Robust Rambles

Folkestone to Farnham Robust Ramble

Section 18

Cowbeech to Gun Hill

Walk Details
Walk Instructions


Section 18 Out

Cowbeech to Gun Hill

Map: OS Explorer 123 Eastbourne & Beachy Head

Distance/Time: 4 miles/2.5 hours

Start: The walk starts from the Merrie Harriers pub in Cowbeech. It is not easy to park in the village but the pub is amenable for customers.

Comments: This is a walk in undulating countryside with constantly changing vistas and terrain. The first path off Hammer Lane by a water works is tricky to find and may be wet as it follows a stream for a good distance. A former railway, now called The Cuckoo Trail is crossed and thereafter the delights of negotiating a golf course. The final bridleway to the road into Gun Hill, again, may be muddy.

With the Merrie Harriers on your right, go forward a short distance and turn right down Hammer Lane for some way. Ignore a footpath off left and pass a house called ‘The Heritage’ on your right. Continue downhill. Near the bottom reach a bridle path off left up a concrete drive to Blackford Farm. Ignore this and continue a few paces to reach a telegraph pole in the hedge on your left, Turn left here through a gap in the hedge onto an enclosed path. A water works is over on your right.

Follow this enclosed path by a stream to reach a footbridge on your left. Ignore this bridge and go straight ahead through rough ground with the stream still over on your left. Soon reach another footbridge. Cross in to a field and go straight ahead aiming for a distant pylon high on a hill. Soon rejoin the stream and reach a stile by a fieldgate. Enter a new field and bear diagonally right across to a substantial footbridge below Knightsbridge Farm.

Over this, keep left across the field to the bottom left corner and a concealed stile by a brick bridge. Emerge onto a road.

Cross the road slightly right to a stile by a metal fieldgate. Go along the edge of a pasture to a second fieldgate (the route now follows the stream on the left for about a mile).

Over the stile go forward the length of the field to an old metal fieldgate at the end. Go through into a long, narrow pasture (ignore path branching off right) and continue along by the stream.

At the far end turn right through a gateway then immediately left, back to following the stream. Cross a stile into a field and, at the far end, cross a long footbridge and go forwards to the embankment of an old railway. Aim for a metal swing gate.

Go through and up and over the old railway (now the Cuckoo Trail) to a wooden swing gate opposite into a field at the far side.

With the railway behind, bear right, diagonally uphill, to the end of a treeline.

Pass these trees and a pond on your left and keep up to a stile in a wire fence. Cross and continue, slightly diagonally left across a large field (do not drift towards power lines on your left).

In the trees at the far side cross a ditch to reach a lane. Cross this lane and go over a stile beyond in to a field. Aim diagonally left to the end of a stand of trees to find a stile. Cross and go forward to a metal fieldgate.

Through this gate go diagonally left, uphill to a wooden swing gate and a junction of paths. Ignore two paths off right and bear left across to another wooden swing gate by a holly bush. Turn left on an enclosed, leafy path to a busy main road.

Cross and turn right along the verge. Soon turn off left up the driveway to Wellhurst Park (actually a golf and country club but no indication of this).

Continue up the drive ignoring side paths. Go right up to the back of the club house building. Turn right along the back of the buildings (there is a waymark fixed to the wall).

Where the buildings end, bear right, downhill on a path between young trees. Keep straight down to the bottom of the slope (do not veer off towards golfers’ bridge on the left). Cross a track and go down a bank to a footbridge. Cross and bear left at the far side, up to join a path of crushed shells.

Follow this to the left and stay on it as it turns right through trees then left downhill (signed ‘to the 2nd. Tees’).

At the bottom of the slope the shell path divides at a Y-fork. Ignore this and turn sharp right, immediately before the Y-fork, onto a grassy track by a stream on your right. Continue around and uphill. Near the top ignore a golfers’ bridge off right and continue past a pond to eventually meet another crushed shell path.

Bear left along this. On reaching buildings on your right look out for a gap in the wooden fencing. Turn right through this, between buildings to quickly reach a road.

Turn right on this a few paces then left up a muddy, enclosed bridle path for half a mile.

