Dormandsland Walk near Lingfield
By Les Campbell
Distance: 5 miles
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.147
Parking: At the end of Ford Manor road opposite the road junction by The Plough public house
Refreshments: The Plough, Dormandsland
Public Transport: Metro bus route 281 from crawley, east grinstead and lingfield stops nearby.
At the end of Ford Manor Road by the entrance to the drive signed to Greathed Manor, take the signed path on your left. Follow along a left-hand field edge to join the B2018.
Please note that at the time of surveying the walk, the line of the path was blocked by a fallen tree at the point where it meets the B2018. This can be overcome by side stepping a few paces to your right.
On reaching the road, turn right along the pavement for about 200 metres; where the pavement ends, cross to the signed footpath opposite. Ignore a path off to your left and maintain direction ahead along a left-hand field edge. At the bottom of the field, go through a metal gate and over a stile. Ignore paths off to your right and left and follow a right-hand field edge through a succession of stiles and small footbridges to the northern tip of Margaret’s Wood. Go through a wooden gate and over a footbridge and veer half left, slightly uphill, to the distant buildings of Starborough Farm.
On reaching the buildings, join a grassy track which leads out to a gravel track. Turn right for a few yards, then look for a stile in the hedge on your left and go over this to join a surfaced track. Turn right along this track and follow it out to join an unclassified road. Cross the road and carry on ahead along a drive signed to the Coach House. Before reaching a pair of metal gates, look for a stile on your right leading into a field. Go over this and follow round the periphery of the buildings of Starborough Castle along a left-hand field edge.
The original castle dates from 1341 and was destroyed on the instructions of Oliver Cromwell in 1648. Now only the moat survives. The current building occupying the site of the castle was built in 1754 and is Grade II listed. It operates as a luxury B&B establishment.
To resume the walk, halfway down the field, look for a stile on your left and go over this and on to a drive. Turn right along this pleasant tree-lined drive and out to join the B2028. Turn right and after about 100 metres, turn left along a signed bridleway opposite Starborough Road. Follow the obvious path ahead which eventually becomes a sunken way, dipping downhill to a metal gate. Go through this and turn right, ignoring the two signed bridleways off to your left. Follow the sandy track past the isolated Little Worth Cottage to enter woodland.
Shortly after passing a house on your right, the path joins a gravel track where you should carry on ahead. The track bears left towards the buildings of Home Farm before bearing right uphill on a signed bridleway along a surfaced track. Stay on this track, passing through a pair of brick pillars and ignore crossing paths, to arrive back at the end of Ford Manor Road and the start of the walk.
We are very grateful to Les Campbell for bringing us new and exciting local walks every month. A founder member and former Chairman of the Mid Sussex Ramblers, he is a very experienced and enthusiastic walker indeed. Les insists on testing all routes personally, making sure they are suitable for walking. However, even he cannot guarantee the effects of the weather, or roadworks, or any other factors outside of his control. If you would like to send your feedback about a local walk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org