Sunday Stroll - Horsted Keynes
PUBLISHED: 14:08 26 November 2013
Hazel Sillver hops aboard one of the Bluebell steam trains, from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes, and then strolls back through woods and fields.
Location: Horsted Keynes, near Haywards Heath, Mid Sussex
Distance: 6m (10k) – 3 hrs to walk.
Terrain: Mostly flat dirt and grass tracks, stony bridleways and lanes.
Where to park: Bluebell Railway Sheffield Park Station, which is on the A275, just south of Sheffield Park & Garden and 1.5 miles north of North Chailey.
1 Board a steam train on the Bluebell Railway, from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes. At Horsted Keynes station, turn left, go through the car park and the grassy area and take the footpath heading right, which leads alongside woodland and fields.
2 Turn right, walk along the road for a short distance and take the footpath on the left. This soon leads into woodland and eventually emerges in front of a fishing lake. Head right. You will then come to two crossways of paths – head straight on at both and go through the kissing gate.
3 The path crosses fields and you emerge at a road. Head right, walking up slope. You will then come to a crossroads. Maintain direction, taking the small lane uphill. Cross over the main road, walk over the grass and take the lane (signed Sussex Border Path) past the chapel. At the next crossroads, head straight on along the bridleway.
4 Eventually the path takes you into a tunnel of holly and then downhill through deciduous woodland. Stay on the bridleway, ignoring footpaths to the right.
5 Cross the stream and walk past fields. When you reach the small road, head right uphill. Then take the grassy path on the left side of the road and walk towards houses.
6 At the road, turn right. Ignore the path on the left and walk along the road for almost half a mile. Then take the signed footpath on the left. Eventually the way divides - head right.
7 The footpath here is meant to run alongside the triangle of woodland, but is often cut into the grass through the middle of the field. However you get across the field(!), make sure you end up in its south-easterly corner. Head into the woodland and then go immediately right, through gates. Walk south, alongside a vineyard.
8 Go through the gate and turn right, walking along the road for a few metres. Then take the path on the left. This leads through fields, downhill. Go over the footbridge, through more fields and over the railway footbridge.
9 Head downhill through fields and on reaching the road, head left, eventually coming to The Sloop Inn.
10 A few metres after the pub, take the path on the left that leads through woodland. The path crosses a field (ignore the path on the right) and then disappears into woodland again.
11 You emerge at a field. Head left. The path leads to a large property and then heads left. Walk along the stony lane and before you reach the A275, head diagonally across the field. Emerge at the road and head left, back to the car.
For a pub lunch - The Sloop Inn
The Sloop Inn is en route, at stage 10 of the walk. They serve sandwiches and lunches in the bar and dining room, which is warmed by an open fire. Dogs are welcome in the bar. 01444 831219, thesloopinn.com, RH17 7NP
For tea & cake - The Bessemer Arms
The Bessemer Arms pub at Sheffield Park station isn’t the prettiest pub in the world, but you can get a cream tea and watch the old steam trains coming and going. Alternatively, pop a few yards up the road to the tearoom at Sheffield Park & Garden, for lunches and homemade cakes.