CIMG5671

CIMG5671

Groombridge Place

31-Oct-14 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG5671

CIMG5671

Groombridge Place

31-Oct-14 • Sean O'Neill

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DSCF7482

DSCF7482

Climbers at Harrison's Rocks

25-Apr-11 • Sean O'Neill

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DSCF8239

DSCF8239

Eridge Rocks

05-Jun-11 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG1406

CIMG1406

A Santa Special approaching Groombridge

17-Dec-11 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG5705

CIMG5705

Moon rising above Harrison's Rocks

31-Oct-14 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG6149

CIMG6149

Restored heathland at Broadwater Warren

24-Nov-14 • Sean O'Neill

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Eridge Circular walk

A short walk through an interesting part of the High Weald.

Eridge Circular
Length

Main Walk: 15 km (9.3 miles). Three hours 45 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 hours.

Two Short Walks, via Harrison's Rocks: 12¾ or 12½ km (7.9 or 7.8 miles). Both about three hours 10 minutes walking time.

OS Map

Explorer 135. Eridge, map reference TQ541347, is in East Sussex, 4 km NE of Crowborough.

Toughness

4 out of 10 (3 for the Short Walks).

Features

This walk covers similar ground to the western part of Extra Walk 19 (Tunbridge Wells Circular), using a different railway line to access this attractive part of the High Weald from the opposite direction. The stations at Eridge and Tunbridge Wells (West) are now connected again by the heritage Spa Valley Railway, and on days when it is operating you are likely to see and hear steam trains at several places along the route.

The morning section is an undulating route across typical High Weald territory, starting with a slightly longer route to Mottsmill Stream than that in Extra Walk 109 (Eridge to East Grinstead). You can then choose between a high-level open route with fine views, or a lower route through a secluded valley with good displays of bluebells and other spring flowers. Both routes combine on the approach to Groombridge, one of many rural villages which developed around its railway station. The original hamlet (now called Old Groombridge) is just across the county border, in Kent.

The afternoon section starts by going past Groombridge Place, a beautiful Jacobean manor house surrounded by a medieval moat. You then follow the railway line a short distance up the Grom valley before turning into Broadwater Forest. Much of this area was acquired by the RSPB in 2007 and is now the Broadwater Warren nature reserve (free entry). The southern end of the wood is also a nature reserve (managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust) and the Main Walk goes past one of the massive sandstone outcrops in the area, Eridge Rocks.

The RSPB have been undertaking a ten-year restoration programme in Broadwater Warren to bring back its original heathland habitat. Most of this work programme has now been completed but be aware that you might be required to take an alternative route through the reserve.

Walk Options

You can substitute a more direct route between Eridge and Groombridge for either the morning or afternoon part of the walk, making two Short Walk options. This route goes past the area's most famous sandstone outcrop which is very popular with climbers, Harrison's Rocks.

Alternative routes are given for two sections of the Main Walk, plus several short cuts. If you pick up the leaflets for Broadwater Warren and Eridge Rocks you could devise your own route through these nature reserves.

If you want to abandon the walk in Groombridge and the Spa Valley Railway is running, you could take a steam train back to Eridge or (in the other direction) to Tunbridge Wells (West). A more prosaic option would be to take Metrobus 291 (hourly Mon–Sat, two-hourly Sun & BH) to East Grinstead or Tunbridge Wells.

Transport

There is an hourly service from London Bridge to Eridge, taking 55 minutes (longer on Sundays, when you have to change at East Croydon and/or Oxted).

If driving, there are some parking spaces outside Eridge station. The station car park costs £2.70 Mon–Sat, £2 Sun (2017).

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 10:00 from London Bridge to Eridge.

Train Times

Lunch

There is a choice of pubs in Groombridge, after about 7 km on the Main Walk. In the main part of the village the Junction Inn (01892-864275) serves food to 3pm (4pm Sat, 5pm Sun; not Mon), with some Far Eastern specialities. At the other end of the village the 16thC Crown Inn (01892-864742) in Old Groombridge serves food to 3pm (5pm Sun) and has outdoor seating overlooking the sloping village green.

Tea

At the end of the walk the Huntsman pub (01892-864258) is ideally placed, a stone's throw from Eridge station. It is closed on Mondays but open all day for the rest of the week.

