Kent Ramblers

Walk 87

Groombridge & Withyham

Distance: 9.5 Miles (4h 40m)

OS Map: Explorer 135 (Start at grid reference TQ531373)

Park in the free public car park off Station Road in Groombridge - if approaching from Groombridge Hill it is quickly reached on the left after turning into Station Road from the mini roundabout.

Cross Station Road and head up Corseley Road and follow past church, right at top and left downhill past start of Forest Way. Just after water works, take path over stile on right. Cross footbridge, go under railway and head uphill straight across field towards copse. Continue in same direction to farm and join a farm track. Opposite a row of pink cottages, turn left down right hand edge of field to lane.

Bear right and take path over stile on opposite side of lane, now joining the High Weald Landscape Trail and Sussex Border Path. Bear right downhill and cross footbridge. Follow right hand edge of field to bridge and cross stream again (but on OS map the path never crosses the stream at all). Follow track through the wood and immediately after crossing metalled drive turn sharp left down to cross stream and enter field. Bear right uphill to gate and pass through section of woodland. Pass some sandstone outcrops and follow line of trees to gate. Follow right hand edge of fields and after hedge on left go through metal kissing gate on right. Go between buildings (Home Place and Park House) and down lane to road.

Cross road and turn left along verge. Take path on right downhill across fields. Cross valley bottom to left of timbered house and climb the other side across a field, through a wood and across another field to a lane.

Turn right to junction with road. Go straight across to track opposite through wood. Climb along right hand edge of fields past house then cross a field to corner of wood. Don't take path into wood but head downhill along right hand edge of field to enter wood near corner and bear left. When Buckhurst Park comes into sight bear left downhill to drive and turn right. Turn left at lake and follow drive, passing a chalybeate spring on left, to Withyham.

Turn left (but the Dorset Arms is on the right if you want refreshment), crossing the road carefully. When the pavement on the right ends, cross the road again and take a path through a gate, across a field and into the churchyard (see Church Path).  Bear right round the church and go down steps to drive where there are seats. After admiring the view head downhill, now leaving the High Weald Landscape Trail, bear left at a fork and turn left along the main road. Take path on right just after a bridge. Head straight across fields and cross the Forest Way. Bear right across a footbridge over the Medway and follow the Wealdway, in due course joining a drive and emerging onto a lane at Summerford Farm.

Cross lane and follow Wealdway along left hand edge of fields, over two bridges in a copse and along the left hand edge of another field. Cross another bridge and on reaching a bridge on left over which a footpath heads west, don't cross but bear right across field to bridge over Medway. Continue to next bridge and on far side turn left. Go under railway and continue to junction of paths. Here Wealdway goes forward; turn right and at end of field go over stile on left and cross another field into woodland. Climb through woodland and on meeting a broad stony track turn right uphill. On meeting a concrete track, turn left and then keep right through the buildings of Burrswood (passing the tea-room - "Bocky's" - which is open to the public). Continue gradually downhill passing buildings, No Exit signs and lake on right. Follow drive to Groombridge, cross triangular green and take path to left of church. Cross drive and skirt to left of lake. Pass Groombridge Place and bear right across bridge. Bear left across grass to car park entrance then take path on right between fences that bears first left then right along edge of recreation ground to village car park.

Chalybeate Spring

The spring is on the left about half way along the drive from Buckhurst Park to Withyham in a tile-roofed structure.  Chalybeate springs are common on the sandstones around here, water containing supposedly health-giving iron salts emerging where the porous sandstone meets the clays below.  The best known is in the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells but the brown sludge oozing from this spring looks most unappetising.

Church Path

This path was opened in 2010 following a campaign by Sussex Ramblers leading to a public inquiry, as the landowner refused to recognise the long-used right of way.


Our book of Ten Favourite Walks in the Kent Countryside has routes for ten more walks like this one.

Ramblers' volunteers in Kent work tirelessly to ensure that our paths are as well protected and maintained as possible.  Of course we also organise led walks but most of our members are independent walkers who simply want to support our footpath work.  Please join us and become a supporter too.  You need us and we really need you.


If you find that the directions or map for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to info@kentramblers.org.uk.

 

 

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