Part of this walk passes through the commercially afforested areas of Beckley and Bixley Woods, home to a substantial colony of free-roaming wild boar, though you will be lucky to catch a glimpse of these shy nocturnal animals.

A more open path between points four and six, in pleasant contrast, offers good views across the valley of the River Tillingham and the return route passes though a segment of Flatroper’s Wood Nature Reserve, a 35-hectare site, managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust and described by them as “typical East Sussex woodland”.

Some care is needed with route finding, as not all the paths used are marked as rights of way, though they are all within public access areas.

If you would like a longer walk, you might like to note that, for a short distance beyond point eight, the route coincides with part of the four-and- a-half mile circuit from Peasmarsh, published in The Argus on June 14, 2008.

1. From the back of the Bixley Wood Forestry Commission car park, start the walk past a metal pole barrier and along a hardsurfaced forest track. After about 350 yards, turn right along a modest unsigned crossing path.

About 30 yards short of the edge of the wood, turn left at a T-junction to follow a path which heads south, never far from the wood edge to your right.

A few yards past a piped culvert, fork right and follow a path through the wood to join a track, the continuation of Bixley Lane. Turn right.

2. After about 250 yards, a few yards after passing the entrance to Bird’s Farm House on your left, turn left over a stile beside a gate, then left and immediately right to follow a faint path along the right edge of an area planted with young trees.

From the corner of this area, continue along a woodland path. At a T-junction with a track, turn right, follow it out to join a lane and turn right again.

3. After about 150 yards, turn left into the start of the drive to a house called Lismoyle and immediately fork left along a woodland path which soon climbs between banks and continues, overgrown in places. Go straight across a wide grassy ride and on along a narrow path through bracken, walking beneath power lines After about 100 yards, cross a stile into a field corner and bear right along the right fieldedge until you can sidestep to the right through a gateway and resume your previous direction, now walking along a left field-edge to join a lane.

4. Go over the stile beside a gate opposite and follow a path, currently mown, ahead across a meadow. Go through a gate and keep to the right edge of the next field at first, then in the same direction across the field to a stile beside a gate.

Now head half-left across two successive paddocks to join the drive from a group of farm buildings on your right.

Turn left along the drive.

5. At a point where the drive bends left, go ahead over a stile with a fine view ahead across the valley of the River Tillingham.

Bear half-left down across a field corner to a gate and squarely ahead across the next field to enter woodland over a stile.

Descend to cross a tiny stream where the footbridge, at the time of writing, had virtually disintegrated. Climb rudimentary steps and follow a faint path through this neglected coppice, encouraged by occasional yellow waymarks.

At a junction of paths, turn right and shortly leave the wood via a gate and go ahead through trees, walking parallel to a fence on your right as it comes out into the open and curves left.

Go through two gates in succession and ahead on a track between the buildings at Ludley Farm and on to join a road next to a junction.

6. Follow the narrow lane opposite. After about half a mile, turn left along the drive to Hayes Farm House. Where the drive ends, go ahead through a gate and keep near the lower left edge of a sloping field, following a left-hand fence up to a gate in the field corner.

Continue with a wood on your right and young planted trees on your left, out to join a lane. Turn left and, after 30 yards, go right over a stile into woodland to follow a welldefined path as it gradually tends left and takes you out to join a wide forest ride over a stile. Turn left for a few yards to join a lane and turn right.

7. At a road junction, go ahead, signposted to Beckley and Northiam and, after another 100 yards, go right along a wide forest track, signed on a waypost as a licensed footpath through Beckley Wood.

At a junction, turn left, following the direction of a white arrow and, at a second junction, keep right, now on a wide track, deeply eroded by timberhauling vehicles. The track eventually narrows to a path.

Just short of the wood edge, fork right at a waypost, along a narrow path within the left wood edge, which leads to a stile and continues between fences. Another stile and a metal swing gate lead you out to join a track.

8. Turn left for ten yards, then right to a stile and along a clear woodland path. Beyond another metal swing gate, turn left through a similar gate, but made of wood, and follow a pleasant path through Flatroper’s Wood Nature Reserve.

Follow the main path through the wood for about half a mile to join a track where you can turn right and follow it for a similar distance back to the start.

  • Distance/time: Six-and-a-quarter miles taking three-and-a-quarter hours.
  • By car: Start from Bixley Wood, near Beckley. From the A268 Hawkhurst-to-Rye road about a mile south and east of Beckley, turn south along Bixley Lane, which leaves the main road, unsignposted, on a bend. Park in the first of two Bixley Wood Forestry Commission car parks at GR 862235.
  • By public transport: None convenient, except weekday bus from Hastings or Rye to Beckley, a good half-a-mile from the start of the walk.
  • What's underfoot: Field or woodland paths and tracks, some fairly muddy in places. Minor hills only.
  • Thirsty work: No refreshments en route.
  • So you don't get lost: OS Explorer 124 or 125.

For a full-sized version of the map, see 'related links' above.