Chelwood Gate Walk
by Les Campbell
Dust off your walking boots and enjoy this 5 mile walk through the peaceful countryside and woodland of Chelwood Gate and Danehill, and perhaps even treat yourself to a well deserved pint at the end?
This 5 mile undulating walk through well wooded countryside between Chelwood Gate and Danehill follows mainly woodland paths and tracks and short sections of relatively quiet country roads. There are a couple of short uphill climbs which should not be a problem for those with a reasonable level of fitness. There are a few stiles, but at the time of doing the recce, they were all in a good condition and easy to use. The paths are generally well signed and waymarked.
Opposite the Red Lion pub, walk along Birch Grove Road for approximately 1/3 mile passing the grounds of Birch Grove House on your left. Birch Grove House was the home of the former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Just before West Watch House, turn right on a signed footpath. The path passes alongside the house and then narrows and bears left to a junction of paths. Take the left hand path which is a little indistinct in places but is well waymarked.
This meanders through Stumblewood Common to join Twyford Lane by a ford. Turn left up the lane and in about 100 yards, go left on a narrow path indicated by a waymark. The path climbs steadily uphill then levels out and rejoins Twyford Lane at a crossroads. Take the right fork, and almost immediately turn right on a narrow signed path through undergrowth. The path bears left uphill and joins a track by dwellings, and you should follow this out to join Birch Grove Road again.
Turn right along the road for a few yards then go left on a signed path down a track. At a dwelling, bear right to go over a stile and through a gate and follow the left hand field edge downhill and into a wood. Cross a footbridge and stile, and go uphill to cross a golf course carefully following the waymark posts, to turn left alongside woodland. After about 100 yards, bear right on a path descending through a strip of woodland and at the other side, take the right of two paths rising gently uphill to cross two gravel tracks and enter woodland. Follow the path ahead to a stile and the A275. Turn right along this road for a few yards then left over a stile on a signed path.
Follow this path downhill to enter woodland at the bottom. Cross a track, and carry on downhill on a sunken track through the wood. At the bottom of this sunken track, turn right and follow the obvious path ahead to cross a bridge to join Box’s Lane at Holly Cottage. Turn left along Box’s Lane for about 1/2 mile to join Stone Quarry Road at Chelwood Common. Go left along this road for about 200 yards and just before a road junction, turn left on a signed path beside Woodlands.
Go over a stile and follow a narrow confined path downhill to cross a small stream. The path rises uphill and crosses a boardwalk. At the end of the boardwalk, carry on ahead on a thinly defined path through bracken and scrub to go through a kissing gate to cross the middle of a field with a house on your right. Go through another kissing gate and follow a meandering path to pass through the garden of a large house (keeping to the left edge) then follow the path out to join a driveway leading out to a road. Turn right along this road for a few yards, then left into Beaconsfield Road and on reaching the A275, turn right for the Red Lion pub.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.135
Parking: Roadside parking in Birch Grove Road opposite Red Lion
Refreshments: The Red Lion pub and The Coach and Horses pub
Public Transport: Metro Bus route 270 from Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead