Walk 41: Marsh Green and Starborough Castle
Distance: 6 Miles (2hr 45m)
OS Map: Explorer 147 (Start at grid reference TQ439443)
Parking. There is a quiet lane that runs past the church and along two sides of the triangular village green. There is ample space for parking on this lane. Aim to be as near the church as you can get.
Take the path down the left side of the church and along the left side of a field. Through a metal kissing gate bear right along a track between fences and follow, passing Arthurís Shaw on right, to a large grassy triangular area where cars and caravans may be parked. Leave by the far left corner through a gate and follow a track past some ponds on the left then over a stile into a field. Bear left across the field to a stile and then bear left across a small field to join a track at the far left corner. Turn left along the track.
Follow the track towards Starborough Castle and round to the right. Almost immediately round the corner, take a stile on left and follow path along edge of Castle grounds and over stile onto Castle drive.
Follow drive away from Castle and take stile on right to path diagonally across field to road. Cross road and take broad track just a little to the right of straight across.
Follow the broad track uphill, passing paths joining from both right and left. The track then bends left temporarily to skirt a wood before returning to its original line. A downhill stretch brings you to a gate onto another track. Turn right along the track and almost immediately take another track uphill through a gate on the left. At first the track offers fine views to the left of the wooded Greensand ridge then it enters a wood and skirts another wood before emerging onto another track near Dry Hill Farm. Turn left along this track between fences until it goes through a gate into a wood. Now turn right through a plantation of Scots Pine trees.
When you reach a junction of four paths, go straight across. The path emerges from the wood and goes along the right hand side of a field with woodland over the fence on the right. Pass the first gate on the right leading into the wood and continue through a gate into the next field, still following the edge of the wood. Take the next gate on the right into the wood and continue through this wood and Ten Acre Wood until you reach the drive leading to Crippenden Manor. Turn left along the drive and just after crossing a stream take a path on the left leading uphill, keeping to the right of copse at the top of the field. Go over a stile and follow the left hand edge of the next field into another, larger field. Aim for the far left corner of this field and into the next field. Very soon there is a stile into the wood on the left. Take this and follow it until you emerge from the wood. Bear left past a house and over two more stiles to the drive leading to the house. Go straight across, over another stile, downhill between two ponds and over another stile onto a lane.
Turn right along the lane and follow it when it bends left past a lake on the left and Christmas Mill Cottage and Christmas Place on right. At a T-junction take the path that goes straightforward over a stile along the right hand edge of a field. Halfway along the field go through a gap in hedge on right and turn left along path towards stile. Go to the stile but do not go over it. Instead, turn sharp right with hedge on left, soon going downhill to stile. Climb stile, cross to far left corner of large field and emerge on lane. Go straight across and soon reach main road from where you can see the church and, nearby, your car.
Originally as large as Bodiam, the
medieval castle was demolished on the orders of Oliver Cromwell soon
after the execution of Charles I. The walk offers glimpses of the
surviving moat and on the island the ornamental pavilion built
around 1754 using material from the original castle. The present
Victorian house dates from about 1880.
The original Starborough Castle
Our book of Ten
Favourite Walks in the Kent Countryside has routes for ten more
walks like this one.
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Map based on Ordnance
Survey mapping released into the public domain under the OpenData