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Sussex Border Path

East Sussex and Mid Sussex Link.  This is the only image I could find for the walk and is from the official guide book

West Sussex.  This is the only image I could find for the walk and is from the official guide book

 Another quintessential walk - delightful so visually, but a complete bastard for bad and missing waymarking, my pet hate as I don't like walking round a muddy field for half hour trying to find which of four different paths I should be taking.  East Sussex County Council put up some half hearted way marking some time ago and these are mostly faded, hard to find or disappearing into the undergrowth.  Like with most routes I have a companion guide which is very well written and I have really enjoyed this route in retrospect, but for a regional route it is woefully supported.  I would still recommend you take the challenge as it is so varied and beautiful.  I have completed the East Sussex Section from East Grinstead to Rye and the mid Sussex link to Mile Oak , and from Emsworth to Rowland Castle via Thorney Island - where you have to ID yourself to a disembodied military voice!  Please take OS Explorer and The guide book to stand any chance of getting to your destination!


Sections walked: Wadhurst to Bodiam Castle, Bodiam to Beckley, Beckley to Rye, East Grinstead to Sharpthorne, Groombridge to Wadhurst, Emsworth/Thorney Island Circular to Rowlands Castle, Sharpthorne to Blackbrook Wood nr Plumpton, Blackbrook Wood nr Plumpton to Fishersgate, Rowlands Castle to Liphook, Liphook to Rudgwick, Rudgwick to Gatwick, Gatwick to East Grinstead

East Sussex

Wadhurst to Bodiam

June 2003 - 17 Miles

A waymarking basketcase, but gorgeous scenery.  Very relieved when finally rolled into Bodiam and had my carcass scraped up into the mota

Bewl Water

Old farm machinery abandoned near Bodiam

Bodiam Castle descent.  This section was pot luck on ever finishing - the waymarking being virtually non existant.

Bodiam to Beckley

2003 - 5 Miles

This section went for a burton as I choose to wear shorts on this section (normally leggings) had a chronic allergic reaction to some crop or chemical and had to be rescued from Beckley as I kept fainting!

Picturesque - can't remember where - maybe near Northiam

Beckley to Rye

2003 - 9 Miles

In contrast, the walk to Rye was easy to follow and this sweet Llama was the highlight.


East Grinstead to Groombridge

Saturday 4 February 2006 - 14 Miles

Near East Grinstead

Cowden church

Beeching you ..................now we can cycle and walk where trains once ran

Groombridge to Wadhurst

2003 - 9.75 Miles

An example of the wonderful waymarking

Somewhere near Groombridge

West Sussex

Emsworth to Rowland's Castle (via Thorney Island)

Saturday 4 June 2005 - 14 Miles


Thanks to my New Deal Railcard this way a luvvly Jubbly price!

Slipper Mill pond Emsworth

Near Thorney Island

Just off Thorney Island

The Avenue near Rowlands Castle

Mid Sussex Link

Sharpthorne to Plumpton (Blackbrook Wood)

Saturday 21 January 2006 -  13.5 Miles


Near Sharpthorne mid Sussex link

Scaynes Hill ?

A long wait for a train at Plumpton in the cold as it has a very erratic service although lots of trains keep bombing through non stop

Plumpton (Blackbrook Wood) to Fishergate (Mile Oak)

Tuesday 6 May 2006 - 14 Miles


The official end is at Mile Oak, but I carried on a couple of miles to Fishergate station.  Pouring down so soaked through and crap waymarking - but hey!

Not actually on the way but Plumpton Racecourse was by the station - and a trip back home

Blackbrook wood - rejoining the way

If you gonna do it...do it right - now that's free range.

Ditchling, heading for the South Downs

That pesky Keymer post again!

SBP - Where to Guv?  No waymarking

Giving attitude - blocking my path!

