Please click on the marker for more information on history and birds that you might see in this area of the trail
Two long walks through Shermanbury, Henfield and Woodmancote parishes, covering varied riverland, woods and countryside to the north of Henfield. The area once bordering the Weald forest is full of history and wildlife. The routes can be combined into one very long walk. Please click here to show the diversity of birdlife along the trail.
1. Henfield Museum
Walk up either the High Street or quieter Furner's Mead, recrossing the end of Furner's Lane, up Benson Road and continuing past new development to the Wantley Hill Estate, where you join the footpath across the fields and stream to Point 2. [1 mile].
Follow the footpath and lane north to join the B2116 - Wheatsheaf Road. Turn left, follow the main road for 200 yards and then turn off right into the lane leading to Shiprods. Half a mile up the lane, go through a gate and across a field to join the public footpath. Turn right and join the Purple Route at Point 3. [1.5 miles]
The next section of the walk is on a footpath which runs alongside the south bank of the Adur on the Purple Route - past the river crossing at Point 18 - and rejoins the Red Route at Abbeylands Farm. [1.2 miles]. From Abbeylands, continue south on the right fork of the path, cross a stream and join another footpath to the south of Roma Farm. [600 yards]. Turn right and, after 350 yards, cross over the water to a footpath which runs south for 600 yards to join the B2116 Wheatsheaf Road. To reach Point 4, which is just off the marked route, turn right on the main road and continue for 250 yards.
4. Sussex Prairie Garden (just off the marked route)
Leave the Prairie Garden by the main gate and turn right to return to the Red Route, where a lane leads south behind the Garden outbuildings down to Morley Farm. Follow the path to the right of the farm and west until you reach Point 5. [0.9 miles].
5. Park Farm & WW2 Landing Strip
Skirt round to the right of the farmhouse to a point where the lane turns left and south. Continue to the left down the lane - look out for traffic - where, just prior to Point 6, you pass 17th century Little Bylsborough on the left, and medieval Bylsborough on the right - once home to Janet Aitken Kidd, Bright Young Thing and the daughter of newspaperman Lord Beaverbrook. The path joins Furners Lane at Point 6. [0.8 miles].
6. Furners Lane - ancient trade route
Continue across Furners Lane past 'Holders' (named after the family who lived there in the 1800s) and follow the old hollow way down to Point 7. In winter and spring, the footpath on the adjacent field can be taken if the track is too muddy. [600 yards].
7. Bluebell woods (April)
Coming out of the woods on a right-hand path, cross the field and join the footpath which runs north past Swain's Farm. A small deviation to the left leads down to the Henfield's historic cricket ground, but to continue on the route, turn right and follow the footpath round to the left and west. The path runs along the north side of the woodland and passes Point 8 in the woods. [0.7 miles]
8. Ruined Artist's Studio (Dogham Place)
Continue along the footpath to where it joins Henfield Common North, with views of the open common.
9. Henfield Common
Continue along Henfield Common North, past Tudor cottages, for 170 yards, then turn right at No. 1 The Common on to a path leading to the Daisycroft. Turn left and follow Furners Mead round and north to the Henfield Museum and car park.
The Purple Route can start from two points. The shortest starting point is from a lay-bye just south of the Bull public house, or in the Bull car park if you intend to patronise the pub. Otherwise, you can start from the Henfield Hall/Museum car park - Point 1 - and walk the Red Route to where it joins the Purple Route at Point 3.
10. The Bull PH & WW2 gun emplacement
From the Bull, cross the main road and walk left to Point 11. [150 yards].
Return past the Bull - still on the east side of the road - for 200 yards, then turn off on to a footpath which runs north across the fields. Take the left-hand path to cross the river at Point 12. [0.5 miles].
12. River Adur & floodplain
The footpath joins the bridleway which runs past Shermanbury Place and Shermanbury Church. Here, you can make a brief detour to Ewhurst Manor Gatehouse by crossing over the bridleway and following a narrow, winding path. [300 yards].
13. Ewhurst Manor gatehouse (off the marked route)
Return to the main Shermanbury bridleway and turn left to Point 14. [250 yards].
14. St. Giles Church, Shermanbury & Shermanbury Place
Continue along the Shermanbury bridleway, which joins up with Fryland Lane near Waterperry House. Turn right into Fryland Lane and continue to Point 15. [1 mile].
15. Shermanbury cemetery
Continue past the cemetery for 400 yards and then turn off to a footpath on the left by a house called Springlands Gate. The footpath winds past Springlands House and through fields until it joins the main Wineham Road. Turn left for Point 16. [1 mile].
16. Royal Oak PH
Leave the pub and turn right down the main Wineham Road to the junction with Fryland Lane. [0.5 miles].
From the Fryland Lane junction follow Wineham Lane south for 580 yards, past Wyndham Farm to Roma Farm. Turn right on to a footpath and continue for 0.6 miles, past Abbeylands to the river crossing at Point 18.
18. River Adur weir and crossing
Continue along the footpath, following the river, to the junction with the Red Route at Point 3. [1 mile].
From here, continue along the Purple Route to Mockbridge and the Bull [0.6 miles], or take the left-hand path to return to the B2116 Wheatsheaf Road and the remainder of the Red Route to the Henfield Hall car park [2.5 miles].