Woolpack Inn to Rye
FOLKESTONE TO FARNHAM ROBUST RAMBLE
Section 8 Out
Woolpack Inn to Rye
Map: OS Explorer 125 Romney Marsh
Distance/Time: 5 miles/ 3 hours
Start: From the Woolpack Inn, some parking here
Comments: The good news is that this area is very flat for walking with some excellent views and Rye securely ahead on its hill, marking the last section of walking in Kent. The start of the walk needs care as there is a short distance up the side of the very busy A259 between two blind corners. The first footpath goes off left where a side road also exits. There should be a waymark and a footbridge into a business/leisure site. The objective is to get across the site and onto the top edge of the huge field beyond. There is then a merciful break along the field edge before emerging again on the A259 and 150 metres of dangerous roadwalking WEAR A HIVIZ TOP IF POSSIBLE. Then more isolated farmland and several bridges in varying conditions. Nearly half the return is on the River Rother towpath, then back into the fields for the final stretch. Be aware that in wet weather this is a very exposed walk and surface mud forms quickly. This readily builds up on boots and makes going slow. ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME FOR THIS SECTION.
With the Woolpack Inn on your right, go forward up Hook Wall, around bend, to a junction with the busy A259 road. With great care turn right up the road.
Where safe to do so, cross the road and continue up to a side turning, Beckett Road, going off left. Immediately before this turning, go left over a footbridge into the site of a Raceway Track.
Go forward, bearing right, across the site, passing the last building on your right, currently an antiques shop, to reach a field (sometimes used for turf cutting).
Continue to bear right, to a track along the top edge of the field with a hedge and ditch on your right. Go forward along the field edge for nearly a mile, heading towards distant power lines and pylons.
On reaching the power lines, go sharply right, over a stream and through a metal fieldgate. Turn immediately left, through a second fieldgate, and cross a field, with the stream now on your left, to a third metal fieldgate. Through this, go diagonally right, away from the stream, across a field, and out onto a busy road.
Turn left on this busy road with care (wear HiViz if you have it). Cross over to face the oncoming traffic where there is a narrow verge to use in emergencies or when heavy lorries are approaching.
Keep along the road for some way to reach a sharp left bend, called Guldeford Lane Corner. Just before the corner, go right, into a farm entrance.
A track stretches straight ahead, but turn sharp left onto a second track going up by a bungalow called Guldeford Cottage.
Some way ahead are power cables. Walk along looking out for a green track going off diagonally right. Turn off right along this track looking for a narrow footbridge with a broken metal handrail, on your right.
Cross with care and head for farm storage buildings ahead. Just before the entrance to the buildings, turn left, through a metal fieldgate into a large field.
Go along the righthand edge of the field with a ditch on your right, towards the distant tower of Rye church.
Just before a ditch at the end of the field, go right, over a very poor footbridge, and on across a field in the same direction as before, aiming just right of Rye church tower.
Soon reach a second, currently very poor condition, footbridge. Over this, keep going across a field to a grassy tractor bridge into a further field.
Keep on in the same direction with a stream on your left. Where this bends left, head on across the field towards a clump of bushes (if the field is impassable just go around the lefthand edge) with the white pointed cap of a converted oast house in the far distance.
By the clump of bushes reach a long, and (currently) very dangerous, footbridge over a wide and deep stream. Cross with great care.
Turn right then left to regain the original direction with a stream and ditch on your left.
Soon go through a metal fieldgate and continue towards the squat, grey brick building of East Guldeford Church. Pass the church on your left and at a fieldgate, turn left over a footbridge, to the churchyard entrance. Turn right along a grassy path to a road.
Turn right on the road and very soon cross, to go left, down a gravel track, by the side of Church Farm House. At the top of the drive, by a bungalow, turn left, over a stile, onto a raised embankment path, along to a farm gate. Turn right through the gate, into a large pasture.
