- Trails /
- Sussex /
A super walk that leads you over scenic fields where you discover a charming lake and also 'London's lost route to the sea' - the partially restored Wey & Arun Canal. After following the towpath for a short distance, the circuit turns northwards and crosses fields before passing through the appealing village of Wisborough Green. A quiet country lane then leads you to Newpound Common, where you rejoin the towpath of the canal.
1. With the Limeburners at your back, turn left along the road for a few yards before turning right along the driveway to Guildenhurst Manor. In 100 yards go left through a kissing gate and shortly, through a second gate. Cross a large field diagonally rightwards on a distinct path. Exit the field via two gates and turn right along a well signposted footpath that skirts a paddock. Turn left immediately after crossing a small plank bridge over a stream and after 10 yards go right and cross a farm track. Continue ahead along the right-hand side of a field. Soon you will reach the bank of a pretty lake beside a small boathouse.
2. Turn right along the water's edge and at the end of the lake continue to the left to very soon cross a bridge. Now turn right along the bank of the River Arun. At the end of an open grassy area, cross a stile ahead of you and after 40 yards turn right onto a short uphill path that leads you through a bluebell wood. When you emerge at a field, turn immediately right and follow its edge to a field gate. Pass through the gate and ignore a farm track that forks to the right. The route continues ahead over a small-plank bridge after which you soon pass through a kissing gate. Now keep to the right-hand field edge and turn right through a further kissing gate to the bank of a restored section of the Wey & Arun Canal. Turn left here along the towpath and soon cross Lordings Bridge, rebuilt in 2002.
3. Now continue left along the canal bank. Before long the restored canal ends abruptly. Cross a stile and maintain direction ahead until a further stile is met at a crossing track. Cross the stile and turn right along a wide track where you soon go over the River Arun. Pass through two field gates and follow a farm track over a field, later ignoring a path going left. When the track turns right into a farmyard, continue ahead on a narrow path through a gate and pass to the left of an old barn to soon join a driveway. Keep to this drive until you meet the A272 in Wisborough Green.
4. Cross the road and enter Glebe Way. After 30 yards fork left onto a tarmac path that leads you to the church of St Peter Ad Vincula. Enter the churchyard and follow a narrow path that takes you to the far side of the church. Now go left on a flagstone path and exit the churchyard to emerge on a small residential road. Turn right to a small road junction.
5. Turn right at this junction and soon pass the village school. Follow the country lane as it winds its way between fields and passes the occasional house. After Fisher's Farm Park and the highly recommended Bat and Ball public house, the lane ends at a road junction in Newpound Common. Here continue ahead on a bridleway that follows a farm drive. When the drive forks right into the farmyard, maintain direction ahead along the grassy bridleway. Pass through a field gate and continue along the left-hand field edge to soon rejoin the Wey & Arun canal.
6. Cross a bridge and turn right along the towpath. During the summer months, many dragonflies and damselflies are to be seen here and you may even be lucky enough to spot the occasional kingfisher. Follow this pretty path until it finally ends at a road. Cross the road to the path opposite and press on along the water's edge. Here you pass New Bridge wharf, once a hive of activity with large coal and timber yards lining the quay.
7. Turn left at a junction of paths by a bridge over the canal and, with your back to the canal, follow a signposted path over a bridge that crosses the River Arun. The path goes uphill and crosses three fields to reach the driveway to Guildenhurst Manor. Turn left along the drive to reach a road where, by going left for a few yards, the pub is situated just to the left.
The Limeburners, a 16th-century building, started life as a row of three lime-workers' cottages at New Bridge Wharf on the Wey & Arun Canal some 1/4 mile away to the west. After the demise of the canal in the 1850s the building was transported to its present site and has been a popular pub ever since. Plenty of olde worlde charm invites you inside, where the food is good and the Gale's beers are superb. Watch out for the Horndean Special Bitter, which is deceptively strong!
The trail starts at the car park of the Limeburners but please seek permission from the landlord before leaving your car whilst you walk. Alternatively, park in the lane. The Limeburners is on the B2133, 1/2 mile west of the Billingshurst bypass (A29).