Robust Rambles

Robust Rambles Kentish Triangle

Section 6

Lenham to Fairbourne Heath

Walk Details
Walk Instructions

Robust Ramble – Kent Triangle - Faversham – Wadhurst – New Romney – Faversham

Section 6 Out

Lenham to Fairbourne Heath

OS Map: Explorer 137 Ashford

Total Circular Distance: 9 miles (5 hours)

Start: Lenham village centre, car park off square and some on street parking away from centre.

Comment: A walk of contrasts with varied countryside, undulating with woods and open fields. Views across the Weald. Lenham is an unusual settlement. It has an idyllic village square bounded by pubs, church and shops, but the constraints of a lorry freight storage depot on its edge as well as being sandwiched between the parallel lines of the A20, the railway line across Kent to London, the M20 and HS1 high speed line to the continent. This obviously has an effect on local footpaths. This walk leaves Lenham on its western side through the freight depot. The route is well marked but probably best just for adults. The alternative is to circle the depot on a not unpleasant road. Waymarking in places is poor on later stretches.

With an Hotel and the Red Lion pub on your right, leave the square in the centre of Lenham by walking straight ahead up the High Street on a raised pavement.

Follow the road around to the right and in a little distance reach a Y-fork by playing fields. Bear right into Ham Lane.

Pass a close on your left and reach a side road off left called Honeywood Road. Turn left down this road for the route through the freight depot (to avoid the depot stay on Ham Lane past two school and zig-zagging left to finally leave housing and circle the freight depot on your left. The lane becomes a narrow country lane and reaches a bridge over a railway).

If turning down Honeywood Road keep along, bearing right with the road to pass shops on your left. Reach a T-junction. Here cross over to a path enclosed between fences. Soon emerge into a car park.

Bear over left to follow the building on your left up the car park. On leaving the car park at the end of the building. Turn left down a broad roadway. IT IS ESSENTIAL HERE TO FOLLOW THE CLEARLY MARKED PEDESTRIAN ROUTE, sometimes railed off and sometimes marked like a zebra crossing. CHECK FOR MOVING VEHICLES AT ALL TIMES.

A short distance down the broad roadway, follow the Pedestrian Route across and off to the right on a side road. Cross a lorry parking area and continue on an enclosed way through buildings. At the far side continue on a grassy path between fences to soon reach a country road. Turn left along it to a bridge over a railway.

Both routes now cross the bridge and continue along the road for 150 metres. Ignore a footpath off left and continue a little further to turn right on a wide gravel bridleway. Go straight down this by a tall wooden fence.

Pass a cottage on your right and keep downhill to Boldrewood Farm complex. Stay on this vehicle drive to wind past the buildings on your right. Stay on this main track for some way, eventually reaching a junction with a road (Sandway Road).

Turn left along this road for 150 metres to reach a bridge over the HS1railway. Cross and soon reach a footpath off right. Go down through a gateway and on to a metal fieldgate at the bottom of the slope.

Continue across a footbridge and on up by trees on your left. Where these end, bear diagonally left, up the field, to a metal fieldgate.

Go through and continue straight ahead, uphill to a hedge. Cross a stile onto a lane and turn left to a road.

Turn right on the road, over an M20 bridge. Co nti nue past a house on the left, looking for a footpath off right over a footbridge.

Enter a field and follow along the edge, then down and across, to weave into woods. The way through these woods needs careful attention as there is no waymarking.

Follow a feint, leaf-strewn path as it winds through the trees, always uphill. Eventually, on reaching level ground at the top, look for a narrow path off left and turn along it (if you reach a sharp right bend dropping down to a field you have gone too far).

In a short distance this path approaches the edge of the wood and a stile into a field with houses up a hill at the far side. Do not go to this stile but look before it for another feint path off right, uphill through a cleared area of woodland. Join a forest track still generally uphill, to reach a metal fieldgate into a field. Continue up the side of the field towards a house at the top.

On reaching the house, turn left over a stile by a fieldgate to exit onto a road. Turn right along the road. In a short distance, ignoring a footpath off left, reach a side road, Runham Lane on your right. Just beyond, bear left off the road on a track going diagonally into woods.

Pass a gate and go up to a Y-fork. Here bear right, uphill. At the very top edge of the wood, cross a stile onto a road. Turn left a few paces, then right, up a bank, into the corner of an orchard. Go ahead along the edge with trees on your right.

At the top of the orchard, bear gently left still around the edge. Reach a water tank. Go a few paces right to a stile leading into a large pasture.

Go diagonally left, right across the centre, to a metal fieldgate by a telegraph pole in the far opposite corner. Exit onto a byway and turn left.

In 20 metres reach a cross track. Turn right, uphill into woods (ignore a footpath off right by a fence and also ignore a horse ride also going off right). Follow the track up through woods then over an open field to a road.

Cross and continue straight ahead with a hedge on your right (again ignore a horse ride indicated off right). Continue between two fields to a gap in the hedge ahead and exit onto a road. Turn right to reach the Pepper Box Inn and the end of the section.