Descending towards Mile Oak

As it sez - stops critters feelin thirsty


Rowlands Castle to Liphook

Monday 14th May 2007 - 18 Miles


A great walk - my first back in England after the Speyside Way.  A week of crap rain sodden weather made me expect the worst for this one, but it was actually dry for the vast majority of the walk.  As a friend was going down to Somerset, I took the opportunity to be dumped off at Rowlands Castle to continue where I left off nearly two years ago.

A very moody sky near Rowlands Castle

Chalton Church

Crossing the South Downs Way Near South Harting - ominous clouds

This cow had to see what I was up to...just a field after I accidently disturbed a couple of deer having a chill out session!

Looking back to the South Downs

Liphook to Rudgwick

18 Miles - Friday 5 Oct 2007


The same friend dropped me off again - at Havant, got train to Liphook then walked.  A beautiful Autumn day, sunny and quite warm.  Waymarking certainly better than East Sussex, although went wrong a couple of times and there were unwaymarked sections, so a bit frustrating in places.  The recent foot and mouth scare meant a couple of paths were shut (surrey) requiring small diversions.  Frustrating that I could no longer catch a train home from Rudgwick and had to get a bus instead - Beeching's wonderful legacy...

The path flitted between West Sussex and Surrey

A view across to the North Downs

The West Sussex waymarkers are generally finger posts or round blue 'martlett' discs

Just to stick with waymarking - the Wey South Path is crossed near Alford Bars

This part of the canal is still disused and isolated like a pond

Tree and Cellphone mast near Rudgwick

The Downs Link goes up and around this tunnel at Rudgwick

Rudgwick to Gatwick

Saturday 12 Jan 2008 - 17 Miles

Walk ID12012008#2

Great walk - but very muddy, looked like swamp thang by the time I got to Gatwick.  It had been raining on and off for a few days but today was nice and sunny so I had to go for it.  Quite well waymarked in places, although there are areas where Surrey and West Sussex County Council don't quite know who's responsibility the waymarking is...

Lots of critters again, including 2 deer a Llama and a Kitten and Chicken playing at The Black Fox pub!  The river Mole had burst its banks for a short section around Gatwick, forcing a higher level walk, but apart from the mud trying to pull my boots off and the ugliness and confusion of Gatwick Airport it was great.  The only way I could see to get from the North terminal to the South, where the railway station is, was to use the overhead railway (for free!) covered in mud, surrounded by bemused passengers...also it was a replacement bus from Three bridges to Lewes, but an overwhelmingly good day

Rudgwick Church


Kitten at The Black Fox

Emerging from the gloom - Near Rusper

Pond near Ivyhouse Farm - here you are almost under the flight path - lots of low flying planes

Deer (far side of field) at Charlwood

The River Mole - diverted round the edge of Gatwick.  This was a complicated, disorientating section, and getting dark...but did get to the airport terminal eventually

Gatwick to East Grinstead

Sunday 27 Jan 2008 - 10 Miles

Walk ID27012008#4

The final stage of the SBP - after several years, and many ups and downs (mentally and physically!) it's job done.  

Gatwick was a bore, but finally navigated my way from the North terminal (had a go on the free EL railway again!) out to the relative peace of the M23!

Not a very pleasant walk until way past Copthorne but it was a lovely sunny day and I had a pleasant picnic on the Worth(less) way - sorry about the cynicism but I have an ingrained hatred of disused railways - they are very dull to walk and should be used for their original purpose - Crawley Down has made a pigs ear of the trackbed and East Grinstead is always a very sad place to arrive at with its decimated, once extensive rail system.  What really grated on me, was that there was a replacement rail bus to Three Bridges, the exact route that the Worth(less) way has taken over!

Gatwick North Terminal and EL railway

Burstow Church - still lots of planes overhead

Rogate Manor

Worth Way, I'm Lovin' It!

They didn't go to all this engineering effort for a manky cycleway

Strange sustrans sculpture - I was just relieved to be off the Worth Way and to have finished the SBP


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