FREE Sussex Walk: Balcombe & The Warren (3 miles)

FREE Sussex Walk: Balcombe & The Warren (3 miles)

Below is a free chapter from Short Walks in West SussexThis walk (a 3¼-mile route in and around the pretty village of Balcombe) is one of 20 in the book, all chosen specifically for their suitability for walkers of all fitness levels and abilities. 

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Balcombe & The Warren ( miles) 

This scenic walk in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty begins in the heart of Balcombe village before passing the cricket ground to reach picturesque Balcombe Lake and its reflective waters. After crossing a couple of fields and passing Forest Farm, a quiet lane is reached which will lead you to a track that passes through The Warren on a lovely level woodland track. As the route begins its return, a boardwalk over a spring is crossed from where a field path leads back to the village.

  • Start: Stockcroft Road in the centre of Balcombe. Park at the roadside near the Victory Hall.
  • Postcode: RH17 6HP
  • OS Map: OS Explorer 135 Ashdown Forest. Grid Ref: TQ309306
  • Terrain: Easy and undulating. Stiles: 4, not dog friendly
  • Refreshments: The Half Moon Inn, Balcombe, RH17 6PA


1. From where you have parked, walk to the Half Moon Inn and pass its frontage to meet the gateway of Balcombe House. Here follow the track right that passes between fields to meet a bend at the bottom of the slope. Go ahead into a cricket ground and follow the boundary left to meet and continue on a well-trodden path through woodland.

2. At the end of woodland, pass through a gate and turn right along a downhill field edge to meet and cross a footbridge over a brook to enter a second field. Go diagonally left towards a hedgerow and cross a stile to join a lane. Turn left to meet the drive of Woodward’s Farm at a sharp right bend. Continue ahead along the farm drive passing Balcombe Lake along the way. 

3. Remain on the drive for 1⁄2 mile (.8km) until, after climbing a rise and following the drive around a left bend, you cross a stile on your right beside a field gate. Go ahead along the field edge to its end. Turn left over a stile and go ahead on an indistinct grassy path to the top corner of the field. Turn right into the next field keeping a hedgerow to your right with the buildings of Forest Farm seen on the brow of the hill ahead and left. At the farm drive, go ahead to meet a quiet country lane.

4. Turn left along the lane and later ignore a signed footpath on your left by a passing place. Soon after, turn left on a signed footpath along a private drive marked Paddockhurst Estate. Pass a couple of cottages, go through a gate and follow the track through woodland for almost 1 mile (1.6km).

5. After leaving woodland a large field is passed on your right. At the second field seen to your right go through a gate ahead and, when on a slight downhill slope in the track, look out for a signed footpath to your left.

6. Turn left down steps before turning right and continuing along a planked boardwalk across springs. At the end, climb steps and follow the path ahead through woodland. Ignore a path to your left and keep ahead to a kissing gate and enter a field. Press on along the right-hand field edge to eventually meet the track walked earlier. Turn right and retrace your steps back into the village centre.

>This walk features in Short Walks in West Sussex

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  • Rory Batho
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