Robust Ramble – Kent Triangle - Faversham – Wadhurst – New Romney – Faversham

Section 6 Return

Fairbourne Heath to Lenham

OS Map: Explorer 137 Ashford

Total Circular Distance: 9 miles (5 hours)

Start: The Pepper Box Inn at Fairbourne Heath. Some on road parking or ask at the inn.

Comment: A walk in undulating and varied countryside with fields, woods and orchards. There are constantly changing vistas. Several stiles in a variety of conditions and some unreasonably high. A sharp pull up out of Grafty Green on the return.

With the Pepper Box Inn on your left walk back down the road for 200 metres. Pass between farms (ignore a footpath off right) and reach a sharp left bend.

A few paces round it, look for a gap in the hedge on your right. Go through this to a stile and steps down into an orchard. Keep down the side of the orchard on a grassy track.

On nearing the bottom corner, climb up the bank on the right to a stile into the corner of a sloping field. Ignore the Greensand Way which bears of diagonally right. Instead, go straight down the side of the field by the hedge on your left.

Near the bottom, turn left, through the hedge, to a narrow stile into the top of a pasture. Go straight across the top edge to a stile in the opposite corner into trees.

Climb steeply up a precipitous path to a road junction. Cross to the road opposite and go forward uphill.

At the next road junction, go straight across tp metal gates and join a broad grassy track between hedges.

At a Y-fork, bear right on a track steeply downhill. Pass between pens for game birds. Where the track turns sharp left, go straight ahead, down into woods, on a narrow path. Follow this for some way.

Eventually make a final weave through the trees to a footbridge and stile into a rising field. Ignore a stile up in the left corner, instead go forward across the field, up towards a curve of trees. Keep on alongside the trees, now on your left.

At the top of the rise cross another very high stile and continue in the same direction. As the trees begin to bear off to the left, bear right on a path, diagonally downhill towards buildings.

Reach a metal gate into a garden. The path goes straight down the edge of the garden to exit onto a drive through a gate by the side of a bungalow. The path immediately bears right off the drive to follow its own route quickly down to a road.

Turn left to the shop and Kings Head pub at Grafty Green. Just before the shop, turn right on a side road by a small village green, then immediately left to join Church Road.

Stay on the road out of the village, ignoring footpaths off right and left. Drop downhill then steeply uphill for 200 metres. Reach a footpath off right through a metal kissing gate by a rusty metal fieldgate.

Go up a large sloping pasture aiming for a gate visible at the top (the road is looping around on your left). On approaching the gate look down right to a stile leading into a boggy area.

Cross and go forward passing trees on your right. Continue across an open space with splendid Wealden views and a house up on your left. Pass a pond on your left and continue to a stile in the fence ahead.

Do not cross this but turn sharply left up a farm track to a metal kissing gate at the top onto a road. Turn right and continue along to pass a farm and then Boughton Malherbe church on your left.

At the next bend, ignore the Greensand Way going off right down a broad track. Continue a few paces to a telegraph pole on the right. Climb off the road past the pole into the corner of a large field. Head across it aiming just left of a building at the far side.

Eventually reach a stile in the far hedge and cross into a paddock. Bear left across to a further stile and exit onto a road. Turn right.

Keep on downhill for 100 metres. Pass a wood on your left. Near the bottom look for a footpath up the bank to a metal kissing gate in the hedge. Enter a field and go forward along the edge.

Continue through a neck of woods and then turn diagonally right, down a large field, aiming for two oast houses in the far corner. Exit onto a road.

Turn left along the road to cross a bridge over the M20. Reach a T-junction. Turn right a few paces then left down a concrete track. This leads to a water treatment works.

On approaching the works, bear right through a metal kissing gate. Cross a stream and immediately turn left, along by the stream on your left, to a further metal kissing gate. Continue along next field edge.

In 50 metres, turn left, between huge tractor tyres, over the stream. In the field ahead there are two paths. Ignore the path off right. Instead, go straight ahead across the field.

At the far side pass through a gap in the hedge. In the next huge field, bear slightly right across to a corner of trees.

At the bottom of the field, ignore the track crossing a stream into the field ahead. Instead, turn left, up the field edge. Keep uphill along the field edge with trees on your right. Where the trees end, continue steeply uphill to the top.

Turn right on a grassy path towards a railway substation. At a corner, turn left, up through the hedge, and continue along a field edge with the railway on your right, to a stile on the right. Over the stile cross the railway with great care.

Walk down the field ahead. In the bottom corner, go through a gap to cross a stream. Continue in the field ahead, along the edge, towards houses.

At the bottom of the field, go through a gap. Cross field and go through a wooden kissing gate into a pasture. With Lenham church and village in view, bear diagonally left, across to a gate in the far opposite corner.

Exit into Lenham churchyard. Cross to a gate in the boundary wall which leads into the village square and the start of the section.