Circular walk starting from Burwash via Robertsbridge.
11 miles about 6 hours
Ordanance Survey Explorer maps 124 and 136
The start of the walk passes through St. Bartholomew's church yard. The Church is built from stone and was first built in the 11th century and then extended in Victorian times. Leaving the Church yard the walk crosses the Dudwell valley. Having crossed the Dudwell valley the walk passes Socknersh Manor which at one time was owed by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. The Grade II listed 16th-century manor house has seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. In the grounds there is a coach house and a three-bed cottage, a tennis court, heated pool and lake.
The walk continues past the lake and then through meadows to the Darvell Community, one of the Oldest Bruderhof Communities in Europe, founded in 1971 and built on the outskirts of Robertsbridge.
Robertsbridge village dates back to 1176 when the Abbey was founded there by the Abbot, Robert de St Martin; however the first recorded use of the name Robertsbridge was in 1198. The oldest houses in the village now date back to the 14th and 15th centuries.
The return route passes Glottenham Manor now a nursing home, and then Darwell reservoir but sadly there is no public access to this reservoir so only a fleeting glimpse is possible. After passing the reservoir the walk drops down to Mountfield Park Farm before climbing through Sizzes Wood to Brightling Road. From the road the walk then goes downhill to Newhouse Farm, no longer a farm as all the buildings have now been converted into houses. The walk continues through meadows and woodland with many views across the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty. Crossing back over the Dudwell valley and finishing through the church yard.
Directions: Start Burwash car park.
Leave the car park and turn right along the high street to the church. Enter the church yard and follow the path around to the right of the church, keeping left when the path forks. On leaving the church yard continue forward to the benches and then turn right following a path downhill to a kissing gate in the hedge below small woodland.
Go through the kissing gate and keep straight ahead, following the well-defined path through the field to a gateway. Pass through the gateway into the next field and then turn left and follow the hedge to the corner. At the corner turn right and follow the hedge down to the river. Pass through a gateway and cross the Foot Bridge over the river.
. Turn left and follow the river to a footbridge and stile, cross the footbridge and stile and then bear right away from the river to a stile in the fence on the right-hand side of the field. Having crossed this stile continue forward keeping the hedge on the left. At the hedge corner turn left and continue uphill, still keeping the hedge on the left, to a gate.
Pass through the gate and turn right to a stile by the garden hedge corner. Cross the stile on to a farm access road and turn left to pass through the farm yard. Continue heading uphill to cross a cattle grid, then continuing along the access road cross another cattle grid to arrive at Fontridge Lane. Turn left along Fontridge lane and then take the first driveway on the right to Socknersh Manor.
Continue on the driveway to eventually pass farm buildings on the right and the manor house on the left, and then, where the driveway turns sharp right, turn left off the driveway to follow a track beside the manor boundary. When the lake comes into view, aim to pass just to the left of the lowest oak tree. Keep to the marked route across the field DO NOT DETOUR TO THE LAKE EDGE. At the end of the lake continue forward onto a path in the woodland with a row of trees on the left
Continue on the marked route through woodland to a stile. Cross the stile and then take the path between two hedges to the left of the stile. At the end of the enclosed track continue in the same direction, keeping the hedge on the left, through two fields to the top of a hill. Having reached the top of the hill, cross the stile in the fence and head downhill with a fence and small wood on the right.
At the bottom right hand corner of the field, cross over a footbridge and then bear left across the corner of the field to a very muddy gateway. Continue ahead and slightly left across the next field to a small footbridge near the corner of a wood, and then continue with the wood on the left to cross a stile in to a wood.
Turn right and follow the path with a fence on the right, and then, ignore the track going right but take the small path beside a post and rail fence heading uphill. When arriving at a small gate, pass through the gate and bear right across the field heading for the opposite right hand corner. Take the path through a kissing gate to the road.
Turn right on the road, and pass Wyland Wood Cottage on the right before crossing a stile in the hedge on the right. Cross the field diagonally to the opposite corner, cross a stile onto the road and turn right on the road. Turn left on the driveway just past Scalands Folly on the left to Scalands Farm.
Follow the driveway past a house on the right then take the kissing gate on the left. After passing through the kissing gate, turn right heading to another kissing gate in the fence just below Scalands farm house garden.
Cross the farm track to go through the kissing gate opposite and then follow the outside of the garden boundary hedge to the corner. At the corner go through a kissing gate and turn left to continue with the hedge on the left through two fields.
