Dormans to Lingfield walk
Historic buildings, a racecourse and a small Nature Reserve with a Community Orchard in the SE corner of Surrey.
Main Walk: 16¾ km (10.4 miles). Three hours 55 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8½ hours.
Extended Walk 1, with Lingfield ‘preamble’: 20 km (12.4 miles). Four hours 45 minutes walking time.
Extended Walk 2, returning to Dormans: 20¾ km (12.9 miles). Five hours walking time.
Long Walk, with both extensions: 24 km (14.9 miles). Five hours 50 minutes walking time.
Explorers 146 & (for the Dormans extension) 147. Dormans station, map reference TQ397415, is in Surrey, 3 km N of East Grinstead.
3 out of 10 (4 with either extension, 5 with both).
This walk in the south-eastern corner of Surrey essentially consists of two near-circular walks linked together. The first loop is around the fringes of a historically interesting housing development to the south of Dormans station, with the outward path showing the cuttings, embankments and viaducts needed to build a railway through this undulating countryside. The second loop goes through a Local Nature Reserve and farmland in the low-lying countryside to the north of Lingfield.
The arrival of a new railway line invariably leads to speculative housing development – sometimes by the railway company itself, as related in John Betjeman's celebrated TV documentary Metroland. The Oxted–East Grinstead line opened in 1884 and a few years later the Bellaggio Estate Company bought 218 acres of farmland and woodland to the north of East Grinstead. It planned to develop a “New Bungalow Town and Club” but only completed about twenty sizeable residences before it failed. Many new houses have since been built but the Green Belt has protected the rest of Dormans Park, leaving properties scattered around plots in mature woodland like dachas in a Russian forest.
After a circuit of the estate and a brisk gallop up the long straight of Lingfield Park Racecourse, a woodland bridleway brings you into the large village of Lingfield. The suggested lunchtime pub is on the edge of the Old Town conservation area, which contains many well-preserved 16th–18thC buildings clustered around the grand parish church.
Parts of the afternoon route overlap both the Lingfield & Crowhurst Age to Age Walk and (in reverse) the end of the Oxted to Lingfield walk (#135). The routes out of and back into the village both go through Lingfield Nature Reserve, which includes a Community Orchard. There is a choice of tearooms and pubs for refreshment before a short loop through a water meadow to the station.
This walk is probably best avoided over the August Bank Holiday weekend, when the Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural Show is held in the large fields to the north of the village. Although the public footpaths here (and across the racecourse on race days) should remain open, the village and trains will be busier than usual.
Directions have been provided for extensions at both ends of the walk, making circular walks from both Lingfield and Dormans. Brisk walkers doing the 3¼ km pre-walk extension (or ‘preamble’) from Lingfield will reach Dormans not long after the next train arrives, so should be able to catch up the main group if they set off half an hour earlier. A slightly longer and quite different route is provided for the post-walk extension to Dormans, with further refreshments available at an out-of-the-way village pub on the way to this station.
The structure of the main part of the walk means that there are several opportunities to shorten it by cutting out some of its loops, for example if you suspected that the low-lying fields to the north of Lingfield might be flooded. The directions point out where you could save 5½ km by cutting out almost all of this loop, although this would make for a very short afternoon unless the post-walk extension (mostly on higher ground) was still feasible.
Lingfield and Dormans are adjacent stations on the East Grinstead line, with a half-hourly off-peak service from Victoria. The journey time is around 50-55 minutes. Unless you are doing a Circular Walk from Lingfield, buy a return to Dormans.
If you want to abandon the walk in mid-morning there is an infrequent bus service along Felcourt Road at the southern tip of Dormans Park (Mon–Sat), but it will usually be quicker to head for one of the stations.
If driving, there is limited roadside parking at Dormans station but no car park. It would be simpler to park at Lingfield and take the train to Dormans (or do the preamble). Lingfield station car park costs £6 Mon–Fri, £5.95 Sat, £2.25 Sun & BH (2020).
Take the train nearest to 09:50 from Victoria to Dormans, or half an hour earlier (to Lingfield) if doing the pre-walk extension.
The suggested lunch pub in Lingfield is The Star (01342-832364), after 8 km. It is just outside the picturesque Old Town, has a large garden and serves good food all day. For an alternative you would have to make a short detour: there are cafés, restaurants and another pub clustered around the village pond (see Tea below).
