Robust Rambles

Folkestone to Farnham Robust Ramble

Section 15

Catsfield to Brownbread Street

Walk Details
Walk Instructions


Section 15 Out

Catsfield to Brownbread Street

Map: OS Explorer 124 Hastings and Bexhill

Distance/Time: 5 miles/2 ½ hours

Start: The walk starts from the White Hart pub in Catsfield. 50 metres down the road opposite is the Village Hall and a public car park.

Comments: A walk of great variety in undulating countryside. A short stretch on a busy road needs care as do the selection of broken stiles. There is a marshy area to negotiate. Some of these paths are obviously not regularly used, they may not be easy to find so stick rigorously to maps and instructions. Good views.

With the White Hart pub behind you, turn right a few paces, to reach a tarmac drive going off right, just before the village shop. This is signposted as a 1066 Walk.

Turn down this drive, away from the village, passing horse paddocks, a house, then a pond on the right. The drive then bears left by woods and goes through a gateway with a wooden fieldgate (usually open).

Here, leave the main drive as it winds uphill, and turn sharp left onto a grassy track running along the side of a long wooden fence. Reach a fieldgate with a stile at the side and cross into a series of horse paddocks.

Go forward, bearing slightly left, downhill to a footbridge over the stream on your left.

Cross this and bear left, steeply uphill, to a stile by a cottage and emerge onto a road called Skinners Lane. Turn right on this lane and follow it downhill, then uphill, for some way.

Near the top of the hill, look for a broad gravel entrance on the left. At its side are steps upto a stile. Cross into a sloping pasture.

Walk right down the pasture with a fence on your right, to the very bottom. Cross a stile and a footbridge then go uphill with a hedge on your left to a corner.

Turn left over planks to a stile and then turn immediately right along the field edge with a hedge on your right. Look out for a wooden fieldgate in the hedge on your right.

Go through and head diagonally left, across a narrow pasture to another wooden fieldgate with a stile by the side in the opposite hedge. There is a horse exercise area on the left.

Cross the stile and go straight ahead by a wire fence on your right, between bushes, to a stile. Cross this into a large field, criss-crossed by power lines.

Go straight ahead up the field, to a stile at the very top. Aim just left of a corner of woods with a pylon behind.

Over the top stile, keep forward, with a hedge on your right, to a further stile (narrow and inconvenient). Cross into the next field and continue in the same direction. Soon cross a further stile and go forward between a wire fence on your left and bushes on the right.

On approaching a house, the path jigs suddenly right, behind security fencing, and drops steeply down an earth bank to emerge onto a road. Turn left up this road.

At a junction turn right along Marlpit Lane. Keep going for ¼ mile. Just as a cottage chimney appears ahead, look for a footpath dropping off right down concrete steps, by a metal handrail.

Follow the path downhill through woods, eventually reaching a road. Turn left uphill for some way. On reaching a junction turn right to soon come to a main  road. Take great care on this section.

Turn right along the road using the verges for safety. Cross from one side to the other as necessary. Use special care and patience passing cottages where there is  no verge at all. Look for the entrance on your right to Lower Standard Hill Farm.

Turn right up here. Soon bear left to pass a cottage on your left and reach a metal fieldgate. Through this, turn sharp left, through an area of discarded farm machinery,  to a gateway filled with old hurdles. Cross into a field. Bear right across to a stile in the far hedge.

Cross into the next field and turn right to follow the hedge and trees on your right. Where these swing sharply away to the right, bear slightly diagonally left across the open field, passing a group of trees around a pond, on your left. Reach a stile in the hedge ahead.

Cross into the edge of a wood. Immediately turn right out of the trees into a field. Turn left, to circle the edge of the wood, around to a stile in the hedge at the far side.

Cross into a field and go forward under power lines, down to a gateway where two hedges meet. Go through the fieldgate and turn right downhill with a hedge on your right, to the bottom.

Straight ahead is a metal fieldgate in the hedge with a broken stile by the side (ignore stile into woods on your right). Cross the stile by the fieldgate and go forward over a narrow field to another set of metal fieldgate and accompanying stile.

Cross and go straight up a large field to a gap in the top hedge (path currently not reinstated through crops). Keep forward to a gate onto a road. Carefully cross the road.