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: TN3 9LE Directions

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Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jun-17

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

Eridge Circular

Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).

Walk Map: Eridge Circular Walk Map

Walk Options

Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.

  1. Main Walk (15 km)
  1. Short Walk, out via Harrison's Rocks (12¾ km)
  2. Short Walk, back via Harrison's Rocks (12½ km)

Walk Directions

Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.

If you are taking the shorter outward route via Harrison's Rocks, start at §4.

  1. Eridge Station to Marchant Wood (2¼ km)
  2. Turn right out of the station, then right again into Forge Road. In 350m bear left onto a footpath towards Renby Farm. At the corner of a wood turn right onto the Sussex Border Path (SBP) and follow this across a valley and over a small hill to Marchant Wood.

    Leave the station – shared with the Spa Valley Railway1 (SVR) – and turn right. In 50m turn right again into Forge Road, passing the station platforms on your right and heading in the same direction as London-bound trains. In 300m the road bends left to skirt around several large ponds. As it curves back round to the right and goes downhill, there is a driveway to “The Lodge” and two other houses.

    You can shorten the Main Walk by 750m by following Walk 109's more direct route. To do this, stay on the road for a further 150m and take the next turning left. After 800m along this lane, at the entrance to Bullfinches, keep ahead onto a rough track. 100m later, turn right onto a footbridge and resume the directions at §2.

    For the main route, bear left onto the driveway, which is also a public footpath. After passing the houses keep ahead onto a narrow path, with a lake hidden behind the trees on your right. At the end of the path go over a stile into the corner of a large field. Go along its right-hand edge, continuing in the same direction where the trees on your right end.

    At the edge of the field join a farm track, still heading SW. In 300m, at the end of a wood on your right, turn right at a footpath signpost, joining the Sussex Border Path2 (SBP). Go downhill on a concrete farm track, which can be very muddy near the bottom. After crossing a stream keep ahead towards the corner of a wood and go through a kissing gate on the right into a field.

    Follow a path diagonally up this field to the opposite corner. Bear left through a gap in the hedge to go alongside some trees, then straight ahead to a footpath signpost. Keep ahead along the left-hand edge of another field, but halfway along turn half-right as indicated and cut across it to the corner of Marchant Wood. Bear left here and follow the left-hand field edge down to a track, with a footbridge on the other side.

  3. Marchant Wood to Mott's Mill (1¼ km)
  4. Continue along the SBP as it goes over a hill and down past Rocks Farm into a valley. Cross Mottsmill Stream, joining the High Weald Landscape Trail (HWLT), and go up to a lane.

    Cross the footbridge and go into a field. Head NW uphill, to the left of a small wood and aiming to pass just to the left of the houses on the horizon. Continue alongside a wooden fence guarding the first of these houses, then in the same direction across a second field. On the far side go over a stile and along the right-hand edge of the next field, then straight ahead across three more fields. Follow the path down through a belt of trees and over a stile into a grassy area near the top of a valley.

    Bear right to go downhill, with a wood on your right. After going through a line of trees the ground opens out into a meadow and you head for the bottom right-hand corner. Go over a stile to cross Mottsmill Stream on a footbridge and follow a path up through the trees, now also on the High Weald Landscape Trail3 (HWLT). At the top go over a stile in the hedge and turn right onto a country lane.

  5. Mott's Mill to Groombridge (2¾ or 2½ km)
  6. Either head north-west to Motts Down and turn right onto a footpath going past Sherlock's Farm, or take a more direct lower route close to Mottsmill Stream. The routes rejoin just before a railway bridge; go under it and turn left onto Corseley Road. Follow this into Groombridge, on the way leaving both the SBP and HWLT.

    There is a choice of routes for this section. At most times of the year the higher route is recommended as it has fine views across the Weald. In spring, however, you may prefer to follow the route taken by the SBP & HWLT in §3b as the woods alongside Mottsmill Stream have a good display of bluebells and other spring flowers.

    1. Higher route (2¾ km)
    2. Just 25m along the lane, before reaching the first house, turn left onto a narrow footpath. Continue up a large field towards a prominent red house 250m away. Turn right in front of the house to go along a farm lane, heading NE.

