East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park walk

Long walk through area of bluebell-rich woodland then heathery commons, or shorter walk and return by steam train

Garden House and Pond of Broadhurst Manor SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

Garden House and Pond of Broadhurst Manor

SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

06-Apr-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Largest in Chain of Fishing Ponds north of Horsted Keynes SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

Largest in Chain of Fishing Ponds north of Horsted Keynes

SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

06-Apr-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks walkicon swcwalk27 26930932387

Wood Anemones in Sandpits Wood, Horsted Keynes SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

Wood Anemones in Sandpits Wood, Horsted Keynes

SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

06-Apr-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks walkicon swcwalk27 39991457370

Chailey Windmill SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

Chailey Windmill

SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

06-Apr-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks walkicon swcwalk27 27930758748

Multi-Stemmed Birch Tree in Memorial Common part of Chailey Common SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

Multi-Stemmed Birch Tree in Memorial Common part of Chailey Common

SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

06-Apr-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks walkicon swcwalk27 41798592851

Sandstone bluff, Hermitage Lane - East Grinstead SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

Sandstone bluff, Hermitage Lane - East Grinstead

SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

06-Apr-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk27 39991647100

Sandstone bluff, Hermitage Lane - East Grinstead SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

Sandstone bluff, Hermitage Lane - East Grinstead

SWC Walk 27 - East Grinstead to Wivelsfield or Sheffield Park

06-Apr-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swc27 swcwalk27 41082303724

Length

31.6 km (19.7 mi), with 482/571m ascent/descent. For a shorter walk see below< Walk Options.

Toughness

8 out of 10, with 7 hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 10 hours.

Walk Notes

This route in the East/West Sussex boundary lands descends from East Grinstead into the Upper Medway Valley and past Weir Wood Reservoir and then meanders through an undulating landscape of hills, streams, ponds, heaths and mixed woodland, rich in bluebells and wood anemones in season. For the most part, it largely shadows the course of The Bluebell Line steam railway, and lunch is either in tranquil Horsted Keynes or in Scaynes Hill, near the (Sussex) Ouse River. Later you pass through several parts of the large Chailey Common heathlands and continue westbound through flatter ground – mostly pastures with fine South Downs Views – to Burgess Hill (for Wivelsfield station).
As this is a very long walk, an Alternative Finish at Sheffield Park, the terminus of the Bluebell Line, for a return by steam train, is described, as are other alternatives to shorten the route by taking buses at the start or near the end. For details see below Walk Options.

Historical Note

This walk is a re-imagining of one originally devised by AJ Kennedy in 2007. His walk was from Forest Row (bus only) to Sheffield Park (expensive steam train only). Due to the awkward public transport and early last train, it was rarely used. This rewritten and extended walk now starts and finishes at train stations. This does make it quite long, so there are several options (three buses and one heritage steam train) to shorten the walk. The Bluebell Line has been extended since 2007, so it is now possible to walk from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park, and return by steam train.

Walk Options

Start from Forest Row (bus stop by the Chequers Inn, line 270 from East Grinstead, hourly Monday-Saturday, 4 buses on Sundays or line 291 from East Grinstead, hourly Monday-Saturday, two-hourly on Sundays): cut 3.6 km/2.2 mi.
Start from Horsted Keynes (bus stop on the Village Green, line 270 from East Grinstead or Haywards Heath, hourly Monday-Saturday, 4 buses on Sundays): 18.0 km/11.2 mi and 225m ascent, 3/10.
Finish in Horsted Keynes (bus stop on the Village Green, line 270 from East Grinstead or Haywards Heath, hourly Monday-Saturday, 4 buses on Sundays): 13.7 km/8.5 mi and 226m ascent, 2/10.
Finish at Sheffield Park station (Bluebell Line back to East Grinstead) for a 22.5 km/14.3 mi walk with 336m ascent: 6/10.
Finish at a bus stop in North Chailey (line 31 from Uckfield to Haywards Heath, hourly Monday-Saturday and line 121 from Uckfield/Newick to Lewes, two-hourly on Saturday, more frequent weekdays): cut 7.9 km/4.9 mi and 75m ascent for a 6/10 rating.
Finish at a bus stop outside Wivelsfield village on the B 2112 (Chapel Hall stop; lines 33, 166, 271, 272; last buses: late midweek, 18.42 Saturday and 18.08 Sunday): cut 2.6 km/1.6 mi.

Maps

OS Explorer: 135 (Ashdown Forest)
OS Landranger: 198 (Brighton & Lewes)

Travel

East Grinstead station, map reference TQ 388 382, is 43 km south south east of Charing Cross and 121m above sea level and in West Sussex. Wivelsfield station, map reference TQ 320 200, is 19 km south east of East Grinstead and 32m above sea level; Sheffield Park station, map reference TQ 403 236, is 15 km south of East Grinstead and 22m above sea level; both are in East Sussex.. East Grinstead station is on the East Grinstead branch of the Oxted Line from London Victoria (journey time 55 minutes, half-hourly every day). Wivelsfield station is on the Brighton Main Line, with frequent services to Victoria and London Thameslink stops (journey time from 60 minutes). Sheffield Park station is the southern terminus of the Bluebell Railway from East Grinstead (journey time 40 minutes). Buy an East Grinstead return, you then may have to buy an additional single from Wivelsfield to East Croydon.

Saturday Walkers' Club: Take the train closest to 9.00 hours.

Lunch

The Green Man The Green, Horsted Keynes, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7AS(01825 790 656). The Green Man is located 13.7 km (8.5 mi) into the walk. A Greene King pub.
The Crown Inn Horsted Keynes, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7AW(01825 791 609). The Crown is located 13.8 km (8.6 mi) into the walk.
The Sloop Inn 99 Sloop Lane, Scaynes Hill,Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7NP(01444 831 219). The Sloop is located 19.2 km (11.9 mi) into the walk.

Tea

The Sloop Inn As above.

Tea (Wivelsfield):
Real Ales at Worlds End 1 Valebridge Road, Worlds End,Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 0RA (01444 616 950).
The Watermill Inn 1 Leylands Road, Worlds End,Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 0QF (01444 235 517).
The Windmill 134 Leylands Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 8AB (01444 235 537). The Windmill is located 600m beyond Wivelsfield station.

Tea (Sheffield Park Station):
The Bessemer Arms Station Approach Road, Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park Station, Uckfield, TN22 3QL (01825 720 800).

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By Train

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Start RH19 1EB Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish RH15 0QF Map Directions Travel to the start:

Map Walk This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.
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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Nov-21 Thomas G

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Walk Directions  

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

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk