|Three Arch Bridge|
For this section I parked in Felbridge and used the same footpath that I had used on my last outing this way to head back down to the former Three Bridges to East Grinstead railway line, where I would pick up the Sussex Border Path once again. On my way I once again walked down the magnificent tree lined path that leads to the old house called Gullege. This old house has a long history, older even than the Jacobean exterior that it now sports. Apparently the location has been inhabited since the Domesday Book was compiled and from the 1360s the MP for East Grinstead lived there. The present exterior dates from the early 1600s although it also has some very Tudor chimneys. The old place positively shone in the early morning light.
|New East Grinstead Station|
|Sunday Morning in East Grinstead|
|East Grinstead Water Tower|
I crossed the Relief Road which passes through a deep tree lined cutting so dark that it must look like a tunnel when driving. This cutting was once the extension of the railway line from East Grinstead High Level Station to Tunbridge Wells and eventually becomes another cycle route known as the Forest Way (visited by me in the summer of 2010).
|The Path of Least Resistance|
My route dived down a track behind another housing estate, which proved a bit tricky to negotiate in places as the fences at the back left little clearance and I had to duck under hedges in places. I was quite pleased then when I managed to escape out onto a very dewy playing field. I wandered across and got very wet feet within only a few yards, leaving me with a damp feeling that I didn’t manage to lose for the rest of the walk.
|Odd One Out|
|May the 4th Be With You|
At the other end of the fields I then joined an estate lane and as I wandered northwards I heard a scurrying noise and on further investigation I saw a little mouse in the grass verge looking at me rather fearfully. When it decided I wasn’t a threat it ran away double quick! At the top end of the lane I passed a scout hut with a wagon outside saying May the 4th be with you! I couldn’t help but smile as that was the very date on which I was walking. What it actually meant though was that it belonged to 4th East Grinstead Scout Troop.
In Dormansland I had a short but unpleasant road walk and was very relieved when I was able to dive down a rather dark looking alley. This took me through the houses and then onto another lane to the railway that I had crossed at East Grinstead. Just a little way past and I heard the unmistakable thwack of a golf ball and found myself walking past the 17th tee at Lingfield Golf Club. The course looked very pleasant flanked by bluebells and woodlands dressed in their nice new lime green coloured foliage. I suspect most of the golfers pay little attention to these surroundings though, concentrating instead on their choice of clubs or playing their next shot.
|Greathed Manor Drive|
I crossed the track at the first convenient point and negotiated the edge of the golf course until reaching another road that I had to walk a short distance along without a footpath. Fortunately I was soon able to turn and head across another field lined with bluebells, although on this occasion there were pink and white ones as well. I wonder whether this is anything to do with the underlying soil?
Crossing the next golf course was tricky as I struggled to find footpath signs and those I did find seemed to be pointing in directions that weren’t quite right. As I crossed I got the impression that the golfers were rather annoyed with me for getting in their way. I was pleased initially to cross into the next field but my joy soon turned to frustration when I came to the next muddy corner that was almost impassable. I struggled through ending up with very brown and wet feet on the other side.
|Whitebells and Bluebells|
By now I was thankfully almost done and after crossing the A22 I dog legged around another couple of horse paddocks and back into Felbridge. I was astonished at the level of traffic backed up all along the A264 here and pleased that I would be heading in the opposite direction to head home shortly after. I retraced my steps back through the village to my car feeling that I had seen the best of the day and pleased that I wasn’t walking through was by now becoming quite a hot day.