Section 9 (Return)
Bethersden to Shadoxhurst
|OS Explorer 137 (Ashford)
|4 Miles/2 Hours
|Bethersden, The George; some on road parking
|Generally straightforward walking but poor waymarking means the route is not always obvious and the going slow. There is ¾ mile along a country road, rather than ¼ mile along the A28 which was too dangerous to consider.
With the church on the left and the ‘George Inn’ on the right, go ahead along the road. At the T-junction cross over to a broad bridleway. Keep along this to a road. Cross the road to a gate and a bridleway sign.
Immediately through the gate, bear left, uphill, across the field to a stile. Over this, keep on, leaving the hedge on the right, to cross the field, aiming to the left of a house ahead. Cross the stile by the house and go forward, into a wood which seems part of the house garden.
The path becomes stone paved and leads to a stile at the end of the wood. Cross the stile to an enclosed path by horse paddocks. Keep on to pass Twenty Acre Wood on your right, and then continue on along a field edge to a gap by a large pond. Old Surrenden Manor can be seen over on the left.
Walk past the pond and on, across the field to the bottom end of the manor garden. There are no waymarks or path indications here. Go straight ahead on a broad grassy way below the manor, to a field. Turn left and follow the field edge and hedge, to a corner. Turn right, still following the hedge with ponds and a garden beyond.
Follow the hedge as it turns left and walk up to a final isolated pond. Here turn right and walk across the field to a broken down gateway. Keep on across a second field to a line of trees.
Keep forward with ponds on the left, to the corner of the field where it joins a wood. Go on into the wood on a narrow path. Follow the path down through the wood to the far corner with a redundant stile and a new gate. Go through this into a horse paddock and bear right, downhill, by a fence.
Follow the fence as it turns sharp right. At the next field corner, turn left to go along to a stile leading onto the busy A28 road. Turn right a short distance, then cross carefully and turn left down a side road called Bethersden Road. Walk along this country road for a mile (not too busy and good views but a great deal of litter at the start).
Ignore a footpath off right in 200 metres and keep on to pass Calais Wood on the left and two farms, finally reaching a footpath going off right just before a righthand bend in the road.
Go uphill to a hedge corner, then keep ahead with a hedge on the left, all the way to a stile onto a road. Turn left on the road, past a garage and road junction, to reach the King’s Head in Shadoxhurst and the start of the section.