Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 21 (Return)
South Godstone to The Royal Oak (Staffhurst Wood)
|Map||OS Explorer 147(Sevenoaks & Tonbridge) 146 (Dorking)|
|Distance/Time||4 Miles/ 2Hours|
|Start||By South Godstone railway station;on road parking around the village|
|Comment||Some pleasant countryside and an interesting church halfway. Some robust moments as the paths are not always easy to find; this is cattle country and there may be mud, always keep on the highest, driest ground even if it means a diversion away from the path.|
With ‘The Lagham’ Bar and Indian Restaurant on your left, walk downhill on the main road out of the village, going under the railway bridge (there is a pavement). In about 100 metres go left off the main road up the entrance to Lagham Park Farm (it is a bridleway).
On reaching buildings, keep forward through a small farmyard. Having left the farm site reach a junction of ways. Stay on the bridleway which winds up and away to the right with trees and ponds on your right.
Reach a gate into a narrow pasture and keep on in the same direction. Pass through a further gate and over a stream. Bear left uphill keeping a thicket of bushes on your right. At the top of the rise keep ahead over open land to a gateway into a broad enclosed path with a wire fence on your right.
Keep on or some way to a fork of paths in front of an open field. Turn right, still on the bridleway. Follow this for a good distance (ignore a path off right), and aim for distant buildings. On reaching these, Lagham Farm Lodge, keep straight on through to a road.
Turn right along the road for a short distance, then left into an entrance to a fishery. Cross a stile on the left of an electric gate into a field. Turn right down the edge of the field with a fence on your right towards an artificial lake at the bottom.
Pass the lake on your left and turn left along the far side, looking for a footbridge and stile in the hedge on your right. Cross into a field. Bear left uphill towards a wood. Cross a stile and keep on with a wire fence over on your left. Cross a stile into the wood.
Keep straight forward for ½ mile. Ignore a path off right. Go through the wood. Where it finishes keep forward across the top edge of several fields aiming for Crowhust Church. Enter the churchyard and pass the church on your left (worth a visit, also don’t miss the 4000 year old yew tree just beyond, one of the top 50 great British trees).
Go on to leave the churchyard through a lychgate onto a road. Turn left on the road ignoring a footpath opposite. Continue downhill towards a left bend at the bottom, ignore a footpath off right just before the bend. At the bend itself leave the road to go straight ahead up the track to Pound Farm. Pass the farmhouse on your left (now converted) and continue up a grassy track. This bears right between bushes into a field. Keep forward with a hedge on your right to another wide gap into the next large field.
Here turn left up the field edge with a hedge on your left to a stile and railway crossing. Over the railway turn right along the field edge to a stile into trees. Pass through bushes and young trees to a stile into a field.
Turn left, downhill, with a treeline on your left to a metal fieldgate in the bottom corner. Go through this and on over a farm bridge. Keep going in the same direction towards the bottom end of a narrow strip of woodland which goes uphill ahead. Cross another stream and go up to a stile by a rusty fieldgate at the side of the strip of woodland. (In wet weather this area is marshy and churned into deep mud by cattle especially around the bridges. If necessary detour around edges of field)
Over the stile, go up an enclosed farm track, with woods on your left. The track enters the site of Foyle Farm. Stay on it past outbuildings to a junction of paths by a metal fieldgate and stile on your right opposite the farm house.
Turn right over this stile and walk uphill along the field edge with a hedge on your left, towards trees. Keep on over the top of the hill and then down to a railway crossing. Over this, cross a stile into a field. Walk straight up the field to a metal fieldgate between the buildings of Sunt Farm on the skyline.
Go through to a driveway and continue straight through buildings then down and up to a junction with a road. Turn left up the road and soon reach ‘The Royal Oak’ and the start of the section.