Distance: 4½ miles
Time: 2½ hours
Description: A moderate ramble using footpaths, stiles and road. Not suitable for pushchairs. The ground can be muddy and overgrown in places.
Starting in Herstmonceux, follow the main road east and as it starts to rise. Locate the footpath on the left opposite the large detached white house(A). Pass along an enclosed path before entering an open field. Skirt around the new build houses on the right and climb up to the farm track and turn left on to the track as it passes into a wide open field divided into paddocks. The track continues straight following the new hedge on the left into a second field and on to the far boundary hedge.
Cross the stile by the farm gate in the boundary hedge and follow the path that travels obliquely to the right(B) to meet the left hand corner of a wood. The path through the wood is indicated by posts, but don’t worry if you go awry as the wood is narrow. On leaving the wood the path continues ahead between two of the Brick Farm fishing lakes.
The footpath is now indistinct and remains so until the road. Leave Brick Farm via a stile(C) and turn left following the edge of the field to the water meadow at the bottom of the slope. Cross a footbridge into the meadow and head for the next footbridge about fifty metres ahead(D). Turn right over the footbridge and follow the steep sided Nunningham Stream to the road, leaving via a stile.
Cross over the road and turn left. Cross the bridge and after about thirty metres enter the field on the right via a gate(E). The public footpath goes across the middle of the field to a gate in the far corner. There may be crops in this field and it is possible the farmer has not reinstated the right of way. Leaving the field, turn right through the gate(F) into what can be a wet marshy field. Cross over a ditch about twenty metres ahead. Here the path splits.
Keep to the right and follow the ditch for about 200 metres. At the end of the field exit via a gate and cross right over the bridge(G) into the next field. Now you will be climbing up towards Windmill Hill. Head at an angle to the hedge on the right and use the second gate to cross over into the next field(H). You will see the Windmill on the horizon. Keep to the left hand edge until you start to approach the overhead power lines. Before you get to the power lines head at an angle to the right. You are heading for a small wood in the dip on the far side of the field.
Move left along the edge of the field by the wood and shortly after cross into the next field on the right via a gate(I). On the horizon you will see a line of large trees. Head towards the tallest of them and exit the field to the left of this tree via a stile(J) onto an overgrown track and down to Victoria Rd.
Continue along the road to the junction with Joes Lane. Continue right round the bend, using the footpath on the left to the top of Victoria Road and its junction with the A271. Cross over via the bollards and locate the footpath between Millers House and the bus stop(K).
Follow the footpath as it moves around the small wood on the right and finally comes out into the bottom of a small valley. Cross over a footbridge and take the footpath on the right along the bottom hedge. In snowy weather this field used to be where the local children would take poly bags and toboggans to race down the slope. Exit the field and make your way through the undergrowth to another footbridge leading to the next field. Turn left and follow the line of the ditch on the left for about a hundred metres until it reaches a dog leg by an oak tree(L).
The ground falls away to the left. Your route takes you right into the open field. The path is unclear so head in the direction of the farm buildings in the distance. As you top the small rise you will see ahead a pair of footpath gates crossing a farm track. Go through these and immediately bear right up to another farm track. Turn left along the track as it descends the slope and cross the footbridge.
Follow the path parallel to the left hand boundary of the field to a footpath gate. Go through the gate and continue along the path for about fifty metres before coming out into Church Road. Turn left and shortly after turn right into the drive of Little Butlers(M). This is a private house so please keep to the right of way. Follow the path to a stile that will take you back out to open farm land.
The footpath traverses the field diagonally to the far corner. Exit the gateway(N) and turn immediately right. The path is indistinct but follows the line of the hedge over the brow down to a field gate opposite Butlers Farmhouse. Use the stile on the left of the gate and cross Butlers Lane to a kissing gate on the right of the farmhouse. Skirt around the fenced garden of the house and descend to the left hand corner of the field where there is a footbridge crossing a small stream.
Once over the footbridge bear diagonally right to the far corner of the small field. Go through the gap in the hedge and continue ahead for about forty metres to a farm track. Turn right and pass between two overgrown ponds. Turn immediately left after the ponds(O), then right through a kissing gate into an open field. The footpath crosses the narrow field diagonally left before exiting via another kissing gate.
The path is indistinct but in crosses this large paddocked field straight as a die. Head for a block built barn on the horizon. Pass to the right of the barn and out through a double kissing gate into another open field. Bear left and follow the path past a large oak tree to the final kissing gate(J) into Herstmonceux Recreation Ground. Keep to the right and walk down back to the centre of the village.