Chris Ford takes you on a Wealden walk through wide open fields, varied woodland and the occasional paddock. On clear days there are fine views towards the South Downs on this largely level, circular route.

From the lay-by by the Wok Inn, walk north along a grassy verge and cross over Shortgate Lane to a concrete track ahead that immediately curves to the right.

After 200 yards, with Shortgate Manor Farm on your left, pass through a gate and walk along a track with a hedgerow on your left for a further 300 yards. Then, as the track bears right, turn left then right over a footbridge and stile.

Proceed forward with a hedgerow to your right, passing through three fields. In the third field, shortly after the hedgerow finishes, join a grassy trackway ahead and turn right for 100 yards then bear left and after 20 yards turn right along a path and continue forward into an open field, ignoring a tree lined footpath on your right.

Proceed diagonally right across the field towards a gap in the hedgerow ahead of you, with a radio mast in the distance just to the right of the gap.

Cross into the next field right of an isolated bush in the gap and go towards a wood ahead. Cross a footbridge to enter Rowland Wood and follow a path, lined on the right with beech trees for 600 yards.

Emerge from the path and go forwards to meet Park Lane 30 yards ahead.

Turn right along the road for 900 yards reaching a broad track crossing the road with metal barriers. Turn left along it for 800 yards before turning right down a sign-posted footpath into Lower Vert Wood.

The footpath crosses two trackways, then at a third turn left for 20 yards before turning right onto a footpath. Continue for 500 yards before emerging from the wood. Turn right to join a track. At a set of gates turn right and immediately left along a narrow footpath, passing a saw mill on your left before crossing Park Lane to a footpath.

Climb over a stile onto the enclosed path and continue for 100 yards, turn sharp left through a gate then continue for 150 yards through three more gates. Turn left and immediately right, climbing up to turn right on another path.

Proceed for 250 yards, passing through two gates and eventually emerging onto a grassy track, continue forward with open fields to your left for 500 yards, then drop down into woodland, turn left and climb over a stile into a field. Cross diagonally to the far right corner and climb a stile to a track and turn left. Continue as it turns into a metalled road and at its end turn right past the Roebuck Inn.

Turn right into Shortgate Lane, after 100 yards bear right onto a bridleway.

Proceed for 300 yards then turn left by an upright wooden railway sleeper onto a footpath then descend steps onto Brickhurst Lane.

Turn left to re-join Shortgate Lane, then turn right and walk for 100 yards along the road. Cross a small footbridge on the left to drop onto an enclosed footpath, cross a stile after 50 yards and proceed to woodland, passing through a gate then descending to a footbridge before climbing to the left to emerge from the woods. Continue forward with water on your right and trees ahead, these turning into a hedgerow on the left. Cross a stile into a field and head to a stile in the right corner. Climb it and go left to Common Lane.

Ignoring the footpath sign opposite, turn right for 20 yards along the lane, then left at the footpath sign, climbing a stile. Cross the field bearing right. Head for a gate by an oak tree on the far side.

Cross a second field keeping to its right-hand boundary and exit by a double stile into a third field. Bear right across it to a stile and cross, turning left onto a trackway which, after 150 yards, turns into a lane. Follow it through a right turn then, after 400 yards, a left turn.

Continue until you reach the main road and the Wok Inn on your right. Turn right to return to your starting point.


Distance/Time: Six miles, taking three hours
By Car: Park in the lay-by by the Wok Inn on the B2192 at Shortgate, between Ringmer and Halland. Grid Reference: TQ493151
By Public Transport: Limited bus service – check timetable information from Traveline: 0871 200 2233; <&bh""><&eh>
What’s underfoot: A circular walk on footpaths, bridleways, byways and quiet roads, mainly level. Stiles, so not possible with a baby buggy.
Thirsty Work: The Wok Inn (serving Chinese food) at the start or end of the walk. The Roebuck Inn at Laughton (closed for refurbishment at time of writing).
So you don’t get lost: O.S. Explorer Map 123