Charlwood to Rowfant

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St Nicholas' Church, Charlewood © Richard Rogerson
St Bartholomew's Church and Ye Olde Six Bells © Ian Capper
Rowfant House © Nigel Freeman

Before Gatwick, the route follows a series of field paths. The landscaped airport perimeter route leads to within yards of the South Terminal building. After a short section alongside the motorway, things rapidly improve. Burstow is a pleasant village and the track south from Copthorne Common passes through fine broad-leaved woodland to Rowfant.

This is a trail in the Sussex Border Path collection of trails. Together they describe the full length of this long distance footpath.

On reaching main road at Charlwood, turn right. Pass 'Rising Sun' PH and, just past recreation ground on right, fork left along Chapel Road. Ignore left turn and continue along rough track, passing Chapel on left. In about 300 yards, at crossing track, turn right. After another 300 yards, keep straight on, ignoring a left fork. Where track bends left, go ahead over stile and follow path which skirts to right of house and garden to join road. Turn left. After 80 yards, turn right into start of track and immediately go left over stile and follow path parallel to road (behind roadside River Molehedge). After 150 yards, turn right and shortly left to follow path within landscaped area with River Mole and high bank away to right. After about half a mile, follow path and river beneath bridge. After another half mile, with Moat House Hotel nearby on left, cross footbridge over River Mole and follow path within landscaped area with A23 on left. Emerge at roundabout, cross f irst exit road, counting anti-clockwise (Longbridge Way) and follow next exit road (CrossWay). On reaching bridge carrying transit railway, turn left, walking parallel to overhead railway and shortly, bear right beside Gatwick Way. At T-junction with Perimeter Road North, turn left. At roundabout, where Queensgate goes off to right, turn left along cycle track/footpath which passes beneath two subways. Beyond second subway, turn right through third subway and follow path beside main London-to-Brighton railway line on right. Cross railway via footbridge and follow fenced headland path east. At corner of field, curve right and, in about 50 yards, turn left over stile. Follow line of trees across next field to stile and on along enclosed path to road at GR 293419.

Turn right along road, passing 'Coppingham Arms' PH which is currently a combined pub and Indian restaurant. Just short of motorway bridge, turn left to follow path beside motorway fence. Join road, turn right beneath motorway and follow road southwards. After about half a mile, just past double bend, go left along Church Lane and over motorway. Where lane bends right, go ahead along unmade track which narrows to path and takes you to road at Burstow (GR 312414).

Turn right, passing Burstow Church. Where road bends left, go ahead over two stiles and head half left across field to rejoin road in far corner and turn right. At road junction, cross B2037 and head out half left across field (not up drive), aiming just to left of buildings. Go over stile in hedge, turn left along left edge of industrial site yard, go through gate and head half right across field to gate. Maintain direction across second field, aiming just to right of white-walled house. Join road opposite 'Nyahlands Farm' and turn right. Just past 'Cherry Tree' PH, turn left along Clay Hill Lane. Where metalled lane ends, go right along drive which feeds into track. At edge of built-up area, turn left along path which becomes unmade access track. Follow this track round to right and out to A264 road at Copthorne Common (GR329392). Cross road with care and continue along drive which starts almost opposite. At meeting of five ways, go ahead (half left). Follow track, woodland path and then hard track again passing buildings on right. By Hill House, where track turns away left, go ahead between rails and drop downhill on track between banks. Bear right towards buildings at Rowfant House and turn left under castellated gateway. Follow drive out to road at GR 326370 and turn left.

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