(Refer to OS Explorer Map: Crawley & Horsham OL34)
This circular walk starts in the centre of the pretty village of Warninglid and meanders through rolling countryside to Bolney and then through woodland around the outer lakes that formed part of the Leonardslee Estate and then back to Warninglid. The walk should take around 3-4 hours and is approximately 14km (8.5 miles)
At the cross-roads in front of the Half Moon pub and with the pub on your left, proceed just a short distance down the road, passing the entrance to the Lydhurst Estate on the right and take the signposted footpath on the left between the cottages and follow the track joining the footpath with the allotments on your left. Pass through a metal gate/over an old wooden stile and on eventually leaving the trees, follow the path to the right across a field. Exit the field in the top right corner and enter the woods via a stile, then exit via a metal kissing gate and head downhill, passing through another metal gate onto a lane where you turn left and immediately right, crossing into a meadow via a wooden boardwalk. Once crossing the meadow, cross a bridge and go through 2 wooden gates, crossing a field and passing through another wooden gate and following the path along the side of a field and exit via a wooden gate. At the fingerpost turn right, passing through a metal gate into a field, crossing the field and then passing through a gate/stile. Follow the path through the wood, exiting into a field, cross diagonally and turn right to follow the path under electricity cables. Cross a bridge and carry on straight with a fence on your left. Cross a bridge through a hedge, pass through 2 gates and follow the path across a field. Go through a metal gate and follow the electric fence on your left and exit onto a lane, crossing into a field opposite via a wooden gate and walking diagonally across the field to cross into another field via a stile. At the other side of the field enter a field where there may be horse via a wooden gate. Leave the field in the far left-hand corner to the left of the stables. Go through a wooded area with a fence on your left and drop down to the driveway of a house and join the lane. Turn left along the lane and continue until you eventually reach a finger post on the right and cross over a stile into a field. Take the path downhill towards the trees, carrying on across a field and exiting via a stile. Cross the lane and take the finger-posted path, following it through some woods, across a grassy area before entering another wooded area and crossing a bridge and a boardwalk before heading uphill with metal fences on either side. At a crossroads head straight downhill,
passing under a stone bridge and when you reach a metal gate join the lane and head straight ahead following the track to the end. On reaching Top Street in Bolney, follow the lane for a short distance downhill and take the footpath on the right through a wooden gate before Field House. Pass the bungalow on your left and go through another wooden gate to head round the right-hand side of a field. Cross over a stile, keeping right and taking a couple of steps with a wooden hand rail before exiting the path via a metal gate onto the lane. Turn left and follow the lane for a short distance before turning right and taking the footpath via a metal gate opposite Lodge Lane. Follow the path into the woods with a wooden fence on either side. When the path divides, take the left fork and follow the path to cross a stile into the Bolney Wine Estate. To continue the walk, return to where the path divided and take the path straight ahead across the stream. Leave the woods and head across a stile, taking the path between the farmhouse and farm buildings. Cross the stile, turn left and then immediately right into a wooded signposted path. Follow the path eventually crossing a stream and passing through 2 metal gates and exiting onto a lane. Take a left along the lane and follow it until it bends right and take a footpath downhill to the left with a 5-bar gate in front of you. Pass over a stream and go through a kissing gate and then head uphill with a field on your left. Turn right at the top and cross a field passing between 2 trees. At the other side of the field, pass through a metal kissing gate and join the path. Follow the path by the side of a fence until you come out onto a tarmac drive near some houses. Turn right and head to the end where you will join Spronketts Lane. Cross the road to join Earwig Lane and turn immediately right in front of Bee House and take the signposted path, heading up hill. Once you join a road at the top, turn left and follow the lane for a short distance, turning right at a fingerpost into the Goods entrance for Drewitts. Follow a path along the side of a fence and take a left at the fingerpost as you enter the woods and follow the path with a field on your right. Turn left at the fingerpost and head downhill through the woods and then as you leave the woods the path widens to a track and you should follow this, ignoring any tracks off to the side until you reach a large pond. Follow the path to the left heading towards a cottage. Go through a 5-bar gate and follow the fingerpost to the right, passing through another 5-bar gate onto a lane. This is Mill Lane and at this point you could take a detour right to follow the lane into Crabtree, where you will find the Crabtree pub and the South Lodge Hotel and Spa, where you can relax and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea. The walk continues by turning right in front of the cottage and taking the lane uphill until you reach the footpath sign and take a right around a metal gate to join the path that makes its way through woodland. After passing between 2 lakes, head uphill with banks on either side. Eventually you will cross a bridge over a stream and then you need to take the path to the left, following the stream to your left and through woodland. The path eventually comes out close to a house. Ignore the track to the house and bear left and then right to take a path through some trees, ignoring a footpath to the left and turning downhill. Cross the stream over a footbridge at the bottom and take the path to the right heading uphill. Once you reach the road, take the footpath to the right as it follows the road back towards Warninglid. When the path joins the road, cross over and walk the last few hundred yards back into the village on the verge taking care for traffic.
