Section 5 (Out)
Stanford North To Brabourne Lees
|OS Explorer 138 (Dover, Folkestone & Hythe) also Map 137 (Ashford)
|5.5 Miles (3 Hours)
|From ‘The Drum Inn’, ask about parking there if intending to visit otherwise on street parking possible.
|An interesting and varied walk with some tricky stiles in prickly hedges (secateurs worth carrying). Some good views and occasional traffic noise from the M20.
With The Drum inn on the right, walk down the road into the village. Ignore a path going right immediately past the pub car park. Pass houses on the right until opposite a close of houses on the left, just short of a turning off to the church. Stop by a yellowish gravel drive on the right.
If the path has been waymarked follow the signs. The route of the path seems to be this. Do not go up the gravel track. Stand facing up the gravel track but look for a wooden gate into the garden on the left. Go through into the garden. Keep to the righthand side of the garden passing a shed on the right.
At the top right corner of the garden the path becomes evident and goes up between a hedge on the left and a fence, to a gate at the top and a waymark post. (If it is not possible to go through the garden, go up the gravel drive to a rusty fieldgate into a garden in front of a bungalow. Go straight up to a wooden gate at the top and emerge at the same waymark post).
Go forward up the hedgeline to a stile into a field. Two paths start here. Ignore the one going sharply left and go forward straight across the field towards distant pylons. Go under wires to a stile and cross down onto a road.
Turn left for a short distance. Where the road swings sharp left, turn right, down a farm track dropping gently downhill. Pass a small lake on the right and keep forward into a field. Go uphill towards a large pylon. Just before the pylon turn left down the field edge with a hedge on the right.
Descend gradually towards Brook Farm and some kennels. Follow the edge of the farm garden as it loops to the right. Pass a concrete marker post and go on to a corner where there is another concrete marker and a pylon straight ahead. Here turn left, downhill away from the farm, across the field towards the M20 Motorway.
At the motorway fence turn right and follow it along to a fieldgate by a footbridge over a stream. Keep on in the same direction to eventually emerge onto the A20 main road by a motorway bridge. Turn right along the pavement and soon pass a village shop.
A little further on, reach a side road on the right called Swan Lane. Opposite, across the main road, is the entrance to Somerfield Barn Court. On the right of this entrance is a stile into a field. Cross over to this stile and enter the field.
Cross the field following a line of spaced out trees. Aim for a distant house in the far corner concealed by fir trees. Reach and cross a stile just before the house.
Keep ahead by a wire fence on the left to a further stile by a fieldgate. Over this bear sharp left, across an entrance drive, to a poor stile into a grassy paddock between conifer hedges. Cross to the far righthand corner and go over a quaint footbridge to skirt a pond and reach a rickety stile into an uneven field.
Turn left to bear diagonally across the field passing a lone tree on the left marking a small pond. Keep on down a bank to the bottom righthand corner by the M20 again. Cross a very high stile into a field on the right.
Carry on along the M20 fence towards a distant white house. Just before the house turn right upto a stile and then left to pass the house and reach a further stile onto a road. Turn left a few paces and look for a fingerpost on the right pointing down through a thicket to a stile into a field.
Cross (can be overgrown) into a field and bear diagonally right across the field towards the middle point of the hedge ahead. Search out a stile hidden in thorn bushes (again can be very overgrown; there are unofficial gaps in the hedge further along). Keep in the same direction across the next field towards a house on the left of Sellindge church.
Just short of the house is a very poor stile onto a grassy track. Turn right down this and the drive beyond to reach a main road. Cross to the pavement the other side and turn right along the road. Pass the church and reach a side road on the left called Stone Hill Road.
Cross this to a concealed enclosed path opposite (there is a marker stone). Pass down between gardens to cross into a field. Here go diagonally left downhill to a fieldgate. Bear left on a private drive, over a stream, going towards the tall metal gates of Hoddiford Mill.
Just before the gates, turn sharp left by a stile and follow the path along by a stream on the left. Soon cross a second stile and bear right upto a stile into a pasture. Keep on in the same direction across a further paddock and emerge onto a private drive. Turn left down to gates onto a road.
Turn right, uphill, on the road. In a short distance pass a side road on the left and, a little further on opposite Southenay Lane, find a stile going left off the road into a field. Two paths begin here. Turn sharp right to go down the field towards power lines in the distance.
Soon drop down a bank to a stile at the rear of garages. Cross an area which is currently a building site to a further stile by a bungalow. Go down through an area of bracken into a field.
Note the line set by the back of the bungalow on the right and use this to set the direction across the field under the power lines to a footbridge down a steep bank at the far side (keep over to the right as the field is crossed; it’s easy to wander off left towards the lowest part of the field).
Cross the footbridge and a stile beyond into a rough field and go up to a stile by a wooden pole. Cross this to another footbridge and keep on up to an entrance drive.
Turn right on the entrance drive a short distance to reach an old wooden gate on the left. Pass through this and bear diagonally left up the pasture to a stile in a wire fence. Cross this and turn right along the fence on the right and old tree stumps, to reach a stile by a bungalow on the right and cattle grid on the left. Cross to a roadway going uphill and walk up this.
On reaching cottages on the right look for a metal fieldgate on the left. Go through this and cross the field, diagonally, up to another metal fieldgate by a railway sleeper marker post.
Go through the gate and turn left up by the fence to a stile into a sheepfold. Keep on up to exit by a further stile and on, upwards, towards an Oast. Just before this cross into a narrow path bearing right along the edge of a garden and soon emerge onto a private drive.
Cross straight over and go ahead with a tall conifer hedge on the left (do not go down the gap in the hedge) and soon pass tennis courts on the right. Drop down to a stile into a small field and keep on down to the bottom corner where there used to be a gate.
Turn right on a path along the edge of the field on your left and a fence on the right. Soon this goes uphill with a wood on the right. At the end of the field reach a stile onto a roadway with Bog Farm on the left. Go forward passing the farm on the left to reach a fieldgate on the left.
Through this go down to a stream and on to a stile into a steep field. Go diagonally right up this field towards the top righthand corner keeping below the top fence. Reach a stile just below the far corner, to the right of a cottage concealed behind fir trees. Cross into an enclosed path which soon becomes a driveway. Keep forward on this, past new houses on the left and eventually reach a main road opposite a Baptist chapel. Turn left on this road and keep along bearing left at junctions to reach ‘The Woolpack Inn’ and the end of the section.