The Jack and Jill Circular

Jack and Jill Windmills © Christine Matthews
Danny House © Simon Carey
Jack and Jill © Chris Downer

This short walk from the Jack and Jill windmills on top of Clayton Hill near Pyecombe is fairly flat except for the hill going down at the start and up again at the end. There is a refreshment stop at the Jack and Jill Inn in Clayton village, towards the end of the walk. The trail was devised and walked on the 4th June 2007 by the Sussex 12 Milers walking group.

1. Go through the kissing gate at the far left end corner of the car park and turn sharp left to follow the fence down the hill. Stay with the fence as it turns left about half-way down and pick up the footpath.

2. As you approach the bottom turn right immediately before reaching the wooden gate and follow the path slightly up hill for about 50 yards and then bear left following the fence to your left.

3. Pass a water trough on the right and then go through a gate. At the bottom turn left on to the lane and then 100 yards along turn right into Spring Lane. Do not take the signed footpath to your right but stay on lane which turns into a bridle path.

4. Go straight over the main road and follow the track. As you pass the house on the right called 'Halfway' keep to the track which now bends slightly to the left. When you arrive at a gate with the sign 'Woodine' cross the stile to the left and immediately branch right. After a few yards when you reach the clearing, keep left.

5. Cross the stile and then as you cross the bridge look to your left at the house on the entrance to Clayton Tunnel. This was built in 1841 in the shape of a Tudor Fortress and was the home of the Keeper of the Tunnel. Immediately after crossing the bridge keep left and cross a stile.

6. Cross the road, turn right, immediate left and over the stile. As you follow the hedge on the right look over your left shoulder and you will see the windmills where you started from. Cross the stile and go diagonally right (so the windmills are now directly behind you).

7. Go through the gap in the hedge and follow the fence on the left. Go through the kissing gate and follow the path diagonally left and cross the stile. After 10 paces cross the stile on the left. Cross 2 more stiles and turn right at the lane. Go past the big house on the left and then, at the brow of the hill, cross the stile on the left. Cross the next stile and follow the path straight on. As you approach the tarmac drive do not cut the corner but go right down to the two wooden posts. Turn left on to the lane but only for 12 paces then branch diagonally right, heading slightly to the left of a very large oak tree.

8. Go through the trees and over the footbridge. Follow the path into the woods, cross the next stile and keep left. Cross the next stile by the metal gate and turn sharp left over a footbridge. Head straight across the field. The hill ahead is Wolstonbury Hill, but we do not climb it today. Cross the stile, keep straight ahead and go over the stile-bridge-stile to follow the hedge on the right.

9. As you reach the next stile Danny House is directly in front of you. This old mansion has now been converted into luxury apartments. Turn left down the lane and cross the stile directly in front of you. Follow the fence on the right and cross yet another stile by the metal gate. When you meet the lane in the woods go left and then immediately right along the concrete track.

10. Go straight through the pretty little farm into the field. Go over the next stile and keep to the left. Over the stile and sharp right on to the track. At the end turn left and as you walk down this narrow lane the pub appears ahead.

11. Turn right on to the main road and you will now have a much closer view of the house on Clayton Tunnel. Cross the road and then cross the bridge. At the junction of roads go through the gap in the hedge and on to the playing field. Head towards the windmills above you and go to the far end of the car park. Cross the lane and follow the sign 'Public Bridleway'.

12. When you reach the wooden gate you have now completed the circle and you have two choices. You can either keep right and climb the path you came down at the start or you can 'go for gold' and go straight ahead and up!

Trail Location

The Jack and Jill car park is on Mill Lane, just off the A273 Clayton Hill, which can be reached via the A23 north of Brighton. The nearest railway station is at Hassocks, less than 1km north of point 5 along a footpath beside the railway line.

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Readers' Comments

  • Sun 27 May 2018, 15:58
    Jo Elliott

    A lovely scenic walk for a beautiful bank holiday Sunday. The instructions were very good and easy to follow. Good pub with delicious cider as well. Thanks for enabling a very enjoyable day.

  • Sun 6 Aug 2017, 18:09
    Mike Comber

    We did the walk today and really enjoyed it. Fantastic views across the South Downs. We found the guide really easy to follow. Highly recommended!

  • Wed 28 Dec 2016, 19:52
    Lynn Watts

    We have just found this website and did this walk today ( 28/12/2016). We started and finished at the Jack and Jill pub rather than the windmill to avoid the hill. The instructions were spot on and the walk was beautiful. Thanks