Point of Interest
Bolney Wine Estate
In the heart of rural Sussex, Bolney Wine Estate is one of England’s longest established vineyards.
Located in the village of Bolney, the vineyard is situated on a hill which was part of the Butting Hill One Hundred. In 1972 the Estate was founded by Rodney and Janet Pratt, with just 3 acres of vines and a single grape variety.
From its humble beginnings, the vineyard has expanded to 39 acres with over 8 varieties grown on site, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as a state-of-the-art winery. In the 1990s Samantha Linter (daughter of the founders) took charge of the wine making and since then the Estate has won numerous international awards for both their still and sparkling wines. Today three generations of the family are involved in the business.
Whether you want to explore the vineyards, discover more about wine making in England, get involved in a wine tasting or enjoy lunch on their stunning viewing balcony overlooking the vines- there is something for everyone!
Warninglid or Warninglyth, as it was known in the 1300s, has Saxon origins with medieval iron-industry connections. In the last 25 years it has won the Best Kept Village competition three times and been runner-up on six other occasions. Its centre was the first of six Conservation Areas that were established in Sussex. The Half Moon pub sits in the centre of Warninglid and is a family owned 18th Century freehouse which offers hearty homemade country pub food accompanied by local real ales and a range of wines. The 222-acre Lydhurst Estate in Warninglid was once home to the late Sir Jack Hayward, former Wolverhampton Wanderers football boss.
South Lodge Hotel & Spa
South Lodge is a luxury hotel in Sussex offering the best in relaxation. With breath-taking views of the South Downs, they have award-winning dining, expert meeting facilities and host memorable weddings and family occasions and boast the most amazing state-of-the-art spa.
The present house was built by Frederick Du Cane Godman. He built a modest dwelling in 1883 taking care not to disturb the magnificent camellia still thriving between the dining room windows. In 1911 the last of the substantial additions to the house were started when the Drawing Room wing was added.
Frederick Du Cane Godman was a remarkable Victorian imaginative collector, a gentleman explorer, a man of boundless energy and rigorous scholarship. Born in 1834, the third son of Joseph Godman of Park Hatch, Godalming, a partner in Whitbread & Co, Frederick inherited an ample fortune. He was educated at Eton before going to Trinity College, Cambridge. Whilst abroad he visited Constantinople and his elder brother in the Crimea, witnessing the fighting at Sebastopol.
At Cambridge he and his brother Percy were associated with the foundation of the British Ornithologists’ Union and fascinated by all aspects of natural history. He met Osbert Salvin with whom he formed a lifelong scientific partnership. Godman and Salvin studied Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution with reference to the zoology of South America, and started to collect the natural flora and fauna with voracious determination.
By 1876 Frederick Du Cane Godman’s collection had assumed comprehensive proportions. He conceived the idea of publishing the ‘Biologia Centrali Americane’: a monumental classification of the natural history of the Sub-Continent which took twenty years to complete. It was this fundamental contribution to zoology that the British Museum recognised when Godman was appointed trustee.
Frederick’s first wife, Edith Mary, died in 1875, deeply bereaved he didn’t marry again for sixteen years. Whilst absorbed with the Biologia Centrali Americana he also amassed one of the most important collections of Iznik, Hispano-Mauresque and Persian pottery in the world. It was the express wish of the late Miss Edith Godman (OBE) that the collection of pottery should pass intact to the British Museum.