Turn right to pass the buildings of Kitchenham Farm, then turn left, off the road, into a gravel track that goes off around the edge of the farm buildings with a field on  your right.

Stay on the gravel track as it drops down into trees and passes buildings on your left. Go through a metal fieldgate into a large low-lying pasture.

Bear slightly left on a grassy track, downhill, past an old concrete bridge and on, by a stream on your left, to a metal fieldgate and another concrete bridge. Cross this

The path now bears right towards a distant hill with trees surrounding a pylon. However, there is a large reedy marsh in the way.

Walk diagonally left over to the edge of the reeds, then turn left along the edge looking for a rough, grassy  embankment going right, through the centre of the reedbed. Cross this with care as it is rather boggy in the centre.

At the far side reach a nasty high stile in a corner of trees. Cross into a rising field and follow the hedge on your left, up the side of the field, soon passing the pylon on your right.

Keep up the side of the field to a gap in the top corner by trees. Go forward, slightly left, into the corner of a further field, and continue up the side with a thick hedge on your right to the very top.

Go through a gap in the hedge ahead and up a steep bank into a large field. Bear right downhill, across the corner of the field to the righthand edge at the bottom of the slope, then go forward, steeply uphill, with trees on your right, to a metal fieldgate visible at the top. Exit onto a road.

Turn left along the road. At a junction bear right to keep along for 100 metres to reach the Ash Tree Inn at Brownbread Street and the end of the section.


Section 15 Return

Brownbread Street to Catsfield

Map: OS Explorer 124 Hastings and Bexhill

Distance/Time: 4 miles/2 hours

Start: The walk starts from the Ash Tree Inn. Limited parking here so ask for permission to use the inn car park.

Comments: The Ashburnham Estate seems successfully to have avoided the creation of public footpaths on its land so options for this return section are limited. The route is completely on a 1066 Country Walk including some country road walking. The advantage is that waymarking and furniture is better than usual. There are good views but paid for by steep climbs.

With the Ash Tree Inn on your left, walk up the road for half a mile. Eventually reach a long, red brick building on you left, rather like a school. Just beyond turn right off the road, through a wooden kissing gate into a field.

Go forward along the field edge with the hedge on your left. Continue over two fields to a road.

Turn left and soon right down another road for a mile. Eventually pass Old Forge Cottage on your right, then cross a stream and follow the road steeply uphill and around to the right (ignore path off left).

At the top of the rise, just past a private entrance, turn right, off the road, onto a footpath enclosed by bushes. Go up to and through a broken gate and bear right a cross a lawn to find an enclosed path which skirts a house and garden.

At the end emerge through another gate into a sloping field. Bear right, downhill, on a grassy track to a metal fieldgate. Keep going through more gates and stiles down to the very bottom of the valley.

Cross a stile and footbridge into a narrow pasture and at the far side cross another stile and footbridge. Climb steps in a steep bank and go up to a stile into a field.

Ahead is a steep climb to the top of Tent Hill. Go up over two stiles and several enclosures to the summit and excellent views.

Go on to a stile into a huge field. Bear diagonally left across the field to a group of trees. On nearing them it becomes evident that it is a large copse surrounding a pond. Pass the copse on your left and continue to a corner at the far side of the field.

Follow a short section of wire fence to enter the wood ahead on a muddy path going steeply down then up to emerge into a large field.

Once again go forward, uphill, to the very highest point, bearing very slightly right. Pass a lone tree on your right, then a small wood on your left, always aiming for the highest point.

Near the top, as the slope flattens, bear left across to a stone house (an estate lodge). Find a stile and way through bushes at the side, leading out to a road.

Cross the busy road with great care and turn left. In a few paces turn right, off the road, into a drive between two white lodges.

Follow the drive past a turning on the left down to a farm and continue on a more grassy track under power lines. At a left bend, ignore a fieldgate and stile off right and swing left to an old wooden fieldgate with a stile at its side. Cross and bear right once again on a wide gravel drive.

Follow this drive for a mile back to Catsfield ignoring all side tracks. Eventually it meets the pond and the start of the outward route and emerges on the road by the village shop in Catsfield. Turn right for the White Hart and the start of the section.