On days when it is open the suggested tea place in Lingfield is Joyce's with Best Wishes at 30-32 High Street, an excellent tearoom with a pretty patio garden (01342-832428; open March–October and pre-Xmas to 4.45pm Mon–Sat; closed Sun & BH). Other places near the village pond are the Red Rum Caffé (01342-459752; open to 5pm Mon–Sat, 3pm Sun), a Costa Coffee (01342-837843; open to 6pm Mon–Sat, 5pm Sun) and the Greyhound pub (01342-832147). You could also make another visit to The Star, the closest place to the station.
The post-walk extension goes past The Old House at Home (01342-836828) in the village of Dormansland, 1 km before Dormans station. A short detour would take you to an alternative pub on Dormans High Street, the Royal Oak (01342-836611).
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
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- Main Walk (16¾ km)
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- Leave the station at the southern end of Platform 2 and take the footpath heading east along the edge of water meadows, crossing two streams. Turn right onto a footpath leading to St Piers Lane and turn right onto this road, passing Lingfield College. Turn right again onto the B2028, going under the railway bridge. Turn left onto a tree-lined bridleway (Mill Lane) heading south for 1¾ km. Shortly after crossing the railway again turn right onto a footpath leading to Dormans station.
Arriving from London for the ‘preamble’, do not cross the footbridge to the main station exit but walk down to the East Grinstead end of Platform 2. This looks like a dead end but it leads to a short fenced path alongside the tracks. At the end go through a gate on the left into a water meadow.
The route along Platform 2 is an official diversion, as the right of way across the tracks at the southern end of the station has been the subject of a ‘temporary’ closure order since 2011 when two girls were almost hit by a train.
- Follow a grassy path along the right-hand side of the meadow, heading E. Cross Eden Brook? on a substantial footbridge and keep ahead across another meadow. At the end cross a second stream on a footbridge, bear right and go through a wooden kissing gate onto a broad tree-lined track.
- Follow this potentially muddy path gently uphill for 150m, passing an inconspicuous stone tablet? on the right-hand side halfway along. Shortly after it bends left, turn right at a footpath waymarker into the corner of a large field. Ignore a gate leading into a school playing field and go along the field edge, with a hedge on your right.
- At the end of the hedge bear left across the grass towards a small tree in the boundary hedge opposite, where there is a half-concealed stile. Go over this and turn right onto a minor road (St Piers Lane), soon passing the buildings of Lingfield College? Senior School.
- At the T-junction with the B2028 (Racecourse Road) turn right and continue along the main road for 200m, passing a row of cottages and going under the railway bridge. Cross the road carefully at some point. Immediately before the entrance to the Marriott Hotel turn left onto a narrow driveway, signposted as a bridleway and heading S.
Go past Mill Lane Cottages and continue along the bridleway, now a broad tree-lined path with Lingfield Park Golf Course on both sides. Follow it through Mill Wood for 750m, ignoring crossing paths used by golfers and another bridleway off to the left. After going alongside a stream in a gully on the right turn left at a four-way path junction to stay on the bridleway, away from a footpath crossing the stream on a brick bridge.
After the loop around Dormans Park the walk route comes back across this bridge and retraces the stretch along the bridleway to the B2028.
- The bridleway soon swings right and climbs steadily. For most of the way there are trees shielding you from the golf course, but you need to take care where the track crosses a fairway (with golfers playing from ahead on the left). In 600m the bridleway crosses the railway on a brick bridge, with Dormans station visible off to the right. Go past a cottage and keep right to stay on the bridleway.
- In 250m turn right at a path crossing by the entrance to “Nobles Green”, with another stone tablet? by the bench on the right. Follow the tarmac path down through a copse and then across a semi-open area to reach Dormans Station Road. Turn right to go past the small station building and cross the tracks on the footbridge alongside the road bridge.
- If starting the walk here, turn right onto the footbridge alongside the road bridge.
Starting from Dormans Station
- If arriving from London, go up steps at the East Grinstead end of the platform and turn right onto the footbridge alongside the road bridge.
