Plaistow in the Sussex Weald

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They say Plaistow is seven miles from nowhere and visitors winding their way through endless wooded country lanes soon discover why. Incidentally, it is pronounced 'plas', not 'play' or 'plar'. Plaistow is a quintessential English village, with a green, a pond, a pub, a shop, a school and a church, all in the centre and boasting more than thirty listed homes and buildings.

The village of Plaistow was first recorded on an Assize Role of 1271. It is not mentioned in Domesday Book. However, flint, arrowheads and knives have been found within the village, suggesting that hunting took place and some form of settlement was here during the Bronze Age.

There is a hill at the western side of Plaistow called Nell Ball (Waymark 2), on the top of which, it is said, Nell Gwynne, mistress of Charles II, planted the original elm tree. A trig point is situated near the top and it has been used as a Beacon Site for special occasions.

This is a gentle five miles through woods, on quiet paths and bridleways and past picturesque farmhouses and cottages. In spring, the bluebells are incredible, especially at Waymark 11 - take your camera!

England - South England - West Sussex - Countryside

Features

Birds, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Pub, Wildlife, Woodland
02/06/2017 - Harley Quilliam

A walk of mixed fortunes! All was very nice until Upper Frithfold Farm (WP8). There is a gate across the drive with a new stile to the right (with no correspponding fingerpost or waymarker). Following the walk directions we found that there is no stile immediately after the farmhouse. Where the stile is shown in the WP8 picture is an opening into a small paddock that is enclosed by an electric fence. There is no stile or footpath marking anywhere around the farmyard. The OS Explorer 133 shows the footpath veering off to the right about halway down the drive, so we went over the new stile and followed the field boundary around to where the map suggests that the footpath exits the field. No such luck! There is new fencing all around the field and no footpath exit that we could find. Eventually we climbed over the fencing and regained the footpath toward Roundwyck House. The path between WP13 and WP14 is extremely overgrown and it is very easy to trip over concealed fallen branches. Between WP14 and WP15 the track is very muddy and churned up by heavy vehicles as you pass a huge 'lagoon' that is part of a new, large (and controversial) biogas plant. Similarly, as Richard says, the stretch from Crouchlands to Hardnip is very churned up by heavy vehicles and is extremely muddy, even after a substantial dry spell. At WP17 we got totally stuck. There is no fingerpost pointing left, and no detectable footpath going left. Instead, we went right on the footpath to Rickman's Lane and thus back to Plaistow. So, a walk that was very nice in parts, and superbly rounded off with homemade chocolate brownies to die for, from the Plaistow village shop and cafe.

13/06/2013 - lynette coates

We did this walk in mid June, the route to follow at the start meanders along some lovely tracks, past wild flower fields on both sides and offers a mixture of rural country living browsing at cottages and farms as you walk on by. We had no cattle to contend with, heard and saw woodpeckers and buzzards nesting in the old woods half way round. The smell of wild garlic was still in the air following the bluebells. The latter part of the walk however from mile 3 did spoil the start of the walk as it walks you through a cow slurry area (2013 - this has grown in size with more slurry pits being made, not pleasant) which was pungent in the warmer weather and once through the cow farm for at least a mile is very muddy even for June. Recommended to take with you is a walking stick for support when trying to get through the last mile as very uneven and boggy in areas. To improve this lovely route would be to divert away from the slurry pits and detour around for future walkers!

17/10/2010 - Chris Williams

This is a lovely walk. It passes through a wonderful cross section of the local countryside showing the beauty of the area. It includes a private airstrip (being used as we passed; the sheep relaxing as a flock under a tree until the aircraft had left at which point they carried on with their lives) and also allowing one to see (and smell) a modern farm doing an admirable job of generating power from its waste products. It even throws in a controversial new house which I admired and others hated. A largely attractive and genuinely interesting two hour stroll showing the full gamut of the local area. A word of warning is that both times we have done this walk (Sept and Oct) the mud at 16 was so deep and churned with no way around that we had to detour and rejoin later over a barbed wire fence. Thanks to Richard for documenting the walk.

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