Sussex walk around Nymans Woods
PUBLISHED: 11:30 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:30 18 April 2017
On this month's walk, Hazel Sillver enjoys spring flowers in Nymans Woods
The woodland adjacent to Nymans House and Garden is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, being over 400 years old and containing many wild flowers. The site is especially lovely in late April and early May when wood anemones, primroses, violets, cuckoo flowers and bluebells are in bloom beneath the beech trees and on the banks of the streams and ponds. The woods are also home to many birds (including kingfishers), dragonflies and butterflies (such as the silver washed fritillary and the white admiral).
The fabulous garden at Nymans is abloom with blossom, camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, daffodils and bluebells in spring. At the heart of the garden, topiary stands in front of the ruined mansion, behind which the intact part of the house is open to visitors. For more information, go to nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans or call 01444 405250.
Where to refuel
Enjoy lunch or a cream tea in the Nymans café or head to a local pub: The Red Lion (redlionhandcross.co.uk, 01444 400292, RH17 6BP) is in walking distance of Nymans and offers contemporary pub food, with vegetarian options; and The Crabtree (01403 892 666; crabtreesussex.co.uk; RH13 6PT) is four and a half miles away in Lower Beeding, offers excellent food, including several vegetarian options, and welcomes dogs in the bar area.
• Location: Handcross, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex
• Distance: 1.7m (2.7k) – 1 hr to walk.
• Terrain: a bit of up and down. Paths can be muddy.
• Where to park: In the National Trust car park at Nymans (RH17 6EB)
1 Park in the National Trust car park at Nymans and head through the gate in the north-easterly corner. Turn right, walking along a wide path that soon leads downhill.
2 At the crossways, head left. The wide path takes you through woodland. Maintain direction, ignoring the paths that eventually lead off to the right and the left.
3 The path runs alongside a field on the right and then curves right and downhill, after passing a house. Ignore the path that heads left after the young birch trees. The path leads between ponds – head right, after the kingfisher carving, taking the narrow path that loops back slightly alongside the pond and then takes you up steps.
4 At the top of the steps, head right following the path into a magnificent avenue of old conifers. Ignore the path that eventually heads left and maintain direction.
5 The path gradually begins to meander upslope past holly and beech trees. Ignore the path that joins from the left and pass over the ditch bridge. The way then divides – head left, passing over another tiny ditch bridge and following the path upslope.
6 Head straight on over the crossways and walk uphill back to the car park.