THE HILLTOP BLUEBELLS OF IFIELD WOOD – A HIDDEN SUSSEX HERITAGE SITE
Calling all springtime lovers of nature! Visit the beauty of Ifield Wood’s hilltop bluebells in the next few weeks. It’s a wonderful sight to behold at this time of year, but, like the daffodils, the bluebells disappear as quickly as they appear. Seize the moment and go see them now – it’s well worth the effort. Boots are strongly advised [very muddy in parts] and the public footpath stiles are not user-friendly, If you want others to join you, remember, no more than six. For further information please contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Circular walk from – and back to – the Plough in Ifield village [2 hrs approx]
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From the Plough in Ifield village, walk along Ifield Street towards St Margaret’s 13th century parish church [passing Old Plough Cottage, Harrow Cottage, Church Cottages and Lychgate Cottages on the right, and the Old Vicarage on the left].
Wall along the left side of the church, through the gate by the cemetery wall. Pass the ‘flooding’ bridge and head towards the bridge over Ifield Brook.
Cross the bridge and on to ‘Havers Field’. Listen out for the skylarks and watch out for the butterflies. Keep straight for 100 yards or so, then turn right, cutting across the middle of the field along a wide, straight track towards the ‘Herb Wood’ [some consider this to be ‘The Quarter Mile’ Roman Road, but it is yet to be proven conclusively]. These ancient parish fields are threatened by a planned housing development – called ‘The Meadows’.
At the end of the track, take a left and hug the side of the Herb Wood, walking into the next field along the hedges to the right. A ‘hidden’ gap is reached where there is a bridge crossing the River Mole.
Walk across the tree-lined field [where a proposed new relief road is planned], through a gate, passing a duck pond on the left. Clamber over a stile to Ifield Wood road. Turn left, carefully walking along the right-hand side of the road for some distance until a gap is reached opposite Rose Cottage – signposted as a public footpath to the right.
Walk straight on up to the Bluebell Wood Hilltop.
Enjoy the Bluebells!
Photo by Anthony Cooper – April 23 2021
Exit the Bluebell Wood. Spot the Control Tower at Gatwick. Keep walking straight down the tree-lined footpath, passing the horses and cows, crossing Ifield Wood road and along the drive to the Druids. Keep walking straight down, through the gate [very muddy] until the bridge over Ifield Brook is reached. Turn right after the bridge, and across the meadows to Ifield village and the Plough.