1 - From the toilet block in the car park, go to the nearby (south-east) corner where a fingerpost points into a field. Follow the footpath down the field edge, observing the view, to another fingerpost.

Turn right over a footbridge and go through a gate. Continue across the field, through another gate, following the right-hand edge, and over a stile.

Now bear diagonally left across the field to a fingerpost in the bottom right-hand corner. Go into the next field and along the left-hand edge to cross a stile on to a minor road (Bateman’s Lane).

Turn right and soon a large house comes into view. This is Bateman’s, the former home of writer and poet, Rudyard Kipling, from 1902 until his death in 1936.

A gate on the right may bear a sign for Quarry Garden and, if unlocked, access is permitted. This contains Kipling’s summerhouse; a retreat from his work.

Continue towards the house and where the road turns sharply right, turn left on a bridleway, indicated by a fingerpost, following the left-hand side of Bateman’s grounds. Cross a bridge over the River Dudwell, then turn right immediately past The Oast House on a footpath between the mill house and pond.

2 - The mill house with waterwheel attached and the gardens on the right are of interest. However, access is permitted only to National Trust members and those who have purchased a ticket. Seating here provides a good spot for a picnic.

Follow the footpath around to the left, close to the mill pond. Go through a gate and continue along a track. Do not cross a substantial footbridge on the right, but continue for a further 350 yards, passing through a gate on the way.

On coming to a bridge on the left, go over and through a field gate, then turn right to follow the footpath on the other side of the river. It is here that I recollect, as a small boy, venturing off the footpath to explore, ignoring my parents call to come back – but not for long!

Continue along the valley and through another gate. On coming to a fingerpost and footbridge on the right, ignore this and bear slightly left uphill across the field.

At the top, go through a kissing-gate into a wood. Follow the footpath, crossing two stiles. Then, on coming out of the wood, go down the left-hand side of the field to cross a stile.

Continue down the next field to cross a stile at the bottom; then turn right along a minor road (Willingford Lane). Follow the lane to the right then climb steadily uphill for 300 yards to a white-painted cottage (Hedge Nest) on the right. Note the sun motif on the wall.

3 - There are now two options. If desiring to visit The Wheel Inn at Burwash Weald (a hamlet, one and a half miles south-west of the main village), continue up the lane for 700 yards and cross the main road.

On leaving the inn, turn left along the roadside path for 350 yards. Where the path ends, cross the road with care, continuing direction on the road for a further 90 yards.

Turn right in front of Weald House and continue past concrete bollards down the drive to Burnt House Farm. Immediately past an Old Dairy sign, go through a gate, down the left-hand field edge and through a kissing-gate.

For the shorter option, turn right through a gate immediately before Hedge Nest and along an enclosed footpath to cross a stile into a field.

Bear left uphill by a young fenced tree, towards a chimney on the horizon, to go through a small gate in the corner. Now bear right across the next field and through a kissing-gate to the right of the farm.

4 - Continue though another kissing-gate and along the top edge of the next two fields, passing through two field gates. Cross the next field and a stile through a small wood. Cross the middle of another field, through a gate (permanently open) to turn right on a tarmac drive.

Continue downhill to the left of Rye Green Farm, past an old barn on the left. Just beyond, go over a stile on the left, bearing right uphill to a waymark post and on through a gap into the next field.

Now, aim for a gnarled ivy-clad oak tree near the top right-hand corner, to go over a stile through the corner of a wood. Continue uphill to a stile then along the left-hand field edge to cross another stile and down stone steps to the road (A265).

5 - Turn right along the roadside path, observing extensive views across the Rother valley to the left. Continue for half a mile, crossing Bateman’s Lane, back to the village. Take time to look at some of the house names giving clues to the occupations of former residents.

On reaching The Bear, there is a further option to continue along the footway. If doing so, observe the village map made of ceramic tiles.

6 - Immediately past the war memorial is the Parish Church originating from 1090 but extensively restored in 1856. It is normally open from 9am until 4pm so take a look inside to see, among other things, a plaque near the south door in memory of Kipling’s son, John.

Retrace the route to The Bear for the bus or car park.

Distance/Time: Four miles/two hours or five miles/two and a half hours, including optional extras

By Car: Public car park (free with toilets available) adjacent to The Bear Inn (off High Street, A265). Be sure to park in a marked nine-hour bay as a two-hour restriction applies elsewhere

By Public Transport: Buses (318) limited service from Uckfield, to Hurst Green, alight at The Bear Inn. Timetable information from Traveline: 0871 2002233 or www.traveline.info

What’s underfoot: Field and woodland paths and tracks which are likely to be muddy, if wet. Also, a few steep climbs and some roadside walking

Thirsty Work: The Bear Inn, High Street, The Rose & Crown pub, Ham Lane (near start/finish) or The Wheel Inn, Burwash Weald

So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer 124 and 136 (both needed) or Landranger 199, also a compass for general direction

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