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Sussex walk through the Forest Way

PUBLISHED: 11:25 26 June 2018

The Forest Way is a linear Country Park that runs along a disused railway line

The Forest Way is a linear Country Park that runs along a disused railway line

Hazel Sillver

This short circular stroll leads along the leafy Forest Way and through fields

The Forest Way

This linear park runs for 16km, from East Grinstead in East Sussex to Groombridge in Kent. It tracks the course of a disused railway line, which opened in 1866 and took passengers from Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells. It was closed in 1967 and became a designated Country Park in 1974. As well as being a green corridor for wildlife, the flat surfaced track is enjoyed by walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists and horse riders.


Where to refuel

For a pub lunch, head to The Anchor Inn in Hartfield, which welcomes dogs and serves good hearty pub food and sandwiches, with vegetarian options. For tea and cake, head to Piglet’s Tearoom and Garden at the Pooh Corner shop in Hartfield.


Information

• Location: Hartfield, East Sussex

• Distance: just over three miles (5.1k) – one and a half hours to walk

• Terrain: mostly on the flat, but terrain can be uneven

• Where to park: In Hartfield village; in the Anchor Inn car park (TN7 4AG), if you intend to eat there afterwards


The walk

1. Start from Hartfield village. Go through the gate next to the telephone box, opposite the Anchor Inn car park. Walk along the left-hand side of tennis courts, past old birch trees. Then go over the stile; follow the path along the edge of fields, then across a field.

2. Go over the stile and turn left onto the Forest Way. Continue along the Forest Way for one mile.

3. At the tall poplar trees head right, following the yellow arrow, along a drive.

4. At the sign, before the end of the drive, head right between hedges; go through the gate, and head left. Soon, at the signpost, head right and walk alongside the hedge, past willow trees.

5. Where the way divides, bear right on the wide grassy path, which curves round to the right through willow trees. Maintain direction on the path across the field unless the field is ploughed, in which case head right, and walk around the edge of the field alongside the stream.

6. Go over the stile and walk past the pond on your left. After the pond, maintain direction following the yellow arrow. At the next field, head diagonally upslope.

7. Go over the stile and then immediately head right over another stile and turn right; the path leads through woodland.

8. Go over the stile and along the field edge towards a gate. Go over the stile and maintain direction past the oak tree.

Go over another stile, and maintain direction across a large field towards Hartfield church steeple in the distance.

9. After the next stile, the path bears slightly right, taking you diagonally across a field towards trees. Head over the footbridge, and a stile. Cross straight over the Forest Way, and retrace your steps back to Hartfield.


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