Turn diagonally left across the centre of the field, heading directly towards Rye church. At the far side, go through another fieldgate and keep on in the same direction, towards houses.
Cross to a metal fieldgate at the rear of the houses, and cross a concrete step stile at its side. Pass between houses to a road. Turn left for a short distance to a T-junction with a main road.
Turn right along the main road to a bridge over the River Rother. The return section requires a return to this point, otherwise to continue, or for refreshment, cross the bridge and on up to a T-junction and roundabout. Turn right along Fishmarket Road to reach the Bedford Arms or keep on a little further to turn left, up Landagte, to the Queen’s Head pub.
FOLKESTONE TO FARNHAM ROBUST RAMBLE
Section 8 Return
Rye to Woolpack Inn
Map: OS Explorer 125 Romney Marsh
Distance/Time: 6 miles/ 3 hours
Start: From the Queen’s Head or Bedford Arms pub return to the River Rother Bridge and cross over to the east (Kent) side. Some town car parks.
Comments: This is a long return section with a three mile walk along the River Rother to start. Turning away from the river leads to large fields and flat isolated country on the reclaimed marshes. In winter months the going can be extremely muddy. In sunshine expansive skies and long vistas make pleasant walking. Do not attempt this return without plenty of daylight. Take care on the final section of roadwalking to the Woolpack Inn. CARRY A TORCH IN CASE OF FAILING LIGHT.
From the Queen’s Head or Bedford Arms in Rye, return to the River Rother. Cross the bridge to the Kent side. Immediately drop down left to the river bank and head north with the river on your left and the town across the other side.
This section of path is used as part of the Sussex Border Path, the Royal Military Canal Path and the Saxon Shore Way, so there are plenty of waymarks to follow.
Keep along the river bank for nearly three miles. First cross the railway, then a mile later, the end of the Union Channel. Next comes a lock and a mile later the Boonshill Bridge, a spare flat concrete structure. Stop here. Just beyond are caravans and boats. Do not pass these.
At this point turn away from the river. Opposite the bridge is a farm field entrance and a stile. Turn right over this stile onto a broad farm track between fields. Continue straight up the track away from the river.
According to the OS Explorer map, the footpath turns off this track to cross the field diagonally left to reach the stream called the Five Watering Sewer. However the path has been diverted to stay on this farm track.
Keep forward for some distance and stay on the track as it turns sharp left. Continue along for 200 metres, to where the track crosses a drainage ditch.
There are two choices here:
(1) Either turn right to walk down the field edge with the ditch on your left, to a short fence just before the Five Watering Sewer. Turn left alongside the sewer stream to walk along the edge of a vast field for a considerable distance. Pass under power cables to reach a concrete bridge which goes over the stream. A track comes in from the left.
(2) Or, alternatively, stay on the broad farm track, going forward under the power cables, gradually heading towards the Five Watering Sewer and finally meeting it at a concrete bridge.
Do not cross this bridge, but go on up the side of the field with the sewer stream down on your right.
Soon reach a second, older, stone bridge with a brick arch. Turn right across this bridge, with care as there are no handrails. On the other side, turn immediately left to follow the bank of the stream. Go through a patch of rough grass then over a broken gate, and on, along the bank for about 50 metres. This is a point where a ditch comes in from the right.
At this point turn right, away from the sewer stream, towards the metal gates of a railway crossing in the distance. An obvious grassy track by the drainage ditch on your left bears over to the crossing.
Cross the railway and go forward on an obvious track, passing a boating pond, then over a concrete bridge, finally passing a lone building away on your right.
Keep on along field edges, with a ditch on your left, for a mile, aiming for the buildings of Puddock Farm.
Pass through the farm buildings to a road. Turn right along the road, passing a road coming in on the left, past a house on the right at Sconce Bridge, and continuing down to pass a bus depot.
Stay on the road to pass the entrance to a raceway and small business units. Soon reach a junction with a main road.
Turn right with care to reach the Woolpack Inn and the start of the section.