Walks

WALKING AROUND HORSHAM

Horsham is an attractive old market town with many historic features cheek by jowl with modern facilities, entertainments, restaurants and shops. Being relatively flat it is easy to stroll around and absorb the atmosphere. But do make sure you look up and the interesting variety of styles of buildings and façades. Make sure you visit Horsham Park - often called the jewel in our crown - with its sweeping vistas and abundant variety of trees.

To help you explore the town the Horsham Society has produced a Town Trail which can be purchased from the Museum in Causeway.

Alternatively, if you are interested in the history of the town, we offer free  Heritage Guided Walks every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon between April and September. The walks start from outside the Museum at 2.30pm. No booking is required - just turn up on the day.

Walking further afield

For many people Horsham’s greatest amenity is its easily accessible countryside.  There can’t be many towns this size where you can set out from the shopping centre and be in open country within five minutes.  We can even circumnavigate Horsham on the Riverside Walk, and if we choose to walk across town instead we can do so via any number of parks, green spaces and traffic-free paths.

To celebrate this we’re publishing some of our favourite walks.  For each walk there is a brief preview with photos, and a written guide in PDF format for printing.  There will also be a page showing the walk superimposed on Ordnance Survey mapping - for viewing on line only, as OS terms & conditions restrict further copies of the map.

Ordnance Survey maps can be bought at Waterstones, Blacks and elsewhere in Horsham.  If you're new to walking, we strongly recommend you equip yourself with Explorer 134 (Horsham & Crawley).  Quite apart from anything else, once you start you'll want to make up your own walks - it's much more fun than following someone else's!

North West Horsham & Warnham

 4.8 miles: A Walk by Cadstars for The Horsham Society 

A map of this walk is available by clicking on the link below and you you can download & print this written guide.  The map is for on-screen viewing only, in accordance with Ordnance Survey terms & conditions.  Go to map.

General

This walk begins on Redford Avenue, opposite Spencers Place, but walkers from other parts of the town can reach the start point via the Riverside Walk.  The main circuit is just short of 5 miles and takes you over the Red River, under the by-pass, through parkland & farmland 

into the centre of Warnham village, and back via a disused road that used to be the A24.  There's an optional detour to Warnham Nature Reserve, which is half a mile from the start point, and even if time doesn't allow a visit to the reserve, there's a very good café in the visitor centre.  Refreshments are also available at the Sussex Oak, Warnham, which you will pass on your way through the village.  There's also a good view of the town centre buildings from the far side of Warnham Deer Park, and from the hill above Warnham village you can see as far as the South Downs.

The Walk In Detail  The numbers in blue refer to the online map

This walk starts in the north-western outskirts of the town, on Redford Avenue almost opposite Spencers Place (1). Take the footpath or cycle track that run alongside the southern edge of the green and through a wooded area. When you emerge from the woods (via a footbridge over a ditch) you’ll see part of Rookwood Golf Course in front of you. Turn right on to the Riverside Walk, and follow the path as it turns left across the golf course (look right to make sure nobody’s about to tee off). The path crosses the Red River at Cattle Bridge, after which you cross another part of the golf course (look left this time). Through a wide wooden gate and turn right on to the drive, which goes under the bypass (look out for the rather interesting ‘tree’) and joins Robin Hood Lane (2) Turn left on to the road - there’s no pavement but there are verges on both sides.

After about a third of a mile you’ll see a tall metal gate on the right hand side of the road, with a public footpath sign beside it. Follow the footpath, which takes you in a fairly straight line across Warnham Deer Park (watch out for the marker posts and you won’t go off course). You’ll pass close by a dew pond on your left, and if you’re lucky there may be some deer drinking from it. The deer are used to people, but you shouldn’t try to approach them. At the far side of the park there’s a metal gate which leads on to a road. Cross the road and follow the path opposite through Bailing Hill Farm (3) – beween the barns, then there’s a house is on your left and a duckpond on your right. Then you come to two pairs of wide metal gates - the left-hand gate of the first pair is easier to open and close, but you must go through the right-hand gate of the second set. This will take you on to a wide grassy track with a ruined building on the right and deer paddocks on the left.

At the end of the track there’s a fiendishly awkward wood & metal kissing-gate. Once you’re through, there’s another straight ahead Keep going until you reach the far side of the last paddock, then turn left along the edge of the field until you reach a third gate which is even harder to use than the others because it’s starting to disintegrate – be careful. Before tackling it, it’s worth looking back - you’ll have gained quite a bit of height by now, and you’ll be rewarded by a view of Horsham in the distance (4). When you’ve squeezed through the last gate there’s a short stretch of path leading to Byfleets Lane. Cross the road, go over the stile on the right and follow the footpath with a plantation on your left until you reach another road. Turn right for about 150 yards, then right again onto a bridleway which leads you down the hill. The building at the bottom is Warnham Manor (5), an apartment block built in the 1990s on the site of an Edwardian house called Ends Place.

The bridleway bears right, skirting the boundary fence, and continues along the drive into Warnham village. However, it’s worth making a slight detour: cross the drive in front of the manor gates and follow the footpath ahead for a few yards between a reedbed on your right and a lake on your left. Where water drains from the reedbed into the lake (6) you’ll see dozens of huge grey carp in the lake, and they’ll become very active when they hear you coming - you might find swans & geese begging for bread too. But please take note of the signs beside the path: bread is harmful to fish and not good for wildfowl, so please don't feed them.  Go back to the drive and turn left towards Warnham. After about 150 yards turn left on a footpath that leads along the edge of two fields to the top of a rise. There’s a fingerpost at the top: take the right-most path past a small pond, right again at the next fingerpost, and straight on at the next. This leads eventually to Tilletts Lane.

On the way there are more views across Horsham (7)  (you can even see the Boars Head Tavern on the Worthing Road) and if you look up you might see buzzards soaring on the thermals generated by this rise in the ground. At Tilletts Lane cross the road and turn right, then take the first left into Lucas Road. At the school gates take the footpath on the right, which will bring you out on to Church Street, Warnham with the Sussex Oak on your left and the church opposite. Cross the road and turn right. After the war memorial take a narrow path on the left which leads to farmland behind the church. Keep on across the fields in an almost straight line, ignoring the signposted left turn, and head for a metal archway. Carry on along the path, with a large house and outbuildings some distance away on your right, until you emerge on to a disused road (8). This was the A24 before the northern by-pass was built, and you should turn right and follow it until you reach the gatehouse of Warnham Park, near Robin Hood roundabout.  The road ahead of you is Robin Hood Lane, and if you follow it for nearly a quarter of a mile (again no footpath, but there’s a verge on the right) you’ll find yourself at the start of the drive to Rookwood Golf Club From here you can retrace your steps to the start point. 

Optional detour to Warnham Nature Reserve (9)

On the Horsham (east) side of Cattle Bridge head north on the footpath, with the river on your left, until you reach the Warnham Road with the floodgates of Warnham Mill opposite. Cross the road and turn left. Just past the lodge houses there’s a break in the hedge. Go through into the car park of the nature reserve and, at the end of the garden fences, turn right towards the reserve buildings (there’s an excellent café here). Warnham is a first class Local Nature Reserve and is worth visiting frequently throughout the year.