20 – Haywards Heath to Balcombe

A 6 mile linear walk from Haywards Heath rail station to Balcombe rail station in West Sussex, forming the 20th stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. The route takes you through beautiful Sussex Weald countryside with impressive views and wildlife spotting opportunities around the tranquil Ardingly Reservoir. On route you will walk through mixed woodland, climb rolling hills and stroll alongside the 198 acre Ardingly Reservoir, also designated a Local Nature Reserve. In the distance you can admire the magnificent Ouse Valley Viaduct and the historic Ardingly College. The return leg can be completed with a single 5 minute train journey.


he Weald is famous for its mud and after rain the trail can be heavy going, although in many places you will find side paths through the woods running adjacent to the main track. You will need to negotiate a number of kissing gates, footbridges and low step barrier stiles, but no fence stiles. There are some short sections of walking through quiet residential areas and there is one steep section of steps through a wood. Dogs should have no problems on this walk but must be kept on leads when walking through the golf course and do take care with dogs when livestock are grazing in the fields. Allow 3 hours.


Accessing the Trail

There are several ways to follow the Trail!

On paper

You can download and print the PDF leaflet for your walk at the top of this page. These include turn-by-turn directions, photos and a simplified map. For extra safety, we recommend that you carry an Ordnance Survey map of the area too.

On an app

The walks can be found on the free AllTrails App. They are already downloaded and the directions are in the section called Waypoints.

This version of AllTrails will work as long as there is an internet (3G/4G) signal.

Note: within the AllTrails App you have the option to pay a subscription to upgrade to AllTrails Pro. This gives you the ability to follow the guides without using any internet data in areas where there is no 3G/4G coverage.

On a GPS device

If you have a Garmin or another GPS-based App e.g. the Ordnance Survey App, you can download the GPX File for your chosen walk from our website to use on these devices. (Please note that the GPX Files are for personal use only and must not be published on any other platform)