Kent Ramblers: Walk 124



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Rolvenden and Tenterden

Distance:     7.8 Miles (3h 45m)

OS Map:      Explorer 125 (Start at grid reference TQ844314)

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Park in Rolvenden, in the main street or in a side street near the church.

Go north up the main A28 towards Tenterden and soon after Sparkeswood Avenue on the right take footpath AT36 on the left.  Go up grassy track, through gate and along path parallel to right hand edge of field.  When hedge turns right, carry straight on down field to gate into narrow strip of woodland.  Bear right across another field to pass to right of jutting woodland to gate and footbridge.  Go straight across next field to diagonally opposite corner.  Continue in roughly same direction aiming for gate 30 metres to left of end of narrow strip of woodland.  Continue still in same direction diagonally downhill across field and pass through hedge at gap halfway along left hand edge.  Go down very short left hand edge of field and turn right along bridleway to lane.

Turn left across stream then right along bottom of field and half way up next side to gap on right.  Through gap head straight across middle of field towards strip of woodland; keep to the right of this.  Follow the top edge of next field and part way along the top of the next field go over stile on left.  Follow bottom edge of this field to gateway just past oak tree then turn right along narrow field then a track down to main road.

Turn left, cross railway and opposite former watermill on left take concrete track over cattle grid on right.   Before reaching another cattle grid and locked gates across track, go through gate on left.  Go uphill and keep right until you enter next field then bear left to gate between farm buildings.  Pass stables, turn left then right past converted oasthouse along track to lane and bear left up to main road.

You can now turn right along main road into Tenterden then return to this point to continue the walk.  Go back down lane and bear left past hospital entrance.  At fork in lane, take path between the two “prongs” into hedge.  Go through gate into field and turn right.  Pass a path that goes sharp left across field and take a path bearing diagonally left across field to gate 100 metres to right of far corner.  Turn left along edge of next field and at corner go through gap into next field and turn sharp right down right hand edge to footbridge, left to another footbridge then across small triangular field to railway crossing.

On far side follow obvious track towards wind turbine.  Bear right over ditch then along left hand bank of ditch ahead.  Just after left hand bend, turn right across ditch and follow left hand bank of smaller ditch (i.e. right hand edge of field) to junction of four paths.  Go straight ahead, cross footbridge and rough ground to edge of cultivated field.

The path across the field may not be obvious.  You need to be about 100 metres left of ditch on your right.  Then head straight across cultivated field in a southerly direction climbing gently and as you cross brow of hill you should see gap in hedge ahead.  On far side turn right uphill along right hand edge of field to buildings at Lower Murgie Oast.  Bear left along track and soon after sharp right hand bend go down steps hidden in hedge on left.

Go slightly right of straight down field to hedge and turn right.  On entering next field bear left up bank to gate on left and on far side turn right along field edge.  After 70 metres at post bear diagonally left across field to gap in hedge (not visible until you are over brow of hill) and across corner of next field into narrow wood.  Through wood turn right to corner then follow right hand edge field to top corner.  Go through gap on right and head diagonally across another field to join track in corner.  Turn right down track to lane.

Turn left to road junction then right along Frensham Road through village of Rolvenden Layne to next road junction.  Bear right across Maytham Road to path.  Once in field, bear left to kissing gate and take path between fences.  At end of fenced in path go straight forward along right hand edge of field and through kissing gate at corner.  After a few metres go through another kissing gate on right and take path through grounds of Great Maytham Hall.

On emerging again into the open, bear left across meadow towards church.  Looking to the left you can see a water tower that was converted into a house and featured on TV’s Grand Designs.  Go through churchyard back into Rolvenden village.

Points of Interest


Tenterden has a charm all of its own.  The broad high street is lined with properties that bear testimony to the town’s affluence from the wool trade.  The varied architectural styles blend well together and display the full range of building materials typical of the Weald – red brick and hanging tiles reflecting the iron content of the Wealden clay and white weatherboarding introduced when Scandinavian timber imports became cheap.  The church in contrast is made from “Bethersden marble”, actually a local freshwater limestone found amongst the Wealden clay.  The church tower is very ornate, supporting the legend that the tower caused the Goodwin Sands because money intended for coastal defences was diverted instead to building the tower.

In medieval times Tenterden was a corporate member of the Cinque Ports although the harbour itself was two miles to the south at Smallhythe on the Rother estuary but long ago silted up.

Great Maytham Hall

The present house was designed by Edwin Lutyens and built in 1909.  Author Frances Hodgson Burnett lived in the previous house on the site and the walled garden was said to be inspiration for her book The Secret Garden.  The house is now converted into luxury flats.

The photograph was taken by Stephen Nunney and is licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Licence.


Public Transport

Service R10 connects Cudham recreation ground with Orpington Station via Green Street Green.

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

Guide to Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk and other walks in the area

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

Please report any problems with this walk to

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.

Map contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2022.  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