Kent Ramblers Walk 60



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Path Problems

Stubbs Wood and Whitley Forest

Distance:  5.9 Miles (2 Hours)

OS Map:   Explorer 147 (Start at TQ496518)

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Park in the free Stubbs Wood car park at the top of Yorks Hill.

Leave the car park at the entrance, cross Yorks Hill to the footpath opposite and follow the Greensand Way uphill.  Pass seat with view on right and gate on left then, when the path ahead rises steeply, bear right downhill at first through and then along the edge of woodland.

Emerging from the woodland, cross the top of a field o a stile by a gate and after 50 metres (by an electricity pole) bear right downhill into another wood.  On the far side, cross a field climbing slightly to a gate at the edge of a wood.  Cross the top of the next field to the end of the wood on the left then cross bridge and go through gate.  Turn right along field edge to gate into lane.

Turn left up lane and soon take path on right.  Follow left hand edge of field at first then at corner bear slightly left across field to pass to right of Wickhurst Manor.  On reaching junction of drives, turn left uphill (don’t follow Greensand Way over stile on right) and continue uphill past large house on left.  As track levels and bears left, take track on right, becoming a path, steeply uphill to lane.  Turn right then take path on left uphill to another lane.

Turn left and take first path (SR218) on right through wood, avoiding all left turns, to lane.

Take metalled track opposite, descending gradually, through woodland for nearly a mile.  The track is labelled “Goldsmith’s Bottom” on older maps but the reason is not known.  On reaching a gate into lane, don’t go through but bear left and take another metalled track climbing steadily through the woods.  After climbing for 500 metres or so, follow the track as it bears right and levels out, crosses a broader track and becomes a path descending to a T-junction with a broader track.  Turn left downhill and shortly right across footbridge over stream leaving a large pond.  There used to be a mill here and presumably the pond supplied it with water – hence the wood behind being named “Mill Bank Wood”.

Turn left and follow path, keeping left at all junctions, climbing very gradually along narrow valley.  On reaching open area with pond on left (dried up at the time of writing) turn right and go through metal kissing gate into a wood.  Turn left along a path that initially runs parallel to the fence then bears right uphill.  On reaching a junction of several much broader tracks, follow the one ahead to a junction of seven paths by a water-filled circular brick structure.  Take the first metalled track on the left (actually the second path but the first is only a narrow, inconspicuous path), in due course descending into a shallow valley and climbing out again, bearing left as you do so.  After a while there is an open field on the left.  When the track bears left look for a path up a bank on the right opposite information board and follow it to a lane.

Bear right to a path opposite and follow this, once known as Lady Amherst's Drive, passing a seat with fine views of Bough Beech Reservoir, back to the car park.


Points of Interest


A late Georgian country house with later additions, divided into three dwellings some time ago.

Lady Amherst's Drive

Sarah Amherst was the wife of William Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst, who was Governor-General of India from 1823 to 1828.  Born William Pitt Amherst, he inherited the Montreal estate on the outskirts of nearby Sevenoaks from his great uncle Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, who commanded the British forces in Canada who took Quebec under General Wolf and Montreal – hence the name of his estate.  While Montreal was long ago demolished, Wolf’s own Quebec House in nearby Westerham survives in the hand of the National Trust.  The Amhersts were responsible for introducing the game bird known as Lady Amherst’s pheasant from Asia to Bedfordshire.  With splendid feathers much sought after for fashion and fishing, this pheasant is reared in captivity but is not thought to be breeding in the wild in the UK.  It is closely enough related to the golden pheasant that the two can interbreed and produce fertile hybrids.

Presumably Lady Amherst was fond of a drive along the Greensand Ridge using the track that returns you to Stubbs Wood, enjoying fine views across Kent.  Of course, Bough Beech Reservoir was not there then.

Highland Cattle in Whitley Forest

In addition to the walking routes on our web site we have published two popular walking guides:

Guide to the Kent Coast Path: Part 1, Camber to Ramsgate

Guide to Three River Valley Walks in West Kent: Darent Valley Path, Eden Valley Walk and Medway Valley Walk

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Map contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2019.  Some paths on map are based on data provided by Kent County Council but do not constitute legal evidence of the line of a right of way