- At the top of the ramp to Platform 1 cross Dormans Station Road carefully and take the signposted footpath opposite, down a flight of steps. For much of this section you will be heading S on a path parallel to the railway tracks (sometimes high above them, sometimes well below them). In 900m go straight ahead across a lane (The Approach) leading into the Dormans Park estate, with the railway passing under the bridge on your left.
- The footpath now descends steadily for 250m so that when you cross the next lane (Lake View Road), you are well below the level of the railway. Continue on the enclosed path opposite, with a high metal fence on the left rather spoiling the view of Cook's Pond Viaduct?. On the far side go between vehicle barriers and follow the path up to a T-junction with a bridleway.
- Turn right onto the bridleway, heading W and soon ignoring a footpath off to the left. In 400m the bridleway crosses a stream and continues with gardens behind a high green fence on the right. At the end of the fence keep ahead at a major path crossing, staying on the bridleway. In 250m there are houses and gardens on the left and the path comes to a T-junction with an unsurfaced lane in front of a bungalow “The Cottage”.
- Turn left and follow the lane for 250m, curving gently right and passing a few more properties. The next turning is easy to miss. Just before the last house, and about 40m before the lane comes out onto Felcourt Road, turn sharp right onto a narrow footpath.
- Follow the footpath northwards through woodland and the Dormans Park estate for 1¼ km. At Tanglewood turn left onto a footpath going across a wooded valley and up between fields. Turn right at a path T-junction and follow this footpath out to Blackberry Road. Turn right onto Blackberry Road and fork left onto a short link road. Cross over Blackberry Lane onto Lingfield Park Golf Course.
- Follow the rather gloomy path between garden fences and tall trees, later with Charters Village? visible across fields on the left. The path goes gently downhill and passes some ponds in the wood on the right. Keep ahead across a stream onto a broad track, climbing gently. In 100m you pass Chestnut Cottage and The Clock House? on the left, now on an estate road.
Ignore Furzefield? Chase on the right and keep ahead on Swissland? Hill, still climbing gently. In the next 250m ignore two more estate roads on the right and continue for a further 400m. The next turning is easy to miss. Just before the driveway to “Tanglewood” turn left onto a narrow path between hedges, as indicated by a footpath waymarker on a tree.
At the time of writing there was also a footpath signpost just beyond Tanglewood's driveway, pointing along a separate path. The owner might be attempting to reroute the official right of way from this second path, since where the two meet the waymarker directs walkers from the other direction along the first path.
- After the two paths merge you descend through a wooded area and cross a stream on a substantial footbridge with handrails. Continue up the other side of the valley, initially on a corduroy road? and then on a broad tree-lined path between fields, still climbing. At the end of this attractive path turn right through a fieldgate (or cross a stile) onto a broad grassy path between fences.
At the end go through a side gate to continue along a tarmac driveway. In 200m it swerves left and right towards a house, with a choice of paths ahead. The waymarkers currently direct you through a metal kissing gate and along the top of a grassy bank in full view of the house, but a new path going straight ahead at the first bend is a less intrusive alternative route.
As at Tanglewood, the owner could be attempting to reroute the right of way and might prefer walkers to take this alternative route.
- Shortly after the two routes rejoin, go through a wooden gate in the fence on your left and out onto Blackberry Road. Turn right onto the road, which soon comes to a Y-junction. Fork left off the main road onto a short link road leading to Blackberry Lane. Cross this road carefully (it has faster traffic than you might expect) and go through a gap in the trees opposite onto Lingfield Park Golf Course.
- Follow the right of way across the golf course, initially to the right close to the road and then zig-zagging left and right alongside a stream to the long straight of Lingfield Park Racecourse. Cross the racetrack at the designated point and turn left to head north alongside it for 175m, then veer right to meet a bridleway (Mill Lane).
- Do not cross the fairway ahead but immediately turn right and take a path into and through the edge of a copse. The path stays close to the road for a while, then swings left and emerges back onto the fairway. The right of way through the golf course now closely follows the course of a stream on your right.
- Go straight across the fairway (with golfers playing down the slope from the left), ignoring a footbridge across the stream. After going through a belt of trees turn right to stay close to the stream, heading E. Make your way across the grass towards a copse, where the right of way continues on a narrow path bearing left through the trees.
