Section 10 Return
Bodiam to Sandhurst
|OS Explorer 136 The Weald
|3 miles/ 2 hours
|From The Castle Inn in Bodiam. Parking is available here but there may be a charge.
|Not a long walk but not always easy to follow. Feint paths and marshy patches need time and care.
From the Castle Inn, cross the road to go up the entrance to Bodiam Castle. Pass the shop on the right and go ahead, across the car park, to a wooden kissing gate at the far side. Go through and bear left, away from the river, up onto a gravel vehicle drive on an embankment.
Turn right on this and follow it as it passes below the castle on the left then continues to exit the grounds via a wooden kissing gate by a cattle grid. Stay on the track as it goes up to a hedge and bears right along the top edge of fields. Keep along with hedge on left and fields on right for a mile.
Eventually pass a house on the left and horse paddocks. Stay on the track as it swings right and heads towards a low brick water pumping station. On reaching this climb a bank to find and cross a long footbridge over the Kent Ditch. At the far side bear right, a few paces, then drop down the slope on the left, to a corner of a field by a wide drainage ditch. Walk away from the Kent Ditch with the field on the right and the drainage ditch on the left. At the top, cross a footbridge into a marshy field. Go straight up to a wooden gate by a pylon at the top. Go on to pass the pylon then bear left up a long field to a wooden gate just left of cottages at the top.
Go through to a drive. Go forward on this, past buildings, then a pond, then a farmhouse on the right. Keep on uphill for some way.
Look out for a moment when the drive passes between ponds. Keep forward a short distance then look for a feint path going left into the bottom corner of a field just before a wooden telegraph pole(there is a concrete footpath marker here in the undergrowth).
Turn immediately right up the side of the field with a hedge and the drive over on the right (ignore a path crossing the field away to the left). Where the hedge and the drive swing away right (by another wooden pole with a 10 mph sticker on it), bear left up the centre of the field to the end of a wood ahead. At the top meet a corner of fence and wood. Go ahead here, with the fence and trees on the right, and follow around to a gap in the trees, with steep steps going down a bank, to a high stile into the woods.
Cross and bear left downhill through a very marshy area to a footbridge at the bottom. Go across to a broken stile up into a field. Go up the field to a treeline. Here go through a gate and down to cross a footbridge into a sloping field.
Several footpaths go off here. Bear left along by the hedge to a wooden gate and footbridge into the next field (from here to Sandhurst are many wooden kissing gates; hopefully the start of the replacement of the broken stiles). Climb the bank and go diagonally right across the centre of the field towards thick bushes at the top.
Pass the bushes, which conceal a pond, on the right, and keep on to a gate at the far side of the field. \through this follow a hedge on the right to a further gate and cross a rough corner of old orchard and a footbridge and gate beyond. Bear right across to another gate and pass into a wood.
Go up by a fence on the right to a gate at the top. Cross in to a paddock and over to another gate. Go up through trees between buildings, to a road. Turn right down to the green and T-junction in Sandhurst. Turn left down the main road to return to The New Swan and start of the section.