Loop via Moat Farm and Bungehurst Farm

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One section of road with occasional fast traffic and some high stiles to climb over

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A 5 mile route, mainly through fields with a couple of stretches on roads

Length8km (5 miles)TerrainFootpaths and tarmac roadsDifficultyEasy apart from a few high stilesTime100 – 180 minutesSuitabilitywalkers (and dog walkers if you can carry your dog over two difficult stiles or if it is very agilePoints of interestStartSouth Street car park, Mayfield (TN20 6DF) ; grid reference TQ586268 ; GPS co-ordinates 51° 1’11.14″N, 0°15’42.34″EPublic transportBus route 251/252 between Tunbridge Wells and Heathfield/Eastbourne stops in Mayfield High Street, from where you can walk west (away from Tunbridge Wells) for 50 yards and then turn down Star Lane, a small passage between Stone House and “Rosina Fabrics”.  At the bottom turn left and arrive at the car park in 50 yards.  There is also a community bus to & from Wadhurst twice a day. For detailed bus timetables go to the Mayfield and Five Ashes websiteParkingCar park for 50 cars in South Street, which can be full at peak times.

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Leave South Street car park by steps and turn left into South Street, then at the end of the car park turn left down the footpath (M&FA footpath 13). Come out onto Vale Road and continue gently downhill picking up the footpath again in about 150 yards at the end of the road (ignoring footpath off to the left). Follow the footpath between hedge and fence and then into woods. There are some steps here and it can be very muddy. After a few hundred yards you come to a bridge and at the end carry straight on uphill, ignoring the footpath and second bridge to your right. After a short climb, cross a field and come out in Piccadilly Lane where you go straight ahead and downhill.

The road then turns right, left and right again and starts to climb. After climbing for just over 50 yards take the footpath (M&FA 25) on your left through the remains of a stile. Follow it through the top of a field with bushes on your right and fence on the left, over a stile and then through two more fields with stiles between them keeping to the right hand side and passing Moat Farm on your right.

You then come to a footbridge over the River Rother at the end of which there is a fork with one path turning left (you will return on this path later on) while you take the path straight ahead for about 100 yards to the gate opposite (which did not close properly in March 2015).

The other side of the gate you go across a strip of lawn with a fence on your left and then through a small gate along a narrow path to the left of a building.  After 20 yards turn left at the signpost over a stile, often with a muddy patch just beyond, then in a further 20 yards turn right through a gate.

Keep to the right hand edge of the next field, go through the gate and continue by the edge to the end of a small wood then keep straight ahead to cross to the other side of the field and the stile in the far left corner.  Over the stile and the two-plank footbridge beyond to a path in woods which then climbs to emerge in a field. Turn left at the top and follow the left edge to the stile leading onto the tarmac drive to Bungehurst Farm.

Turn left onto the drive then in 50m turn right by the signpost over a stile and down into a field.  Note that this stile and the one two fields further on are difficult for dogs with high barriers and 4 steps down the far side.  They can also be tricky for less agile humans.

Stile at Bungehurst Farm which is tricky for dogsTricky stile for dogs on H&W footpath 14a

Descend the field to the far side but instead of crossing the stile straight ahead, turn left and descend gently across the field to the far right corner.  Here you climb over a stile then keep to the right side of the field to pass through a gate and follow a farm track which climbs and bears left.  Keep to the left side of the field as it climbs quite steeply and find the second difficult stile tucked away in the far left top corner.

Climb over the stile and turn right to cross the field, then keep on the left hand side with trees beside you  and after that go straight ahead to a gate which leads to the Scotsford Road.  Descend by the road and follow it as it flattens out and turns right then left.  Cross the bridge over the river Rother and just afterwards turn left over the stile onto footpath 81.

Keep the hedge on your right hand side through three fields and at the end, just after a gate (which in March 2015 was not closing properly), cross the stile on your right and turn left to come to a bridge in 10 yards. After this footbridge, keep the stream on your left across the next field, cross the next footbridge into the next field and carry straight on to the concrete bridge into the following field and bear right to the footbridge at the far side of this field in about 100 yards.

In the next field of tussocky grass keep generally to the right, though you can avoid the bulges where the field edge follows the meanders of the river.  At the end of this field you come to a footpath junction, and turn right across the footbridge rejoining the path you came on: past Moat Farm, on Piccadilly Lane,footpath 13, Vale Road and the final footpath, retracing your steps all the way to the start.

Note if you want to make the walk slightly more interesting on the way back and avoid retracing your steps exactly, then when you leave Piccadilly Lane on footpath 14 and come to the footbridge ahead, you can take the path on the left across a second footbridge and walk back via a stream and a path back to Vale Road.  This will add just under half a mile to your outing and takes you on part of “Loop by a Shaded Stream”. You can find more details of this route by clicking/tapping here..