- At the end keep right to go alongside a new grass bank being constructed along the edge of a fairway. Go through a wide gap in the line of trees ahead and follow a track round to the left, now heading N beside the long straight of Lingfield Park Racecourse?, with the Grandstand five furlongs (1 km) ahead.
- In about 75m turn right to cross the racetrack at the designated crossing point, then turn left to continue between the racetrack and a golf fairway. The right of way does not extend to the finishing post, so in 175m you need to turn right as indicated by a footpath signpost near the start of some trees.
- Follow a slightly raised path alongside the fairway out to a track and turn right onto it, away from some buildings. The track crosses a stream on a brick bridge and comes to a four-way junction.
There are some rather stern notices about “not deviating from the statutory route” across the golf course and racecourse, which would be easier to comply with if the public footpaths were clearly waymarked.
- Turn left onto Mill Lane and follow the bridleway through Mill Wood. At the end turn left onto the B2028 (Racecourse Road). Opposite the racecourse entrance take a tarmac path across an open space to Lingfield station. Go out along its approach road and continue on the footpath heading west to The Star pub on Church Road.
- At the junction turn left onto a bridleway (shown as Mill Lane on the OS map), with the stream down to your left. This track is also used by golfers heading for the 18th tee and you need to ignore the left fork to it after 100m. Continue on the bridleway as it winds its way northwards through Mill Wood, ignoring another bridleway off to the right and crossing paths used by golfers, eventually coming out by Mill Lane Cottages.
- Keep ahead on the narrow driveway to reach the B2028 (Racecourse Road). Turn left and go along the main road for 250m, passing Lingfield College? Prep School on the right. If you have not already done so, cross the road at the pedestrian lights by the visitor entrance to the racecourse and take the broad tarmac path opposite, to the left of an overflow car park.
- The path curves left past a few houses and then heads N across a large open space, dotted with trees. In the far corner you come to a path junction by a way onto Platform 1 at Lingfield station. Unless you want to abandon the walk, keep ahead on the narrow path alongside the platform, separated from it by high metal railings.
- At the end turn left into the station forecourt and go out along its approach road. Cross Station Road carefully and take the tarmac path opposite, heading W alongside the high wall of New Place? and continuing as a tree-lined path between fields. In 400m it comes out onto Church Road with the suggested lunch pub on the left, The Star.
- Take the short street through the Old Town and churchyard. Cross over onto an alleyway leading into a Recreation Ground. Keep ahead across Jenner's Field and along the right-hand edge of Beacon Field.
From the pub cross Church Road and take the short street of historic houses on the right, passing an information panel The Church Old Town about the Lingfield Conservation Area on the right-hand wall. Enter the churchyard and fork left onto the path going around the large parish church of Ss Peter and Paul?, which is well worth visiting; its entrance is through the west door in the tower.
The return route to the station also goes through the churchyard so you will have another chance to visit the church later.
- The path leads to an exit on the northern side of the churchyard. Go down a short flight of steps onto a path past the attractive Guest House (now a library). At the bottom cross the road and go up the steps opposite to continue along an alleyway.
- At the end go through a wooden kissing gate into the corner of Jenner's Field, a large recreation ground which is one of the constituents of Lingfield Nature Reserve?. Go diagonally across the field towards the hedge on the far side, aiming for a point halfway between the skateboard ramp and a wide gap in the hedge off to the right.
- At this point go straight across the perimeter path and through a narrow gap in the hedge into Beacon Field. Keep ahead along its right-hand edge, soon crossing a grassy path heading towards the old fire beacon away to the left.
If you want to skip the entire loop via Moat Farm and Waterside (saving 5½ km), turn left onto this path and continue the directions at §H.
- Keep ahead through Coldharbour Copse to leave the reserve at its northernmost point. Take the lane to Lingfield Common Road, cross over and continue on the footpath just off to the left. After passing Sugham Farm turn right onto a footpath heading north. Follow it across Ray Brook and through several large fields used for the Edenbridge and Oxted Show. Turn right onto a driveway in front of Moat Farm and take the long straight footpath heading east to Crowhurst Road.
- In the corner of Beacon Field keep ahead on a path through Coldharbour Copse and continue across a patch of grassland, passing an old house “Coldharbour” behind the hedge on the left. Leave the reserve through a wooden side gate and go out onto a lane.