Eventually emerge onto a road. Turn left to walk down to the Gun Inn at Gun Hill.


Section 18 Return

Gun Hill to Cowbeech

Map: OS Explorer 123 Eastbourne & Beachy Head

Distance/Time: 4.5 miles/2.5 hours

Start: The walk starts from The Gun Inn where there is a large car park if intending to visit later.

Comments: This section involves two stretches of road walking. Unfortunately, there are very few west to east paths in this area. The stretch up Grove Hill, is quite long on a two way road. The traffic is not constant but step up, off the road, if vehicles are passing in both directions. Blackstock Farm has a café with occasional opening. The second stretch is on a narrow, side road and quite pleasant walking. There are stiles and hills. The terrain is pasture and woodland.

With the Gun Inn on your left, go downhill a few paces. Now turn left into the pub garden. Walk diagonally left across the garden to a stile in the far corner (the path should come into the garden directly from the road but the gate there is locked).

Cross the stile and go up the field towards a corner of trees. On reaching the trees go on alongside them, now on your left (ignore a path off left). Soon emerge onto a road.

Cross to a stile opposite Over this continue to another stile and on to a wooden fieldgate. Through this bear right down through buildings to emerge onto a lane. This is on the Wealdway).

Turn left on the lane passing the entrance to West Street Farm and Rock Harbour Farm. Just past this farm turn left, off the lane up a bank, to a stile into a field.

Pass farm buildings on the left and go forward, slightly downhill, to a stile in a hedge. Cross and keep forward to a stile by an old metal fieldgate in the corner ahead.

Cross and keep on in the same direction to a stile in a thicket of bushes. Go through this to a stile at the far side and bear right down the edge of a field (ignoring a footpath off left). Keep straight down an open section to a further stile and continue down the edge of the field beyond.

Near the bottom of the hill, go right through the hedge and immediately left downhill through woods to a footbridge. Cross and climb up through bluebell woods to a stile into a field. Keep on up to the brow of the hill, then on in the same direction, now by a hedge on your left to a footbridge and gate.

Continue up the far side, passing a house on your left. Go through a gate into dilapidated grounds. Bear left to follow a garden edge on your left. Cross an old driveway and go on, slightly downhill, across grass and into trees. Find steps down to a road. Turn left up the road, away from the Wealdway.

At a T-junction with a main road, cross to a footpath opposite and go steeply down to a stile. Go on down to a second stile. Over this turn left to follow the hedge on the left, down two fields to an old metal fieldgate leading to a junction of paths (waymark post currently broken).

Ignore the wooden gate on your left and continue downhill with a hedge on your left to another old metal fieldgate. Bear left through this, then immediately right over a stile into an enclosed path with a ditch running along the left side.

Cross a disused railway line on an old brick overbridge and keep forward on a grassy farm track, soon with a stream on your left. The track turns left over a bridge across the stream and heads uphill through the buildings of Shawpits Farm.

The track is now a concrete farm track. Beyond the buildings the track turns sharp right. Here go straight ahead, uphill on a grassy track which eventually reaches a field.

Go on across the field and drop down to a road. Turn left up this road for a mile with great care, there are sections of rough verge but for refuge not walking. Pass the car park for Park Wood on the right, then Blackstock Farm (occasional café), followed by Springham Farm on the left.

Just after cottages on the left, turn right off the road, across a rough triangle of land to a stile into a field. Go uphill by the hedge on your right, to a wood and on through the wood, past ponds, to a stile at the very top corner. Cross onto a road and turn right for some way.

Where the road eventually swings right, go forward, up steps to a stile (ignore a bridle path off left). Cross the field ahead to a wood. Go straight through a gate into the wood and cross to the far side and an exit into a large field.

Here there are two paths across the field. Take the one on the left crossing the field down to a wood with power lines beyond.

Just inside the wood bear left on a broad track and keep on this, ignoring all cross tracks, to eventually pass   under power lines and climb up to a field.

Go ahead along the field edge to a gateway and stile and drop down to a road in Cowbeech.

Turn left to return to the Merrie Harriers and the start of the section.