1 - From the bus stop beside Horsham Station, walk south on North Street, going right over a pedestrian crossing. Turn left towards the entrance to Horsham Park.

Enter the park, walking towards a giant redwood, and take the path that bears right, just behind the tree. The path bears left and then turns right, towards the Pavilions In The Park leisure centre. Walk across the front of the centre and at the far side follow the path, keeping to the north side of the park for a quarter of a mile, coming to its north-west corner, beside North Parade.

Turn right along North Parade, crossing two road junctions and continuing to Pondtail Road, there turning right. The route goes through the pleasant suburbs of Horsham, beside wide verges and neat, secluded houses.

Pass beneath a railway bridge, continuing for three-quarters of a mile to where the road turns right; here take a left turn into Pondtail Drive. Walk to the end of the drive, pass around a barrier and cross the A264 road, with care, to Langhurstwood Road.

Walk along the road for a few yards and go right over a stile, taking a quarter-left line in a meadow to a hedge opening. Go up the next left field edge for 300 yards, cross a stile and turn right for 100 yards, then bear left.

The path climbs north, beside wide fields, passing right of Graylands Copse. In a quarter of a mile enter the mixed woodland of Well Copse and Northland Copse and in 200 yards, at a four-way signpost, continue ahead beside a quarry fence. This is now a one-mile undulating woodland hike, crossing bridges, descending into gullies and keeping to the left fenceline.

The footpath finally bears right, taking a left turn beside a fence and wall to a minor road.

2 - Turn right along the roadside, passing Green Lane (ignore a left turning) and continue for 275 yards on Friday Street, locating and crossing a stile in the hedge on the right. Walk ahead, passing through a paddock gate in 100 yards, and descending on a half-left line to the far corner.

Cross a stile and footbridge then a narrow field to enter a strip of woodland; cross and climb out of a gully.

Go over the field ahead and pass through a kissing gate, taking a half-left line to a stile near the far field corner. Descend into and out of a gully to a wide meadow with mown paths.

Walk ahead following the path over a low rise and descending to the far side to take a left turn, just before the end of the field. In a few yards, enter Six Acre Copse through a bridle gate on the right. Keep to the path, passing a paddock, descending a bank, going through a gate, crossing a footbridge and climbing to Friday Street.

3 - The Royal Oak pub is a few yards to the right, but the onward path climbs the ramp opposite, signed for Little Benhams Cottage. At the top of the slope go left beside a gate, heading for a gap in the trees. In the next field walk to an opposite three-way sign.

Turn right up the field, bearing slightly right, to a midpoint of the fence and tree line. Pass through a narrow stand of trees, then through a gate, keeping direction in the next meadow, along the left hedgeline. The path descends to a field corner, crosses a double stile and plank bridge and climbs the field edge to a stile and farm track. Pass through an opposite gate over a plank bridge, with farm buildings to the right. It is here that we pass into Surrey, onward to our destination at Capel. Take a line across the paddock, as signed, heading downhill, towards the bottom right corner. Cross to a minor road and enter the opposite field, over a stile.

4 - The footpath bears a few degrees right, skirting left around a copse, passing a metal water tank and crossing a bridge. Keep to the left edge of the next field and at a left corner pass through a gate and go left, crossing Fylls Brook. In the next field turn right, keeping to the hedgeline for a quarter of a mile.

At a right corner cross a lane to a gate, following a driveway north-easterly, passing between stables and a picturesque cottage, continuing along a left hedgeline to go left through a gate. Turn right to a bridle gate, continuing ahead and climbing over double, locked gates near Taylor’s Farm Cottage.

Take a couple of paces right and pass through an opposite opening on a line across the field that keeps right of distant houses, crosses a hedgerow stile, which may be overgrown, and goes left to the roadside.

5 - Turn right along Rusper Road for 300 yards, turning right on a bridleway towards Playstowe Farm. On approaching farm buildings go left on the bridleway and in 125 yards turn left on to a footpath along a field edge beside Nightless Copse.

At a field corner enter Strood Copse, crossing gullies and footbridges, and at the far side climb a grassy slope towards a signpost, with an OS trig point to the right.

Turn right from the signpost down the wide path that leads to a junction in 150 yards. Take no side turnings and keep direction for 200 yards to a four-way path crossing. Take a few paces left, turning right into woodland. Keep to the twisting path between the trees to a stile.

Continue along the left edge of a paddock, going left through a gate beside stables and then double gates to cross a sheep enclosure leading to Vicarage Lane in Capel. Turn left for 200 yards to The Street, opposite the village church. Bus stops are on the left for connections to Horsham.

  • Distance/Time: Eight miles, taking four hours
  • By Car: Town centre parking in Horsham or drop-off at railway station bus terminus. Start point OS grid reference TQ178309
  • By Public Transport: Stagecoach no 17 bus from Brighton, alight at Horsham railway station bus terminus. Buses from The Street in Capel (Metrobus 93) for return to Horsham. (Last no 17 bus from Horsham at 17.47). All the walks on this south/north traverse can be accessed by public transport. Travel details from www.traveline.info or 0871 2002233
  • What’s underfoot: A more challenging Wealden walk with hedge-obscured, wonky stiles, slippery footbridges and limited waymarking. Not a good idea with a baby backpack; not possible with an off-road baby buggy
  • Thirsty Work: Pubs and shops at Henfield and Capel; The Royal Oak at Friday Street
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer maps 134 and 146 – both maps are essential – plus a compass for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Horsham to Capel walk