Section 14 (Out)
Marden to Castle Hill
|OS 136 (The Weald)
|4.5 Miles/2.5 Hours
|The Unicorn, Marden village centre; there is a village car park.
|Some excellent Kentish countryside, although there are some very poor footpaths in this area. There is varied countryside with trees, orchards and valleys, possibly muddy in places. As ever keep a close eye on the map and don't take any path for granted.
With ‘The Unicorn’ at Marden on your right, go ahead along the main road, soon passing the library and car park on the left. Shortly after, look out for a green public footpath sign indicating a path going left down to a recreation ground. Turn down here.
Walk the length of the recreation ground and in the bottom lefthand corner cross a long footbridge into a field. Bear right along the field edge with a wood on the right. At the corner ahead, by a pond down on the right, bear right through a gap into the corner of an orchard.
Turn left for 100 metres, going under power lines to the end of the orchard. Here turn right, slightly downhill with the hedge on your right. Follow the hedge for a good way ignoring tracks off either side. At the bottom, where the hedge on your right ends, go through a gap into the orchard ahead. Turn left to a corner by a pond, then right to continue downhill with an orchard on the right and hedge and trees on your left. Go down for about 20 metres. Just before a pond and corner ahead, turn right to walk down an orchard row to the hedge at the far side. Find a gap in the hedge and emerge with great care onto a busy road.
Turn left and with care walk along the road for about two hundred metres. It is best to cross and walk along in front of cottages, then cross the road again to a narrow pavement and verge. Where the road bears left, look for the private, off right, to Roughlands Farm.
Walk up this for 100 metres looking on the left for an old wooden gate leading into an orchard. Enter here and walk along with a tall hedge and a ditch on the right. Where the hedge and ditch does a swing to the right, opposite farm buildings over on the left, turn left and walk away from the hedge and ditch following a grassy track along the top edge of an orchard on your right.
Soon reach the end of the orchard and meet a farm track with a garden ahead. Turn right a short distance to a corner, then left, still with the garden on your left and orchard on the right. Pass the garden and a pond. Look for a stile on your left leading into an enclosed path.
Follow this down to a road at Marden Beech. Turn right on the road and soon left on a footpath going up past a house. Follow a wire fence on the left up to a field. Turn right for a short distance towards outbuildings and then left on a farm track which continues slightly uphill, passing the end of a tall hedge on the right.
At the top of the hill, reach a junction of tracks, Cromwell’s Farm is down on the left. Turn right here and keep on across the field, ignoring path off left, to a stile in the hedge at the far side. Cross and turn left for a few paces to a waymark post. Here turn right and walk down the orchard to a footbridge in the bottom hedge. Cross and keep on down to a waymark post at the bottom corner of the orchard.
Keep on downhill in the same direction across an open field towards a hedge at the bottom with woodland beyond. At a gap in the hedge, cross a footbridge and keep forward again along the field edge with woods on the right. At the top corner of the field, go through a wide gap into a large open field. Keep ahead in the same general direction with a hedge now on the left.
In trees ahead, cross a long concrete footbridge and keep on up to a junction of tracks with a belt of trees and power lines ahead. Turn right here, along a track, along the top edge of the field with the trees on your left. In 300 metres go through a metal fieldgate and bear left over an ivyclad brick bridge. Ignore the track straight ahead and turn left up the field edge with a hedge on your left, going under power lines.
After some way, at the very top corner of the field, the path swings left through a gap then immediately right to continue up the other side of the hedge (now on your right). The path becomes a surfaced farm road. Pass a house on the left then swing right then left on the drive through the buildings of Castlemaine Farm.
Just past an iron tank on the left the drive veers right, past an old corrugated iron outbuilding. Turn left here on a bridleway. Pass the corrugated iron building on your right and follow the hedge and trees on your left to soon reach a field. Go up and across this narrow field to a corner of an orchard at the top side. Here turn left to walk along the top edge of the field with the orchard on your right.
At the far corner the path leaves the field onto a green track. Keep on along it, ignoring turnings to the right. Soon pass houses. The track becomes a drive and leads to a junction with a busy road. Turn right along the road with care to soon reach a junction with Yew Tree Green Road on the left. Turn left up this road.
Pass through the houses of the hamlet of Yew Tree Green. Immediately past a pond on the right, turn right in front of a house onto a grassy farm track. Depending on the time of year this track may be overgrown or muddy. Follow it for some way downhill then uphill to eventually go down again to a junction of tracks in the centre of farm buildings at Poplars Farm.
Just before an Oast, turn sharp left up a vehicle entrance to a house (there are no signs and the path seems to be deliberately obscured). Go through a fieldgate into the parking area, then turn right, along the bottom edge of the garden, to a fieldfence at the far side. Turn left up the fence line to reach a stile by the end corner of the house. Cross this into a field.
Walk forward up the bottom edge of the pasture with a hedge on your right for ¼ mile. Eventually, near the top end of the field, reach a stile on your right. Cross into a steeply rising horse paddock. Bear left uphill, aiming just right of cottages at the top. Leave the paddock over a stile by a fieldgate onto a muddy farm track. Follow this for some way out to a road.
Turn right up the road. Stay on it to eventually reach a crossroads at the Castle Hill Inn and the end of the section.