Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 13 (Return)
Marden to Staplehurst
|Map||OS Explorer 136 (The Weald)|
|Distance/Time||6 Miles/3 Hours|
|Start||The Unicorn, Marden village. There is a village car park.|
|Comment||Initially an interesting and varied walk, this section becomes a real challenge. At Wanshurst Green a microlite airstrip cuts the path and waymarks are patchy. The last mile or so into Staplehust Station can impassably flooded in wet weather and very muddy anyway. If in doubt join the parallel road to avoid this section as indicated on the map. This is a long linear village as the final stretch illustrates.|
With The Unicorn pub on your right, keep on along the main road. Soon pass the library and a car park on the left. Look out for a footpath going left down to a recreation ground (there is a green fingerpost). Ignore this path, but at this point turn right and cross the road to an enclosed asphalt path going down the side of a house.
This passes the church and continues down the churchyard to a footbridge over the railway. Cross this and turn left at the far side along by the platform. Soon turn right into an enclosed path along a field edge.
Walk down with a line of pollarded poplar trees on your right. Pass under power lines. The poplar trees give way to oak trees. Eventually reach a field. Keep on down the field with a hedge and ponds on your left. At a corner, come to a narrow footbridge leading onto a pleasant grassy path and some woodland.
Cross a stile into a field and keep on for some way towards oasts just over on the right. Keep on, with a ditch on your left, to eventually reach a stile onto road with the oasts just across the field on the right.
Cross the road to Tilden Lane and walk up for some way passing caravans and a stud farm. After some distance the road begins to snake between trees. Look for a footpath going through a thicket on the right. Reach and cross a stile.
Turn immediately right and follow the fence on your right to a fieldgate. Through this continue to a footbridge at the far end of the field. Cross into a further field and follow the hedge on your right down to a road.
Cross the road and bear left on a farm track, following the hedge on your left. This enters a second field. Keep ahead in the same direction to the top corner of the field. Ignore the footbridge and stile which continue on in the same direction. Instead turn left through a gap by a large tree into a field and follow the edge of the field with the hedge on your right.
Where the hedge zigzags to the right, there is a stile and rusty metal fieldgate. Cross here (the map may show a stile further along which is no longer there) and keep on in the same direction with the hedge now on your left, towards Poplar Tree Farm.
Bear right around the perimeter of the farm and at a corner by a pond turn right and follow the hedge on your left. Pass a fieldgate in the hedge on the left and go up to the corner ahead. Go through a fieldgate and on across the field ahead to a stile in a wire fence. Continue straight up to the top of the field. At the hedge turn right to a stile by a house, leading to a road (the path use to go through the hedge, directly onto the road, but this is now too dangerous).
Turn left on the road and soon reach St. Anne’s Green Lane. Turn right up here for some way. At a junction bear right for half a mile. At the next road junction, go left up Summerhill Road. In a few paces turn right up the entrance drive of Allingham Farm.
Pass Allingham Oast on the right and keep ahead on the roadway until it reaches a bend and swings sharply left towards houses. Here turn sharp right and, with the house directly behind, walk up through the orchard to a stile and footbridge into a field. Keep up the field with a hedge on your right. Cross two more stiles to pass a house on your left and emerge onto farm road by a pond.
Turn left on this roadway and follow it past outbuildings and a workshop to an old vehicle dump. Just before the dump, turn right off the drive up a field edge to reach a pond at the top. Turn left along the top of the pond then on by a hedge on your left.
Where the hedge ends cross the open field ahead and a short microlight airstrip. At the far side duck under a wire fence and continue to a corner of woodland at the far side (now in a horse paddock). There is a post with old waymark arrows here. Go ahead a few paces and turn right by a wooden stable. Cross the wire fence behind into a field.(If this path is impassable, stay on the roadway past the microlight hanger and the landing strip. Look for an orchard on the right and turn up along the side with a hedge on your right. At the top go through a small gap in the hedge ahead into the field beyond).
Keep on up the field edge with a strip of woodland on your right, to the end of the field. Find a gap in the hedge and cross into a sloping field (none of this has been on the proper path which runs through the horse paddock on the other side of the woodland strip). Go down this field bearing left towards farm buildings below. At the far bottom lefthand corner, cross a stile by a fingerpost onto a green byway (watch the ditch!).
Turn left on the green lane for a short distance. Just before Overbridge Farm, go left over a stile into a field. Turn right to follow the hedge past a pond to a footbridge into a field. Keep on, slightly left, across to a line of trees. Enter a small wood and cross a stile by a pond into a field.
Bear right along by the hedge on the right to a pair of stiles by metal fieldgates (There may be upto ten inches of standing water here after heavy rain and no obvious way around). Continue ahead with the hedge on your left (ignore a stile on the left), and follow the hedge up a long narrow horse paddock to a metal fieldgate and stile at the top end.
Cross to a wide grassy track and follow this, past outbuildings on your left, to a series of stiles and horse paddocks and mud, across a garden, to a steep bank and stile leading to a road by a railway bridge.
Cross the road to an enclosed path by the side of the railway. At the end turn right to cross the railway and then continue along a further very muddy and litter strewn path with the railway on your left. Emerge into Staplehurst Station forecourt. Keep ahead to the main road.
Here turn right and follow the road past shops for 3/4 mile back to the start of the section.