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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sunday Walk: Staplehurst to Headcorn with Sissinghurst option

SWC Walk 80
Staplehurst to Headcorn 12.8km (7.9 miles)
Staplehurst to Sissinghurst 12.6km (7.8 miles)
Staplehurst to Headcorn via Sissinghurst 19.8km (12.2 miles)
Difficulty 2 out of 10
An easy walk in the Kentish Weald. The walk can be extended to Sissinghurst Castle, famous for the gardens designed by Vita Sackville-West. From there you can either complete a longer walk to Headcorn or, if you want to spend time in the gardens, there’s a bus back to Staplehurst every two hours.
Trains: Get the 9:40 Dover Priory train from Charing Cross  (London Bridge 9:49) arrives Staplehurst 10:42.
Return to Charing Cross from Headcorn at xx:14 and xx:44. Get a return to Headcorn.
The Bell and Jorrocks, Frittenden (01580 852415) for the basic walk.
Or... The National Trust Restaurant at Sissinghurst Castle (The restaurant can be accessed without paying the entrance fee).
Tea: In Headcorn you have the George and Dragon and the Village Tea rooms (closes 4:30), both on the High Street.
Sissinghurst. Entry to Sissinghurst Castle's gardens costs £13.15 unless you're an NT member.
To continue to Headcorn from Sissinghurst, follow the Sissinghurst to Bubhurst section (p10) then Bubhurst to Headcorn (p5). (see comments below)
If you want to get the bus back from Sissinghurst, it's a 30 minute walk to the stop, following paragraphs 86-97 in the directions. The  number 5 leaves for Staplehurst at 13 :13 15:13 and 17:13 (last one). These arrive at the station at xx:26 to meet trains at xx:48. If you walk on to Cranbrook, a further 1.6 miles, the same bus leaves there at 05 past the same hour.
Walk Directions here


Walker said...

The route from Sissinghurst to Headcorn (just this particular option: not the rest of the route and not the Frittenden to Headcorn direct route) is a bit difficult in places. I suspect that some of the paths are rarely used and I have thought of removing this route from the directions altogether as a result. As it is, it stays in but I recommend that if you want a longer walk from Sissinghurst you go to Cranbrook or even Goudhurst as described in the walk document. This caveat apart, this is an excellent walk and I recommend it.

Mr M Tiger said...

There don't seem to be any buses from Goudhurst on a Sunday, so probably best not to finish there.

Walker said...

Oh yes. I knew there was another reason I kept the Sissinghurst to Headcorn directions. Thanks for reminding me.

Walker said...

Well, in that case, I reverse my former advice. The Sissinghurst to Headcorn route is mostly straightforward, but with just a couple of tricky bits where the route is a bit indistinct. In one place - just before Bubhurst - a stile has got completely overgrown and another is missing. I have indicated an alternative that involves hopping fieldgates but the legality of this is questionable. Are you entitled to take a nearby route that is not a right of way when the right of way has become overgrown? Any lawyers please comment.

Sean said...

If you stray off the right of way then technically you are trespassing but the advice from the Ramblers is "if you can easily go round the obstruction without causing any damage, then you should do so".

The correct long-term course of action is to report problems with rights of way (obstructions, needing maintenance, etc) to the local authority, either directly or through the Ramblers "Pathwatch" scheme. It might not be fixed quickly but if the authority doesn't know about it, then nothing will ever happen. See

Walker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Walker said...

Sorry, me again. If you are using the GPX, note that there is a new housing estate being built just at the start of this walk. The early part of the path therefore currently crosses the building works. Details of the situation a couple of months ago are given in the walk directions pdf (dated 7 June: PLEASE USE THIS LATEST VERSION OF THE DIRECTIONS, not one you printed off three years ago). You are soon free of this and the rest of the walk is very nice.

Mike A said...

I'd had the roofers in on Saturday (just in time) so I decided to nip down to Staplehurst and give Mr. T's Sunday offering a go.
Just me (n=1) on this w=blustery_and_drizzly_day (what a difference a day makes).
The housing development at the start of the walk has become immense: now AKA The Redrow "Woodlands Green" development.
Whilst there appears there has been some effort to divert the public footpath, it is impossible to find a way through as fencing panels have been placed too close to thickets.
I will raise a case on the Ramblers Pathwatch app and write to the local Council to see what their intentions are for the footpath's long term future.
In the mean time may I suggest the following diversion:

Section 3

In 100 metres turn right into Newland Drive. In 60 metres, ignore the left hand turning to Fischers Close, but in a further 60 metres follow the road as it turns left.
In 80 metres turn right into Hurst Close.
After a further 400 metres at the junction with Headcorn Road, turn left.
In 400 metres pass the The Redrow "Woodlands Green" development on the left and Pile lane (now closed to traffic)

Continue the walk at Section 10

While this diversion isn't through open countryside, it goes through a reasonably mature housing estate. As Walker points out, well worth it as the remainder of the walk is very pleasant, and the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle can be spectacular (free to NT Members)