A downloadable autumn woodland walk

Walking trail

Exploring Nymans gardens can be complemented by a walk around the surrounding estate, an area of the High Weald, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1983.

The perfect place for a woodland walk

The ancient woods on the Nymans estate are filled with glorious autumnal sights. Walk down medieval tracks to mysterious yellow Mesolithic sandstones, where you’ll also see vibrant green mosses on tree trunks and shady banks. The tracks and trees are home to colourful fungi such as red-spotted fly agaric and luminous orange chicken-of-the-woods. Look out for the magnificent American redwoods, whose bark turns a deep orange in the low autumn sunlight and emerald-green ferns.

Woodland track in autumn


Map route for a woodland walk at Nymans


Nymans car park, grid ref: TQ263296


To take advantage of stunning views over the Weald towards the South Downs, enter Nymans gardens via visitor reception (admission charges apply, free for members, no dogs admitted via this entrance). Head towards the temple in the Pinetum. Alternative access for those with dogs is via the public footpath (from the rear of car park) following Sussex Ouse Valley Way, and excludes the Arboretum loop of walk. For this route start the walk from Step 7. For those that would like a woodland map they are available from reception.

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Autumn view over the woodland at Nymans


After taking a moment to enjoy the view across from the temple head down the path through the Pinetum. When you reach the bottom of the slope turn to your left, leave the main path and head towards the Arboretum pedestrian gate.


Exit the formal gardens at the gate marked 'Woods and Arboretum' where you will see a way-mark post numbered 1, take the path downhill towards the lower pond. Following the orange arrows will also assist you in taking the walk from here.

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View across the very colourful arboretum in autumn


Just before the lower pond take the gate on your left leading into the woodland next to waymark post 2.

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A fern in the woods catching the sunlight


Once in the woods veer right and follow the woodland track.

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Chainsaw sculptured woodland creatures


You will come to a sign saying Pookchurch Wood on the left. Follow the path on the left and after another fork at waymark post 4 keep left, you will come to a short section of board walk. Exiting at waymark post 5, weave slightly downhill following the orange directional arrows (indicating the Millennium Walk).

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Sandstone rocks in the woodland in autumn


Follow the track down the slope and steps, you will see a magnificent Giant Redwood ahead on your right by a short section of boardwalk. Ahead the track then joins the Ouse Valley Way footpath at the bottom of the slope where you then turn right. (Those who began this walk on the public footpath can join the trail here).

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Avenue of redwood tree trunks


Stay on the public footpath until you come to the lake, take the right hand fork down the slope and keep right along the edge of the lake.

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View across the lake with autumn trees around the edge


When you see waymark post 9 turn to your left and cross a small footbridge, you will see a woven bird-hide on the left, continue on until you come to a larger bridge, cross this then head up the steps and follow the path to enter the meadow.

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Close up of autumn leaves on tree


Head across the meadow and up the steps, at the top of the steps turn sharply left then continue to follow the path ahead. As you follow the track remember to look to your left to enjoy views across the woods. At waymark post 13 follow the orange arrow straight ahead.


You will eventually come to a sign that says 'Jack Reedings Woods' continue ahead and follow the orange arrows. After a while the path begins to head back down hill, there some twists and turns with steps and railings to guide you and you will pass more rocks to your left.

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Close up of fungi in the woods


Keep following the orange arrows, after a while the path turns to the left and you will see a stream far below you to your right. Eventually you will come to another flight of steps on the right at waymark post 16 that brings you down to water level. Follow the stream along, still to your right- it can get boggy here. Beyond the cascades go directly across a grassy glade and join the track taking you up a slope until you come to a T-junction where you turn right at waymark post 18 and head uphill.

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The water at the cascades in autumn


Follow the track up the hill, you will come to a clearing with a cottage and barn on the left and old dog kennels on the right. Past here the path bends to the left, keep to the main track and continue to follow the orange arrows. This will eventually almost bring you full circle as you will now be able to see the garden gate at the bottom of the Pinetum ahead of you.

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Wood owl sculpture


Before you reach the garden gate ahead, there is a track sharp right, take this turn joining the public footpath, there is a steep incline that then brings you back to the main Nymans car park.


Nymans car park, grid ref: TQ263296

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A downloadable autumn woodland walk


You will encounter uneven paths, some slopes, steps and stretches of boardwalk. Areas of the route can be slippery and muddy, especially in the wetter months. 

Although this is a circular walk we recommend taking it in the order described. The route includes some length of public footpath.

Well-behaved dogs welcome in the woods but not the gardens and please keep on leads during bird nesting season (1 March - 31 July). We welcome dogs in our Tea Garden, just outside the café where you'll find an outdoor seating area to enjoy your refreshments. 

A downloadable autumn woodland walk

Contact us

A downloadable autumn woodland walk

How to get here

Handcross, near Haywards Heath, RH17 6EB
By train

The nearest stations are Balcombe 5 miles (8km) (no public transport to Nymans available), Crawley 5 miles (8km) and Haywards Heath 9 miles (14.5km).

By road

Off London to Brighton M23/A23. Follow the brown signs from the A23.

By bus

Metrobus routes 271 and 273 stop nearby. Contact the bus company, Metrobus for further information.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network route 20.

A downloadable autumn woodland walk

Facilities and access

  • The woodland paths are uneven and seasonally muddy with a number of slopes, some steps and uneven paths. There is also an unfenced lake.
  • There are two accessible toilets – one in our car park and one next to the café, both locations are at the start of the visit. No further toilet facilities in woods
  • Baby-changing facilities in car park and near the cafe
  • Cafe, shop and plant centre
  • Well behaved dogs welcome in the woods but not the gardens. Please keep on leads during bird nesting season. We welcome dogs in our Tea Garden, just outside the café where you'll find an outdoor seating area to enjoy your refreshments.