1 - If arriving by train, at the station exit turn left along Crowborough Hill; or if starting from the car park, go back to the road and turn right.

Immediately past Sainsbury’s Local, turn right into Burdett Road, crossing over The Ghyll which will be visited near the end of the walk. Continue along the road which becomes Forest Rise, then go downhill to the T-junction with Forest Dene and turn left.

Go through the gap ahead into Palesgate Road and turn right. Cross the railway bridge and immediately turn left at a stile onto a permissive footpath, indicated by a white waymark.

2 - Follow close by the railway on the left. This is Old Lodge Warren, a narrow strip of woodland managed by the Woodland Trust which runs parallel to the railway line. After crossing a footbridge, continue direction on a wider path between the railway and river.

On reaching a fenced pond, bear left. If the ground here is very muddy or still blocked by a fallen tree, it is acceptable to deviate onto higher ground as this is open access land.

In a short distance, cross a footbridge and look to the right to see a brick structure which appears to be partially undermined by the stream. This is a Second World War pillbox built in 1940 on a massive concrete base to prevent slippage; three more will be seen along our route.

These were part of a larger number, many of which are now overgrown and difficult to locate. Along with anti-tank ditches, these formed a defence line alongside the railway line. When constructed, this area was much more open heathland.

Go up the steps on the left and turn right to continue direction. Cross several small footbridges; then after crossing a stile, on coming to a larger footbridge on the right where a public footpath joins from the right, turn left to go under a railway bridge.

Now turn right and keep close to the railway fence on the right. In 225 yards, follow the footpath as it bears left, away from the railway, to come to a minor road by a communications mast, and turn right.

3 - Go downhill for 250 yards and pass Redgate Mill Lane on the right. Continue ahead uphill along Sandhill Lane for nearly half a mile, passing by Roughets Wood on the right.

Where the wood ends, turn left up a driveway and go through a kissing-gate on the left of the main gate. The route now is on part of the Sussex Border Path (SBP) which closely follows the inland Sussex border for nearly 150 miles, and is undergoing a complete re-waymarking.

Continue direction along the right-hand field edge for about 550 yards. At a fingerpost, turn left to follow around the left-hand edge of the next field, and then turn right to the top of the field.

Pass to the right of farm buildings and then turn left to continue along the concrete track. Look over to the right to see Bowles Rocks in the valley where climbing courses and lessons are available. On the left of these is a dry ski slope. (Yes, we are still in East Sussex!) On approaching tennis courts, follow the track around to the left and, at a road, turn left. Here we leave the SBP to go along part of the old A26 which has now been replaced by a very busy by-pass.

4 - In about 550 yards, go past (or in, if desired) the Boar’s Head Inn on the left. Then turn left down Boar’s Head Road and, in about 600 yards, pass by Cherrytree Farm and Little Forest Farm on the left.

In a further 200 yards, turn right at a fingerpost to go along a clear footpath through Limekiln Wood with a mix of broadleaves and pine. In about half a mile, at a crossway of paths indicated by another fingerpost, continue direction keeping as close as possible to the right-hand woodland edge on a less clear path.

Leave the wood over a stile, and turn right on what was once an old tarmac road through the wood. On coming to a T-junction, with cottages on the right, turn left along Palesgate Road.

5 - In about 500 yards, just past Jarvis Brook Sports Club building and car park, turn right at a fingerpost. Follow the footpath which goes between football pitches, and then continue direction into a wood.

On coming to a crossway of paths, indicated by fingerpost, go downhill into The Ghyll. This is a 42-acre Local Nature Reserve composed mainly of ancient semi-natural woodland in a steep-sided wooded valley, and forms an important green spine through Crowborough. Since 2009 this has been managed by Crowborough Town Council as a public amenity and to enhance biodiversity.

On approaching a stream, bear left to where there is a footbridge to cross. Turn left uphill, following close to the wooden fence. At the top there is an information board.

Go through the gate on the left, leading to Burdett Road. Cross over and go straight ahead along a path leading through the recreation ground, which in turn leads back to the car park.

For public transport users, turn right to go out to the main road (B2100) and the railway station, opposite.


  • Distance/Time: Six and a half miles/three hours
  • By Car: Use small car park (free) at Jarvis Brook (off B2100, opposite Crowborough Station); if full, use on-street parking
  • By Public Transport: Trains and buses (228/229) to Crowborough Station. Time-table information from Traveline: 0871 200 2233 or traveline.info
  • What’s underfoot: Mostly field and woodland paths, which may be muddy, if wet (not advisable to attempt if the ground is still saturated from the winter rains); also some minor roads
  • Thirsty Work: Welcome Stranger (adjacent Crowborough Station); The Boar’s Head Inn (point 4)
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer 135 and Landranger 188 or 199. A compass would be useful for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Crowborough circular walk