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Varied pine trees in the Pinetum with pampas grass in the foreground at Nymans, West Sussex
Shady pathways and sunny glades at Nymans | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Woodland walk at Nymans

Taking in part of the Ouse Valley Way, you'll spot cascades, magnificent views and the tallest tree in Sussex. This trail can be enjoyed at any time of year, with evergreens and berries giving colour in the colder months. On the route look out for sculptures carved into tree trunks, giant redwoods dominating the landscape and an array of wildlife.

Total steps: 14

Total steps: 14

Start point

Nymans car park, grid ref: TQ263296

Step 1

If you’re not visiting the Gardens first, head to the path running between the two car parks and follow the path down the steep hill until you reach a waymark post numbered 1. If you are visiting the Gardens first, then please make sure to collect a gate code from reception on your way in to access the woodland. The code allows access to a pedestrian gate located at TQ265296. Once through the gate continue until you reach waymark post number 1 on your right-hand side.

Step 2

Keep to the main track and follow the orange arrows on the waymark posts. You will eventually come to a clearing with a cottage (built 1868) and barn on your right with the old Game Keepers dog kennels on your left and the old Game Larder straight ahead. Follow the main track as it sweeps down past the cottage.

Step 3

At waymark post 7 turn left and you will go downhill and find yourself in a grassy glade. On your left you will hear the sound of running water from the cascades. Head straight across the glade and join the narrower muddy path (please note it can get boggy here). Continue along this path and looking down to your left you will be able to see a series of ponds. You will reach a set of steps.

Step 4

Climb the set of steps and when you reach the top you will be stood in Jack Reedings Woods in a woodland dominated by beech and larch trees. Follow the main path from the top of the steps as it bends gently to the right.

Step 5

Continue straight on passing sweet chestnut coppice coupes on your right and large mature oaks on your left. Towards the far end of this upper track looking right you will be able to see great views out across the woodland and meadow below.

Step 6

You will reach a private residence gate with steps leading down to your right. Follow the steps and you will emerge out into a meadow. Following straight on head across the meadow to a narrow set of steps (take care to avoid exposed tree roots) and at the bottom of this short flight of steps you will get to a wooden bridge. Cross this bridge and walk across the old earth dam to a smaller bridge.

Step 7

Once across the smaller bridge, follow the main path right keeping the main lake to your right and after a short walk you will be met with a fork and choice of two paths. Make sure to fork left and up the hill on the sandstone outcrop leaving the lake behind you. By this point in the walk, you are situated on a public footpath as part of the Ouse Valley Way.

Step 8

Continue onwards on the main path through Conifer Avenue, lined either side by beautiful, large conifer species. Halfway along this section of the path you will be able to make a 90-degree left hand turn.

Step 9

Take the left-hand turn and head up onto a small section of boardwalk that leads you past the tallest tree in Sussex on your left; a young (for the species) Giant Redwood. Last measured in 2016 standing 52m tall. Continue past the tallest tree and follow another set of steps up the track.

Step 10

Once at the top of the steps follow the path around to the right and you’ll reach a section of boardwalk. Cross the boardwalk and you’ll continue right with hazel coppice on the right and large oaks on the left. You will see a pedestrian gate ahead of you but turn right before reaching it and continue along the main track.

Step 11

As you progress through the woodland you will see a fence line to your left for a short spell until you descend a small slope once more.

Step 12

At the bottom of the short slope, you will come to a crossroads, continue straight on before forking left at way mark post 24 following orange directional arrow and continue to climb uphill.

Step 13

Continue to climb uphill and up the set of steps. At the top of the slope, you will have completed the loop and hopefully recognise the point at which you started with way mark post 1 visible. To complete the walk, follow the path up the steep slope and at the top of which then have a short walk to the carpark.

Step 14

If you have the gate code from reception, instead of heading up the steep slope to finish the walk, feel free to turn left and re-enter the main gardens.

End point

Nymans car park, grid ref: TQ263296

Trail map

Woodland walk at Nymans trail map
Woodland walk at Nymans trail map, Sussex | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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