This is a walk from Robust Rambles, a collection of walks across the South East of England
Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
|Map||OS Explorer 136 The Weald|
|Distance||6 miles/ 3 hours|
|Start||Stonegate Railway Station. Paid parking at the station possible.|
|Comment||There are only the station services at Stonegate Station. This is a longer walk through varied and wooded countryside. There are many stiles and constant attention to maps and instructions is advisable.|
From Stonegate Railway Station walk up through the station car park to the road at the top. Turn left on the road with care and cross the railway bridge. Ignore a footpath off on the right and keep on downhill past Birdbrook Farm Shop. At the first house on the right turn off the road and go to the right up the concrete entrance drive to Witherenden Farm. Bear left at the farm buildings, still on the concrete track, and walk down through the farm and on, past old machinery, to enter a field by a pond. Keep on downhill, with hedge and ditch on the left, to leave the field over a concrete bridge at the bottom corner into a further field.
Here bear right on a bridleway. Do not follow the field edge on the right but head across the field to trees on a hill at the far side (the path was marked through the crop but there were no waymarks). Enter the woods and bear left on an obvious path for half a mile. Eventually pass a farmhouse on the left and go on through farm buildings on a concrete track. Leave the farm following the track downhill to a junction of ways. Bear left, still on the concrete track, uphill with woods on the right. On reaching a road turn right for 200 metres.
After passing a thatched cottage on the left, soon go right, off the road, through a gateway onto a wide sandy farm track. Follow this for some way. It reaches a bend and turns right uphill. Stay on the track and continue uphill for some way. It winds through trees and reaches a stile by a wooden fieldgate. Continue through. Near the top of the hill, where track begins to swing left, go off right on a footpath with a wire fence on the right. This soon reaches a stile by a wooden fieldgate, cross and go on up through a wood.
Pass a sunken pond down on the right and reach the top of the hill. Bear left to a path junction. Ignore the path on the right and continue straight ahead soon going slightly downhill. Just before a house ahead, drop down sharply right. Go on down through woods to reach a wire deer fence on the left. Go forward, ignoring a stile up on the right, to reach a tall wire mesh gate and on along an enclosed path on right.
In a short distance go through a gate into a deer park with a large lake down at the bottom of the hill (a wonderful scene of a deer herd with a flock of geese by the water). Turn 90% sharp left to cross the park parallel to the lake down on the right. At the far side cross a stream and go up the pasture beyond keep forward, bearing slightly right. Do not drop down towards the lake or up the slope on the left. Keep along parallel with the end of the lake down on right.
Drop down to go through a gap over a ditch into the pasture beyond. Keep forward along the bottom edge of the pasture with trees on the right. At the far end of the trees turn right up to a junction of tracks. Go forward over a farm bridge by a wire fence on the left. Follow the track uphill for 100 metres then turn left and walk down the grass to a gate in the deer fence. Go through and forward up a sheep pasture, heading just right of a storage silo in the distance. Cross a stile in a wire fence and go forward heading between the silo and a house up on the right to reach another stile at the far side.
Cross into a rough area. Go forward on a raised path between ponds to a driveway. Turn left over a bridge and immediately right along a field edge with trees and a stream on the right. Soon cross a stile to a junction of paths. Ignore the turning right and go ahead across the field just left of a wooden pole. Cross two stiles and a single plank footbridge into a wooded area. Go forward along by the hedge on the right. At the corner ahead is a stile on the right and a sunken stream with washed away footbridge. Do not cross the stile but keep on along edge of wooded area up to two stiles in the next corner. Cross the one on the left and go on up through woods for nearly half a mile.
At the very top reach a metal fieldgate and broken stile into a golf course. Go through the gate and forward slightly right across the fairway to trees at the far side. Enter the wood and turn immediately right to drop down to a stile and junction of ways. Cross the stile and bear left to a second stile. Cross into a rough pasture and go ahead slightly left downhill with a treeline and ditch on the right.
Follow the edge of the pasture down and around. Ignore an exit off on the right. Keep on as the pasture narrows to a point at the very far end. Here there is a wooden fieldgate and stile. Cross and soon reach ruined buildings. Turn right between them and go up through farm buildings to bear left onto a farm track of concrete railway sleepers. Go up to reach a junction of tracks by a house on the right. Ignore the track going right and go forward on a concrete track with a diamond pattern. On reaching two wooden fieldgates turn left over a stile on another ridged concrete track downhill with a hedge on the right. At the bottom pass a building protecting a water bore hole and cross a footbridge into a wood.
Turn right on the main path and follow along by the stream down on the right. Soon the path swings left uphill for some way. At a crosspath go straight over to continue steeply uphill along with the wood edge over on the left. At the top emerge into a grassy meadow and keep forward for some way on a grassy path with trees and bushes on the left. Wind around and keep on to the very top corner of the meadow.
In the top corner are two stiles. Ignore the one on the left and cross into a wooded area. Go down through holly bushes then up to emerge into a wildflower meadow. Head on towards distant houses and join an enclosed path at the far side going along the back of gardens. At the end turn left to a road. Cross and continue on and down a narrow enclosed path which emerges onto a drive to soon reach a road. Turn right on the road. At the end of the road, at a junction below the Rose & Crown pub, turn left for 100 metres to reach a second pub called The Carpenters Arms, with a road called The Avenue opposite and the end of the section. If the Carpenter’s Arms is closed, end at the Rose & Crown.