I live and work in London but often head out of town to catch up with my dad, meeting up wherever his travels take him. My dad’s latest trip was to East Grinstead and a quick bit of research tells me it’s on the edge of the High Weald AONB. It’s a patchwork of small farms and woodlands, sunken lanes, parkland and tiny villages. It’s a moderate route, no extreme hills or famous landmarks, but if you like a little bit of everything, then this is one you’ll enjoy.
Next door to the main rail station in East Grinstead is the Bluebell Railway and if you’re lucky you might see a steam train as you arrive, you could even extend your visit with a ride if that’s your thing. For me, time out of London is about catching up with my dad in the great outdoors. I do plenty of running, climbing and cycling too, but walking is the perfect pace for chatting and taking in your surroundings. The views from the high points are nice, I just love hills. On the old rail line that leads you back into town you will pass Luxford House. Owned by a music manager in the 1960s and 70s, groups such as Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator used to rehearse there. My dad tells me he went to see Van der Graaf Generator in concert, so it just goes to show how long ago that was...
The centre of town has a surprising range of historic buildings, including the site where the carol Good King Wenceslas was written. Now there’s a tune you can’t get out of your head once it’s lodged inside! It’s rare for any walk with my dad not to include a pub somewhere along the way, and there are many options in the centre of East Grinstead. Travelling by train means there’s no worries about a pint of beer before heading home.
We've teamed up with iFootpath to create a smart walking guide to lead you around the walk. Simply visit the iFootpath website to print the guide, or if you want the smart experience, get the iFootpath app (available for Android or Apple devices). The App gives you the full guide in the palm of your hand and also includes a live map so you can follow your progress along the route as you walk. Say goodbye to wrong turns!