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Sussex walk through Buxted Park

PUBLISHED: 14:51 22 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:54 22 January 2018

Buxted Park sits within an old deer park © Buxted Park Hotel

Buxted Park sits within an old deer park © Buxted Park Hotel

©BuxtedParkHotel

Hazel Sillver recommends a stroll through Buxted Park, once home to the Earl of Liverpool who ordered the village of Buxted to move outside the perimeter of his land

Buxted Park

This 83-hectare grassland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, just outside the village of Buxted. It was made into a deer park in the 12th century, but today deer are no longer kept here (although you may spot wild deer enjoying the park). In the 18th century, the mansion was built. The Earl of Liverpool – who owned the house in the 19th century – was aghast at the local peasants living so close, and therefore forced the entire village of Buxted to move outside the perimeters of his park; the only part of the ancient settlement that remains is the 13th century church of St Margaret. The churchyard contains a 2,000-year old yew tree and the grave of Christopher Wordsworth (the youngest sibling of William Wordsworth), who was rector of the church from 1820 to 1846. The mansion was frequented by royalty, including Queen Victoria and George V. Then in 1940 it was destroyed by fire, and lovingly restored with salvage taken from blitzed grand buildings in London. In the years following, Winston Churchill and film stars such as Marlon Brando and Gregory Peck were visitors. Today it is a luxury hotel.


Where to refuel

Discard your walking boots, slip on a smart pair of shoes and head to Buxted Park Hotel for Sunday lunch or afternoon tea. The delicious Sunday lunch menu includes traditional roasts, a fish dish, and a vegetarian option. Afternoon tea (from £23) is served 2-5pm in one of the luxurious lounges, or in the Victorian Orangery, overlooking the park.

Alternatively, if you fancy a pub lunch, The Griffin is five miles away in Fletching, and serves excellent food.


Information

• Location: Buxted, near Uckfield, East Sussex.

• Distance: Two miles – an hour to walk.

• Terrain: Wellies or walking boots are essential as paths can be muddy.

• Where to park: Next to St Margaret the Queen church, beside Buxted Park Hotel (TN22 4AY). The entrance to Buxted Park is on the A272, just west of Buxted village.


The walk

1. Go through the gate into the churchyard and head left, following the path through the graveyard towards a gate. Go through the gate and head straight on along the main path that leads across heathland. The path leads downslope with views towards Buxted.

2. At the signpost, head straight on.

3. At the signpost and after the big oak tree, bear right towards farm buildings, and then – just before the old brick structure – head right. The path leads alongside a line of trees.

4. The path heads between ponds and then over a footbridge. You will pass two paths heading left – ignore both and maintain direction straight ahead.

5. On reaching the walls of Buxted Park Hotel, at the corner and the signpost, head left. The path soon leads over a footbridge and right through a gate.

6. At the corner of the park, head into woodland through a gate. At the end of the footbridge, head right into Views Wood. When the path divides at the green arrow, bear right. The path leads over a footbridge.

7. On meeting another path, bear right. Maintain direction, following the green arrow, and you will soon come to a boardwalk bridge on your right. Go over the bridge and bear left up the hill, through a gate. Follow the path diagonally across the grass to the next gate. Maintain direction, past the hotel towards the church.


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