The Blue Ship... The Haven, Billingshurst
The Blue Ship takes a bit of finding but it is worth it. It is in the 'middle of nowhere' and does not seem to have changed much in years [and is all the better for it]. The main bar dates back to the 15th century although the exterior of the pub is Victorian. Hall and Woodhouse beer is served from two hatches straight from the barrel.
Several small inter-connecting rooms, open fireplace with seats inside and nice garden. Good pub food. If you cycled here, it's very tempting to stay here for several beers under the pretence of looking at your map and deciding where to go next!
How to get there
The Haven is a small, quiet hamlet of a few houses, west of Horsham, between Rudgwick and Five Oaks.
Cycle to Slinfold, either from Broadbridge Heath along the A264 turning right at the Toyota garage, or along the Downs Link bridleway from Christs Hospital [the bridleway crosses the road at Slinfold].
Turn left from Slinfold towards Five Oaks [a slight climb out of Slinfold] to the busy A29. At this road, turn left and, after 0.5 miles [0.8 km], turn right [signposted for 'The Haven' and 'Lower Lodge shooting grounds']. After 1.3 miles [2.1 km], turn left [signposted 'Garlands, Okehurst'] and the pub is down the lane on the right.
Suggested cycling routes from here
Bridleway just south of the pub, at the end of Marles Lane, takes you back to the A29. Or coming out of the pub, turn right and then take a left turn following sign for Gibbons Mill brings you to another bridleway which connects with the road between Loxwood and Rudgwick.
and/or head towards Rudgwick along the road you came on and take a right before the main A281 [it has a no through road sign] which leads on to a bridleway that connects up with the Downs Link.
Another pub in a southerly direction from here is the Cricketers Arms at Wisborough Green.
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The Blue Ship has a new owner and a new chef!! My wife and I had dinner there on March 8 and enjoyed a wonderful chicken pie and, with a new fish menu available on Thursday and Friday, I had grilled hake. The Blue Ship has always been good value, but now the menu has been enlarged and developed. My wife and I look forward to our next meal. Well done Simon and your brilliant chef.
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