1 - From the Oakhurst lay-by, cross a grass verge and the former London Road (B2118), to a pavement, turning left for a few yards to a bridleway sign. Pass through entrance gates, set among stone walls and guarded by two neat bungalows.

If you have arrived by bus, alight at the Oakhurst bus stop and walk north a couple of hundred yards to a left turn through the gates.

Walk along the driveway, bearing right at an intersection and continuing beside a brick wall towards the buildings of a business centre. The track turns right as it approaches the buildings and when beside a small flint barn, turns left.

Walk between hedgerow and head for the corner of a grassed enclosure, ignoring a gated left turn. Continue on the bridleway, along a left field-edge and, at the corner, go right through scrub, passing dark, muddy ponds. Turn left in the next field, across a narrow meadow, heading towards Stuccles Farm.

2 - When beside the farm buildings keep to the bridleway, ignoring a left footpath, continuing for 50 yards to a four-way path sign and turning right (yellow arrow), beside stables. With a large, black-painted Dutch barn a few yards ahead, turn left just before the barn, crossing into a small paddock.

Take a quarter-right line, crossing a hedge-concealed plank bridge and stile, a few yards left of the paddock corner. Walk along the next right field-edge, diverting left then right, to cross a double stile and plank bridge and going left to Twineham Lane. Turn left along the road for 100 yards, crossing a stile and plank bridge in the right hedgerow.

3 - The faintly trodden footpath crosses a left field-edge, through long grass, to a stile in 200 yards. Ignore a half-left turning and head for a short row of oak trees, bearing right through the Wealden pampas towards trees and turning left. At the field corner pass through a hedge opening, off to the left; the field-corner stile is overgrown.

Keep to the right hedgerow and in 200 yards locate a stile and plank bridge down steps on the right. Descend and cross with care and in the next paddock turn left, with a stream to the left.

Continue along the left bank, keeping close to the hedgerow and after passing a lone field oak, off to the right, continue for 50 yards and, from that point, strike off half-right up to the right corner of the meadow.

Cross a hidden stile in the corner, walk ahead a few paces and turn left, over a fence, on to a farm drive. Turn right towards Great Wapses Farm and, with the farmhouse ahead, turn left between outbuildings.

4 - The path goes right after the last of the buildings, proceeding to a bridleway-crossing 25 yards ahead. Ignore a left footpath sign beside a paddock and pass by a pond that is on the right.

Turn left between paddocks and at the far side go right. In 100 yards, at a three-way junction, continue ahead on a footpath beside the paddock bearing right and, where the fence veers right again, leave the fenceline, continuing ahead to cross a hedgerow stile.

In the next field follow the left hedgeline and about 75 yards before overhead power lines, cross left into a field and bear right to a hedge opening, leading into another field.

With the power pylon on the left, follow a faintly trodden path through the high grass, passing beneath the power lines. The path crosses a footbridge in hedgerow, coming to a surfaced farm drive.

5 - Turn left towards Twineham Place, walking ahead between farm buildings, and, at the far side, bear half-right up a slope into a field. In a few yards, at a footpath sign in the field, take a line leading to the far right corner.

From the corner, turn right to a stile that leads to a lane next to the church at Twineham. The charming, small, brick-built church of St Peter is worth a visit.

From the church gate walk ahead a few yards and, when next to the village school entrance, turn left on to a footpath, descending through hedgerow. Cross a bridge and climb into a field, following a path to a stile that leads to Bolney Chapel Road.

Turn right to a road junction and there turn left along Hickstead Lane (memorial). Follow the quiet lane for half a mile and, where it turns left, go right onto a footpath. In 200 yards turn left, when beside a security hut on the Hickstead Estate. Walk between equestrian buildings for 400 yards and, where the service road veers left, continue ahead between brick gateposts for 100 yards to the roadside.

6 - Turn right down the pavement for 250 yards and turn right through hedgerow, crossing a stile and walking beside a left hedge. The path skirts around the edge of the Hickstead Showground. Walk to the left corner of the field (ignore a left turn entering the arena) and turn left – there is a brook on the right.

Continue across an exercise area, cross a track and a small, grassed meadow, with the brook on the right. At the far side bear left through an opening, climbing through bushes to a plank bridge and stile. In the next field descend half-right to the opposite hedgerow, crossing a stile and plank bridge.

Turn left along a bridleway, following the left edges of paddocks to a small airfield. Cross to the far side of the strip and turn right. In 250 yards, just before double metal gates, cross a stile on the left. Walk over two small paddocks to a stile beside a high brick wall; pass through scrub to the roadside. Turn right along the road, back into Sayers Common.

  • Distance/Time: Six miles, taking three hours
  • By Car: Sayers Common is on the B2118 road, access from the A23 at Hickstead (north end) and Muddleswood (south). Parking in Oakhurst lay-by. Start point Grid Ref: TQ269187
  • By Public Transport: Travel details from www.traveline.info, phone 0871 2002233. Metro Bus 273 from Brighton to Crawley service stops in Sayers Common, 250 yards from start point, walk north along B2118 to left-turning bridleway. Other services via Burgess Hill
  • What’s underfoot: Level Wealden walking with no steep hills but some long undergrowth and faintly trodden paths in places. Not a good route to be wearing shorts! Possible with a baby backpack; not possible with a baby buggy
  • Thirsty Work: The Duke of York pub in Sayers Common
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer Map 122 plus a compass for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Sayers Common walk