Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 20 (Return)
The Royal Oak (Staffhurst Wood) to Edenbridge
|Map||OS Explorer 147 (Sevenoaks & Tonbridge)|
|Distance/Time||5 Miles/2.5 Hours|
|Start||The Royal Oak pub has its own parking, also car park in Staffhurst Wood.|
|Comment||A varied and pleasant country walk with just some confusion of paths on the final approach into Edenbridge, at least you can see where you are going. Remember this is a lowlying area and a flood plain.|
With the ‘Royal Oak’ on your left walk down the road a few paces looking for a footpath on the left by the pub car park. Cross a stile by a fieldgate. Follow the hedge on your left around and uphill to a stile. Over the stile bear left down a grassy field to a stile at the bottom just left of buildings.
Go on to a third stile into a wood and wind around to a road. Turn right along the road, ignoring a footpath on the left. In 100 metres, opposite the last of buildings on the right, turn left on a path into woods.
The feint path soon reaches a more definite one. Bear right on this. At a fork bear left keeping on the level then begin to drop down. Ignore a side path on left and reach a T-junction. Turn right and keep on down. On reaching a cross path, go over to a narrow path continuing down in the same direction.
Cross a footbridge and almost immediately reach a Y-fork. Turn sharp left to a stile and footbridge into an open grassy area. Cross the grass to a gate and footbridge by a cattle trough. Go on uphill into a wood.
At the top drop downhill to a gate and stile. Cross and turn left down a grassy way to a stile and fieldgate emerging onto a road at Black Robin’s Farm. Turn right on the road. Just past the farm turn left down a vehicle entrance then immediately right to a metal fieldgate by a pond.
Enter a field and bear left across to a gap in the hedge between the poles of power cables. Through this gap bear diagonally right across the centre of a large field to the far opposite corner. Just short of the corner find a stile in the fence at the foot of a high railway embankment.
Climb up the steps to cross the railway and drop down to a field at the far side. Go ahead by the hedge on your left to a gate out onto a road. Turn right on the road ignoring a footbridge on the left soon reached. In a few paces more reach a farm entrance on the left.
Cross a stile just left of the entrance into horse paddocks. Walk directly away from the road with a fence on your right and drive beyond. Cross several stiles in poor condition until reaching a metal fieldgate and fence across the path. Cross a stile at the side into a large pasture and (ignoring a waymark pointing left) bear right uphill to the top right corner. There is a stile by a line of trees. Over this go on across a field (currently not reinstated through crops) towards distant houses. At the far side of the field cross a footbridge on the left into a field.
Go up the field with a hedge on your right then a wooden fence. Cross a stile into a garden and continue up to a hedge at the top. Turn right along this to a narrow path leading to a stile and a road. Turn left down the road.
Look for a metal fieldgate in the hedge on the left in about 100 metres and a footpath. Go through the gate into a field and head diagonally left down the field (currently no reinstatement) to the left end of Shinglebarn Wood. Find a stile and footbridge in the hedge.
Cross and go forward to a junction of paths at a waymark post. Bear left (no evidence of the other path) to merge onto a golf course. There are waymarks between fairways and very feint paths. Cross the first fairway with a pond on your left. Keep on over a second fairway with a stream on your left.
Keep going through another planting of trees and across another fairway about 30 metres above a wide stream and sand bunkers to more trees (keep looking for waymark posts).
Keep forward over yet another fairway and pass two small ponds on your left (do not pass between these ponds). Finally join an obscure path to a stile into a field.
Follow the field edge and a hedge on your left. At the end of the hedge turn left over a footbridge. The other side turn immediately right to follow the stream on your right for nearly half a mile. Disregard all side paths and simply follow as closely as possible the stream on your right.
Eventually reach a footbridge with metal handrails going over the stream. Do not cross but turn left to a stile. Over this turn immediately left to another stile. Cross and turn right uphill with a hedge on your right, the going is rough.
At the top of the rise turn left then soon right to pass Skeynes Farm over on your right. Follow an old fence then a hedge on your right for some way. Eventually reach a junction of paths by a wooden fence. Turn right down a field edge to a gate onto a road at the bottom.
Turn left on the road for a short distance looking for a footpath going off right by metal barriers. Walk down the field away from the road with a hedge on your right. At the bottom cross a bridge to a gravel track. Turn left on this track and follow it with the stream on your left for ½ mile.
Eventually ignore a wooden footbridge on the left and continue in the same direction with playing fields over on your left. Finally reach a fence in front of the River Eden. Here turn left over a metal footbridge and walk up by playing fields. At the beginning of a hedge bear right on a track. Follow this for some way, disregarding side and cross tracks.
Eventually the track meets the River Eden again. Bear left along by the river on your right to a road bridge. If safe to do so, go under the bridge and join a path at the far side leading to Edenbridge High Street. Turn left to return to the ‘King & Queen’.
Otherwise do not go under the bridge but bear left up to the road. Cross to the car park of the Co-op supermarket. Walk through the car park passing the supermarket on your left and exit onto the High Street at the far side opposite the ‘King & Queen’ pub and the start of the section.