      In 600m the lane veers left and comes to a junction by an outbuilding. Fork right to stay on the main track, passing some run-down farm buildings on the left and then continuing along the left-hand edge of a field. At a corner follow the field edge briefly round to the left, but before reaching the next corner turn right onto a wide grassy path across the field to head NE again. Continue downhill in this direction across open fields for 750m, twice going alongside a belt of trees. Eventually the path merges with one from the right (the valley route).

    3. Valley route (2½ km)
    4. Continue along the lane for 400m as it goes gently downhill. Just before the lane bends right to go back uphill, veer left through a small parking area which has a garden gate for “Valley Cottage”. Take the footpath to the left of the garage, entering a wood. Keep ahead on the main path for 250m, with Mottsmill Stream down to your right.

      After leaving the wood continue through a long narrow valley. At the end follow the path as it bears left up a short slope. Go over a stile and continue in the same direction across the shoulder of a large field. As the path descends it merges with one from the left (the higher route).

    Continue towards a bridge under the railway. On the other side keep ahead across two small fields to reach a minor road. Turn left onto Corseley Road, taking care as there is no pavement on this stretch. Follow the road as it crosses the River Eridge (leaving the SBP), curves right and climbs. After 400m it turns right and 200m later bends back to the left in front of a primary school, leaving the HWLT which follows a footpath to the right (where the Short Walk joins).

    Continue the directions at §6.

  7. Eridge Station to Harrison's Rocks (2 km)
  8. Turn right out of the station, then right again into Forge Road. After 1½ km turn right into the driveway to Forge Farm Oast, crossing the railway. Turn left onto the High Weald Landscape Trail (HWLT) and follow the footpath up a short slope to the woodland below Harrison's Rocks.

    For the shorter outward route simply continue on Forge Road, ignoring this driveway and several more turnings to the left. 1 km after the ponds, turn right into a private road, signposted as a public footpath. Cross the railway carefully at the level crossing and continue up the driveway to Forge Farm Oast, passing a weir on your right. As you reach this attractive oast-house conversion and the drive curves right, turn left onto a footpath, joining the High Weald Landscape Trail3 (HWLT).

    Go through a gate with a sign for Birchden Forge4 and follow the enclosed path up a slope. At the top it curves gently round to the right, with the railway below on your left. Just before a wooden gate across the path there is an opening on the right into the strip of woodland below Harrison's Rocks5.

  9. Harrison's Rocks to Groombridge (2 km)
  10. Birchden Wood Head north on any convenient path parallel to the rocks. At the end follow the public footpath around Birchden Wood (or take a short cut through it), continuing on the access road from Aytton's Wood car park. Just before reaching a road turn left onto a footpath alongside fields and across the SVR. Turn right onto Corseley Road, leaving the HWLT.

    Birchden Wood The suggested route leaves the public footpath to take a route closer to the rocks. If you decide to stay on the footpath alongside the SVR, the main route rejoins from another wooden gate on the right after 500m.

    For the suggested route veer right up the earth bank before reaching the wooden gate, into the open access Birchden Wood. An easy route now is to stay near the left-hand edge of the wood on the lower path, a little way below the rocks on your right. If you want to get closer to them, however, take any of the narrow paths leading up to the rocks and turn left onto the climbers' path along their base.

    The rocks gradually curve round to the left. All the woodland paths eventually merge and come close to the public footpath, which is now just outside the wood. Go through a wooden gate to rejoin this footpath and turn right to head N along it, with the railway on your left. In 50m an opening on the right leads back into the wood.

    The suggested route now follows the public footpath, although you could take one of the paths used by climbers to cut through the wood to the car park. If you do this, go through the car park onto its access road and continue the directions at [•] below where the footpath rejoins from the right.

    For the suggested route keep ahead on the footpath alongside the wood, gradually moving away from the railway. At a corner of the wood the path turns right and goes across a small open area, then through trees with Aytton's Wood car park on your left. Cross over a forestry track and follow the potentially muddy footpath as it swings round to the left, climbing gently. The path comes out onto the car park's access road where you turn right.

    [•] In 150m, just after the road bends right and 50m before a T-junction ahead, turn left through a kissing gate onto an enclosed path. Follow this alongside fields for 400m, then across the railway on a footbridge (with Groombridge station just visible off to the right). On the other side go past a primary school and turn right onto a minor road, leaving the HWLT.

