16 January 2015 – after all the rain many of the hilly paths resemble small brooks and the going is very heavy in the mud
|A short walk but with a steep slippery climb in the middle|
|Length||3.5 miles (5.7km)|
|Terrain||one stretch of straight road: not too narrow but traffic can be fast moving|
|Suitability||Walkers, dog walkers, joggers, runners|
|Points of interest||Horses may sometimes be seen exercising on the gallops near the start|
|Start||At the suggested parking (see below) on Lake Street just west of the junction with Little Trodgers Lane; OS grid reference TQ592297; GPS co-ordinates 51° 2’42.26″N, 0°16’9.38″|
|Public transport||Stagecoach 251/252 buses between Tunbridge Wells and Heathfield stop at Mark Cross from where you can take the B2100 towards Wadhurst for 50m then a footpath to meet the route at Renhurst Farm. Or the community bus from Wadhurst to Mayfield has an occasional service that stops at Rushers Cross (east end of Lake Street) from where you can walk 1 mile to the start point|
|Parking||Parking on the verge of Lake Street – space for a few cars, for example just to the east of junction with Little Trodgers Lane (just past junction when coming from Mark Cross)|
View Routes from junction of Lake Street and Little Trodgers Lane in a larger map
From the suggested parking go along Lake Street to the west (towards Mark Cross) past the junction with Little Trodgers Lane and in 100 yards, just beyond the gate marked as “Little Trodgers Site No 118”, turn right down a drive (there is a stone footpath sign at ground level on the right hand verge about 5 yards in). Go through a metal gate then a wooden one and onto a footpath that descends and is enclosed by trees – please note that the first part is someone’s garden and they request you kindly to keep dogs on a lead and avoid them fouling the garden. At the end in just under 200 yards, climb over the stile, turn right and then left in 10 yards (NOTE 16/01/15: path partially blocked by wire) to continue slightly downhill on a broad track in woods. After another 150 yards you cross a horse ride and on the other side go slightly left to descend a gully and come to a metal gate in 30 yards. Turn right after the gate to follow the top of three fields with views across to Earls Farm on the other side of the valley.
At the end of the third field continue straight ahead, past the conservation area sign with bushes on your right and a fence on your left. In 100 yards bear right through gateposts and then in 10 yards by the signpost on your left, turn left through the gate and onto a narrow path that descends steeply, goes over a large and a small footbridge then climbs back up steeply on a path that can be very slippery. The path then levels off and comes to a opening with garage buildings.
Turn left between fences then cross a stile and continue on a broad path between trees which after about 100 yards bears left and comes out in a field. Here the path can be very narrow and overgrown in summer as it winds between bushes and small trees for about 200 yards. Then you descend to a junction of paths where you turn right through a thin band of trees and then descend gently past a house on your right, sheltered behind a high hedge, to cross a gravel drive which leads to Earls Farm.
Cross the drive and go over the stile down to a footbridge. On the other side of the footbridge climb for 20 yards to cross another (high) stile and then climb in the field beyond, keeping close to the right hand edge. At the end of the field cross a stile into woods.
Follow the track mainly in woods for 100 yards past a tree plantation on your left (Jan 15) then descend to a small plank bridge, cross a large forest track and climb for a short way the other side. When you come to a forest track again, turn left and follow it for 50 yards before turning sharp right at the signpost along a narrow track going north under trees.
Climb over a high stile and continue slightly right for 20 yards then turn sharp left to a stile in another 20 yards which you cross to descend a narrow steep gully. After less than 100 yards the path turns right over a plank bridge and continues through the woods for about 300 yards then descends to a stile. Turn left after the stile up a wide curving track to a stile into a field which you climb to the top left corner.
At the top go through the gate onto the farm track. At the start there is a path on the right – this is where you join the route if you start at Mark Cross instead of Lake Street. You can also divert down this path for 100 yards and take a tour round a small lake set in the woods, returning to the main route by the same path.
Follow the track through the farm turning right then left (note footpath signs on telegraph pole) and keeping the farmhouse on your right and then the farm shop on your left. Leave by a track with a field of old caravans on your left, through a gate and down the left side of a field. Going through the gate at the bottom and climbing the right side of the next field with woods on your left brings you back to Lake Street. Turn left and it is now just under half a mile to the start of the route