Kent Ramblers: Walk 133



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Groombridge & Withyham

Distance:   9.6 Miles ( hrs 40 mins)

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

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

Cross Station Road, head up Corseley Road and follow past church and school (where you join the High Weald Landscape Trail, which you will follow all the way to Withyham church), bearing right at top and after another 150 metres bearing left downhill past start of Forest Way.  Just after water works, take path over stile on right.  Cross footbridge, go under railway and bear diagonally left across field.  Climb initially but soon descend to stile/gate and enter long grassy glade.  At far end enter more woodland, rich with bluebells in spring, keeping left and emerging onto lane at Motts Mill.  Keep right along lane and after last house take first path on left.

Bear right downhill and cross footbridge.  Follow right hand edge of field to bridge and cross stream again (although on the OS map the path never crosses the stream at all).  Follow track through wood and immediately after crossing metalled drive turn sharp left downhill to cross stream and enter field.  Bear right uphill to gate and pass through section of woodland.  Pass some sandstone outcrops and follow ridge to gate.  Initially follow wide track between fences but when signs indicate go through gate on right and follow narrower path with fence on left and woodland on right.  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 between deer fences.  Cross valley bottom to left of timbered house and climb other side to grass between deer fences, through wood and across another field to Whitehouse Lane.

Turn right down lane to junction with road.  Go straight across to sunken track opposite, uphill through wood and over stile into field.  Climb along right hand edge of field past house then cross field to corner of wood.  Donít take path into wood but bear left downhill across corner of field to enter wood and bear left.  When Buckhurst Park comes into view bear left downhill to drive and turn right.  Turn left at lake and follow drive down the valley, passing another lake on right and 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 path through gate, uphill across field and into churchyard.  This path was opened in 2010 following a campaign by Sussex Ramblers leading to a public inquiry as the landowner refused to recognise the right of way.  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 but joining the Wealdway, bear left at a fork and turn left along the main road.

Take path on right just after bridge.   Head straight across fields and cross Forest Way.  Bear right across footbridge over Medway and follow 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 copse along left hand edge of another field and over another bridge.  On reaching a bridge over stream on left and at right angles to route, donít take westbound path across bridge but bear right across field to bridge over Medway.  Continue to next bridge and on far side turn left across field and footbridge.  Go under railway and continue to junction of paths in clearing where Wealdway goes forward uphill.  Leaving Wealdway,  turn right and at end of field go through gate on left and across field into woodland.  Climb through woodland and on meeting a broad track, continuing to climb through woodland and over stile into field.  Bear right to top corner of field, go over stile on right and across left hand edge of field to another stile.  Enter woodland and keep left to meet Burrswood drive.

Go up bank opposite and take path straight across field to Groombridge Road.  Turn right and follow to the triangular green in Groombridge.  Bear left across green and cross Groombridge Hill (B2110) to take path just to left of church.  Cross drive and skirt to left of lake.  Go down steps towards Groombridge Place, along edge of moat then right across bridge second bridge over Grom to path between fences.  Follow to recreation ground and along right hand edge to car park.

Points of Interest

Chalybeate Spring

The spring is on the left about half way along the drive from Buckhurst Park to Withyham in a brick 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.

Groombridge Place

The present house was built in 1662 with the help of Sir Christopher Wren.  Diarist and horticulturist John Evelyn helped with the garden.  The garden, but not the house, is open to the public with attractions in the "Enchanted Forest" aimed at children.

Public Transport

Both Groombridge and Withyham are accessible by bus from Tunbridge Wells.

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

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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