This route takes you through a patch of unspoilt countryside where in late spring and early summer you can still hear nightingales. Natalie Leal explores the watery landscape around Wisborough Green in West Sussex.

1. Park up by the duck pond on School Road and head up towards the St Peter Ad Vencula church on the hill. Follow the public footpath to the left of the church which leads you around the edge of the graveyard and then down towards the main road. Cross the road and take the bridleway opposite heading down a lane and passing some allotments and a scout hut.

At Harsfold Manor continue straight ahead along the bridleway signed for Harsfold Barn and Moo Cottage. When the bridleway forks keep left then shortly afterwards pass through two gates and over the river.

2. When you reach a crossroads climb the stile on the left and follow the path that runs alongside the old Wey and Arun Canal. The canal is in the process of being restored but this stretch is still as yet largely untouched and what used to be a Victorian canal path is now a haven for wildlife with plenty of butterflies, dragonflies and birds such as nightingales at this time of year.

The River Arun soon appears on the left with the path running between the two waterways. When you reach Lording’s Flood Gate and bridge, cross the canal and continue on the opposite footpath past the picnic bench with the disused canal now to your left.

Cross a footbridge, (ignoring a gate into a field on the right) and climb the few steps opposite then continue straight ahead and over the next bridge. At the end of this stretch go through the kissing gate and follow the path as it skirts the edge of a meadow with a wire fence to your left. You’ll begin to hear running water of a nearby weir. This can be seen as you cross the next footbridge over to Lordings Lock.

3. Just past Lordings Lock is a now restored waterwheel. The 200 year old wheel was built to take water from the river to the canal. Once past Lordings Lock climb the stile and continue straight ahead on the footpath through the meadow. Once across the meadow cross the next stile and follow the public footpath to the left. The river is now to your right and when you reach a patch of woodland you’ll see the canal again to your left. At the end of the woodland there is a fence to clamber over and then the path opens out again. If you’re walking at the right time of year more nightingales can be heard along here.

Continue straight ahead through the water meadow until you reach another bridge and then a crossroads shortly after. Go left here heading directly across the field to the main road.


Walk a short distance along the busy road, then cross over and take the permissive footpath into a small patch of woodland. Climb the stile and follow the permissive path along the lefthand side of the field then continue along the public footpath. This section of the walk winds you through farmland via signed public footpaths crossing a number of stiles. There are great views over the surrounding countryside to your left along this final section of the walk and the church spire soon appears ahead of you as you follow the footpaths towards it. When you arrive at a crossroads with a bridleway cutting across the public footpath continue straight ahead in the same direction along the footpath. Cross the stile by the large old oak tree and head back into the church yard, the start and end point of the walk.