- HASSOCKS Railway Station East Side 11.00am or
- CLAYTON Sports Ground Car Park 11.30am (100 yards east along Underhill Lane from Clayton Tunnel)
- “Transport will be available on the day from Clayton Recreation ground car park to Jill
Mill for those not wishing to make the steep climb.”
OS Explorer Map 122 : Brighton and Hove
Total Distance : 6.90 miles (11.11 km)
- Lowest Point : 127.62 ft (38.90 meters)
- Highest Point : 766.08 feet (233.50 meters)
Good walking shoes or boots, suitable walking clothing and an Ordnance Survey Map is always good advice. Please obey the Country Code and take all litter home with you.
By Train : Normal rail timetables apply visit traveline.info
By Bus : The Sussex Bus Company No 33,40 or 40X
Metrobus No 270, 273 or 271
Own Transport :
Paid parking at Hassocks Railway Station, with street parking nearby
Free Parking at Clayton Sports Field Car Park
The walk starts at Hassocks Railway Station in front of the Hassocks Hotel. Crossing the road south at the foot of the slope, turn right and progress to a set of steps just before the bridge leading up to the start of a long straight path known as the Cinder Path. This path leads directly to Clayton, emerging by the railway bridge on the main Brighton to Burgess Hill Road. Turn left, cross the Ditchling Road and either go into Underhill Lane and walk east to the car park which is on your left, or pass through the style in the hedge which gains direct access to the Sports Field if there is no activity taking place in the field.
After a short stop whilst collecting those who started the walk here, leave the car park and cross the lane to the footpath leading south up onto the downs. You will need to pace yourselves here because the climb is fairly steep. You will not be hurried and we don’t want anybody suffering on what should be a pleasant walk. There will be at least three guides to make sure of this. Walk up the hill to Jill Mill where we should arrive at about midday. Take a longer stop here to regain your breath, enjoy the view and have a look at the Mill. There will be tea and cakes at reasonable prices.
Leaving the Mill, walk east along the South Downs Way, up a slight uphill gradient for approximately half a mile. Shortly after passing Keymer Post on your left and passing through a gate, you come to a style also on your left leading over the fence and into a field. The path goes east behind some bushes and then starts a welcome down hill stretch on a path called Burnt House Bostal. This path eventually emerges onto Underhill Lane.
At Underhill Lane turn right (east) and cross over the Ditchling Road and continue along the lane.
Care should be taken here when you come to a narrow double bend. Passing this bend, on the left there is a marked footpath/bridleway. Take this hard path and keep walking north. You will pass Jointer Copse on the left. Where Jointer Copse finishes, another path merges from the right and almost immediately another path leaves on the left. Keep going ahead north. This lane then becomes East End Lane and emerges onto the B2116 by a car showrooms.
Immediately opposite on the north side of the B2116 East End Land continues north. Where East End Lane starts to bear round to the left you will see Farm Lane. Go into Farm Lane and almost immediately turn left onto a marked footpath still going north. This path is approaching Stoneywish Country Park. As you enter Stoneywish Country Park, the ground can be wet.There are geese who gave me no trouble as I passed. Here turn left and head west across the field passing the pond. A short while later, after crossing the Sussex Border Path, the path comes to a T junction. Here turn right and head for Dumbrells Yard where there are some shops. Pass these shops bear round to the left and emerge onto the main Ditchling Road B2112 North End, Ditchling.
This road can be busy and care must be taken. Follow the footpath beside the road going north for about 150 yards to Orchard Lane which is on the west side of the road. Beside the lane is a metalled lane leading to Court Gardens Farm. Between the two is a style which leads into a field where there are usually sheep grazing. Negotiate this style and turn immediately right. Take the field edge leading up to the farm and pass to the left of the farm. Here there is another style. Climb this and keep going to the woods you see before you. In the corner of this field and woods, there is another style which you climb over and drop down into a path between the trees. Turn left here, and now head south. The path climbs slightly and it emerges eventually into a metalled lane with Oldland Mill on the right. More tea and cakes will be available at reasonable prices, all funds going directly into maintaining the Mill. A toilet will also be available here.
Leave Oldland Mill and walk down Mill Lane to the west to the junction with Ockley Lane.
(If you turn left here The Thatched Inn Public House is 200yds south along the road. If you are a member of Oldland Mill Trust, on production of your membership card you will be eligible for a 10% discount on any food purchased here. After leaving the pub, turn left and rejoin the route as follows.)
Using the pavement, walk for approximately 200yards north. On the left there is a broad path leading west to a farm gate. Go through the gate and continue west along a hedgerow/fence and through a second gate. Continue to a bend in the path turning south where the hedge ends. The path continues over the field to a housing estate. Go into the estate. The path goes over Oak Tree Drive and turns right, going down to a small river bridge and turn south again. The path then joins Woodsland Road and returns us to Hassocks Railway Station where we first started.
Here there is a choice for those travelling by bus. By turning right here and walking under the railway bridge up Keymer Road, you can catch the bus at the cross roads of the A273 about 10 minutes walk from the station.
Alternatively, we can now follow the Cinder Path south along the side of the railway line past Butchers Wood to Clayton and the Sports Field and Car Park.