- Follow the lane round a bend to the left and keep right where another lane merges from the left. Continue along this long straight tree-lined lane to Lingfield Common Road. Turn left briefly onto the main road, crossing over carefully at some point. In 25m turn right onto a signposted footpath, going past a rusty metal fieldgate.
- At the far end of this long straight green lane go through a metal kissing gate and follow it round to the left. With the gated entrance to Sugham Farm ahead, bear right to continue on a narrow path between metal railings and a hedge. The path swings round to the left and comes to a three-way footpath junction where you turn right onto a short path between hedges, heading N.
- At the end cross Ray Brook? on a concrete bridge and squeeze past an old metal gate into a field. Keep ahead on a faint grassy path towards the far corner (not a more obvious exit away to the left), where you veer right and left through a gap in the hedge to maintain direction along the left-hand edge of the next field. In 100m, after the hedge has curved slightly to the right, go over a stile in the hedge into another large field.
- Follow a faint grassy path across it, heading NW and aiming for the far end of the long hedge away to your left. In this corner bear left (going over a stile if necessary) to continue along a broad grassy strip. In 200m, where it turns slightly left, go over a stile in the hedge on the right and turn right onto a driveway. Follow it round to the left and across a stream on a brick bridge, with the aptly-named Moat Farm? across the water on the left.
- At the end of the moat ignore the entrances to several properties ahead and turn right onto a long straight green lane heading E, signposted as a footpath. In 300m ignore a stile on the left (leaving the Walk #135 route) and continue to the end of this long path, where it goes through a small wooded area and comes out onto Crowhurst Road.
Most of this section follows the route of Walk #135 (in reverse).
- Cross the road and continue on Bowerland Lane, just off to the right. Go all the way along this lane and turn right onto the B2028 (Haxted Road). After crossing Ray Brook take the footpath on the left past Rushford Farm. Cross the railway at Rushford Crossing and go straight across Station Road onto Saxbys Lane. In 200m turn right onto a short footpath leading back into Lingfield Nature Reserve. Turn left onto its perimeter path, passing the Millennium Ponds. Where the path swings left keep ahead into Beacon Field.
- Cross this road carefully onto a small green with an interesting village sign? and turn right. At the end of the green turn left into Bowerland Lane and go all the way along this quiet lane, passing under the Oxted–East Grinstead line after 750m. At the end it swings right and comes to a T-junction with the B2028 (Haxted Road).
- Turn right onto this fairly busy road. You need to take great care for the next 150m as there is only a narrow grass verge and traffic is quite fast. On the bridge over Ray Brook cross the road carefully and then turn left into the driveway to Rushford Farm House, signposted as a footpath.
- In 60m go over a stile on the left and continue in much the same direction across a field, aiming to skirt the garden of the house ahead. Join a broad grassy path heading SW to continue past this garden, a bungalow and farm sheds. Go over a pair of stiles and keep ahead along the right-hand edge of a field, gradually approaching the railway line on a low embankment.
- In the field corner go through a gap with a metal fieldgate and bear left to continue alongside the embankment. In 100m go up a small slope and turn right to cross the tracks carefully, coming out by some new houses on the outskirts of Lingfield. Bear left and take the short street ahead (Rushfords) out to a T-junction with the main road, where Crowhurst Road on the right becomes Station Road.
- Cross Station Road carefully to continue on the residential street opposite (Saxbys Lane). In 200m turn right onto a signposted footpath going past the left-hand side of Lingfield's small Fire Station, passing a scout hut off to the left. At the end veer right through a wooden kissing gate to re-enter Lingfield Nature Reserve.
- Turn left onto its perimeter path, soon passing an information panel about the wildlife in the Millennium Ponds (you could detour over a stile into this small area of ponds and wetland, but there is no other way out). Continue along the perimeter path for a further 100m. Where it swings left keep ahead on a grassy path and go through a gap in the hedge into Beacon Field, crossing over your outward route.
Keep ahead across Beacon Field and continue through the Wildflower Meadow and Community Orchard. Follow the path round to the left to leave the reserve at its southernmost point. Turn right and go along Vicarage Road to the pond in the centre of the village. Turn left to go past it into the High Street, with a choice of refreshment places. Go back to the churchyard via Old School Place.
