Kent Ramblers Walk 71

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Groombridge and Ashurst

Distance:  7 Miles (3h 30m)

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 or, if the car park is full, in street further up Station Road.

Take path that leaves car park from corner furthest from entrance.  Follow left hand edge of playing field and go through kissing gate.  Turn left along broad track then bear right alongside fence to bridge over River Grom.  Across bridge, turn left with moat on your right.  Beyond house, followcurving iron fence (which should be immediately on your right) and pass between two ponds up steps to lake.  Turn right along lake edge, cross drive, go through gate and bear left along clear path that goes to right of church and emerge on road opposite The Crown Inn.

Keep straight ahead to the entrance to the grounds of Burrswood.  Go along the Burrswood drive, passing lakes and then buildings until you reach main house and gateway bounded by stone pillars.  Turn right uphill before gateway (signposted “Exit”) and turn right at T-junction at the top.  Follow “Exit” driveway until it turns sharply right in front of metal gate beyond which is a sign inviting you to explore Burrs Wood.

[Note:  Walkers have long been welcome to walk the drives through Burrswood’s grounds.  However, they are not recorded as public rights of way and the estate changed hands in 2020.  So far no action has been taken to exclude walkers but should that happen it may be necessary to take and alternative route from Groombridge Green to the entrance to Burrs Wood.  Instead of going through Burrswood entrance, go up lane (known as Bird in Hand Street) for 600 metres passing two houses on left to stile on left.  Take roughly level path across field to exit drive from Burrswood and turn right uphill to entrance to Burrs Wood at corner.  This route is shown in orange on the map.]

Take track to left of this sign and follow it downhill, eventually entering wood.  Bear right and descend to bridge across stream.  Go uphill to first junction where there is a fingerpost (but in such a state of decay it may soon be gone) and bear left.  Thereafter bear right at junctions, climbing gradually through wood.

On emerging into field, climb briefly to meet path (Wealdway) coming through gate on right and turn left along it.  Cross large field, neither climbing nor descending much but getting fine views of surrounding countryside.  At far side of field make for gate some way down from top and go through.  Follow the hedge/fence on the right until there is a gate leading through it; through gate turn left and follow the same hedge now on your left and into a meadow at the bottom.

Turn right and follow Sussex Border Path past some trees and some derelict buildings then along the right hand side of a clearing to a gate and a track.  At the first junction in the track, turn left downhill to track by farm and turn right along it.  When track bends left downhill, go through small picket gate on right and across top of garden passing close to house.  Follow short section of path into open field.  Head downhill diagonally across field making for lowest point at far corner and stile into a lane.  Turn right along lane to main road.

Turn left and immediately after Millstream Close (well before railway bridge) take path on left alongside fence.  Follow path under railway and acrossfootbridge over the Medway.  Turn left along river bank for 800 metres.  At first hedge across path go through gap then bear right away from river towards far corner of field.  [This path may not be reinstated across field after ploughing, in which case continue along field edge (don’t go through gate on left) to ditch at corner and turn right along field edge to corner.]

Go thorough hedge, turn left and follow the field edge to a footbridge on the left at the corner.  Over the bridge, go straight ahead through woodland and over stile.  Follow left hand edges of two fields uphill to concrete track.  Turn left and follow track as it bends right downhill towards Hale Court Farm.  Immediately before farm entrance, turn right along field edge to a stile.  Go over stile and follow the path between hedge and fence until it emerges across footbridge into open area.  Bear half left across a field to bridge over the Medway; continue across field and another bridge then past Ham Farm to road.

Turn right until you reach Forest Way and turn left along it.  Follow Forest Way until it reaches next road (B2188) and cross it.  Continue alongside railway embankment, then under railway and down to Corseley Road.  Turn left uphill and right at T-junction at top.  Follow road round to left past school and church then downhill to join Station Road just opposite car park.

Points of Interest

Groombridge Place

Pill Box Heaven

This part of the Medway valley is a mecca for pill box enthusiasts.  There are apparently over 40 between Ashurst and Penshurst.  They are part of the “GHQ Stop Line” of anti-tank defences that ran east from Somerset to Kent and then north to Yorkshire.  It was built in the early 1940s to hinder Hitler should he invade Britain from the south or east.  The pill boxes would have been manned by the Home Guard armed with machine guns and rifles fired through the slits.

Public Transport

Take the train to Ashurst station and start the walk there.  Another option is to take the bus from Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge.


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


Please report any problems with this walk to info@kentramblers.org.uk.


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.


Map contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2020.  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