Kent Ramblers Walk 132

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Groombridge and Eridge Rocks

Distance: 8.1 Miles (4 hours) excluding extension to Eridge Green for pub visit

OS Map: Explorer 135 (Start at grid reference TQ533364) 

Click map to magnify and click again to magnify further

Park in free car park adjacent to Groombridge Village Hall or nearby.

Take path out of car park at corner opposite entrance alongside left hand edge of playing field, through gate and along track between fences.  On reaching gravel track, follow fence round to right and take path along avenue of lime trees.  Enter field and follow path along right hand edge to far right hand corner.

Go over stile, along track and under railway.  Over next stile, turn left along left hand edge of field to bridge and stile.  Follow intermittent line of oak trees to next stile then cross the middle of two meadows to protruding hedge.  Keeping hedge on right carry on into woodland past pond.

Turn right before buildings, cross yard and bear right onto path along left hand edge of meadow and into wood.  Beyond wood follow left hand edge of fields, passing isolated house on left and entering wood over a stile, to reach Birchden Farm.  Go between oast house and barn and head straight forward to lane at junction.

Cross lane at junction and immediately take path through gate on left.  Follow path through woodland until it joins broader path.  Turn right, for 30 metres then bear left through gate at fork.  After another 560 metres at T-junction turn left.  At crossing of broad tracks look for narrower path into trees just left of straight ahead, through tall pines.  On reaching junction of tracks take second left (fairly level track) and after 50 metres take narrower path on right at post, following blue waymarkers and crossing series of duckboards.  On meeting broad track turn left uphill through gate and at Valley Viewpoint sign turn right, still following blue waymarkers and soon reaching car park.

Take broad track past information board, bear right after a gate and follow blue waymarks to decoy pond.  Continue to follow blue waymarks uphill, straight ahead at cross paths and right at next junction until you reach the RSPB reserve boundary and the start of the Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve.  Turn right here (even though Eridge Rocks are signposted forward).  On reaching a large oak, information board, pond and waymark post on right, turn left past Sussex Wildlife Trust sign and follow track beneath Eridge Rocks all the way to small car park. Here you can turn left along asphalt track for detour to pub (Nevill Crest and Gun) at Eridge Green.  Otherwise…

Turn right along asphalt track and after a couple of metres take path on right through bracken until it rejoins asphalt track.  Turn right and, immediately after woodland on left ends, take path on left passing well to left of farmhouse and soon heading downhill across the middle of a very large field.
At far edge of field turn right along field edge to corner, descend to cross footbridge and follow right hand edge of field to lane.  Turn right along lane and at top of hill take track on left.  Pass Pinstraw Farm and carry on between buildings at Forge Farm then on through trees to emerge into open meadow with Harrison’s Rocks on right and Spa Valley Railway on left.  Follow path alongside railway then turning right towards car park for climbers in Birchden Wood.  Follow track up right hand side and then along top of car park, climbing to meet asphalt drive.

Turn right and at end of first field on left take path on left between fence and hedge.  Follow path to bridge across railway and up to road by school.  Turn right and follow road back to car park.

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Points of Interest

Spa Valley Railway

The line from Tunbridge Wells to Eridge was closed by British Rail in 1985.  The line was reopened by volunteers, running from Tunbridge Wells West to Groombridge in 1997.  A connection to the main railway network at Eridge was restored in 2011 but there seems little prospect of restoring the link from Tunbridge Wells West to the main line at Tunbridge Wells (formerly Tunbridge Wells Central).

The line runs a mixture of steam-hauled services and “heritage diesel” locomotives.
Broadwater Warren
The RSPB acquired the site in 2007 and are removing large patches of conifer either to restore to heathland or to replace with native broadleaves.

Eridge Rocks

This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve.

Forge Farm and Harrison’s Rocks

Forge Farm is on the site of old Birchden Forge.  Here the stream was used to power a bellows to forge iron, last used by William Harrison to make firearms until 1750.  Finding this unprofitable, he opened the land to people wanting to visit see the scenery, especially the 40ft sandstone outcrop now owned by the British Mountaineering Council.  It is rare not to see rock climbers training here.

Groombridge Place

A 17th century manor house surrounded by a medieval moat, used as a location in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice.  There are formal gardens for adults and the Enchanted Forest for children.


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