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Chiddingstone, Edenbridge TN8 7AH

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WALKING ROUTE THREE – Chiddingstone to Bough Beech Reservoir and back

A five-mile walk taking approximately one hour and 45 minutes.

  1. From Chiddingstone village, going east and leaving the village school on your right, you turn left down a wide path just before the new churchyard, past two houses, and continue downhill alongside a fence. There is a fine view across the hills from here.
  2. The path then takes you across a meadow to the River Eden, which you cross by a footbridge, and so on to Somerden Green. Here, you will see a row of cottages on your right, built in 1601 as a workhouse for the poor of the parish. The path continues as a private lane that bridges the railway and brings you to Somerden Farm.
  3. Cross the road with great care, as the cars travel very fast along this stretch, and continue up the road ahead for about half a mile.
  4. Where the road divides, take the left-hand fork for 200 yards, until you come to a marked path on your left. Take this path through the trees to a stile by a field, which you cross to another stile opposite, and so to a road used by the sailing club at Bough Beech Reservoir.
  5. Cross this road, through a strip of woodland and cross a field to a fence, which you surmount, and then continue with the high bank of the reservoir on your right.
  6. The path then bears left through trees, over a stile and continues between fences to another stile. Here, you go half-right across the field ahead, to a footbridge over a brook, and again continue half-right to a stile by a railway embankment.
  7. The path crosses the railway and turns right up a steep path to the road at Bough Beech, where you turn right to The Wheatsheaf. Take the narrow, unmade road to the east, or left, of The Wheatsheaf. When you pass two cottages on your left, take a path by a farmyard gate and continue round the right-hand edge of the field ahead. Here, there are lovely views of the countryside around.
  8. Go through a gate, and carry on by the hedge in the next field, until you come to an opening on the left. Continue through here and turn right to a gate by the road.
  9. Here, you turn right along the road – and you could, if you wanted to save a quarter of a mile, continue along this road past Mill Farm to Gilwyns crosswords and so back to Chiddingstone.
  10. If you prefer to continue off-road, take the path on the left a few yards past the little bridge over the Eden. The path crosses the meadow to a footbridge over the river and straight up the field ahead to a stile by an oak tree. Looking over to the right from here, you have a very fine view of Chiddingstone Castle and St Mary’s Church.
  11. Crossing over the stile brings you back to the path from which you started your walk, so turn right and retrace your steps back to Chiddingstone and our lovely pub for a light bite, one of our specials or perhaps a roast with all the trimmings, available on Sundays.
  12. With our beautiful pub behind you and St Mary’s church on your right, take the road that skirts the lake, with Chiddingstone Castle away on your left, to Gilwyns cross roads. Then go straight ahead, first down then up for half a mile.
  13. When the road turns sharply to the left, go through an opening in the fence on your right to a path through Hever Castle grounds. The path follows alongside a fence, next to a wood, with a private road to your left, then crosses the road by a pretty rustic bridge.
  14. Keep going between fences to a path through Hever churchyard leading to a lychgate. Inside the charming little church of St Peter’s, with its slender spire, is the tomb of Sir Thomas Bullen, father to Anne Boleyn. To your right is the magnificent Hever Castle.
  15. To continue your walk from the lychgate, turn left past the King Henry VIII Inn, and where the road turns sharply to the right round the pub, carry straight on by a path, passing the village school on your left. The path leads to a quiet little road. Turn left and after a third of a mile join another road.
  16. Go over a stile on the left and carry on by the hedge ahead. After turning to the right and skirting a wood, the path continues by another hedge and over a stile, past woodland on the right to the private road that runs through Hever Castle grounds. This is the road you saw when you first entered the grounds and the beginning of this walk.
  17. Turn right, not along the private road, but by a path that runs alongside a fence to the right, and on to another road that dives down a hill to your right. At this point, cross to a gate opposite and go straight ahead between fences along the edge of the field.
  18. Turn right when you come to a wood. Then turn sharp left, over a little footbridge and up a steep path.
  19. When the path joins a track, continue straight on. The track passes through rocks which is generally muddy and very ridged, so it is advisable to take a track to the left, that runs alongside and above the rocks and rejoins the track again just short of Hill Hoath.
  20. At Hill Hoath, pass in front of a low lying half-timbered house on your left, and then turn left down the road.
  21. Carry straight on down this road for about half a mile, to arrive once more at Gilwyns crossroads. Turn right here and retrace your steps back to our pub where a warm welcome awaits you.