A delightful circular walk featuring woods (bluebells in spring), commons and farmland based on the Chailey Link walk devised by local people. Slightly undulating. A number of stiles.
Time Required: 3 – 4 hours
Length: 6.82miles / 10.97km
Bus stop at the junction of the A272 and Mill Lane (turn off for Chailey School) TQ390175
Bus 121 from Lewes and Newick, roughly hourly Monday to Saturday day times. In the summer of 2014 a two hourly service was introduced on Sundays, but this may not last.
www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk The bus also runs to North Chailey, which is on the walk and also Chailey Church, which is on the alternative route. So the walk can be shortened.
A)Five Bells pub
B)Pub, shop, café
C)Horns Lodge Pub, shop
D)View and picnic point.
Much of this walk is based on the Chailey Link Walk, devised by local people to celebrate the milleneum. A deviation has been made to include more bluebell woods. Sadly the Link Walk guide is now out of print, but you can still see the Link Walk markers in many places. Parts of the walk can be quite muddy following long periods of rain.
1) From the start point walk south down the road to the second alley way to the left (east)
2) Turn down this and 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. Walk for about 400 metres straight ahead through bluebell woods and then look for a path going off at 90 degrees to the left. (note that this is not the right of way shown on ordnance survey maps. It is to the west of the path shown on the map. Soon you find yourself walking with a house and large garden on your right. You then emerge on a track. Turn right past the house.
3) After the house you enter woodland again. Almost immediately there is path off to your left, which is easy to miss. Take this path and head north or north/north east. The path wanders about and does not always follow the right of way. Do not worry if you are not sure of the way providing that you are heading in a generally north or north north easterly direction. You will emerge on Markstakes Lane. Turn left. After 100/300 metres (depending on where you joined the lane) Turn right over a stile. Enter a field and walk by a hedge. The remainder of the route follows the Chailey LInk Walk. At a gap in the hedge by a large single oak. Walk west towards the A275. Before reaching this road the path turns right and runs parallel with the road, finally joining it near the Five Bells pub.
4) Turn right at the road junction by the pub and walk up the road.(Cinder Hill). After a short while the road crosses open land. The short cut turns off left here (see below) but the main route continues straight ahead.
5) Just after a bridge over a stream take a path to the left through woodland, immediately beyond a house. On emerging into a field keep the wood immediately on your right.
6) Reach the drive which leads to a large house. Turn left up this and walk up the side of the house. Just after the house is a three way footpath sign. Turn left here, enter a field and walk diagonally across it. Cross a stile to see a fine view of the south downs and a seat. The route now runs west and then turns north, along the edge of the wood.
7) The route now winds through Northanger and Frick woods on its way to North Chailey but it is hard to get lost. Ignore any gates and crosspaths. If you do take a wrong turning there is generally a private sign to set you back on the right route.
8) Reach a small road and turn left to emerge on the A272 alongside the Kings Head pub. Opposite you will find a petrol station with a shop and to the north of the pub, across the road, there is a tea room. The 121 bus also stops here. When you are refreshed take a path which runs west south west from the opposite side of the road from the pub, slightly south of where you emerged onto the A272 earlier. Pass a recreation ground and travel across Chailey Common in the same general direction to meet Beggars Wood road. (If you would like to extend your walk by exploring Chailey Common see here) Cross the road and head in the same direction along the edge of the Common until you meet Flint Cottage.
9) Immediately after Flint Cottage turn left , heading south. Keep the hedge and then the wood to your right.
10) The path ends at a junction with another path. Turn left here.
11) Shortly after there is another junction, at a water trough and pond. Fork right.
12) At the next junction fork left. Keep the hedge on your right for about 220 metres, go over a single plank fence and go into the wood.
13) At a junction go right, walk under the pylons towards a row of conifers. Go through the gate, cross a stream, pass the stile on the right and continue straight ahead through another gate. After about 300 metres take the stile on your left and cut across the corner of the field to another stile. Cross the next field and enter a wood through a kissing gate.
14) At a junction with a driveway turn right (It is possible to make a diversion left here to the CAMRA award winning pub the Horns Lodge,where there is a bus stop.) At the next junction turn left and continue south towards Mill Lane. The track turns left just before Mill Lane. Follow it round to meet the road. Then walk straight ahead to reach the start point on the A272. The bus stop to Lewes is opposite, the bus stop to Newick is to your left.
A scenic short cut is possible from point 15 to point 11, passing Chailey Church.
15) The path here has recently been diverted from the route shown on most maps.. Look for a path to your left about 200 metres after the Five Bells. Follow this, initially through woodland and then by the side of a field, finally emerging into a garden and then a track, to meet the A272. Cross the A272 and walk past the church and continue west on a track.. Just before a house the route turns left and then right, passing an orchard and an ornamental pond. At a junction bear right, keeping a wood to your left. At the end of the wood go straight ahead towards another wood. Look out for a stile on your left into the next field (no signpost). Cross the stile and turn immediately right along the edge of the field. Pass a pond to join the main route at point 11.