Dave Sergeant

Worth Way follows the route of the former Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells railway line which closed in 1967 as a result of the Beeching cuts. Today I joined members of the RailUK forums and we walked between East Grinstead and Three Bridges. A leaflet outlining the route can be downloaded from the West Sussex website.

I arrived at Three Bridges around 1045 and met up with the rest of the group on the 400 bus to East Grinstead where we gathered in the Railway Inn for a short break before heading off to Worth Way at East Grinstead station.

The route starts initially alongside the station car park before entering woodland. Most of the walk is paved and easy walking with trees either side.

The first of several bridges along the route. Then in the distance the impressive Gullege a stately house originally owned by the Gullege family and now a private residence.

The pleasant walk continues and after passing several smaller ponds we reach Crawley Down Pond. From here the route of the railway has been built over with new houses in the village of Crawley Down.

Grange Road station served the village. The station building has been replaced with a modern row of shops and in the window of one of them were photographs showing the old station.

Back on the railbed, another bridge then remains of another bridge.

Rowfant Station. The buildings remain along with parts of the platforms and level crossing. A company producing road making materials, Colas Limited, occupies much of the site.

For a while the Worth Way leaves the route of the railway while it runs across farmland. It was in a cutting at this point, now filled in, and we were interested to see remains of a bridge carrying pipework and another bridge on the farmers lane protruding out.

The M23 is crossed. A little further on we stopped for a very pleasant meal at the Coaching Halt.

The latter part of the walk becomes a little muddy in a deep cutting.

For a short stretch it almost becomes impassable with much overgrowth and at one point a stream needing crossing over a ricketty tree trunk. Fortunately it soon reverted to a hard path. Reaching the end of the line we made our way along the roads back to Three Bridges station where we said our farewells, half of the group catching a bus and the other half taking trains back to their homes. In my case to Clapham Junction then my train back home, arriving quite late at around 9pm after a long but very enjoyable day.

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