Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 11 Return
Robertsbridge to Bodiam
|Map||OS Explorer 136 The Weald|
|Distance||5 miles/2 ½ hours|
|Start||The Seven Stars pub in Robertsbridge High Street. Parking at various locations in the village.|
|Comment||This is a walk with plenty of variety with woods, fields, orchards and river views. There are some short stretches of rough walking. Please note that this is the valley of the River Rother and after significant rain some of the fields and paths may be under standing water. Do not take risks and through the Winter months wellington boots are a good idea with walking poles.|
With the Seven Stars on the left, go on up the main street on a raised brick pavement. On reaching a brick clocktower turn left, over gravel by the side of a bookshop, up an enclosed path by a brick wall. Continue uphill to reach a gateway into a playing field on the right. Here drop down left onto a road. Turn right along the road. At the end of the road keep forward over a footbridge over a main road. At the far side turn right down with the road on the right. At the bottom follow the path as it swings away from the road and passes below a tall bank on the right. At the end the path climbs the bank into a field. Go forward with a hedge on the right. Where this swings away, keep forward down the open field towards a water treatment works.
At the bottom go through a gap in the hedge over a stream. Continue uphill through the works to the edge of a wood at the top and a stile. Do not cross the stile but bear left on a path going diagonally left into the woods. Follow this path across cross paths to the far side of the wood. It is very wet and muddy after rain.
Eventually cross a footbridge and emerge from the wood into the corner of a hop garden. Turn right along the edge of the hops with a ditch and woods on the right. At the end of the hop garden, cross a footbridge onto a farm track. Turn left a few paces, then turn right off the track through a gap into a field. Bear right to the field edge and continue along with the ditch and wood on the right. At the corner ahead by a stone house on the right reach a crossing of ways. Turn left on a rough vehicle track.
Where this meets a T-junction by a hedge, Turn right on another track. This comes to an end by a low cottage. Continue straight ahead through a fieldgate and go uphill by a fence on the left to another gate by a corner of woodland at the top. Go through and keep forward with the wood edge on the right. Follow this track for some way (if very wet move into the field on the left).
Eventually emerge at a corner of the wood at a concrete track. Turn right on this track and continue following the wood on the right in the same direction as before. The wood edge bears gradually right, then meets a corner, where it enters the wood. Do not enter the wood but turn left up the field edge with a stream and a stand of conifer trees on the right. Go to the top corner of the field (possible very wet as the River Rother is just beyond the field). In the corner turn right into the next field and immediately right again to go down the line of trees on the right, back towards the wood again.
Do not enter but turn left along the field edge, again possibly very wet. Keep along with bushes on the right then woods to the end of the field. Go through a gap in the corner into a field ahead. Ignore a path going left and keep on along by the wood on the right towards grey farm buildings. On nearing the end of the field bear right to a footbridge and cross.
There are two paths here. Bear right again towards the grey buildings and follow a fence on the right through trees to a footbridge. Cross and soon emerge onto a road. Cross straight over and follow a feint path going straight up the wood, the wood edge is just over on the right. At the top emerge into an orchard. Keep on up a wide grassy way to a fence by woods at the top. Bear left around the edge of the orchard to the very top corner.
Here cross a stile and bear right on a path along the top edge of a wood. Eventually come to a crossing of ways by the corners of three fields and several fieldgates. Go forward into a sunken path called Udiam Lane. Follow this all the way to eventually drop down onto a road (ignore a stile on the right midway).
Walk a few paces up the road to a junction. Turn left up the side road called Shoreham Lane. Go steeply uphill for a short distance looking for a stile on the left. Cross this into a field and go straight down away from the road. Go through a metal kissing gate at the bottom and go on down the edge of an old orchard.
Halfway down reach a cross path. Here turn right and walk along through the middle of the orchard which is managed for organic fruit and wildlife. At the end cross a footbridge out of the orchard and into an ancient woodland now mostly silver birches. At the end of the woods cross a stile into a field and go on to another stile by a wooden fieldgate at the far side. Cross onto a road junction.
Cross the side road coming in on the left and bear left on the main road going to Ewhurst Green. Go along looking for a footpath going off left beyond a laurel bush by a house with a large pond in front.
Go down passing the side of the house on the right to cross a stile by a fieldgate at the end of the garden. Cross into a field and go on down by the hedge on the left a short distance to a fieldgate on the left. Go through this and turn immediately right. Go downhill quite steeply with a fence on the right. The going is quite rough.
Near the bottom ignore a path going off right and keep on to the bottom corner. Here bear right over a footbridge into the field on the right (ignore a path going off left). Go ahead along the ditch and hedge on the left down to an old barn just before a railway. Cross the railway by stiles into a field at the far side. Bodiam can be seen slightly left in the distance.
This field may be very waterlogged so it might be best to go diagonally left across to the village. Otherwise to follow the proper path from the railway, turn immediately right along with the railway on the right to the field corner. Here turn left and go along the field edge all the way to the bank of the River Rother. Climb up onto the bank and turn left to follow the river on the right, all the way, to cross a stile at the end, onto a road.
Turn right onto the road, over the river bridge, to return to the Castle Inn and the start of the section.