Map A : Thorney Island

Map B: Emsworth to Chalton

Map C: Chalton to Rake

Map D: Rake to Blackdown

Map E: Blackdown to Alfold

Map F: Alfold to A29 Ockley

Map G: A29 to Charlwood

Map H: Charlwood to Rowfant

Map J: Rowfant to East Grinstead to West of Dry Hill

Map K: Dry Hill to Boarshead

Map L: Boars Head to Bewl Bridge Reservoir

Map M: Bewl Bridge to the Moor

Map N: The Moor to Ewhurst Green

Map P: Ewhurst Green to Rye

Map Q: Weir Wood Reservoir to Wivelsfield

Map R: Wivelsfield to Patcham

Map S: Patcham to Mile Oak

Transport Information

Useful Links

Beech Trees North Hammer Woods

South Downs

South Downs at Kingley Vale, West Sussex

View of South Downs

Village Pond at East Dean

Horse Chestnut Plantation

Website designed by
CR Website Designs



The Sussex Border Path

Long Distance Walking Route

Sussex Border Path

The Sussex Border Path is a footpath route nearly 150 miles long around the inland boundary of the county of Sussex, first devised and published in 1983 by Ben Perkins and Aeneas Mackintosh. The county owes its origins to the kingdom of the South Saxons and can claim to have one of the longest inland county boundaries from Emsworth to Rye.


The ancient routes on the high chalk ridges of the North and South Downs are already ‘official’ long distance paths.  So a route through the lower clay and sandstone ‘Wealden’ area offers the prospect of something rather different.


The initial approach was to follow the boundary as closely as possible, but there has been no hesitation in deviating some distance from it in order to pick more scenic paths and to avoid road walking.  The boundary is, of course, only a line on a map but one is often reminded  of how its location was determined by the remains of boundary banks, streams and other natural features of ancient origin as well as later changes.

Sussex is split administratively into West Sussex and East Sussex   For the sake of completeness we have included a ‘Mid Sussex Link’ which more or less follows the very modern administrative boundary between East and West Sussex.  In 1989 the centenary of county councils was celebrated with a group walk to ‘beat the bounds’.

Sussex Border Path

The main attraction of the Sussex Border Path is its surprisingly remote and unspoilt quality in this particularly crowded part of England.  In the early days, a detailed route description was needed, and although this has been through a number of editions, it can suffer from becoming out of date (and now out of print).  The paths used are all public rights of way or cross public open spaces; most are straightforward but some require concentration.

South Downs

The route has now been extensively waymarked and is now shown on the relevant maps in the Ordnance Survey Landranger and Explorer series ,  one of which you are strongly recommended to  have with you.  We suggest (below) a number of sections and landmarks which may help you formulate a day’s walk; but there are other permutations.

This website is now the only reference point. The descriptive text is from the second edition guidebook published which may now need further revision.  We incorporate amendments when we re-walk parts of the route.  We should appreciate remarks and suggestions from users to enable us to upgrade the route description. 

Please email us for any news and remarks on the route description.  Originally, too, there were detailed hand-drawn maps in the Wainright style, which have had to be omitted for copyright reasons, but may be possible restore later.   Where there is reference in the text to ‘following the strip map’ , this should be taken as following the route as marked on the appropriate OS map. 

Sussex Border Path Map Route Thorney Island Circular Emsworth to Chalton Chalton to Rake walk guide Rake to Foot of Blackdown walk guide Blackdown to Alfold walk guide Alfold to A29 South of Ockley walk guide A29 South of Ockley to Charlwood walk guide East Grinstead to Dry Hill walk guide Charlwood to Rowfant Walk Guide Patcham to Mile oak walk guide Dry Hill to Boarshead walk guide Boars Head to Bewl Bridge Reservoir walk guide Bewl Bridge Reservoir to the moor walk guide The Moor to Ewhurst Green walk guide Ewhurst Green to Rye walk guide Weir wood reservoir to wivelsfield walk guide Wivelsfield to Patcham walk guide Map of Sussex.

Each letter represents a section of The Sussex Border Path. Click on a Letter for information on this section of the walk.

The Google map below shows the start (Map A and B) of The Sussex Border path and you can use the navigation tools to navigate around Sussex and Hampshire to locate the other sections of The Sussex Border Path.  



Thorney Island Circular