Section 15 (Out)
Castle Hill to Five Oak Green
|OS Explorer 136 (The Weald)
|6 Miles/ 3 Hours
|The Castle Inn at Castle Hill, limited parking; ask in pub if visiting later.
|A walk of constant novelty, with woods, orchards and open fields contrasted with evidence of the rural economy and the intensive use of this countryside. Many stiles.
With the ‘Castle Inn’ behind turn left down Pearson’s Green Road (signposted Collier Street and Marden). Go downhill for some way. Just past a house on the left, look on the left for a wooden gate labelled ‘Castle Wood’ with a stile next to it. Cross into the wood and follow a track uphill.
At the top of the rise is a Y-fork. Here go to the right of a dead tree much frequented by woodpeckers. Continue to a stile at the end of the wood. Cross and go uphill to the treeline ahead. On reaching it, turn left, and follow the field edge with trees on your right.
Arrive at a corner with a bungalow ahead. The path goes through a metal fieldgate into a stock pen. Cross this to a stile by another fieldgate at the far side (this is easier said than done as the pen is very muddy). Cross the stile onto a concrete drive and follow this down to a road.
Turn right on the road and go downhill passing a large house called ‘The Knowle’ on your right and other houses on the left. Towards the foot of the hill, where the slope begins to level, look for a drainage ditch going across the field on your left. Level with the ditch should be a fingerpost. Turn left off the road down steps and go forward away from the road across the field with the ditch on your right.
Eventually reach a cross ditch (ignore a bridge on your right just before). Go up to the cross ditch and turn left for a few paces to bridge. Cross this into the field ahead. Turn immediately right along the field edge with the ditch down on your right.
Look left across the field to houses and gardens. When level with the bottom corner of the garden of the furthest house, turn left and head across the field to a stile. Over the stile, walk down the edge of the garden to a fieldgate leading to a busy road.
Turn right along the road for 50 metres, then, just before a road junction on the right, turn left up a farm track by a white weatherboarded house. Follow this for some way between fields. Pass another house and stay on the track as it swings left past outbuildings.
Just before a house and garden on the right, look for a stile. Cross into an enclosed path down the side of the garden. At the end, go through a gap into a field. Bear right across the field to the lefthand end of a line of trees. On reaching this, turn right to walk along the field edge with trees on your left. Just before reaching the end of the field swing right across the field to a wide gap in the opposite hedge. Enter another field.
Go straight ahead across the centre of the field heading just left of a line of three isolated trees. On reaching to corner of a hedge, keep straight on with the hedge on your left. At the far end cross a stile. Bear slightly left across the next field towards a single oast. Exit through a wooden kissing gate onto a road.
Go left onto the road. Keep along for some way. Ignore a side road on the right and continue to the converted farm buildings of Mascall’s Court. Turn right here on a vehicle drive keeping left of Mascall’s Court Barn. Just before a large farm building ahead, turn right by a water tank, to follow a track with an orchard on your right towards a distant pylon.
At the far side reach a hedge and field. Keep on along the field edge with the hedge on your right. Eventually exit onto a road. Turn left along the road looking for a footpath on the right, just past a house. Go through a rough thicket and keep on by the fence on your right to reach a field.
Turn right along the edge and soon reach a corner. Bear right to a narrow path through the hedge leading to a concrete footbridge. Cross and follow the enclosed path beyond. Soon reach an orchard. Bear right and follow the hedge and power lines on your right along the edge of the orchard. At the far end reach a T-junction of paths. Turn left to follow a hedge on your right along the edge of an orchard towards a large field ahead.
Cross the field, first to a wooden pole supporting power cables, and then on, to a concrete stile at the far side. Cross and continue over the next field, aiming to the left end of a wire fence where there is a railway crossing.
Over the railway, go forward with a wire fence and reservoir on your right. At a corner follow the fence around to the right, to a gateway leading to a road. Turn left along the road.
Keep along the road to a righthand bend by Little Rhoden Farm. Turn left off the road here, passing a house on your left. Walk along a wide farm access road. Keep on through outbuildings and portacabins used by fruit pickers. Soon reach an enclosed path with a field on the left and head towards warehouses ahead.
On reaching a T-junction, turn right on a path by a wire fence with warehouses over on your left. Keep on this for some way to a main road crossing an access road midway. Turn left along the road (there is a pavement).
Pass a field over on your right. Ignore a footpath going off right. Just before the first building on your right, turn right along a private road signed to ‘Eastlands’. (Paddock Wood railway station and shops are further down the main road).
Head up the drive towards ‘Eastlands’. Pass a house on the right. Just before a house on the left behind a high hedge, turn left off the drive onto a grassy track with the hedge and a ditch on your right. Keep on for some way to a railway crossing. Over this reach a field.
Bear right to follow the field edge and the trees on your right. In 150 metres go right, out of the field, over a wooden footbridge, and follow a broad treelined path. At the end of the wood, keep on across a dilapidated metal footbridge along the edge of a field to reach a busy main road.
Turn left with great care along a narrow verge for about 100 metres. Turn right off the road into the drive to Capel Grange. Where this swings right towards the main house, go forward on a rougher track to a gateway signed ‘Coach House Only’. Go through this gateway to an asphalt drive and follow it all the way to a road.
Turn right along the road to eventually reach Five Oaks Green. Pass the Kings Head pub on your left and soon reach the village shop by a small village green. This is the end of the section (the Queen’s Head pub is a little further on, but not open at lunch times).