Sussex walk around Brede High Woods

A bench beneath two old oaks amid the golden glory of Brede High Woods in October

A bench beneath two old oaks amid the golden glory of Brede High Woods in October - Credit: Archant

Enjoy blazing autumn colours on this circular woodland walk

Pine trees soar for the skies in Brede High Woods

Pine trees soar for the skies in Brede High Woods - Credit: Archant

Brede High Woods

Brede encompasses 647 acres of ancient and secondary woodland, streams, ponds and open heathland. It is at its best in October, when the birch, oak, hornbeam and sweet chestnut trees flush copper and gold. Stroll on a quiet morning and you might catch sight of the resident fallow deer on the heathland; look up on a clear day and you could see buzzards circling overhead. It may be peaceful today, but in the past Brede was a centre of industry and agriculture, with a gunpowder works, quarries, iron furnaces, a site of arms production (making guns for the English Navy), hop meadows and orchards. The woodland lies on the northeastern shore of Powdermill Reservoir, which gets its name from the 18th century gunpowder mill, which was situated here and exploded three times before being closed.

For a pub lunch - The White Hart at Cripps Corner

(01580 830246, TN32 5QS) is very close and serves tasty traditional pub food. Head left out of the car park and it is on the other side of the junction, after one mile. Dogs are allowed in the bar.

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For afternoon tea - Battle

Head to the lovely nearby town of Battle for lots of refueling options, including pubs, restaurants and cafés. Both the Battle Deli & Coffee Shop and Bluebells Café Tearoom on the high street offer a good selection of cakes, breakfasts and light lunches.

Brede has pockets of open heathland, as well as deciduous and coniferous woods

Brede has pockets of open heathland, as well as deciduous and coniferous woods - Credit: Archant

Compass points

• Location: Cripps Corner, near Battle, East Sussex.

• Distance: 3.5m (5.6k) – two hours to walk.

• Terrain: Woodland tracks, which can be muddy, and a few hills.

• Where to park: In the Brede High Woods West car park. From the junction at Cripps Corner take the B2089 east and the car park is one mile on your right.


1 From the western Brede High Woods car park, head south through the metal gate. Follow the wide path straight on, heading downslope through woodland.

2 At the bench, the way divides – take the left hand path.

3 Eventually, the path levels out and curves left, bringing you into open heathland. At the clump of trees, head right. You will then go through a kissing gate and onto a wide track under pine trees.

4 At the bench, the way divides – head left towards a gate. Immediately after the kissing gate, at the signpost, head left along a narrow path.

5 After passing through sections of young pine woodland, you will cross a footbridge and walk through deciduous woods, with glimpses of Powdermill Reservoir on your left. Cross two more footbridges and head uphill on a narrow path that leads through pine trees.

6 Head left and walk along Powdermill Lane. Go over the bridge and uphill.

7 Ignore the way back into woodland beside the metal gate on your left and take the next path on the left, just before the junction. This leads through a gap in the hedge and onto a wide grassy track that heads downhill through a pylon clearing.

8 At the bench, head straight on around the pylon. Eventually the path curves around to the right and takes you down steps and over a footbridge. You will come to a bench and a crossing of ways – maintain direction straight ahead into woodland and over another footbridge. You will then be given the option of heading back out into the pylon clearing, but instead head slightly right following the path through woodland.

9 At the bench under the two oak trees, there is a crossways – head left here.

10 At the signpost head right. Follow the wide track uphill.

11 Some 50 metres before a gate and the easterly car park, head left down a wide grassy track. At the pylon, head left. Ignore paths that lead off to the right.

12 The way divides in front of an area of open heathland. Head right upslope. At the top of the hill, ignore the path to the right and, after a few metres, take the path left through open heathland, past birch trees, with wonderful views to your left.

13 You will meet a wide grassy track in front of woodland. Head right. The path eventually curves around to the left. Follow the path back to the car.


Winter walks in Sussex - There’s not much more invigorating than a Sunday stroll across our countryside on a crisp winter afternoon. Here we round up some of our favourite Sussex walks to enjoy this winter