Explore the follies Mad Jack Fuller built and take in the rolling hills of Brightling Park. On a good day, depending where you are, you can see the Sea, the South Downs and the North Downs.

  1. Start off in Brightling village, with the church behind you (you will get your first glimpse of Mad Jack Fuller’s pyramid, his final resting ground) and head south.
  1. Next to the junction sign posted to Robertsbridge, head through the kissing gate into the field, follow the fence to the end, then turn right up the hill and you will see the Tower, the first of Mad Jacks follies. From here you can climb up the tower and see right out to the North Downs and Bodiam Castle which Fuller purchased in 1828, saving it from demolition. One story put forward for the building of the tower was to watch the progress of the work at Bodiam and the workmen could signal to the tower for materials. See if you can spot the castle from the top, you may need your binoculars!
  1. From the Tower, head south down the hill to the road. Turn right onto the road and walk along for approx. 50m to Oxlodge Farm, turn left down the farm track. Follow the farm track down, from here you can see the walled garden on your right and a network of lakes, landscaped by Capability Brown. Walk past Brightling cricket pitch on your right and towards the farm buildings, turn right up to through farm buildings. Take a left through the field keeping the hedgerow on your right. From here you can get a good view of the Temple where it is said Mad Jack Fuller use to host raucous dinner parties and frequent it with ladies of ill repute.
  1. Make your way to the Sugar Loaf, through the Deer Park. From the field, head south through a wood which will come out into a field, then into a wood again. In the second wood, after crossing the stream you will come to a T junction where you turn right. Walk up the hill, when you meet a fork in the road, turn left on to the grass track. Follow this track up to the top to the road. Keep left nearly doubling back on yourself, with an old building yard on your right. After the yard, take the foot path on your right up to the Sugar Loaf. The saying goes, Fuller, while in London, made a wager claiming he could see the spire of St Giles Church Dallington from his estate. On his return he found this to be untrue so to win the wager he had the sugar loaf erected over night.
    Now time for a pit stop! Head to the main road, through the old cricket pitch on the right of the Sugar Loaf. When you get to the road turn right and walk 200m to The Swan Inn.
    Once recharged, cross over the main road from the Swan and turn left onto the paved path following the main road. Keep on the path until you come to a road sign with a foot path sign on it pointing right. Turn right, keep left of the garage down a thin path to a style. In the field head diagonally across the field where you will meet a style which will lead you out on to the lane. Walk approx. 100 m to where you came out of the wood before the Sugar Loaf. Go through the stone entrance and turn immediately left and follow the stone wall until you get to a car park. The stone wall was commissioned by Fuller and said to provide work when unemployment was rife.
  1. At this point you can either opt to walk up to the lane to the Observatory and Obelisk (the Needle as know by the locals) or continue through the wood. If you choose to see the Observatory and needle, take a right out of the carpark onto the lane, then veer left up the lane to the Observatory. Follow this lane to the T Junction and you will see the Needle through the trees. Sadly there is no access to get close, but you get a good glimpse of it from the road. The Needle is built on the 2nd highest point of Sussex, its not know why it was built but stories suggest it was built to celebrate Wellington’s Victory over Napoleon in 1815 and to keep the villagers in work. From the triangle head right back down the road towards Brightling where you can enjoy views across to the North Downs. Take a left into the field and follow the stone wall on your left to the style into the churchyard.
  1. Bypassing the Observatory and the Needle, take the path to the right of the carpark following the wall on your left. When you come to an opening head down hill, when the track curls round, take the path into the wood on your left. Follow the path through the woods to a kissing gate into the Brightling Park Camping spot. If you arere lucky you will come across some pigs and horses here. Walk up the hill to the gate in the right hand corner. Please ensure to shut the gate. At this point if you walk straight on you will come to a large field with the Temple directly in front of you, and on a good day the sea glistening behind. Double back on yourself towards the campsite and take the right hand track out in to the Long Reach field, where you will now be able to see the North Downs (on a good day). Head diagonally right across the field where you will come across a style in the corner into the Brightling church yard. Head into the church yard where you can see Fullers grave, the Pyramid, in which Fuller commission 24 years before his death. It is said Fuller was interred sitting at an iron table, a full meal before him and a bottle of claret, dressed for dinner and wearing a top hat. Take a peek into the church where you’ll gain an understanding that the church was high on Fullers list of responsibilities as the squire of Brightling.