Start and finish: The car park of the Half Moon Pub in Warninglid, by kind permission of the landlord.The car park of the Half Moon Pub in Warninglid, by kind permission of the landlord.
Grid Ref : TQ 250.261
Distance: 4.5 miles (7km) allow 2.5 hours
Terrain: Longer climbs and descents than usual through this pretty area of the High Weald. Attractive parkland and woods can be muddy. Some beautiful houses and bluebells in May.
Stile Count: 14
Toilets: Bolney village or see below.
Refreshments: The Half Moon Inn, Warninglid. Excellent home-cooked food every day from 11.30am. Open all day Saturday and Sunday.
Map of the walk in pdf format available here.
From the pub car park turn left and walk down The Street through this attractive village. Pass the imposing entrance to the Lydhurst Estate - home to the owner of Wolves football club, Sir Jack Hayward. As the road begins to descend look to your left for the old milking parlour of Colwood Farmhouse. As the road begins to swing right at Rifleman's Cottage walk ahead along the gravel drive towards "Routwood", following the wooden bridleway sign.
Pass to the left of the attractive Rout Cottages and walk up the tarmac drive towards Rout Farm. At the brow of the hill pass through a wooden gate and continue ahead into the farmyard.
The origin of the name Warninglid is believed to be from two words meaning "Werna's Path". There is a fine view behind you now of the village and the ridgeline along which an ancient track might well have run. There is an impressive image of Werna on the village sign.
On entering the farm turn left in front of the cowsheds. In 30 metres look for a right turn through a blue gate following the fingerpost and walk along the right-hand edge of a large grazing field. Pass through the next gate, following the bridleway signs straight ahead into another open field. Half way along this field, where there is the 4x4 racing track to your right, pass through a small gate to walk on the other side of the wire fence. Keep this fence close to your left side and walk to the tree line ahead.
In the top left corner of this field there is a gate and bridleway sign leading onto a narrower path with a wire fence to the right and trees to the left. As a modern house comes into view, pass through a metal gate and continue ahead. On reaching the modern conversion of the old stables turn right, following the tarmac drive down to the public road and turn left.
Pass in front of Littelgrove and continue following the lane downhill as it curves left then right. At the brow of the hill pass Colwood Lane to the left and in 25 metres look for a gravel track going half left, uphill towards "Sherlock". In a further 25metres leave the drive sharply to the right to skirt around the delightful gardens of the house. Cross a small stream, pass through a wooden gate onto a narrow path climbing into the woods. This pleasant path passes through a kissing gate to enter the more open grounds of Wykehurst Park where there is a bench to rest a while and enjoy this place.
Wykehurst Place was designed in 1872 by architect Edward Middleton Barry, more famous for the Royal Opera House in London. It was built at a modest cost of £35,000 and the first occupier was Henry Huth, a German banker whose collection of rare books sold for an astonishing £300,000 in 1910. The design is unique in Sussex, resembling more a French chateau than an English manor house. It was used many times as a location for the Hammer House of Horror films.
The path continues across a stone footbridge, through a kissing gate and up the left side of the hill towards the electricity pylons. As the path levels off, a third kissing gate leads to a narrow path between wire fences which reaches a broader crossing path in the trees ahead.
Turn left here and follow this track downhill to a stone bridge over a stream. On crossing the next stile turn half right and head for another stile half way up the wooden fence line on the right. Cross straight over a stone drive and follow the footpath quite steeply up the grassy hill, well to the right of the house ahead, and exit over a stile onto the public road. Turn left in front of Daize's Cottage and in 150 metres turn right off the road up the footpath beside North Cottage. Soon turn left up three wooden steps and follow the steep path into the woods. Cross the next stile and turn half left across a paddock with yet more stiles to reach a tarmac drive.
Cross straight over into a narrow path opposite and soon reach a more open field with a tennis courts to the right. Pass through a metal gate, cross a stile and plank bridge and head downhill following the line of telegraph poles. Take care now - at the second telegraph pole, on reaching a hedgeline, do not pass through the gap ahead but instead turn left and walk with the hedge on your right.
In 50 metres turn right across a stile and plank bridge into the very attractive garden. Head for the grassy bank just beyond the front of the house and pass between the house and outbuilding. Walk through the bluebell wood ahead and exit over a stile beside a gate and walk up the open field ahead. At the large metal gate turn left through a wooden gate following the footpath fingerpost. Following the hedgeline on the left, pass through four more gates, cross a plank bridge and turn half left across the next field to the right of some old stables. Exit through a gate and plank bridge onto the public road.
This walk is at its most attractive in late April and May when the English spring flowers are in profusion. There's wood anemone - a word which means "flower of the wind" - fragrant cowslips and wild hyacinth - better known as bluebells. Turn left and then immediately right following the footpath fingerpost. Keeping to the hedgeline on your right pass through three metal kissing gates into a small dark copse and exit over a small stile to walk along the left side of an open field as the roofs of the village come into sight.
The final stile beside the allotments gives on to a narrow path leading to The Street in Warninglid. A right turn will bring the welcoming sight of The Half Moon into view.
Footprints of Sussex
Pear Tree Cottage
Tel: 01903 813381