Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2020
Section 6 (Return)
The Forstal to Brabourne Lees
|Map||OS Map 137 Ashford|
|Distance/Time||3.5 Miles/2.5 Hours|
|Start||The Farriers Arms on the mill approach road|
|Comment||Although a relatively short section the paths in the first half are not at all easy to find and progress may be slow. Views in the second half are good and the parkland makes a real change.|
With the ‘Farrier’s Arms’ on the left go forward to soon reach a road junction. This is Blind Lane. Turn right along here. Footpaths off this lane are impassable so walk along the lane for nearly a mile. Eventually turn right under a railway bridge. Soon turn right on a new footpath running parallel with the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link on the right. The path is difficult to follow but keep forward to pass a house and garden on the left. Immediately enter a rough rising field. Walk diagonally right, uphill, to the top right corner and a stile hidden in a hedge just left of the corner (very poor, overgrown stile).
Over this turn right along the field edge for 10 metres to reach a path going left uphill. Go up this path and keep forward passing three houses on the left with conservatories, to reach a waymark post just to the right of these three houses and left of a terrace of old cottages. Turn right on an enclosed path and follow this to a road.
Turn left on the road passing Mersham Post Office (which may have become ‘The Old Post Office’ !). Keep on past the ‘Royal Oak’ and on over crossroads, looking for a narrow fenced path on the right opposite a distinctive white house. Cross a stile into a field. Bear left to a hidden stile in an odd angle of fence in the far opposite corner.
Cross a small piece of rough ground to a further stile covered in ivy and bear right across an open field to a dense wood ahead. Pass a waymark post and cross a strip of woodland to a stile. Go on along the edge of the wood on the left. Where the wood ends, keep on in the same direction, uphill, into an open field. Keep parallel with a row of distant houses on the right and the M20 far off on the left.
At the highest point keep on. Aim for industrial buildings and a phone mast in the distance ahead. When opposite the last of the houses on the right, turn left down to the bottom hedge. Turn right and follow the field edge with a fence and hedge on the left. At the end of the field cross a stile into a second field and continue along to the next corner and a stile leading to a steep bank up to a stile leading out onto a country road called Stock Lane.
Turn left along the lane soon crossing the M20. Pass a farm on the left and keep forward on the road (now blocked to vehicles) and walk up to the A20 road. Cross with care to go on up the road the other side called The Ridgeway. Keep on until reaching a sharp righthand bend in the road. Just around this, opposite an old cottage, turn left off the road through a swing gate.
Bear right down an obvious path and continue for some way along the edge of a wood on a clear wide track. Eventually emerge from the wood into a deer park. Pass a lake on the right. Bear slightly right, uphill, over a cross track(which heads back towards the topside of the lake) to a second junction with a broad grassy track. Turn right here over to a fence with a ladder stile next to a large field gate. Cross the stile into a plantation.
Go up a steadily rising grassy ride. At the end of the plantation go through a gap by an old stile into a sloping field. Bear diagonally right down the field to the far right bottom corner. Leave the field to cross a rough farm track and go on down to a hedge and ditch at the bottom. There is now a large gap in the hedge for tractors. Go through and on uphill to a stile near the top by a green metal fieldgate.
Keep straight on with a hedge on the left for some way. Eventually the way is barred by a field gate into a horse paddock. Here look for a stile in the hedge on the right. Cross into the field on the right and turn immediately left to follow the hedge on the left along the field edge to the corner ahead. Go forward by a stile into an enclosed path by houses and soon emerge onto a road. Turn right along the road to shortly reach ‘The Woolpack’ and the start of the section.