Walk 132: Groombridge, Broadwater Warren, Eridge
Rocks and Harrison's Rocks
Distance: 8.1 Miles (4 hours) excluding
extension to Eridge Green for pub visit
OS Map: Explorer 135
(Start at grid reference TQ533364)
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 line of trees to next
stile then cross the middle of two meadows to protruding hedge.
Keeping hedge on right carry on into woodland past pond.
right before buildings, cross yard and bear right onto path along
left hand edge of meadow and into wood. Through 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 over stile 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.
right, pass track on left and then bear left at fork. At T junction
turn left. At crossing of broad tracks look for narrower path into
trees just left of straight ahead, indicated by grey waymarker.
reaching broad track bear left downhill then take track on right,
still following grey waymarkers. At end of section of duckboards
turn right and on meeting broad track turn left uphill. Still
following grey waymarkers, take path on right to car park.
Take broad track past information board, bear right after a gate and
follow grey waymarks to decoy pond. Continue to follow waymarks
uphill, across a cross paths, right at next cross paths and right
again on joining broad track. On reaching a large oak, information
board and waymark post on right, turn left 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 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
into car park for climbers in Birchden Wood. Follow track to right
of information board, bearing left 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
If you find that the directions and map
for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to email@example.com.
Map based on Ordnance
Survey mapping released into the public domain under the OpenData