Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 4 (Out)
Etchinghill to Stanford North
|Map||OS Explorer 138 (Dover, Folkestone & Hythe)|
|Distance/Time||3.5 Miles (1.5 Hours)|
|Start||At the New Inn; ask about parking or some on road parking|
|Comment||An excellent section with varied views and the hilly countryside typical of the downs; some stiles.|
With the New Inn on the right, go forward along the road for a short distance looking for an enclosed path going off on the left (signed as an Elham Valley Way Link Route). Go up this narrow path between fences, cross a footbridge and continue between paddocks to eventually reach a stile. Cross this to continue diagonally uphill across a field to a stile in the top righthand corner.
Over the stile, bear right, to continue across a large field (ignore a cross path heading off left towards a transmitter mast). The path soon begins to drop down, still in midfield, towards distant Staple Farm. When a church spire appears aim straight for it. The path leads to a stile in the extreme corner of the field by a gate. Cross this stile down onto a road and look for a stile opposite.
Having crossed this, turn sharp left, along the North Downs Way, with the wire fence and road the other side, on your left. After some distance reach a fence and double metal fieldgates. Here turn right uphill to a stile. Cross and bear left uphill by a telegraph pole and beyond to a stile at the highest point of the field. Cross this top stile and continue uphill along the hedgeline to a stile at an impressive viewpoint.
Again cross and go ahead winding steeply downhill. Soon reach a junction of paths just above the treeline. Here turn left(leave the North Downs Way which turns right to regain the ridge) to continue downhill towards the village of Postling. At the foot of the hill cross a stile and go left on a road with the church on the right. At a T-junction turn right for a short distance looking for a footpath going off left opposite Postling Court. Turn down this path to soon cross a footbridge (slippery when wet) into a field.
A few metres into the field reach a wooden fieldgate on the right. Go through and bear diagonally left across the field to a stile in the very far corner (ignore all gates on the other side of the field before the corner). Cross the stile into a further field and go forward with a hedge on the left. On reaching a fence at the end of the field turn left over a stile and cut the corner of a field to another stile. Over this continue towards a stile by a distant house.
Having reached a road, turn right along it. Where the road swings sharp right, go left over a stile and continue uphill with a hedge on the right. In a short distance cross a double stile on the right and continue diagonally up the centre of a field to the brow of the hill. Keep on in the same direction, now downhill, towards a metal fieldgate and stile in the bottom fence. Cross and turn right on a broad track reinstated after damage by off-road vehicles. Follow this track into a wood.
At the far end, as the wood begins to thin to a point some fifty metres before a telegraph pole, look carefully for a feint path going off left (hopefully marked by yellow tape on a tree branch). Turn onto this quickly crossing the narrow strip of wood to a pole by a gap into a large field. Go ahead, away from the wood towards another wooden pole and a distant road on an embankment. Follow along the line of poles on the right but don’t cross under the wires. At the top of the field in front of the road embankment, turn right into another field and soon reach a ladder stile by a metal fieldgate.
Cross with care onto the side of the busy road. Turn right with care and walk along verge until opposite another ladder stile on the other side of the road possibly obscured by bushes. Cross the road and the stile. Keep on across the pasture ahead aiming to the righthand corner of the far fence. Go on down, past the corner, to a stile onto a road in front of ‘The Drum’ inn at Stanford North and the end of the section.