Walk 36: Four Elms and Bough Beech
Distance: 5 Miles (2.5 Hours)
OS Map: Explorer 147 (Start at grid reference TQ467484)
Park opposite the church.
Walk past school on left and take footpath on the left between fence
and stream then along the right hand side of a field to a lane.
Take the path opposite through a farm. After a stile (lift bar to
pass), bear right across a field around one stile and on
to climb a stile (to the left of the gate, which bears “no
pedestrians” signs). Follow the left hand edge of a field to climb
Turn sharp left along a path between a fence and a hedge (ignore
the better marked path going right from the stile). Climb stile and
cross the bottom of a field (field on left, fence on right) then at
the first bend go over stile and bridge on right. Turn left uphill
to Five Fields Lane.
Turn right past Owls Court and Syliards Farm to a T-junction.
Take the path opposite (stile by gate marked Reynolds Farm) down the
left hand side of a field to ditch at bottom. Continue straight on
uphill to top of ridge and, just past hedge on right, through gate
on left. Bear right to line of trees and follow path along left hand
edge of field on far side to gate into lane. Go straight forward along lane.
When lane bends right, go through gap by a gate on left and then
through gate in corner of hedge. Cross left hand edge of field and
go through gate. Cross left hand edge of another field. You will
then find a narrow strip of woodland in front of you. There is a gap
on the left and there are various waymarks encouraging you to go
through it, but don’t. Instead turn right so that you are following
a broad track along edge of field with strip of woodland on your
left. Look across the field to your right to note Marlpit Wood – see
Keep going straight forward for as long as you can until you are
in the corner of a field, possibly by a rusting circular iron
structure. Go over the stile on the left, then turn
sharp right and cross a bridge into the next field. Cross the field
diagonally; the gate is to the left of the far corner.
Through gate turn right along the field edge. When you reach a
pedestrian gate in the hedge on the right, go through it and turn
left with the hedge now on your left, until you reach a lane.
Turn right and then take the footpath on the left just past a
pair of houses (Lakefield Farmhouse). Follow path down the side of
one house and then along the backs of both. When path emerges into a
field, follow a line of electricity wires and poles to corner of
wood, then bear half right downhill to a kissing gate.
Turn left. There is a view of the reservoir and some seats on the
left from which to admire it. Follow the path round the wood. On
emerging from the wood, go straight across the field, through young
oak woodland and down right hand edge of next field to the Visitor
Centre. If it is closed, turn left at the gate and take the rising
path along the right hand edge of the field; otherwise after your
visit return to the gate to take the path. The path becomes a track
and brings you to a road at Piggotts Cottage.
Take the path opposite between hedge and fence. Follow this path
to the bottom of the valley, then up the other side. When you reach
two gates, the path is a little hard to find. It does not go through
either gate but is on your right. Take this path between a hedge and
a fence until it emerges into a field. There is a track just beyond
the left hand edge of the field. Don’t take this track immediately
but cross the field, bearing slightly left of straight on, to join
the track at stile just before the corner of the field. Follow the
track for a few metres to the corner, then go slightly left and down
to the road.
Join the road at a corner. Turn left and follow it round the
corner, first gently downhill, then gently uphill to a stile on left
after 350 metres. Cross a short section of woodland by a pond to a
stile and cross the next field diagonally, going through a gap in
the hedge just to the left of the corner (between two large oaks).
(At the time of writing, July 2013, a pipeline was being installed
here but the path was still open and we expect the landscape to be
fully restored in due course.) Continue in the same direction
(aiming for electricity poles) to a stile by a gate, cross a lane
and take the path opposite.
This path goes down the edge of a field with a wood on your
right. When you get to the end of the wood, the path is supposed to
turn sharp left into the middle of the field and then turn 45
degrees right and cross to a stile at the left hand end of hedge.
However, the path is not obvious on the ground and you may prefer to
follow an obvious path round the edge of the field until you reach
the same stile. Over stile, cross two fields diagonally and cross
right hand edges of two more fields to road. Turn left back to car.
are many references to marl pits on maps of Kent. Marl is a rock layer consisting of a mixture of clay and
minerals such as calcium carbonate.
It has been excavated since Roman times as a soil improver –
the name is derived from a Latin word for fertiliser.
A marl layer is often found in association with ironstone –
hence Furnace House Farm not far from the wood.
Beech Visitor Centre
worth a visit, but only open from April to October on Wednesdays,
Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 10am to 5pm and from November
to March on Sundays from 10am to 4pm .
There are toilets, an exhibition, information, a bookshop and
refreshments – with teas and coffee at £1 a cup (in 2013).
Check latest opening times here.
reservoir itself is filled in winter by pumping water from the River
Eden for purification and supply by Sutton and East Surrey Water during
the drier summer months.
will see a series of white structures that look a little like stiles but
no path goes over them. These
follow the route of a pipeline and are presumably to enable the route to
be followed from the air.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.