No Stile Walk

Distance:                2½  miles

Time:                        1 hour

Description:            An easy ramble over mainly flat countryside using footpaths and country lanes. As the title suggests, there are no stiles on this route, only kissing gates. There is one footbridge that has wooden bars at each end to keep livestock off, but they should be manageable by anyone who can walk over the fields.


The walk starts and finishes at the recreation ground in the centre of Herstmonceux. Walk up the left hand side of the rec. and exit at the corner into a field. Here take the path that goes diagonally right to the far corner and go through the kissing gate. On the left is an old entrance to Lime Park and on the right is a block built barn. Ahead of you is a wide open field divided into paddocks, with metal footpath gates leading the way.

Follow the footpath straight down the field and through the two metal gates. Ahead of 0F2A1580you in the distance you can see the South Downs. Keep on straight until you reach the edge of the field and a kissing gate to take you into another narrow field. Here, the footpath leads at an angle left down to the next kissing gate. Having gone through the 0F2A1582gate, go left and about twenty metres on turn right onto a farm track that passes between two overgrown ponds. Keep straight ahead for about fifty metres and where the track forks, take the left fork beside another pond and out into a wide open field.

0F2A1588Here the footpath is usually very visible as the landowner is careful to reinstate the right of way whenever necessary. The footpath goes straight across the field to the line of trees
marking the boundary in the distance. On reaching the boundary you should be able to pick out where the path enters the vegetation. and descends down to a footbridge. Cross the bridge and once again keep on going straight 0F2A1593across. As before the way is usually easy to follow. If in doubt pick out the house in the distance. You are heading to the right of that. As you cross over the slight rise in the field, you should see the kissing gate that will take you out on to Lower Road. This is one of the gates installed by Vitality Villages with help from the Sussex Lund charity and the High Weald AONB.

Once out on the road turn left and follow it down past Chantler’s Farm and then 0F2A1596Sackville Farm. The road rises gently to the junction with Butler’s Lane. Turn left up the lane and pass Lower Butlers before arriving at Butler’s Farmhouse. Take care along the lane as there are sections where there is almost no verge to escape in case of traffic. To the right of the drive there is a0F2A1598 kissing gate. Go through the gate and a few metres further on go through another kissing gate. Both of these were also installed by Vitality Villages. Follow the footpath sharp left and down to a footbridge that crosses a small stream.

This is the footbridge that requires a little bit of dexterity to get over, but not too much. On leaving the bridge follow the footpath as it crosses the narrow field diagonally right to the far corner. Here avoid the footpath on the left and pass through the gap in the hedge, maintaining pretty much the same direction. Follow your route as it crosses another narrow field diagonally left. At the corner of this field you have re-joined the route that took you out of Herstmonceux and you will be retracing your steps from now on.

Turn right along the track between two ponds and after ten metres turn left up to a kissing gate. Passing through the gate bear left over the field to the next kissing gate and out into that large field divided into paddocks. Follow the footpath as it heads through 0F2A1610the metal gates and on to the barn on the horizon. Pass to the right of the barn and through a kissing gate to the last field before the rec. Follow the footpath diagonally left, passing a large oak tree and exit into the rec. and back to the start.

Well done and I hope you enjoyed your brief ramble.

OS VectorMap© District - Full colour raster - TILE TQ61