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Forest Way Country Park

The Forest Way is situated in the heart of the beautiful East Sussex countryside. It is approximately 10 miles long and is used for walking, cycling, horse riding and the quiet enjoyment of the countryside. It runs from East Grinstead to Groombridge.

What you will find

The Forest Way runs along an old railway line and is an important habitat for wildlife as a ‘green corridor’.

There are seats and picnic benches along the entire route. West of Hartfield, a restored pond has been allowed to naturally regenerate. On a hot summer’s day, the area buzzes with life, and visitors will be treated to damsel and dragonflies dancing about the water, glimpses of newts, toads and frogs, and an abundance of bird song.

The Park lies within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and passes through or close to East Grinstead, Forest Row, Hartfield, Withyham and Groombridge. There are circular trails varying in length and difficulty. Walkers may spot swallows, badger tracks deer and foxes, amongst the fields and woodlands.

There are toilet facilities at Forest Row. The Forest Way is accessible for people with disabilities.

Walking, cycling and access

The site is easily accessed by all users. The western end of the Forest Way links up with the Worth Way which extends to Three Bridges.

A flat, surfaced track runs along the entire length of the Park, providing easy access for disabled users and a great place for young children to learn to cycle in a traffic-free environment.

As this is a shared use route, users are encouraged to be respectful of others:

  • Cyclists should always take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary (Highway Code Rule 62).
  • Cyclists should give way to pedestrians and horse riders (Highway Code Rule H2).
  • Keep dogs on a lead when walking on a path shared with cyclists or horse riders. (Highway Code Rule 56).
  • Always keep dogs under control and in sight (Countryside Code).
  • Horse riders should restrict themselves to a walk when passing other users.

How to get there

The map references for the site are:

  • TQ402 376 (Herontye Drive, East Grinstead) to
  • TQ528 365 (Corseley Road, Groombridge)

View our online map and search for path name 'Forest Way'.

Forest Row, Hartfield, Withyham and Groombridge are served by regular bus services. There are train stations at East Grinstead and Eridge.

For more information about getting here, see our, public transport pages.

Management and history

The railway opened in 1866. Although a busy commuter line, it was axed with the Beeching cuts in 1966. Ironically, Dr Beeching lived near Forest Row and regularly travelled up to London on the line when he was Chairman of British Rail.

East Sussex County Council bought the line in 1971 and it was designated as a Country Park in 1974. In 2002, following improvements to the surfaced track Forest Way became part of the National Cycle Network.

The Park is owned by East Sussex County Council and managed by the Rights of Way & Countryside Maintenance team.

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