Balcombe to Horsham walk

Through the Weald to an old market town

Length 27km (16m)
OS Map Explorer Map 134 and 135
Toughness 7 out of 10
Features This walk passes through the beautiful woodlands of the High Weald between Balcombe and Horsham including St Leonard's Forest just to the east of Horsham, the source of the river Arun. On the way several gurgling streams are crossed or followed. The walk also passes near the source of the river Ouse. The ridge at the northern end of St Leonards Forest along the line from Colgate to Pease Pottage forms the watershed between the river Thames and the English channel. The streams to the north flowing into the Thames are called brooks while the ones flowing into the English channel are called gills. The river Mole's source are various brooks on the northern side of the watershed. The destination of the walk is the old market town of Horsham at the upper reaches of the Arun.
Travel Take the train nearest to 9:00 from London Bridge to Balcombe
Lunch Wheatsheaf (01444 400472)
Tea Various team rooms and pubs in Horsham. The Artisan "Let Them Eat Cake" Team Room in Market Square is recommended.
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Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: RH17 6JQ Directions then return to your car by train:

Finish: RH12 1RD Directions then travel to the start by train:


Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only.

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

  1. Cross over to the other platform and enter the car park.
  2. At the car park entrance take the footpath on the right downhill over styles ignoring the branch to the left.
  3. In 100m at a road go straight crossing the stream and follow the footpath on the right uphill.
  4. In 200m after crossing the style in the line of trees continue by keeping the trees your left hand side.
  5. In 300m join a lane, pass the house on your right and continue on the footpath to the left.
  6. In 200m follow the path past a pond and through Westup Farm.
  7. In 700m at when you encounter the first trees before the car wide track turns right leave the car wide track and pick up a footpath on your left following the line of trees on their left side.
  8. In 100m after crossing a style take the right branch of the fork and follow the edge of the wood on your right hand side,
  9. In 550m enter the woods over a style.
  10. In 100m cross a path with the contuation being offset by about 10m towards the left down into a ravine.
  11. In 140m cross a car wide track and in 50m a lane entering Ditton Place.
  12. In 350m turn left just before reaching the school building following the tarmac lane.
  13. In 100m go through a kissing gate on your right.
  14. In 150m enter the woods through a kissing gate.
  15. In 100m ignore a left branch and continue downhill.
  16. In 150m ignore another left branch.
  17. In 300m go through a metal field gate and turn right.
  18. In 60m got through another metal field gate keeping the bushes on your right.
  19. In 50m turn left onto a car wide concrete track.
  20. In 100m you reach a T junction where you go through the opposite hedge 10m to your right and follow the line of trees on your right.
  21. In 400m you enter the woods through a gate.
  22. After crossing the stream in 80m you turn right.
  23. In 270m turn left uphill away from the pond on your right.
  24. In 700m turn right across a bridge with wooden fences and in 40m take the path uphill.
  25. In 200m cross a car wide track.
  26. In 320 you come out onto a road junction. Cross the road towards the Red Lion and turn left into Horsham Road.
  27. In 380 turn left in between bushes just passed the Royal Oak Inn. The house on your left is marked Treefold.
  28. In 200m turn right onto a lane.
  29. In 1.2km leave the lane and take the public footpath on your right 80m before the white gate into Slougham.
  30. In 600m turn left along the road.
  31. In 450m at the corner of the pond before a small parking bay turn sharp right onto a small footpath. Continue to walk around the lake keeping it on your left hand side. For those who want to picknick the benches around the lake might be a good opportunity since there are no good places to sit outside the pub.
  32. In 700m turn right onto a lane.
  33. In 1.2km you reach the Wheatsheaf pub the recommended lunch stop.
  34. Coming out of the pub cross the road and walk along the road opposite.
  35. In 150m pick up a footpath on the right before a house.
  36. In 150m go straight.
  37. [!] In 400m turn left downhill.
  38. In 250m you enter a grassy field. Walk towards the upper right hand corner following the line of 4 oak trees.. In 200m turn right onto a concrete lane through a metal field gate.
  39. In 150m turn right off the concrete lane and follow the fence / edge of the wood on your left.
  40. In 650m at the far corner of the field enter the woods over a style on your left.
  41. In 100m ignore the style exiting the wood. Stay in the wood this side of the stream along the path.
  42. In 200m exit the wood over a style and walk up the grassy field passing the overhead pylon closely. There are electric fences to cross. They mean business so only touch the plastic handles.
  43. In 300m enter a farm track which you follow towards Newstead Farm.
  44. In 200m cross a car wide track and continue in the same direction downhill into the woods which you enter in 250m.
  45. In 20m after crossing Newstead Gill across a wooden bridge turn right.
  46. In 400m turn left along the road.
