1 - From the junction of Valebridge, Junction and Leylands Roads in World’s End, head north along Valebridge Road for 250 yards. When opposite a terraced row of cottages, turn right on to a signed public footpath.

Pass between local houses, crossing an access road on to a footpath and in 400 yards, after an enclosed section, arrive at a squeeze stile at the edge of a sloping meadow.

Continue ahead on the rising field-centre path to the top of the field and turn right through a hedge opening.

Continue along the left hedgeline in the next field, ignoring left turns and bearing slightly left, passing through a second opening, heading towards tile-hung cottages near Ote Hall Farm.

Pass through a gate following the access drive, going briefly right and left to a junction of staddle stone-bordered driveways – Great Ote Hall is on the left.

2 - Head for a four-way path sign, pass through a bridle gate, taking the half-left turning along the left field edge. Pass through a stile and after about 125 yards go left through a gate, pass by a track on the left and bear right on a wide path, between high, bordering hedgerow.

Keep to this footpath, which its width seems to indicate a droving track, for about a quarter of a mile to a three-way path junction.

Go ahead through a gate and take a half-left line up the sloping meadow towards a gate and stile at the top of the field. Cross on to a wide, enclosed path, beneath huge oaks, climbing to a metal kissing gate in 150 yards.

Cross over a driveway that accesses Lunces Hall, pass through an opposite gate and turn left along a manicured enclosure for 100 yards.

3 - At the far left corner of the enclosure cross a stile, beside a four-way path sign, descending into a large, sloping meadow. Follow the half-right trodden path across the centre of the meadow, descending to a stile in the opposite tree line. There are views right to the former Victorian hospital buildings at Haywards Heath.

Cross into the woodland, bearing right for a few paces and crossing a footbridge above a slow-moving stream.

Climb out from the stream gully on to an enclosed oak tree-lined path, with paddocks on the right. Pass between bushes to an access track, cross to the opposite stile and join a rising, gravel drive that arrives at a concreted yard, with poultry sheds to the right.

Take a few paces left, next to Tilebarn Wood and beside another shed, bear right on the continuing enclosed path – there is a cottage over the hedge on the right and a dark pool on the left.

4 - At an access drive, cross to the opposite gate, pass through (be sure to close, as requested) and descend the field beside the right tree line to the bottom right corner. Cross a stile onto a wide bridleway and climb over the opposite stile.

Walk down the left field edge for about ten yards and go left over a stile, immediately turning right down the next field towards a gate and bridge. In the rising paddock ahead, climb to a stile, then head towards the large stable buildings at Clearwaters Farm. Locate and cross a stile in the left corner of the stable yard and turn left.

Follow the lane westward, passing two isolated houses, to arrive at a road after a quarter of a mile, close to the Vale Bridge area. Bear right, passing beneath the railway bridge with great care and being aware of oncoming traffic. In a few yards, cross to the left verge, when access permits, in order to give clearer traffic visibility.

5 - After about 100 yards turn left, pass around a tree trunk barrier, on to a surfaced bridleway. The way ahead, with power pylons off to the left, heads west for three-quarters of a mile. Ignore side turnings and pass cottages close to Holmbush Farm at the midpoint.

Continue along the bridleway (you can crank up the pace just to sublimate the tarmacadam-induced tedium) to arrive beside Holmbush Cottages, next to the A273 road.

Turn left along the roadside verge and in 100 yards, descend the bank, left, when beside a path sign. Cross a hedgerow stile, walking ahead to a crossing driveway. Turn right for a few paces and then go left to follow a left field edge, bearing right after 250 yards.

On arriving beside a gate and stile on the left, at the edge of woodland, pass around the gate leaving the field edge. In a few yards there is partially obscured path sign among the trees on the left, descend into the woodland to arrive at a footbridge. Cross the bridge and, bearing slightly right, keep to the wide and bumpy track, mainly beneath trees and scrub.

The path climbs easily for about a quarter of a mile to arrive at Lowlands Farm – ignore any side turnings. Pick your way through the collection of farm machinery and assorted equipment, bearing right and then left, but all the time staying on the main track.

6 - The path now follows the route of the wider track known as Freek’s Lane, stay on this for a quarter of a mile, taking none of the side turnings. The houses of World’s End come into view in the final 100 yards as the lane comes to Maple Drive.

Turn left along the residential road for a quarter of a mile, taking no side roads, finally taking a turning leading right, The Blackthorns.

In a few paces, cross the road, left, and locate a footpath that passes a few houses towards a railway bridge. Walk ahead beneath the bridge to Valebridge Road.

Turn right, following the pavement back to our starting point, with The Watermill Inn at the road junction.

  • Distance/Time: Five and a half miles taking two and three quarter hours
  • By Car: On-street parking close to the start of the walk, approach from Valebridge, Junction or Leylands Roads in Burgess Hill, possible via turnings off (east) from A273 Haywards Heath road or (west) B2122, Ditchling Common road. Start point Grid Ref. TQ322201
  • By Public Transport: From Wivelsfield Station, descend to Leylands Road and walk east to start point. Metrobus 270 from Brighton, alight at Junction Road. From Haywards Heath, Metrobus 270, or other local service, alight at Junction Road. Travel details from www.traveline.info or call 0871 2002233
  • What’s underfoot: Level Wealden walking, a few slopes but no long steep climbs or descents, just a couple of short climbs out of stream gullies, plenty of stiles and gates. Okay with a baby backpack, not possible with a baby buggy
  • Thirsty Work: The Watermill Inn at the start and finish
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer Map 135, plus a compass for general direction

Click here for a full-sized version of the Burgess Hill circular walk