On reaching a kissing gate at the end of the second field go through and continue ahead to join a track. Continue along the track, heading downhill and then curving around to the left, passing in front of some houses on the right.
Where the track turns right, continue forward passing between some farm buildings and then continue on the track as it turns right. At the next junction turn left across a bridge and then through the kissing gate on the right
Continue across the field keeping the hedge to the right. Pass through the next kissing gate and then turn left onto a track. Where the track joins a road, cross over to a path opposite, and then continue forward across the field to a road.
If you do not want to go into Robertsbridge for refreshments, turn right on the road, pass under the railway bridge and continue to a driveway on the right to Glottenham Manor and re-join the walk along the driveway to Glottenham Manor nursing home.
To continue into Robertsbridge: Cross the road and take the path into a housing estate then continue forward uphill through the housing estate to the main road.
Turn right on the main road going downhill and cross the railway. The Ostrich Hotel will be on the right. Continue the walk by continuing down the road to a T junction and then turn right onto the High Street. Continue along the High Street to the George Inn.
Pass the George Inn continuing uphill to then turn right onto a footpath beside Bishop’s Croft house. Emerge onto a road and continue forward to a junction, turn right and continue on the road to a sharp bend and then turn left onto Glottenham Manor driveway.
Continue along the driveway to the entrance of Glottenham Manor nursing home. Do not enter the nursing home but take the right hand track passing in front of houses, and then continue on the track passing to left of some stables.
This track ends at a gate into a field. Continue through the gate and bear slightly left across the field keeping the wind turbine and farm buildings on the left. From about middle of the field a metal gate can be seen in the hedge ahead, the stile is beside this gate.
Cross the stile and Continue on a path through the woodland to cross another stile into a field (This is the only point that Darwell reservoir can be seen). Continue forward on top of a bank and then bear slightly left across the field to a gate onto a road. Turn right on the road.
Continue along the road and take the first driveway on the right to Mountfield Park Farm. Follow the driveway to the bottom of the hill and over a stream, to then cross a stile on the right. Bear left across the field towards a gate in the hedge on the left. Do not go through the gate but cross the stile just to the left of a gate and follow the enclosed path to a stile.
Cross the stile and then bear left to a gate in the left hand corner of a wooden fence. Go through the gate and continue forward uphill with woodland on the left to the top of the field. At the top of the field, cross a stile and follow a path through the woodland. Maintain the same direction ignoring all side paths, to reach a road.
Turn left on the road and continue to the access road to New House Farm on the right. Continue downhill, passing to the left of Fernhill house and then at a junction of driveways continue forward with a house on the left and a dry pond on the right. Keep on the tarmac drive to the front of a house then take a grass enclosed path to the left of the house before locating a path going left through the woodland to a stile.
Cross the stile and continue downhill across the field towards the bottom right hand corner to locate a stile in the fence on the right. Cross the stile and then turn left to a footbridge in the woodland. Cross the footbridge and continue forward to the next footbridge.
Cross the footbridge and bear slightly right to pass through the right hand gateway in the opposite hedge, turn left uphill keeping the hedge on the left, to cross a stile on to a path through woodland to another stile.
Cross the stile and continue forward in the field with the hedge on the right and then bear left away from the hedge to a gate next to a water tank. Go through the gate onto a track passing to the left of the farm buildings to a road. Turn left and proceed to the second access road on the right signposted to Grandturzel Farm, Burwash Park and Toad Cottage.
Continue along the access road to cross a cattle grid, bear left away from the access road, keeping the woodland on the left. Just before reaching the garden of Grandturzel Farmhouse, take the signed path on the left to cross a bridge and continue forward to a stile beside a gate. Cross the stile, then head for gateway in the hedge on the right. Continue across the next field to the footbridge in the bottom left hand corner. Having crossed this footbridge, continue forward keeping the hedge on the right, to a stile.
Cross the stile and bear left uphill across the field, heading for the woodland at the top of the left hand hedge. There is a stile just below the woodland, cross this stile and continue forward with woodland on the left to start with, and then downhill to a stile. Cross the stile, bear right and continue uphill to a gateway.
Pass through this gateway and aim for a gateway near to the top of the left hand hedge, just below the small woodland. Pass through this gate and continue forward keeping the hedge on the right. At the corner of the field, cross a stile and follow the path through the small wood, then cross a stile into a field.
Bear left, heading uphill towards a row of trees through the middle of the field. At the trees, turn left and continue to a small gate. Pass through the gate and follow the path to the church yard. From here retrace your steps along the High Street to the car park.