Circular walk starting from Burwash via

Woods Corner and Brightling Park 

Woods Corner and Brightling Park

          11 miles   6 hours

Ordanance Survey Explorer maps  124 and 136

 

Refreshments: Woods Corner, The Swan pub.

 

Route description: This walk starts by heading west along the main road out of the village and then follows field paths into the Dudwell valley. Reaching Willingford Lane the walk then passes close to Willingford farm before entering Blackbrooks forest. The walk then continues through Forge wood and onto Woods Corner. At Woods Corner there are views to the coast, Eastbourne and the South Downs. The walk then passes one of Mad Jack Fullers follies, the Sugar Loaf. From the Sugar Loaf the walk then passes through forest into Brightling Park. As the footpath is followed through Brightling Park, another of Jack Fuller’s follies can be seen. Standing stately atop a small hill in Brightling Park is the Rotunda Temple.

 Brightling Cricket ground is then passed and must be one of the most remote cricket grounds in the country situated in the middle of the park and just to the west of the lakes. Continuing the walk reaches the next of Jack Fullers follies, the Tower. Having passed the Tower there is what must be one of the best views of Darwell Reservoir. The walk then enters the small village of Brightling and passes through the church yard where Mad Jack Fullers tomb in the shape of a pyramid is passed. Brightling, being one of the highest points in East Sussex has good views in many directions. The route from Brightling passes through Rounden wood and crosses the 4.7km-long conveyor belt that carries the gypsum from the mine to the factory. The walk then follows the steep but quiet Brown’s Oak Lane and then crosses the Dudwell valley by field paths back to Burwash.   

 Start Burwash car park. OS Grid Ref. TQ673246. Nearby post code TN19 7ET

  1. Leave the car park and then turn left along the High Street. Continue along the road out of the village, passing the petrol station on the right and then a 50 mile per hour speed limit sign, after which, look for some steps up a bank on the left, to a stile.

  2. Climb up the steps and cross over the stile into a field. Continue forward down the field with the hedge/ fence on your right to the field corner. Cross over a stile on your right and then follow the path to the next stile. Cross this stile and then turn right to a footpath gate in the field corner.

  3. Go through the footpath gate and then follow the path through a small wood to a stile into a field. Continue forward, downhill to a gateway to the right of a small wood. Pass through the gateway and then cross the field diagonally to the right hand bottom corner. Do not cross the stile but turn left and follow the hedge to a gateway with a stile beside it.

  4. Cross this stile and then turn left, keeping the hedge and ditch on your left. When half way across the field, bear right away from the hedge, to a footbridge over the river Dudwell.

  5. Having crossed the river turn right to follow a path to a kissing gate. Pass through the gate and continue across the next field, keeping the hedge on your left. When near to the far end of the field go through the gate on your left, and then turn right, following the edge of the field to a gate. Sometimes there is an electric fence along the edge of this field, if so you will go through a small gate before you get to the main field gate.

  6. At the gate, ignore the path going uphill on your left, but continue forward through the gate. Keep going forward across the field, keeping to the left hand edge and then when opposite the bridge that crosses the river on your right continue forward (do not cross the bridge) aiming for the corner of the wood at the top of the hill in front of you.

  7.  At the top of the hill locate a kissing gate. Go through the kissing gate and then continue forward over two stiles. Continue in the same direction across the next three fields keeping the hedge on your left.

  8. Having crossed the third field, continue over a stile onto the road. Cross the road and then go through a small gate. Continue on the path between two hedges (This path can be very wet to start with but soon has a more solid base.)

  9. When the hedges open out to a field, continue to follow the right-hand boundary. Passing to the left of the farm buildings and continuing uphill beside the farm house garden to a gate in the top right hand corner of the field.

  10. Go through the gate and then continue on a track between hedges, passing through another gate. Continue following the track through a small rough area to pass through a gap into a field. Continue forward across the field to the opposite hedge. At the hedge, turn left and follow the hedge to a gateway. Go through the gateway and then continue in the same direction, now with the hedge on your left, to a small gate in the corner of the field.

  11. Pass through the small gate and then continue across the next field to find a small gate into the forest on your left. Go through the gate and then follow the path through the forest, eventually crossing a small bridge before heading downhill, following the way markers to a footbridge.

  12. Cross the footbridge, and continue to follow the path uphill away from the gully (the way marker points in the wrong direction so just continue forward after crossing bridge), eventually reaching a crossing of paths.

  13. Continue straight on at the path crossing and then where the track forks at an old quarry. Take the left-hand fork, passing to the left of the quarry (the right fork goes downhill to an access road).