- Follow the grassy path across the field, passing to the right of a clump of trees in the middle and then to the left of the old fire beacon. On the far side keep ahead through a wide gap in the trees onto a surfaced path.
Follow the path through a small Wildflower Meadow into the Community Orchard?. The simplest continuation is to stay on the surfaced path along its left-hand side, but you might like to wander around the orchard before continuing the walk.
Near the way out there is a small information panel identifying the different fruit trees, next to a wooden bench by some large chestnut trees.
The perimeter path passes some small gardens off to the left and leads into a track. Follow this out of the reserve to a residential street at a bend. Turn right and go along Vicarage Road for 300m to its T-junction with the B2028 (Plaistow Street).
- The Greyhound pub is just off to the right on Plaistow Street and there is a Costa coffee shop on the left-hand side of East Grinstead Road, heading S away from the pond.
For the main route, keep left to come to the Old Cage? and the 400-year old Lingfield Oak beside the village pond. Go around the pond on the main road (or a footpath on its northern side) into the High Street.
- The Red Rum Caffé and Joyce's with Best Wishes tearoom are in the parade of shops on the right.
- From Joyce's tearoom head E along the High Street for 100m and turn left into Old School Place. Where this street turns left after 50m, keep ahead on an alleyway leading into the churchyard, giving you a second chance to visit the parish church of Ss Peter and Paul.
If you are doing the Extended Walk to Dormans, go to §J.
Leave the main churchyard on its eastern side and take the path through the lower churchyard to Bakers Lane. Turn right and go along it to Station Road. Cross over and take a footpath just off to the left across the railway. Go along a farm track towards Park Farm
but before reaching Eden Brook take a permissive path on the right through a water meadow. Leave it in the far right-hand corner, coming out directly onto Platform 2 of Lingfield station; cross the footbridge for trains to London.
- Alternatively, leave the churchyard through the Old Town and take the footpath from Church Road directly to the station.
Main route (1½ km)
- Take the path along the south side of the church, heading E. Follow it round to the left and then almost immediately turn right onto a short path going down a slope to Church Road. Go straight across this road into the much larger lower churchyard. Follow a path all the way through it to the far left-hand corner and out onto Bakers Lane.
Turn right and go along this residential street for 250m, with the footway on the right-hand side cutting off a slight bend. At the end cross Station Road carefully and continue on a short driveway just off to the left, past a wooden fieldgate and up to a pedestrian crossing over the railway line.
This is a right of way, although at the time of writing there was no indication of this at Station Road. The level crossing used to allow vehicle access to Park Farm but is now for pedestrians only.
- After crossing the tracks continue along an unsurfaced farm track. There are two possible openings into the water meadow on the right: a double metal fieldgate after 100m and (if this is locked) a smaller wooden gate a little further on, which has a ‘Welcome’ notice confirming that this is Open Access land. The paths from the two gates soon merge.
- Continue through the meadow, never far from Eden Brook? on your left. Shortly before reaching a footbridge across the brook (where you can see the station away to the right) veer right onto a grassy path leading to the right-hand corner of the meadow. Go out through a wooden gate onto a short fenced path leading directly onto the end of Platform 2.
Unless trains are terminating here because of engineering works further down the line, you will have to walk the full length of the platform and cross the footbridge to Platform 1 for trains to London.
In the past you would have been able to walk directly onto Platform 1, but …
Direct route (½ km)
- Take the path along the south side of the church, heading E, then fork right to go back down the short street of historic houses to Church Road. The Star pub opposite is the last refreshment stop before the station.
- To complete the walk take the signposted public footpath on the north side of the pub, which becomes a tree-lined tarmac path heading E between fields. Later it goes alongside the high wall of New Place? and comes out onto Station Road. Go straight across this into the approach road to the station. If the ticket office is closed, the entrance to Platform 1 (for trains to London) is at the left-hand end of the building.
The suggested route to the station includes an attractive loop around the water meadow on the other side of the railway. If you are in a hurry you can take the direct route in [?], retracing your outward route past The Star pub.
- … and turn right there onto a footpath. At Mulberry Cottage turn left off the footpath and take a permissive path around two sides of a large field. In the opposite corner turn left onto a public footpath leading to Gratwick's Wood. Take either of the two paths through it to the far side.
