The best Sunday stroll’s around Sussex

Friston Forest

Friston Forest - Credit: Archant

Hazel Sillver suggests some of the best Sussex woods to walk in for autumn colour.

Pookchurch & Nymans Woods - Handcross

The woods aside Nymans garden contain the biggest tree in Sussex – a gargantuan redwood that is over 50 metres tall. There is also a woodland meadow and a serene lake. If it has been raining, paths can be very muddy so don’t walk in your best trainers! Park in the National Trust car park off the B2114. Great Wood - Near Brighton

An oasis of rusty autumn tints and tranquility, just a few miles from Brighton. Stanmer Great Wood encompasses 5,000 acres of open land and deciduous woodland, including some magnificent beech trees. Park by the church at the top of Stanmer Park, where there is a good tearoom (follow signs from the A270, Lewes Road) or at the Upper Lodges car park on Ditchling Road.

Friston Forest - Near Alfriston

These old beech woods are great for walking, mountain biking or horse riding. Well-kept wide bridleways and more enchanting narrow paths meander up through the trees and eventually you are treated to views out to the Cuckmere River and the sea. Park in the car park on Litlington Road, where there is a play area for children. High Woods - Near Hastings

A very old 647-acre woodland in the Weald that is full of wildlife. If you’re lucky you might spot fallow deer or wild boar in one of the open areas of grassland. The various ditches, sunken tracks and iron-stained streams are evidence of the charcoal industry that once took place here. The Woodland Trust car park is on the B2089. Wood - Near East Grinstead

A charming little National Trust wood that stands alongside Standen garden. This is a nice short walk, beneath the fiery tints of deciduous trees; the path meanders through little gates, up steps, over bridges and along boardwalks, and occasionally offers you glorious views of Standen. You can also visit the Rockinghill Woods close by.

St Leonard’s Forest - Horsham

Legend has it that a French holy man called Leonard lived here as a hermit and fought and killed the last dragon in England. The autumn leaves are lovely and it’s very common to spot deer in the forest early in the morning. Park just off Hammerpond Road. If you’re feeling peckish afterwards, The Crabtree pub is close by in Lower Beeding (

Ebernoe Common - Near Petworth

This is a great place to enjoy autumn colour and spot toadstools – Ebernoe is home to some 400 species of fungi. The ancient woodland is broken up by glades and ponds and provides a habitat for a fascinating range of wildlife, including adders and 14 bat species. Park in the car park on Streel’s Lane and afterwards head for Tiffins Tearoom in Petworth for a toasted teacake.

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