up the field to a gap and gate. Continue with the hedge on your right, rich in blackthorn and hawthorn, and a typical Wealden view on your left across Bog Wood and the Dudwell Valley.

At the stile and gate ignore the path entering from the left and continue along the fence side to a gate where you turn right through a kissing gate. Turn right, go through another kissing gate and veer right to a metal gate to the right of the facing house. Through the gate go straight ahead passing to the right of the house (Burnt House Farm) and, ignoring a fingerpost pointing left down the drive in front of the house, proceed down the tarmac drive for 300 metres until it bends left. At this point go straight ahead through 4 concrete bollards to reach the A265.

A265 to Bough Farm
A265 to Bough Farm

Start point: 50.9865 lat, 0.3555 long
End point: 50.9855 lat, 0.3431 long

Cross the busy road with great care, turn right (there is no pavement on either side) for just 50 metres and take the wide track on the left. Almost immediately on the left again, join a separate waymarked track. Where this veers left (after just a few metres) take the rather high stile straight ahead (no waymark) and proceed between fences to a gate. Keep right round the hedge to a gate and further stile.

A now deeply-wooded marl pit is on your right. In the 19th century marl, a lime-rich sedimentary deposit, was prized as a soil conditioner for the heavy clay soils of the Weald. Once over the stile keep straight ahead across a field to meet a hedge to your left; continue through a gap with Wealden views to the right.

Cross the field to another gap where you veer left. Meeting a fence, keep it on your left to go in front of a house with twin oasts. Proceed between brambles down a waymarked path and through a waymarked gate onto a drive in front of a house. Follow the drive round the house and reach the A265 with Bough Farm on your right.

Bough Farm to End
Bough Farm to End

Start point: 50.9855 lat, 0.3431 long
End point: 50.9864 lat, 0.335 long

Cross the A265 with extreme care, as the traffic is travelling at speed at this point. Turn immediately right up Vicarage Road for 550 metres, ignoring Vicarage Lane which enters from the left. Eventually you meet the A265 once more. The walk ends at the bus stop ahead of you. The return leg is a short bus journey along the A265 back to Etchingham.

We hope you have enjoyed walking this stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. Its creation was possible thanks to the kind donation from Felicity Whitehead in memory of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Laurence Whitehead. Michael was cared for by Hospice in the Weald. Read more by tapping the banner.

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.

To donate £5 to the Friends of Sussex Hospices text SHTR16 £5 to 70070. 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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network  Sussex Hospices Trail Part 15 Etchingham to Burwash Common Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author DiSteele 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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