- After crossing the tracks continue along an unsurfaced farm track between water meadows, crossing Eden Brook? and passing Park House on the right. At a T-junction in front of the buildings of Park Farm turn right. In 175m go past a metal fieldgate by Mulberry Cottage, where a ‘Permissive Access’ notice confirms that you will not be trespassing on the route described below.
- Leave the public footpath (which continues ahead) and turn left onto a chalky path up the left-hand edge of a large field, with views across the Eden Valley to the Greensand Hills. In the top corner follow this permissive path round to the right, ignoring paths ahead towards a wood. Continue along the tree-lined field edge for a further 500m to a path crossing.
- At the crossing turn left onto a public footpath, along the right-hand edge of another large field. Soon there are buildings on the right behind a belt of trees and in 300m you reach the field corner. As indicated by a footpath waymarker veer right into the trees and go through an old metal gate into Gratwick's Wood.
- Turn left onto a faint path into the wood, which soon splits. The right fork appears to be the right of way, but the alternative route skirts around a number of wooden structures used by students at the nearby school (so you might prefer this if any activities are taking place). The two paths rejoin on the far side, where you leave the wood through another old gate.
- Follow the footpath across a couple of small fields to St Piers Lane. Turn right and go along the lane for 250m, passing the school buildings of “Young Epilepsy”. Where the lane bends right keep ahead on a footpath heading south past Carewell Wood to the B2028. Turn right briefly onto the main road, then take a footpath on the left between houses to Dormans Road. Continue on West Street opposite to reach The Old House at Home pub in 500m.
- Keep ahead across two small fields, negotiating a number of stiles, to come out onto a narrow country lane (St Piers Lane). Ignore the continuation of the footpath just off to the left and turn right onto the lane, soon going past a cluster of buildings for Young Epilepsy?.
- Where the lane bends right by a pond, keep ahead on a signposted footpath (not the one to the left). Go across a patch of grass with a hedge on your right to find a narrow path to the left of a parking area. Follow this along the edge of a wooded area, passing more school buildings on the right.
- Go over a stile and keep left, staying near a fence on the left. Bear left where the path leads into a large field. Go over another stile and continue alongside Carewell Wood on the left. At the end go through a metal fieldgate (or over a stile) and bear right to go up the right-hand edge of another large field.
- In the top corner go out through a wooden kissing gate onto the B2028 (Racecourse Road). Turn right briefly onto this main road, taking great care as there is no pavement. Cross over carefully and in 40m turn left onto a signposted footpath, a narrow alleyway between garden fences. In 150m it turns half-right and comes out onto another road (Dormans Road).
- Cross this road carefully to continue on a footway alongside West Street opposite. In 100m follow the lane sharply round to the left; you could continue on another footway behind the trees on the right-hand side but eventually you will have to walk along the lane. In 400m you come to a possible refreshment stop on the left, The Old House at Home? pub.
- Unless you want to detour across the recreation ground to the Royal Oak pub on Dormans High Street, keep ahead along The Platt, View Terrace and then a footpath to Dormans station.
- Continue along West Street and in 100m keep right at a fork (The Platt). Go past a row of houses (View Terrace) to a T-junction and turn right.
Detour via the Royal Oak (+½ km)
- Continue along West Street for 40m and turn left onto a track leading into the bottom of a large recreation ground. Veer right onto a tarmac path going all the way through it. Near the top fork left to come out onto Dormans High Street. The Royal Oak is 75m off to the left, opposite the Village Stores.
- Return along the High Street and go past the recreation ground. After passing the churchyard turn right into The Platt. In 100m fork left at a Y-junction, then in a further 125m keep ahead where the main route joins from View Terrace on the right.
- The lane turns left and goes past a few more houses. Keep ahead on an enclosed tarmac path through a dip, ignoring another footpath off to the left at the bottom. Follow the path up a slope and across a more open area, then alongside the grounds of a large house.
- Keep ahead at a path crossing by the entrance to “Nobles Green”, with an inconspicuous … Go down the ramp to Platform 1 for trains to London.
If you want to visit the Village Stores or try an alternative pub, follow the directions in [?].
» Last updated: October 14, 2020