  47. In 330m turn right onto a footpath and follow the fence keeping it on your right hand side.
  48. In 400m cross a lane.
  49. In 150m leave the car wide track and go straight.
  50. In 130m ignore the path towards the right and got straight.
  51. In 700m go over style onto a path in between fences.
  52. In 170m ignore the path towards the right and go straight.
  53. In 100m you come to a T junction with a wide path where you turn left.
  54. In 100m turn right uphill following the public footpath sign. You are now entering St Leonard's Forest and open access area.
  55. In 250m cross a car wide track.
  56. In 70m turn left into the woods. At this point you need to decide if you want to take the shortcut which leads you directly to Horsham station. If so continue with the instructions below.
  57. In 260m turn right.
  58. In 70m turn left.
  59. In 400 cross a car wide track
  60. In 150m turn right at a 5 way junction.
  61. In 130m cross a car wide track
  62. In 150m after crossing a Sheepwash Gill turn left.
  63. In 600m turn right uphill.
  64. [!] In 200m turn right onto a narrow path. Follow this path as it meanders through the woods.
  65. In 250m turn left towards the road and then right along the road.
  66. In 100m, at a house on the right, turn left into the woods following a public footpath sign.
  67. In 900m turn right along Golding Lane into Mannings Heath.
  68. In 630m, at the village shop, turn right into Pound Lane. The village shop sells English wines from the Roosthole vinyard just south of Horsham. I tried the white from 2015 which is very good.
  69. In 400m cross the road and continue on the footpath opposite the closed pub The Dun House.
  70. In 100m turn right through a kissing gate. Continue in this direction following the footpath markers through Rickfield Farm.
  71. In 600m after a metal kissing gate aim towards the metal fieldgate on the opposite side of the grassy field, direction 225° where you enter Whyting Farm.
  72. After walking through the metal field gate turn half left towards the line of trees at the rear of the large shed to pick up the path in 50m on your right through the line of trees across wooden planks and through a metal gate.
  73. Walk along the rear of the shed until in 100m you turn right through a metal gate and in 20m through another metal gate.
  74. Walk diagonally across the field towards the opposite corner.
  75. In 170m leave the field over a style and wooden planks and in 30m go through metal field gate on your left picking up the path on the other side of the hedge. There aim for a metal gate at the opposite side of the field in roughly the same direction (250°) you came from.
  76. In 120m leave the field through the metal gate and cross a stream over wooden planks.
  77. In 250m turn right along the edge of the field.
  78. In 110m you reach a lane where you turn right.
  79. In 160m turn left.
  80. In 120m turn right.
  81. In 50m go through a wooden gate and towards a metal field gate slightly on the left at the opposite side of the field.
  82. In 120m after going through the metal field gate continue through the second metal field gate on the left onto a concrete track.
  83. Follow the public footpath (check the many rabbit holes onyour left in 300m) until in 800m go through a metal field gate and then diagonally across the field, direction 320°
  84. In 200m turn left onto a car wide track after crossing the Arun.
  85. In 80m cross the road and pick up the footpath opposite pointing away from the road. Soon there is a path leading away from the fence on your left until in 170m you pick up a firm path on which you continue.
  86. In 30m go straight. with a hide 80m on your left.
  87. In 160 turn left onto a board walk.
  88. In 90m at the end of the board walk turn left.
  89. In 50m turn right after crossing the Arun.
  90. In 220m turn right up along the fence. At the top keep right following the fence on your right.
  91. In 500m turn right and cross a lane through 2 wooden kissing gates.
  92. In 360m go through a wooden kissing gate and continue in roughly the same direction following the lane towards the railway bridge.
  93. In 80m just passed the railway bridge turn left crossing the Arun again.
  94. In 190m turn right across the Arun, pass in front of the church and walk into the centre of Horsham. You reach Market Square with the Artisan Tea Rooms onyour left in 450m.
  95. For the station walk straight across the centre (called Carfax) past The Spire on Chart Way. Cross the foot bridge across the A281 and continue on for another 500m.

Shortcut to Horsham

This shortcut will go straight to the station and will not lead you to the centre of Horsham. Apart from a small station kiosk there are no refreshment opportunities.
  1. Go straight in the same direction.
  2. In 100m cross a path.
  3. In 210m join a car wide track downhill.
  4. In 340m go straight.
  5. In 90m go straight.
  6. In 230m the wood opens up. Follow the line of trees on your left.
  7. In 260m cross a car wide track through a metal kissing gate.
  8. In 520m turn right passing a metal field gate.
  9. In 40m turn left following a Public Footpath sign.
  10. In 530m turn right and immediately left crossing a car wide track.
  11. In 720m turn right into Hampers Lane.
  12. In 220m cross a road and continue along Hampers Lane.
  13. In 130m cross a road into Depot Road.
  14. In 1.1km turn left and in 110m right towards the station.
© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only.