  14. At the next fork, keep left on the upper track, then at a crossing of tracks keep forward onto a small path. Follow this small path through the forest to eventually go down some steps to cross a footbridge.

  15. Just after crossing the bridge, keep right to the access road and then turn left and keep forward onto a bridleway between hedges. Continue along this bridleway to join the road at Fuggles House.

  16. Turn right on the road and continue uphill until you pass Staceys House which is on your left. Just past Staceys House is a stile. Turn left over the stile and then left following the path around behind a pond and through a wood to a field. On emerging into the field, turn right and then continue uphill to a stile a few yards to the left of a telegraph pole. Cross the stile and then continue on an enclosed path to the road.

  17. Turn left along the road to the Swan Inn for well deserved refreshment.

  18. If you don’t stop at the Swan Inn continue along the main road, passing the end of the speed limit sign, and then taking the footpath on the left to the Sugar Loaf.

  19. Continue past the Sugar Loaf and then cross a stile into a field. Continue forward down the field to a gate. Go through the gate and then follow the enclosed path to an access road. Turn left along the access road to the road.  At the road turn sharp right into the forest and continue forward on a wide forest ride which is signed to the Tower.

  20. Keep forward passing a ride going left and then continue to where the ride forks. Keep right and follow the ride downhill. At the bottom of the hill, cross a stream and then take the footpath on the left through the forest to a gate. Go through the gate and then continue across the field to the gate opposite. Pass through the gate and then continue forward with the fence on your right to a path through the woodland to a stile.

  21. Cross the stile into a field and then continue forward with the hedge on your left and views of the Temple up on the hill to the left. Go through a gate into the next field and then continue in the same direction towards a farm. Cross the next stile and follow the track around to the right, signed to the Tower. Continue forward between the farm buildings to a track junction.

  22. At the track junction turn left, signed to the Tower. Continue on this track to the road and then turn right for a few yards before crossing a stile on the left and heading straight up a field to the corner of a wood. Enter the wood and follow the path to the Tower

  23. Having passed the Tower, continue on the path to exit the wood and then cross a stile by a gate.  Turn left and follow the hedge down to a stile in the corner of the field. Cross the stile and then turn left on an enclosed path through a kissing gate.

  24. Pass through two more kissing gates before passing through a third kissing gate into a field.  Maintain the same direction across this field to go through another kissing gate and then follow the fence on your right to a kissing gate onto a road.

  25. Go to the road junction and then turn right and continue uphill towards Brightling Church. Enter the church yard and continue on a path which passes to the right of Mad Jack Fullers Tomb, to a gate. Go through the gate and then bear right on a grass path to another gate. Go through the gate and follow a path beside a fence to a gate onto the road.

  26. Turn left along the road. Just before you get to a house on the left take the track on the right across a field into the forest. On entering the forest keep left on the main track. Continue on this track through the forest and then when the main track turns right keep straight on along a path to the conveyor belt from the British Gypsum Mine. Cross over the conveyor belt and then Stay on the track ignoring any side paths to eventually arrive at a gate into a field.

  27. Pass through the gate into the field and then continue forward with the forest on your left until a house comes into view. Head for a gate which is to the right of the house. Pass through the gate and then follow the enclosed track to a junction.

  28. Turn right to follow the track to a road. At the road, turn left, cross a stream, and then climb steeply before dropping downhill to a junction.

  29. At the road junction, cross over and take the path opposite through an archway in the hedge beside a garden to cross a stile into a field. Bear right across the field to a gate in the wooden fence. Go through the gate and then bear left towards two trees in the middle of the field. Having passed the trees, continue in the same direction to the hedge, and then turn left to follow the hedge to a stile in the field corner.

  30. Cross the stile into a wood and then follow the path to a stile. Cross the stile into a field and bear right, crossing the field to the fence corner. At the fence corner, continue in the same direction to a stile in the far left hand corner of the field.

  31. Cross the stile into a wood and then continue forward to exit the wood by a stile. Continue forward with the hedge on your right to a gateway in the field corner. Pass through the gateway and then bear right across the field towards the left end of the woodland. Locate a stile, and cross it into the woodland and follow a challenging path downhill through the wood (it can be slippery).  

  32. Where the path joins a house access track, turn left to a road and then turn right along the road. Continue on the road to a footpath gate on the left, which is just before the road starts to go uphill. Go through the footpath gate and then follow a path uphill through a small wood.

  33. Enter the field and then turn right and follow the edge of the field to the corner. At the corner of the field turn left. Continue to following the edge of the field to the gateway. Turn right through the gate way and then follow the left-hand field boundary to a path going left into the woodland.

  34. Follow the path through the woodland to a small bridge over a ditch into a field.  Continue up the left side of the field back to the car park.