1 - From the Bluebell Inn, cross the main road and turn left along a wide grass verge to keep away from fast-moving traffic. The long straight road ahead, leading towards Ringmer, is known as The Broyle.

Continue along here for 300 yards then turn right through a wooden gate on to a marked bridleway. Follow this straight ahead along the left-hand edge of several fields for half a mile.

Nearing the end of a field, turn left by a waymark post through a metal gate then bear half-right across the next field towards a gate seen ahead on the right-hand side of a wood. Enter here on to a wide track.

On the right are two wooden sculptures: one is entitled The Winged Sculpture; the other, rather scary-looking, one is unnamed. Also on the right, beyond the wood, is Bentley Country Park which incorporates a wildfowl reserve and motor museum; although it is not really possible to see anything of it from here.

Continue on the wide track through the wood and out through another gate. Follow the bridleway along the right-hand edge of several fields and at the end as it bends around to the left. Then in 80 yards, turn right by a fingerpost to a road.

2 - To the right is the main entrance to Bentley Country Park, if a visit is desired. Otherwise turn left along the road for half a mile. On coming to Mount Farm, turn left over a stile by a gate.

Go straight ahead by a solitary oak tree and through a long narrow field. Continue on the footpath as it goes along the left-hand edge of the next field by a wood on the left.

At the bottom of the field, go over a footbridge and aim for the top left-hand corner of the next field. Go over the stile by a gate in the corner and between the buildings at Upper Lodge Farm. Bear left and then right to go along the farm lane for 200 yards to the main road (B2192).

3 - Along to the right, in 400 yards, is the entrance to Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare. Visitors are welcome every day from 10am to 4pm, where it is possible to see most of the rescued animals, from hamsters to horses, in their enclosures. There is also a cafe, picnic area and shop. For special events, see their website (www.raystede.org).

To continue the walk, cross the road and turn left along the wide grass verge. Do not be alarmed if flying objects suddenly appear overhead – the East Sussex Gliding Club field is opposite Raystede. Look for a metal fingerpost on the right, 120 yards past the farm entrance, and go over an unusual metal stile incorporated into a gate.

Follow the footpath along the left-hand field edge and, on coming to the corner, go over a stile a little to the right. Continue straight ahead across the next field, over another stile and turn right on a restricted byway (not open to motorised vehicles).

In 60 yards, turn left along another restricted byway, going through two metal gates in succession. Then follow close by the left-hand side of farm buildings to go along the farm lane straight ahead to a road.

4 - Go over a stile opposite, to cross a field and over another stile on the farther field edge. Do not enter the fenced enclosure on the right. Follow the path to the right of a pond and into woodland.

Continue along this delightful path for about 400 yards, crossing a footbridge, through a small gate and over a stile to leave the wood. Then go ahead a short distance to emerge on to a road and turn left.

In about 300 yards, turn right by a fingerpost, over a stile, into a field and along the right-hand edge. Continue over two more stiles and along to the right of an unusual modern house, the upper part being wood with a curved roof.

On coming to a track, turn left. Follow this with woodland on the right, then straight ahead through Brickhurst Wood to a T-junction. Turn right on a marked byway and, in a few paces, turn left by a fingerpost on a footpath.

Leave the wood by a stile and go straight ahead (north) to the farther corner of this roughly triangular field. Cross a plank bridge into the next field and follow the right-hand edge to enter the right-hand end of a wood.

Cross two more plank bridges and, on leaving the wood, turn left along a track. At a T-junction, turn right on a long straight farm lane leading to Laughton (pronounced Law-ton) Park Farm.

5 - In 200 yards, turn left by a metal post on the left. This is not a waymark; that is on a wooden post on the right. Go between farm buildings and then bear left to go through the left-hand gate of two ahead.

Follow the right-hand edge of two fields to go over a stile into a wood and then straight ahead to a road. Cross a stile opposite and go along the left-hand field edge.

Continue over two more stiles, passing a small caravan park which will be seen on the right. On reaching a restricted byway, turn right, and in 150 yards on the right, return to the Bluebell Inn.

Distance/Time: Six miles/three hours; extra for optional visits off route

By Car: Park in lay-by adjacent to Bluebell Inn, Shortgate (three miles north-east of Ringmer along the B2192).

By Public Transport: Limited bus service – check timetable information from Traveline: 0871 200 2233; www.traveline.info

What’s underfoot: Fairly level but many stiles; expect field and woodland paths to be muddy if there has been recent rain

Thirsty Work: The Bluebell Inn, Shortgate (start/finish) and Raystede Cafe (near point 3).

So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer 123. A compass would be useful for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Shortgate walk