May: Horsmonden and Goudhurst
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Map: Explorer 136 (Start at grid reference TQ700405)
near the green in the centre of Horsmonden and head north up the B2162.
Take the first right turn (Back Lane, signposted to Village hall) then
turn left down a track between the Frances Austen Memorial Hall and the
school. Follow the track as it bears right and beyond a gate continue
along grassy track between tall hedges. At crossing of paths by a mast
go straight ahead, still between tall hedges. On emerging into a large
field, do not take path along field edge but bear left diagonally to
footbridge and stile. Cross pasture to rickety stile then between fences
and down drive to lane.
left by a large pond and after a few metres take path on right up
asphalt farm track. At T-junction at top of ridge, turn left along track
past house on left. On reaching concrete track at T-junction go straight
across into field. Turn left along top of field. At corner turn right,
down left hand edge of field to the river and footbridge. Over bridge
follow track along left hand edge of two fields and then just before
stream bear right along left hand edge of field. Cross next field
diagonally, keeping to right of new pond, then bear right uphill to
T-junction. Turn left and follow farm track to lane.
left carefully and just past Stream Farm take path through gate on
right. Cross field diagonally to far corner to cross stile and
footbridge. Bear gently left across field to junction of paths and take
right fork following edge of lake which is on your left. Climb away from
lake until there is a large open field ahead. Turn sharp left towards a
thick hedge and take path that runs along right hand side of hedge to
pond. Go over stile onto farm track and turn left. Follow track,
initially downhill then climbing through wood and taking sharp right
turn to emerge at Bockingfold Farm. At T-junction turn left and after a
few metres just before farm entrance turn right along track initially
between hedges. Follow until track meets asphalt drive to Ladham House
and bear right down drive to lane. Keep right to crossroads and go
straight across. Continue to main road.
Turn right and follow road round a couple of bends past church into
centre of Goudhurst where refreshment is available and there is a
alleyway to right of Weeks Tea Room downhill to road and cross to path
opposite. Go downhill through kissing gate, down steps and across
duckboards. Bear right through kissing gate, downhill to kissing gate
and bridge then along right hand side of field. Through kissing gate
follow path between fences to lane. Go straight across over stile into
meadow and bear gently right uphill. At far side, re-join lane.
left along lane for three quarters of a mile to crossroads. Turn left
and at road junction turn left to visit church. Return to junction and
go straight across uphill to T-junction. Cross grassy triangle to gate
and take path through parkland. Climb gently to gate then bear slightly
right downhill to bridge across stream feeding lake. Negotiate several
stiles and gates, climbing gradually to junction of asphalt tracks and
track and go through hedge on left crossing orchard along path parallel
to tree rows. At far side bear right for a few metres then sharp left
along left hand edge of next orchard. Enter orchard and turn right along
edge looking out for path on left straight across field. Go straight
across hop field then turn right looking for path on left through hedge
and between fences to lane at junction. (Last bit needs checking
path down private drive to National Trust's Sprivers property. Follow
drive round bend to right and pass house to pond. Turn left then right
and continue ahead into woodland. Continue in same direction to road.
Turn right along road back to Horsmonden.
first came to the village in the 14th century when Edward III banned
the import of cloth and encouraged the establishment of a domestic
industry by allowing Flemish weavers to establish businesses across
Kent including at Sandwich and Goudhurst.
weavers' cottages opposite the church date from the 17th century.
The master weaver lived in what is now Church House opposite the
Star and Eagle inn.
House assumed a very different economic significance in the early
20th century when the basement was used as the workshop for William
Rootes' cycle sales and repair business which eventually turned to
motor engineering and in 1928 after various takeovers became the
Margaret's church was built in the 14th century to serve the
surrounding farms, the site possibly chosen to be within the
Spelmonden Estate. The village of Horsmonden then grew up some
distance away near the ironworks but retained the old church to
serve the residents.
by the National Trust, the house dates from 1756, built by the
Courthope family whose wealth came from the Wealden iron industry,
to replace a 15th century house of the same name nearby. Much of the
108 acres of parkland, orchards and woods is open to walkers at all
times but the house is let and not open to the public although
available for hire as a wedding venue.
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
If you find that the directions and map
for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to email@example.com.
Map based on Ordnance
Survey mapping released into the public domain under the OpenData