This is a walk from Robust Rambles, a collection of walks across the South East of England
Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2019
|Map||OS Explorer 137 (Ashford) 138 (Dover,Folkestone, & Hythe)|
|Distance/Time||6 Miles (3 Hours)|
|Start||From ‘The Woolpack’ ask about parking if intending to visit, otherwise onstreet in the village.|
|Comment||A varied and interesting walk with stiles and short, steep climbs; the paths through Hope Farm may need searching out.|
With ‘The Woolpack Inn’ on the right, walk back, past the pub car park on the right, to a road junction. Do not go right but cross with care to go forward on the road ahead. Walk along this to its end at a T-junction. Turn left here and, in a short distance, reach a row of shops.
Look for an enclosed asphalt path opposite going right, off the road. Keep down here in a straight line for some way at the back of houses. Cross a residential road and soon reach another road. Turn left on this for a few paces then cross a stile on the right into a narrow path. Soon cross another and keep forward into a field.
Walk on down the field looking for a wide gap in the hedge on the left. Go through here and go on downhill now with the hedge on your right. At the bottom cross a stile into a large rising pasture.
Bear right, uphill to the left of a metal fieldgate in the long hedge ahead. Look carefully for a stile through the hedge into the field beyond. Cross this second field bearing left to the far left corner by a painted bungalow. Cross a stile onto roads at a junction.
Cross the junction to the entrance drive to Park Farm and walk along. Ignore the first footpath on the left and keep along the drive past a bungalow. The drive bends left and heads towards the distant farm.
Soon leave the drive and take a footpath heading across a large field towards a distant pylon to the right of the farm buildings.
At the far side of the field, drop down to a footbridge and then across a stile. Turn right to another stile and keep along by a stream, under power lines, to a double set of stiles.
Because of cross paths and fences the direction is a little confusing here. Cross into a large field and bear left steeply uphill towards the summit. On nearing the top of the hill, look for a distant pole at the highest point where hedges meet. Walk over to find a stile. Cross and continue downhill towards Water Farm. Head for the righthand-side of the buildings and find a stile going into a grassy paddock just short of an oast. Cross the paddock to a narrow country road. Turn left on the road and follow it up and around to the right.
At a road junction, by the Black Horse public house, keep ahead, now downhill, for a short way passing a footpath on the left. Just past the last house on the right (where a stream begins to run alongside the road) find a stile.
Cross into a field and go diagonally left downhill to a stream (aim for a distant house up on a hill). A bridge crosses the stream. Keep in the same direction to the far righthand corner of another field. Head towards a bank to the left of a clump of trees, still with that house up on the hill.
Climb the bank (ignore an old stile on the right), and head uphill to the left of the house at Cock Ash, to a stile onto a narrow road. Cross to a stile into a field on the other side.
Here two paths are indicated. Keep straight ahead on the righthand path, going towards the centre of the field. Pass an isolated copse of trees on the left and keep on slightly downhill, past a small thicket hiding a pond, and on up to the lefthand corner of a larger wood. Go through a gateway into a field and keep ahead with the wood edge on the right.
Where the wood ends, keep on across a large open field, bearing slightly right to a hedge. Keep on with the hedge on the right to a stile and cross to a road junction.
A footpath is indicated here going down to Hope Farm. However this becomes lost in a complicated collection of buildings. Instead cross to the country road opposite (Hayton Road) and walk along looking for a broad drive on the right leading down to Hope Farm.
Here is an unusual collection of workshops and vehicles in various stages of restoration. Head towards the actual farmhouse at the bottom of the hill. Keep forward through derelict buildings on both sides until a newer workshop of concrete blocks juts out ahead.
Here turn left and walk up to a metal fieldgate. Go through and continue up the side of a house to a field (if the way is blocked go the other side of the hedge on the right; the first route is the public right of way). Keep ahead with a hedge on the left.
Where the hedge finishes keep on downhill, bearing slightly left, to a rickety stile and footbridge in the corner of the field. Cross and keep on, now uphill, and eventually leave the field at a corner onto a road by Hayton Manor Farm. Cross over to a stile and enter a large field.
Two paths start here. Take the righthand one which goes straight on across the field. Soon go down a bank and keep on to a stile and an enclosed path which leads down to a road by the side of ‘The Drum’ inn at Stanford North and the start of the section.