Worth Way is a 7 mile shared-use route, from Three
Bridges to East Grinstead, which is accessible for walkers,
horse-riders and cyclists. It passes through the open countryside
of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
What’s along Worth Way?
For much of its length the Worth Way
follows the old railway line which ran from East Grinstead to Three
Bridges. Since the closure of the railway in the 1960's, much
of its length has been colonised by trees such as ash and
silver birch. Where chalk was used in the construction of the
railway, chalk-loving plants such as guelder rose, common spotted
orchid, twayblade and wild strawberry now flourish.
Worth Way offers a ‘green corridor’ for wildlife, connecting
different habitats together. The range of habitats attracts a
variety of birds, butterflies and mammals. Birdsong to listen out
for include the calls of the chiffchaff and nuthatch. At Crawley
Down Pond there is even the chance of a glimpse of a
Butterflies to look out for include brimstone, speckled wood,
meadow brown, ringlet, skipper and, in June, the white admiral.
Bats can sometimes be seen at dusk. Adders, grass snakes and common
lizards bask in the sunny glades along the old trackside.
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How to get there
To find Worth Way, launch our interactive
in a new window), select 'British National Grid' from the search
menu and in the search box (top left) enter
TQ388382 (for East Grinstead Station),
TQ346374 (for Crawley Down) or
TQ288369 (for Three Bridges Station). The Worth
Way route is shown after zooming out to a smaller scale. Clicking
'Walks within 5km' in the menu highlights footpaths.
Worth Way is accessible where it passes
through Crawley, East Grinstead and Crawley Down. It meets many
other footpaths along its length. For more details, see our Worth
Way route leaflet under supporting documents below. Worth Way can
be followed as part of the Sussex
Border Path, a footpath route nearly 150 miles long around the
inland boundary of the county of Sussex.
Worth Way forms part of the National
Cycle Network Route 21.
Sussex Cycle Journey Planner
The Worth Way can be reached on a range of bus routes.
There are nearby bus stops at Three Bridges Station, East Grinstead
Station and the Royal Oak pub on Burleigh Way in Crawley Down. See
supporting documents for maps and further details. Use the Traveline
Worth Way is easily accessible by train at
Three Bridges Station and East Grinstead Station.
For more information about routes and
timetables visit Network
Rail or Traveline.
Parking is available at Three Bridges and East
Grinstead stations, the old Station at Rowfant on Wallage Lane and
in Crawley Down. Car parks are shown on the map in our Worth Way
leaflet (see supporting document).
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Worth Way is a shared-use route accessible for pedestrians,
horse-riders and cyclists. Please remember:
- Slow down, give way and leave plenty of room for walkers,
horses and people with disabilities
- Cycle responsibly and carefully
- Do not surprise people - they might not have heard or seen
- Use a bell
- Do not obstruct cyclists
- Keep dogs under proper control
- Clear up after your dog
- Walk past other users
- Do not canter or gallop
Local amenities are available along Worth Way
in Crawley, East Grinstead and Crawley Down.
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The Worth Way was officially opened on
10 July 1979. For much of its length it follows the railway line
which ran from East Grinstead to Three Bridges. Opened on 9 July
1855, Rowfant and subsequently Grange Road (Crawley Down) were the
only stations along the route.
In 1866 the railway was extended from East
Grinstead to Tunbridge Wells, most of which is now Forest Way
Country Park. A century later, in the 1960's, the whole line
was closed as part of the line closures proposed by the Chairman of
British Rail, Dr Beeching.
Rowfant Station, although not open to the public, still
survives. Grange Road station no longer exists. The site, to the
west of the Royal Oak public house, is now a terrace of shops and
the railway line from Grange Road to Cob Close has been built
Little remains of another section of the railway line between
the M23 motorway and Keepers Crossing, as the cutting was used as a
landfill site in the 1970's. A line of trees indicates the route of
the former railway line.
How we look after the route
Worth Way passes through the High Weald
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Much of the route has been
designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI). Crawley
Borough is responsible for Worth Way from Three Bridges to the M23.
West Sussex County Council manages the remainder of Worth Way and
this is designated Worth Way Country Park.
Our rangers patrol fortnightly. Maintenance work covers everything
from benches and fences to litter picking and autumn leaf blowing
to maintain path width and surface quality. Vegetation management
includes annual mowing to help wildflowers thrive, bramble and
rhododendron clearance, coppicing and tree safety work.
At Crawley Down, local volunteers the Pond
Environmental Group meet each month to help manage the
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Way Country Park links to Worth Way through East Grinstead. It
is a 10 mile (16km) route that ends near Groombridge, East
Sussex. The route is accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and
horse-riders. West Sussex County Council manages Forest Way from
East Grinstead to the County boundary. The rest of the route is
managed by East Sussex County Council.
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