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Wealden woodland wander, Chailey to Isfield

Summary

 A walk through some of the nicest woods in the Low Weald north of Lewes together with a walk by the Ouse and a steam railway.  Lots of lovely picnic spots.  Particularly nice at bluebell time, on hot summer days when you want some shade, and in the autumn when the leaves are going brown.

 Distance, Terrain and Time

8.71 Km / 5.41 Miles flat or gently undulating.  Some stiles.  First part of the walk can be muddy after prolonged periods of rain

Start and finish points

 Start South Chailey, bus stop is at the junction of the A275 and Mill Lane (turn off for Chailey School), TQ390175

 Finish Isfield bus stop.

 Getting there

 The 121 bus runs roughly hourly from Lewes to the start point during the day from Monday to Saturday.  In 2014 an experimental 2 hourly Sunday and bank holiday service was introduced, but this may not last.

 The 29 bus service runs hourly from Isfield to Lewes, Brighton and Tunbridge Wells seven days a week.  There is an increased service Monday to Friday mornings. Buses to Lewes and Brighton leave from the opposite side of the road to the station.

 You can buy a scratch off saver ticket from Lewes tourist office for £4.70 (2014) to cover both journeys.

 For bus and train times see Traveline South East

 Date researched

 21/4/2014

 Ordnance Survey maps

 Explorer series number 122 Landranger series 198

 Refreshments

 Farm shop at Isfield, just after the point where the walk joins the road.  Noted pub at Isfield.

 Public toilets

 none

 Route instructions

 1). From the start point walk south down the main road (A275), soon turning left into the second lane (Kilnwood) & heading east. 

 2). Walk for about 100 metres to meet a cross track. Turn left on this and then, after a few metres, take a path to the right.

 Follow this path straight ahead through the woods, ignoring all cross paths and turnings.  After about 900 metres a bridleway joins the route from the left.  Continue straight ahead for another kilometre to emerge at a road.

 3). Turn right at the road and walk south for about 500 metres.  Be careful.  Sometimes cars come round bends quite fast.

 4).The road bears right.

 5) Shortly after this there are footpaths to the left and to the right.  Take the one to the left. This opens out into a field.  The path runs straight across the field and is normally quite clear.  At the opposite side of the field pass under an old railway.

 This is the old Lewes to East Grinstead railway line.  The northern part of the route has been preserved as the Bluebell Railway, but there are no plans to revive this part of the line.

 Once under the railway you enter Knowlands Wood.  The right of way is the track which bears right.

 The owner of this wood maintains it as a conservation wood and there are interesting things for botanists to find.

 The right of way is now obvious. Ignore any cross tracks and keep ahead on the main route.  The route emerges from the wood and continues on the side of it, with fields to your right.

 Just before Knowlands Farm there is a footpath to the right. It is possible to follow this path due south for a kilometre to reach Barcombe village, with its shop, local pub and 2 hourly bus service to Lewes (Monday to Saturday) You could either return to the main route the way you came, or get the bus home for a short walk of about 3.5 miles.

 To follow the route keep straight ahead through the farm and up the farm drive to the road

 Note the statue of a deer guarding the farm pond.

 6).  On reaching the road turn left and, after about 15 metres find a footpath off to your right.  Take this.  Emerge into a field and descend into the valley, walking by the field edge. Cross a stile and bear right up hill and then cross another stile.  There are two paths here.  You can take either, but the right hand one, which passes just to the left of the farm buildings, is clearer.  It emerges into the lane at Clay Corner.  Turn left up the road.

 7). Shortly the road turns sharp right.  But keep straight ahead on a track- Dallas Lane.  The track goes straight ahead.  Ignore routes to the left and right.  It passes through Burtonshaw’s Wood and Agmond’s Wood and then passes through fields to reach a four way junction of paths by the river Ouse.

 8). Turn right here and walk alongside the Ouse for about 700 metres to reach the newly rebuilt White Bridge.

 9). Turn left here and follow the track ahead.  This bears right and joins a road.  Bear right along the road.  Pass the farm shop on your left.  Continue along the road to pass, in quick succession, the Laughing Fish Pub and Isfield station on the preserved (1 mile) steam railway.  The railway is normally open on Sundays and Bank Holidays.  The bus stop is just beyond the level crossing gates. 

Here are links to the web sites for Laughing Fish Pub and the Lavender Line steam railway

 10). The stop for Lewes and Brighton is opposite.  The stop for Tunbridge Wells in on the left.

 If you still have an appetite for more walking you might want to try the short Lavender Line walk which starts from here.

 © Copyright Chris Smith except where otherwise stated and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence