Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 18 (Return)
Bough Beech to Leigh
|Map||OS Explorer 147 (Sevenoaks & Tonbridge)|
|Distance/Time||4.5 Miles/2 Hours|
|Start||The corner by The Wheatsheaf is a busy junction. If intending to visit the pub on returning from the walk, ask about parking on site.|
|Comment||This is a tranquil walk in secluded countryside with a final stretch through the parkland of Penshurst Place. These are paths with frequent stiles.|
Facing The Wheatsheaf with the railway bridge behind, go left up an unmade private lane. At the top of the rise, pass a cottage on your left. Follow the hedge on your left round to a narrow path which soon reaches a gate into a field.
Turn right in the field to follow the edge and swing downhill. Halfway down follow the track through a broad gap in the hedge and continue with the hedge now on your left. Eventually reach a corner at the foot of the hill. Go through a gap on the left, then follow the hedge on your right down to a road.
Go right on the road, soon crossing the River Eden. A few paces beyond, turn left over a stile by a metal fieldgate. Bear right, to walk up the field keeping parallel with the hedgeline on your right. At the end, cross a long footbridge and keep up the slope ahead, then on across a field passing an isolated oak on your right, to a junction of paths at a drive beyond the far hedge.
Cross the drive and a stile opposite. Bear right to follow the hedge on your right down to a stile. Cross this stile and continue along the field ahead to a further stile with a house ahead. Over the stile, go forward to pass a cottage on your left, and over a further stile to a concrete drive. Turn right on this and follow it to a road.
Turn left along the road to a footpath on the right by a telegraph pole. Cross a stile by a fieldgate and walk up the field to a hedge coming in on the left. Do not follow the hedge but keep on across the field to a gap with a metal fieldgate by a large tree in the hedge ahead (this is well to the left of oasts on the hill top).
Cross a poor stile by the fieldgate and walk uphill by a hedge on your right (ignore a stile on the right). Keep on towards farm buildings. Cross a stile by a metal fieldgate and go ahead down a track a short distance to a crossing of drives. Go over to a stile into a field to the left of the oast houses.
Walk past the oasts on your right and where the fence ends, go diagonally right across the field to a corner by a metal barn. In the corner cross a stile and footbridge and keep ahead with a hedge on your right (ignore a stile on the right as you go along). Keep down to a stile by a metal fieldgate in the far corner.
Over this walk forward over a small field to a gap into a rising field ahead. Through the gap turn immediately left to follow the field edge and hedge on your left. Where this bends left go diagonally right across the field towards a gap at the lefthand end of the hedge ahead. Pass a mobile phone mast over on your left.
Go through the gap into the next field. Keep along the field edge to a wooden fieldgate and stile leading to a road (Penshurst Station is on the left). Turn right on the road, watching for occasional lorries, and walk down to a junction.
Turn right and walk with care uphill past an oast and a pond (ignore footpath off right). Turn left down a footpath on a broad gravel track signposted ‘Watermans’). This winds down behind houses, then on past an electricity substation on the right. Keep on with a field on your left and woods on your right. Keep on in the same direction with power lines overhead.
At a gap, go ahead into a field (ignore a cross path and footbridge on your right). Go forward for some distance with a hedge and woods on your right. Keep around the field to the far corner and a stile by a fieldgate. Cross this to meet an asphalt drive. Go forward on this to a junction with a road with a railway bridge on the left.
Do not cross the bridge but go ahead on the road with the railway down on your left. Stay on this road for some distance as it climbs steadily uphill to a road junction. Carefully go left, then immediately right on a broad track into the grounds of Penshurst Place.
At a Y-junction soon reached, keep left along a line of tall conifer trees. Pass a cottage on your left and an outbuilding on your right. Keep on the track as it winds round into woods (don’t go off into fields on your left). The track goes steeply downhill then eventually climbs up through more open ground.
At the top of the rise, swing left to follow the hedge and trees on your left to a stile leading to a grassy field ahead (at this point joining the Eden Valley Way). Follow the broad grassy track gently downhill parallel to a tall line of conifers on your right.
At the far end of the grassy, sloping field, cross into an enclosed track which soon leads out onto a busy road. Turn left with care down to a railway bridge by Leigh Station.
Keep on up the road to return to the Fleur-de-lis pub and the start of the section.