Section 21 (Out)
The Royal Oak (Staffhurst Wood) to South Godstone
|OS Explorer 147 (Sevenoaks & Tonbridge) 146 (Dorking)
|4 Miles/ 2Hours
|The Royal Oak at Staffhurst Wood; parking at both places.
|A typical walk for this area. Some pleasant and varied countryside with fields and woods. The paths are not always easy to find, especially through farms and farm conversions. There are stiles and stretches of path may be muddy. Take great care emerging onto the A22 at South Godstone.
With the ‘Royal Oak’ pub on your right, walk uphill a few paces. Turn left off the road through a gate into Great Earl’s Wood. Follow a clear path bearing right through the wood. Ignore a cross path by a seat and continue ahead.
Soon reach a Y-fork and bear left downhill. Cross a stream and go on, now uphill. Near the top, ignore a fork left by an open field on your left, and keep on up to the top of the hill. Now descend gently through a gap in wooden fencing and cross planking to a forest track.
Turn right on this track looking very carefully for a feint cross track in about 20 metres. Turn left down this through trees to the corner of a raised earthen bank. Keep on downhill with the bank on your left to reach a road by a house with black and white timber framed effect.
Turn left off the road immediately before the house down a broad footpath with a garden fence on your right to soon reach a stile by a fieldgate.
Cross the stile and bear diagonally right across the field to a stile at the far side, then on across a further pasture to a railway crossing. Over this keep on downhill bearing slightly left to a stile in front of buildings in the bottom fence.
Cross onto a farm road and turn left. Walk along past Foyle Farm to a heavy sheet metal gate across the road with a stile at the side. Over the stile there is a junction of paths.
Bear right downhill on a farm road. Pass a house conversion on your right with lots of wooden weatherboarding. Just past this house swing sharp right in front of a barn down a concrete farm track. Pass the actual farmhouse on your right then swing left past a large pond. Keep on the track as it rises up to pass between cattle sheds (ignore a path going off right through a fieldgate).
Finally leave the farm buildings and emerge into a field. Stay on the track as it crosses the centre of the field, passing a lone tree on your left, to reach the far corner and a stile by a fieldgate. Leave the field and go on up a track. Ignore two field entrances on your right and bear left at the top into a broad green lane enclosed between hedges.
Keep on this lane for some way as it swings right then goes downhill to finish at a fieldgate and stile. Cross into a sloping pasture and follow the hedge on your right down to a broad stream at the bottom. Turn left along the stream to a farm bridge. Cross to a junction of paths.
Bear right to follow the hedge on your right uphill for some 100 metres (ignore a fieldgate in the hedge). At a tree turn right to a set back stile by a rusty fieldgate. Cross into a field and go diagonally left uphill and across the centre to the far opposite corner by the end of a wood.
In the corner is a gap. Go through to the field ahead, and, leaving the wood behind, go straight across the field to a stile by a fieldgate onto a road. Cross the road to continue on across a field towards a clump of trees.
On reaching the trees bear slightly left into a field. Continue on in the same direction as before along the field edge, now with trees on your right (the other side of the trees is a model aircraft flying area). Where trees end keep forward with a hedge on your right. Go through a wide gap into the next field.
Still keep forward towards a row of houses, now with a hedge on your left. At the end pass a fieldgate and reach a road junction. Cross to the road opposite called Miles Lane. Keep on past the cottages on your right.
Just past the last cottage, cross the road to two field entrances on the left. Take the entrance on the left and walk into the field on your left. In the field immediately turn right to follow the hedge on your right downhill to a stile by a wood.
Over the stile and a footbridge enter the wood and bear slightly right on a path crossing the wood with the edge not far off on your right. At the far side of the wood emerge by a large pond. Cross a concrete footbridge and continue into a large garden area with an historic farmstead conversion ahead.
Cross towards the buildings bearing left to a stile at the end of the wooden fence on your left. Cross the stile onto a drive and turn right to cross a large gravel area between the houses to reach a solid wooden gate in the wall at the far side. There is no lock on the gate. Go through to a farm track. Turn right for a few paces, then left over a stile by a fieldgate.
Walk down the field just slightly right of the fence on your left. Reach a large pond at the bottom and find a stile behind it. Cross the stile into an enclosed path with a railway embankment on the left (in wet weather this path can be waterlogged, use the field edge). Follow the railway along for 100 metres to a bridge under the railway. Go through this to a junction of paths at the far side. Turn immediately right to follow the field edge and the railway on your right for ½ mile along the tops of several fields to emerge onto the busy A22. Take great care as there is no pavement or verge where the path comes out.
Cross to the pavement opposite and turn right uphill under the railway bridge to reach ‘The Lagham’ Bar and Indian Restaurant (once ‘The Railway’ pub) and the end of the section. There is a petrol station with shop a little further up the road.