A dog friendly walk from DogPeople
Sutton Valence circular via Ulcombe (Kent - 8 moderate)
- Map - Explorer 137 (Ashford, Headcorn etc.)
- Distance - 8 miles
- Stiles - Two - both dog friendly for all but the largest dogs (neither Hamish nor Tia had any problems)
- Date walked - 10.2.07
The route starts in Sutton Valence near the church. There is no public car park and on street parking is not plentiful – you may need to find your spot then walk to the start.
Having found the church look for The Swan Inn (now closed) – a white weather-boarded building just back towards the main road and on the right. Start by walking up the alley to the left hand side (LHS) of the pub. You quickly reach a set of uneven stone steps – climb them to the top.
At top of the steps TURN RIGHT on tarmac path (field on your LHS). You soon get good views over Sutton Valence on your right hand side (RHS). Keep ahead through a hedge on your LHS follow Greensand Way markers. Just before a wooden gate fork a little left between a small coppice of trees and the hedge. After a few metres TURN LEFT along a footpath with a sunken track on its RHS (if you go through the gate you'll reach a metalled lane – if you miss the left hand turn you'll also likely reach the lane via a set of steps – if you do reach the lane by either route you need to retrace your steps and ensure you find the correct path). Follow the path ahead through the tree line. CONTINUE AHEAD as path emerges into a field (with poly tunnels on LHS when we walked). CONTINUE AHEAD through hedge at far end of the field as indicated by a yellow arrow marker. Join a track then metalled drive as they join on your LHS – still going in the same direction (north) and follow them to a metalled lane.
TURN RIGHT on the lane using a wide verge on the RHS. Further on, at bend in road, TURN LEFT on footpath opposite another lane signed to East Sutton. The path is a broad track marked as a private road with a public footpath. Follow track past a bungalow on you LHS with a fence on your RHS. Pass another bungalow to reach a metalled drive, then ahead to reach metalled lane.
TURN RIGHT past Springfield Farm and Kingswood House. About 50 metres further on TURN LEFT onto footpath marked by a green and white finger post and a concrete marker.Go ahead with a field fence on your LHS and woods on your right at first. Go ahead over a stile – plenty of room for all but the biggest of dogs to pass under the post and rail fence. Go ahead over a similar stile as you reach a metalled lane.
GO AHEAD STRAIGHT ACROSS THE LANE onto a track, marked by a concrete footpath sign, to the left of a house. Keep to the LHS of the property then, as you reach a pair of gates, keep left onto a track running along the LHS of the wooden fence. Go ahead passed a white metal barrier in the direction indicated by a Shepherd Neame Walk marker then to the LHS of a pre-fabricated building. Follow the track as it bears a little right after the building. Go ahead into a wood until you reach a cross tracks (after the track has become more a footpath). This junction is marked by a tree on its RHS. The tree has part of a Shepherd Neame marker pointing right.
TURN RIGHT on the track through the woods – a field is some way through the trees on your LHS. Continue ahead past the next Shepherd Neame Walk marker (pointing left) if you notice it. Go ahead for a considerable distance before bearing right with the path at a field opening on your LHS (i.e. keep to the main path – now wider). After another 100 metres or so pass a post and rail fence then BEAR RIGHT at a fork in the path. There is a yellow arrow marker on a fence post at this junction – don't take the left hand fork (even if it looks a more major path). Follow the path until you reach a fence line. TURN RIGHT onto a path marked by a concrete footpath marker (do not turn left towards metalled lane).
After turning right as above, go ahead keeping a fence line on your LHS. Follow path to a metalled lane (note Broomfield Park signboard as you leave the path). CONTINUE AHEAD ACROSS THE LANE onto a footpath to the left of Honeysuckle Lodge. Follow path between a hedge and fence at first until you reach a metalled lane in front of a half timbered house.
TURN LEFT and cross over along the lane passing in front of the half timbered house (Old Forge House). As the lane bears hard left take a lesser lane going ahead by Manor Farm. Follow the lane round a right hand bend then, after about 50 metres, TURN LEFT through a gap in the hedge onto a footpath marked by a green and white finger post. Keep to the right of a hedgerow / tree line. Follow the hedge (with a hop garden on your RHS) to a corner of the field then AHEAD through the hedge into the next field - CONTINUE AHEAD. Keep to the right of a short tree line then TURN RIGHT as indicated by an arrow marker along edge of the field (you now have a tree line on your left and the field you've just crossed on your right).
CONTINUE AHEAD on reaching a metalled drive towards farm buildings, but before you reach them, TURN LEFT through wooden gate onto footpath towards a church (don't go through metal barrier marked 'no right of way').
Follow path towards church door then right around church. Pass between church and large old yew tree. Follow the path around church and downhill to reach a metalled lane (opposite church car park).
TURN RIGHT – now on Greensand Way – bear left at end of car park as indicated by yellow arrow markers then through a metal gate on a short section of concrete drive. CONTINUE AHEAD on 'green lane' and left of a hedge when you reach it. Good views of The Weald on your LHS. CONTINUE AHEAD through gap in next hedge, more-or less straight ahead, then left of the next tree line with an old hop garden on your LHS. CONTINUE AHEAD between some buildings to reach a metalled lane.
TURN LEFT down the lane (signs for Greensand Way on your RHS as you turn into the lane). After 120 metres or so TURN RIGHT through a gate onto a public bridleway as marked by green and white Greensand Way marker on the left and a concrete bridleway marker on the right. CONTINUE AHEAD through a metal six bar gate passing a paddock and stable on your LHS. CONTINUE AHEAD towards and through a wooden gate with a Greensand Way marker. CONTINUE AHEAD through an orchard with a fence on your RHS. CONTINUE AHEAD through another gate with a blue marker. Continue over ridge and cross stile or go through gate on its RHS to reach a metalled lane.
CONTINUE AHEAD on metalled lane signposted to Sutton Valence still on Greensand Way (note post box on RHS of junction). Follow the lane past a telephone box on the junction with Court Broomes then past East Sutton Village sign – note litter bin here if you need one. CONTINUE AHEAD past entrance to the Young Offenders' Institute and East Sutton Park. CONTINUE AHEAD past St Peter and St Paul's Church.
At lanes T-Junction CONTINUE AHEAD onto footpath into a field marked with a Greensand Way marker post. CONTINUE AHEAD across the field then ahead again over a track and past some trees. CONTINUE AHEAD across the next field, as indicated by a Greensand Way yellow arrow marker on a post by the track, passing to the right of a clump of trees part way across. Leave field to reach a cross roads.
CONTINUE more-or-less AHEAD on the only road unmarked by a finger post (the other routes are right to Kingswood, left to Headcorn and the opposite way to East Sutton). After about 200 metres, just before Millfield House, TURN LEFT as indicated by a green and white footpath marker (partly obscured by a evergreen hedge). Follow path, more a track, keeping the hedge on your right at first. Keep ahead towards a house as the track becomes concrete and, before reaching the house, TURN RIGHT onto a footpath marked by a yellow arrow marker and continue with orchards on left and woods on right to reach metalled drive.
Proceed AHEAD on drive and, at fork junction by house 'Cherry Hill' on your LHS, take the LEFT HAND FORK. Note Castle ruin on your RHS just before 30mph sign, continue ahead using a cobbled footpath on the RHS of the lane if you wish. Soon after end of cobbles, at end of Rectory Lane, TURN RIGHT uphill towards the church.
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