Route 16. Leather Bottle Cottage to the Five Bells P.H.
1.6 miles heading NNW; generally a level route with one climb of 30 metres. Also suitable for cyclists, although pushing up to the ridge above Threal’s Farm may be needed, and for horse riding.
The route starts at the junction of Thakeham Road (B2139) and Water Lane where the former roundabout was replaced in 2020 with traffic lights and a “Dutch crossing” (a pedestrian way across the centre of the junction) said to be the first built in West Sussex. It follows the boundary between Thakeham Parish to the east and neighbouring parishes to the west, initially along Water Lane. Leather Bottle Cottage (Grade II) at the start is believed to date from the early 1600s and to have been an inn for much of the last 400 years. Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have stayed there. To the east is the Davis Estate built in the late 1970s and then, with Watermeadow Lane as the access road, is Meadowbrook constructed from 2015 – 18. A little further north off Water Lane to the west is the access road for Warren Grove, a development of 98 properties in Storrington and Sullington Parish due for completion in 2020 when a footpath through the area will give direct access to the village.
Water Lane continues to the north west at the edge of a small industrial estate with Tesla, a company manufacturing a range of products including sophisticated magnets etc for medical equipment and the hydron collider at Cerne, Geneva, as the largest employer. They have plans for further expansion on the Thakeham side of Water Lane. The road gives way to a metalled pathway that leads after 200 yards to a hamlet of three dwellings at East Wantley. Here Route 16 is crossed by Route 14 leading from the B2139 Greenhurst Lane junction to the north side of Storrington at Fryern Road.
The path now becomes a minor road (Northlands Road – a cul-de -sac) heading due north which after a short incline is flat through farming land with a semi derelict barn on the right at least two hundred years old. Greenhurst Lane is reached. Cross this road with care; traffic is fast in spite of a blind corner. An unmade up path now continues due north for 300 yards with a steep climb to the top of an east / west ridge above Threal’s and Champions Farms which can be seen to the north. On the brow Route 16 is crossed by Route 12 which leads from Jacket’s Hill (on B2139) towards the west.
The path continues NNW with a gentle descent past Threal’s Farm where a minor road is reached with housing (the eastern border of West Chiltington Common) mainly on the western side. 500 yards from Threal’s Farm a road junction is reached with Smock Alley leading off to the right. Follow Smock Alley for 300 yards and the Five Bells is on the left. Opposite the pub is the site of a micro- brewery, the Greyhound Brewery, which is sometimes open for visits and sales.