Distance: 4¼ miles
Time: 2½ hours
Description: A moderate ramble over undulating countryside using footpaths, stiles and road. Fields may contain crops or livestock. The ground can be muddy and overgrown in places. Dogs will need to be lifted over some stiles.
Starting in the centre of Herstmonceux follow the main road east. As it starts to rise locate the footpath on the left opposite the large detached white house known as The Keys(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.
The track continues straight until it leaves the next field through the far boundary hedge. Here be careful to follow the path that travels obliquely to the right to the left hand corner of a wood(B). 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 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. Cross the footbridge and follow steep sided Nunningham Stream to the road, leaving via a stile(C).
Cross over the road and turn left. Cross the bridge and after about thirty metres enter the field on the right via a gate. 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. On reaching the gate turn right into what can be a wet marshy field. Cross over a ditch about twenty metres ahead. Here the path splits. Keeping left, head in the direction of a barn and cross into the next field via a footbridge and stile(D) to the left of an overgrown pond and small copse.
Head up the slope towards the top left corner of the field and exit using the field gate. Keeping the farm buildings on your right, proceed ahead for about forty metres and turn right through a farm gate(E) at the end of the last building. Almost immediately turn left through a farm gate into an open field. Follow the left hand hedge for about a hundred metres and exit into the field on the left via a farm gate.
Continue following the right hand hedge until you go through to the next field through another gate. Here the public right of way goes through the centre of the field. Again there are often crops here, so it would be farmer friendly to skirt round the right side of the field to where it borders Pringle Lane.
Continue along the border to a farm gate and use this to exit the field. Turn left and follow the lane for about half a mile to the White Horse Inn. Here you can stop for refreshments if you so wish. Leave the White Horse by following the road as it heads off south from the pub. Going past the village hall on the right and St John the Evangelist church on the left, continue to a stile(F) in the hedge on the right that will take you to a small open paddock. Once over the stile turn immediately left and cross over another stile a few metres further on.
Bearing to the right ascend a slight rise and you will see a stile in the hedge. The footpath continues in a straight line to this stile and over several more as it descends to the narrow woodland skirting Nunningham Stream. Be careful when climbing the final stile(G) as it slopes away and is followed by a short steep path. Descend this path and turn left along stream to a footbridge after about four hundred metres. This is a beautiful stretch, particularly in the spring when there are many wildflowers.
Cross the footbridge and carry on across the field bearing slightly to the left, heading for a stile(H) in the hedge. Go over the stile, across the footbridge and up the bank to a large open field. Ahead you will see a pylon on the horizon and a line of trees. Make for the left hand tree and follow the field fence away from it. Continue along the fence leading to Nunningham and Wenhurst farms, crossing over two stiles. As you approach the farm buildings a number of stiles will guide you right around the farm buildings, finally exiting into Bagham Lane.
Continue along the lane as it takes you back into Herstmonceux opposite the Woolpack Inn.