Kent Ramblers

Walk 60

Walk 60: Stubbs Wood and Whitley Forest

Distance: 6.3 Miles (3 Hours)
OS Map: Explorer 147 (Start at grid reference TQ496518)

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 to 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 on right through wood, avoiding all left turns, to lane.

Go straight across to path opposite. Continue, descending gradually, through woodland for nearly a mile. On reaching a lane, do not join it but bear left to follow another track and climb gradually through the woods. Follow the track as it bears right through a gate (keep right here), crosses a broader track and becomes a path descending past a large pond.

Cross a bridge, turn left and follow a level path that soon bears right to a gate. Through the gate bear left along the valley and just before a pond turn right to a stile 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 broader tracks, follow the one ahead to a junction of seven paths by a water-filled circular brick structure. Take the second track on the left, 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 and follow it to a lane. Bear right to a path opposite and follow this, passing a seat with fine views of Bough Beech Reservoir, back to the car park.

Highland Cattle in Whitley Forest

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 near through Stubbs Wood with fine views across Kent, which in those days of course would have been without Bough Beech reservoir:


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

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 need you.

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