Kent Ramblers Walk 94

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Hartfield and Bolebroke Castle

Distance:  6.9 Miles (3h 20m)

OS Map:          Explorer 135 (Start at grid reference TQ478358)

 

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Park in the High Street in Hartfield there is usually no problem parking near the sports ground opposite the village hall.

Go through gate opposite village hall and take path to left of tennis courts.  Follow obvious route until you reach Forest Way running along old railway track.  Go straight across, watching carefully for cyclists, over stile and down to footbridge across the Medway.  On far side bear left diagonally across a field to far side, cross bridleway and then another field.  Follow right hand side of next field, cross another field and enter wood.

On emerging from wood over tile, cross next field uphill diagonally to gateway and stile in hedge; continue across next field to stile with gate above leading to lane.

Take path opposite and bear left across large field to camp site beside small lake.  Keep lake on your left and on far side find waymarked stile into field.  Follow right hand edge of field and half way along take path through gate on right.  Follow path along track past North Clays farm and pond.  When track turns right, go through gate straight ahead.  Bear right and make for large tree in far right hand corner of field path may not be visible on the ground.  Go through gate by the tree and follow right hand edge of field for 100 metres.  Go through gateway in hedge and follow left hand edge of next field for 100 metres.  When the hedge bears sharp left, carry straight on across the field to the bottom left hand corner and through small pedestrian gate (if field is cropped, instead follow left hand edge of field to corner and down to gate).

Cross bridge over stream and on far side bear right across the next field, first climbing gently and then descending to cross ditch by waymarked post.  On far side of woodland, go uphill straight across a field to emerge on a lane.

Take path over stile by gate on far side of lane just a few yards to right.  Head towards clump of trees and down left hand side of trees to bottom corner of field.  Enter wood and cross footbridge.  Emerging from the wood, either take path straight up field or, if this is not present, turn right along bottom of field for a few tens of metres and turn left up path when found (there should be a short waymarked post).  Emerge on lane at top.

Turn right down lane passing some houses.  At botton take path over stile by gate on left, soon turning right uphill with woodland or thick hedges on left and clearing on right.  At top of clearing take path into wood climbing steadily and bearing left under power lines until you emerge onto path between fences.

Go through gate at end and bear left to another gate, cross field to third gate and turn left down sunken track.  Just past Chantlers Farm take footpath through metal gate on right.  Follow track bearing right then left past some ponds then uphill across field and into wood.  On far side of wood, bear left downhill to a gate into another wood.  On the other side follow a broad track along the valley bottom.  When the track bears right, go straight forward through a gate and along a narrower track that takes you past Bolebrook Castle.

At T-junction, turn left to main entrance to castle.  Turn right along drive all the way to main road.

Turn left along main road and take first turn on the right past some houses.  Follow track past houses, keeping left at junction down to the valley bottom and up other side.  Just past pair of large oast houses on right, go through a gap beside the gate and carry straight on past very impressive old house.  Follow track downhill, bear right through gate and along bottom of field.  Turn left uphill along track between fences and through narrow band of woodland to stile at the far side.  Bear right diagonally across field to gate.

Through gate bear right through second gate and along a path between fences.  Pass with gates on left, going forward on narrow path between a hedge on the left and the fence of a paddock on the right, to enter wood.  On far side, head downhill along left hand edge of field.  Half way down bear right across field towards gates at bottom.  Pass gates and continue downhill with wood (inside which there is a pond) on left.  In valley bottom, cross footbridge and go through gate to Forest Way.

Watching carefully for cyclists, cross to far side and climb stile into field.  Bear right and cross a large field diagonally.  Go through gap and continue to stile by gate.  Follow bottom of field to stile then bear left uphill to cross road at corner.  Take path opposite along right hand edge of field.  At corner over stile turn right uphill towards church and join lane.  Head downhill to High Street and your car.

Points of Interest

Bolebroke Castle

The "castle" was built as a hunting lodge around 1450 and is said to be the oldest brick building in Sussex.  Henry VIII supposedly stayed here while hunting in Ashdown Forest and pursuing Anne Boleyn at nearby Hever Castle.  The house is no longer open to the public.

Orchard Tea Rooms

Open daily 9:30 to 4:30.  For more details see their web site.

Public Transport

There are buses from Tunbridge Wells and East Grinstead – hourly on weekdays but rather less frequently on Sundays.


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