Section 20 (Out)
Edenbridge to The Royal Oak (Staffhurst Wood)
|OS Explorer 147 (Sevenoaks & Tonbridge)
|5 Miles/2.5 Hours
|Edenbridge High Street;car parks available
|An enjoyable country walk but careful navigation needed across a golf course with the usual lack of waymarks, and confusing paths in Staffhurst Wood. Always allow plenty of time for the need to search out paths.
From the ‘King & Queen’ pub turn right up Edenbridge High Street. Pass the entrance to the Co-op supermarket, on your left, then the ‘Old Crown Inn’, and the Eden Valley Museum. Turn down the first turning left. At the end reach the town centre bypass.
Cross to the road opposite. Go along it bearing off to the road veering off to the right. Pass a brick wall then a green on your left. Where the road turns sharply right, go ahead up an enclosed path. The path soon passes through an area of car parking to reach a narrow estate road.
Turn left on this road and walk along by a green on your right until the road turns up to a T-junction. Here turn left and walk along passing a side turning on the right. Look for a footpath going right by a tall hedge. Walk up this concrete path, by the hedge, until reaching a stile on the left.
Cross the stile and go ahead across the field towards trees. On reaching the far side bear right and walk up the field edge to a fence by a metal fieldgate. Go through a gap and walk on up an enclosed path with the wire fence on your right. Soon cross a stile by a fieldgate and continue along the easily followed path for some way.
Eventually the path swings left and comes to a junction of paths by a broken wooden kissing gate and a wooden fence. Turn right through the gateway and walk up a field with a wire and wood fence on your left. At the end of the field go through a wooden kissing gate and keep forward on an enclosed path to a second kissing gate leading to a farm track.
Turn left on this track for a short way, then, by an oak tree, turn right on a grassy track. Soon, by farm buildings on your left, turn right to cross a golf course. (Take care when crossing fairways, make sure no-one is playing down them) There are waymark posts along the way but not always easily seen. Make sure not to veer off to the right.
Walk diagonally left across the first fairway to a copse of young trees. Go through the trees to a second fairway. Keep on in the same direction, diagonally left, up the fairway, passing an embankment over on the right, do not go over to it, but closely skirt a large pond on your left and continue to a second stand of trees. Go through and on now uphill with a pond an railway arch away over on the right.
Cross a plank bridge and further fairway to a green track. Keep on uphill past a pond on your left. Near the top of the hill, by a large oak, the track bears right. Leave it and bear left across long grass to a substantial wood.
Enter and go through the wood, and, still climbing, emerge and reach a junction of paths by a pond on your left. Keep straight on up to a stile in a wire fence ahead. Cross and keep on to enter a wood. Soon reach a stile by a wire fence.
Cross and bear right in trees to go up with a wire fence and depot on your right. Soon emerge at a road junction. Turn left on the road and shortly right over a railway bridge. Keep on to cross a second rail line in a deep cutting. The road now swings right. Turn left down a narrow road signed as a no through road.
Keep on this road past farm buildings on your left. Ignore two footpaths going off right, and stay on the roadway as it winds left. Stay on this bridleway road to Bachelors Farm, passing cottages on the left, then through a gate across the road.
At the top of a slope pass a pond on the left, ignoring a stile on the right. Swing left with the roadway as it crosses a concrete bridge and turn right, still on the road, now concrete, and continue to a T-junction.
Turn left and walk along the road for some way. Having crossed a railway bridge, look for a footpath going off on the right, there is a stile in the hedge by a small pond in trees. Enter a field and bear right to walk up the edge of the field with a hedge on your right.
Go through a gate into a second field and go on up to a stile. Cross into a further field and continue uphill by a line of trees to a stile at the very top by the railway. Do not cross this stile but turn away from the railway and the field edge and walk downhill across the field following a line of trees to a stile into a strip of woodland at the bottom.
Walk through the wood to a footbridge and cross the Crooked River. Keep on up and across a large field towards conifer trees at the top. Reach a stile just to the right of a garden and walk down by a wall on your left, to a further stile and out onto a road.
Turn left on the road. Ignore the first footpath on the right and pass a gravel drive on your right to ‘The Horns’. A few paces on reach a footpath going off right over a small footbridge into Staffhurst Wood. Go up a narrow path passing a wood barrier. In a few paces further, just past a yew tree on your right, turn right (there is a shallow pond down on the right). Keep on with a narrow stream down on your right to a cross path (there is a high wooden garden fence beyond). Turn left on this cross path and walk gently uphill to a rough drive.
Cross this to a gap between wooden posts and continue forward on a feint path. Ignoring cross and side paths, stay on the main path. This passes a stand of holly bushes and bears slightly right still uphill, ignore a path off right and continue uphill as the path becomes wider and more defined.
Eventually emerge into a car park. Walk across to a road. Turn right on the road for a short distance to a T-junction by St. Silvans Church (a whimsical rustic creation of 1935). Cross the road and go up a short road ahead to another T-junction. Turn left by a sign for a low bridge in ¾ mile.
Soon reach ‘The Royal Oak’ pub and restaurant and end of the section.