Kent Ramblers

Walk 61

Walk 61: Brenchley and Mile Oak

Distance: 6.0 Miles (3.0 Hours)

OS Map: Explorer 136 (Start at grid reference TQ679417)

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Park in the small car park in Brenchley. If approaching from Matfield it is down a short lane on the right just after the old forge and just before the Bull Inn. There are toilets. If the car park is full, there are more parking spaces near the church.

Emerge from the car park into the High Street and turn left. On reaching the war memorial, turn right up Holly Bank. At the top turn left but almost immediately take a path up steps on the right into an orchard. Soon go over a stile on right and then left down a drive past some houses. On emerging into an orchard, turn right and after a few metres left along a grassy track.

Look for a path on the right after a hundred metres. It is not obvious. There is a post topped with yellow paint, but it may be hidden by foliage. After a row of tall trees perpendicular to the track on the right, count three rows of apple trees then turn right down path through orchard to gate. Follow broad path between fences across former golf course. Continue to bottom of hill and climb again with copse on your right. Keep close to fence on right and in due course take path on right between fences down to lane.

Turn right and after just a couple of metres take path on left across field. At end of a hedge sticking out into the field the path branches – bear right across the field then along the edge of a garden to a track. Turn left and follow, soon bearing right, to reach a lane.

Turn right and, just past the Mile Oak sign, take a path on the left. This goes up the drive of a house, through a gate, along the edge of the back garden and over a stile into a field. When you reach a ditch in the middle of the field, turn right alongside it until, just after a junction with another ditch, you can cross the first ditch on the left and follow the right hand bank of the second ditch to a lane. (The path as marked on the OS map follows a rather different route across the field.)

Turn left down the lane until you reach a junction. Turn right along a path at the junction across a field to a footbridge. Cross next field, initially towards a house then bearing left along far field edge to a footbridge. Across the bridge, turn left along the field edge to reach a road.

Turn right past several houses until you reach a clearly signposted path on the left. Over the stile, go straight uphill between rows of apple trees to broad track at top. Turn right along the track until it goes through a gate; instead of going through gate bear right and make for buildings at top of hill where path emerges onto road.

Turn left until, after 300m, you come to a driveway on right past Temple Farm (there is a small concrete footpath sign in verge). Follow until you reach an open field, where you bear right and follow right hand edge of field. Go over stile into garden of house, turn right along drive then, just before metal gates, go left along right hand side and then back of garage. Follow path down steps, over stile then down to road.

There is now a section of road walking. Take especial care and be sure to walk on the outside of blind bends. Continue to lowest point of road and then as it turns a corner and starts to climb take a path on right just after a small lay-by. Keep right and cross end of lake (Furnace Pond – a relic of the Weald’s ancient iron industry). Over a stile, turn right uphill through orchard. Bear slightly left as you cross a track to pass a yellow waymark. As you near a wood at the top of the orchard, bear left straight across orchard to a lane. Turn right and, after passing several houses on right, take path on left. Follow along field edge down to where old railway sleepers have been laid to avoid the mud. Once across the sleepers go steeply uphill to stile at top and along path that brings you out opposite the church in Brenchley. Cross the green and bear right along High Street past Bull Inn to car park entrance.

Brenchley

Brenchley originally prospered through the cloth trade, then became a centre for the iron industry and later hops.  Orchards, once in decline, are now seeing a substantial revival and you will pass many recently planted apple trees on this walk.

Furnace Pond

Water from this pond once pond once powered one of the largest iron works in the Weald employing over 200 men.  In 1614 its owner, John Brown, was granted the monopoly of making iron and brass guns for the navy.

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.


If you find that the directions and map for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to info@kentramblers.org.uk.

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