Walk: St Leonard’s Forest

8 January 2012

£15 buys me a return ticket to Horsham where I discover the High Weald Landscape Trail starts on the actual train platform, a waymarked trail which runs 90 miles to Rye in Kent. But I’ve come to do the first of 28 walks in the Jerrold book of walks in Surrey and Sussex, 4 miles round St Leonard’s Forest starting at Roosthole. The sky is a deep soft winter blue, criss-crossed by distant vapour trails, the woods are thronged with slender silver birch saplings, or are deep lanes lined with muscular beech trees, or the path heads uphill among the Forestry Commission’s conifer plantations. Suddenly, downhill through the trees, appears another hammer pond, scores of them round here to drive 17th century iron works. The works have disappeared utterly. The ponds remain, quiet among the forest, keeping their secrets to themselves.

Surrey and Sussex Walks (Ordnance Survey Pathfinder Guides)

Beech trees near Roosthole, Sussex

Beech trees near Roosthole, Sussex

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