  11. Through Groombridge to Old Groombridge (1 km)
  12. Head north along Corseley Road. In 250m take a short detour to the right to go past the Junction Inn in Station Road (or simply join Station Road further down). At a mini-roundabout bear right onto the B2110 and follow it into Old Groombridge for the Crown Inn.

    Head N along Corseley Road, passing the church of St Thomas the Apostle and some residential roads. In 250m you come to a junction with Orchard Rise on your left, opposite a byway and the entrance to “The Crossways”.

    If you do not want to visit the Junction Inn or the SVR you could simply keep ahead on Corseley Road until it merges with Station Road, continuing the directions at [•] below.

    For the suggested route, turn right into the byway and then immediately fork left into a cul-de-sac, Gromenfield. Where this turns sharply left, keep ahead on a tarmac path to reach Station Road. Unless you want to take a closer look at the SVR, turn left to come to the Junction Inn (the first of the two possible lunch pubs) 100m down the road.

    You can look down on Groombridge station from the bridge on your right, but if you want to go onto the platform follow the directions below.

    • Detour to Groombridge Station (+250m)
    • Go straight across Station Road and down a flight of steps. Go all the way round the far side of the station building and back under the road bridge to the platform6, where there is a kiosk serving snacks when trains are running. If you are not taking a trip on the SVR, return to the front of the station building and keep ahead along a residential road (Newton Willows) to rejoin Station Road opposite the Junction Inn.

    [•] Continue along Station Road to a mini-roundabout with the B2110 and bear right onto the main road. After passing the entrance to Groombridge Place Gardens7 and crossing the River Grom, the road comes to the bottom of a sloping village green8. Go up to its top right-hand corner, passing the brick-built church of St John the Evangelist9, for the Crown Inn.

    If you are taking the shorter route back via Harrison's Rocks, go to §10.

  13. Old Groombridge to Broadwater Warren (3 km)
  14. Take a footpath past the church towards Groombridge Place. Go round its right-hand side and cross a stone bridge over the River Grom. Head east on a footpath going through a meadow, under the SVR and across fields to South Farm. Continue past paddocks and stay on the farm's access road to come out by a crossroads on the edge of Broadwater Forest. Keep ahead briefly onto Lodge Lane, then take a forest track on the right leading to the RSPB's Broadwater Warren car park.

    Cross the B2110 by the pub and go through a wooden gate onto a footpath, passing the churchyard on your right. Continue downhill on a grassy path towards the right-hand side of a large field. Go through an old iron gate, across a driveway and onto a path alongside a lake, with Groombridge Place10 off to the left.

    Follow the path down a few steps on the left to head directly towards the manor house, framed by four giant redwood trees. Bear right as indicated and go across a tarmac driveway to continue between the moat and the River Grom. Near the back of the house turn right to cross a stone bridge over the river.

    For the Main Walk, turn left to go along an avenue of lime trees. This leads to a meadow where you can take any convenient path to its far right-hand corner. Go over a stile here and follow the path round to the right, then over more stiles as you pass under a railway bridge. On the other side turn left and head for a wooden footbridge over a ditch and another stile, which leads into a large field.

    Follow a line of tall trees across this field, heading E and gradually moving away from the railway line. On the far side go over a stile in the hedge and continue in the same direction on a faint path across an even bigger field, crossing a small dip in the middle. In 350m keep ahead to go alongside a projecting group of trees. In the corner of the field follow the path past a pond and up a gentle slope towards some farm buildings.

    Keep ahead past the buildings, ignoring a footpath off to the right, then up a flight of steps and through a parking area. Continue on a tarmac lane heading NE, initially between tall hedges and later with paddocks on the left. In 350m stay on the lane as it turns half-right and follow this out past South Farm Nursery to a crossroads at the edge of Broadwater Forest.

    The last part of this section has been re-routed to avoid the restoration work at Broadwater Warren.

    Go straight ahead at the crossroads, onto Lodge Lane. In 75m turn right off the road onto a broad forest track, which soon turns left to head SE. In 500m the track comes out onto Broadwater Forest Lane opposite a car park. Cross the road carefully and enter the RSPB car park, where there is an information board for the Broadwater Warren nature reserve.

  15. Broadwater Warren to The Forstal (3¼ km)
  16. Broadwater Warren The suggested route through the RSPB reserve is along its Heathland and Woodland Trail, waymarked with green arrows. At the ‘veteran oak’ turn left and head south past Eridge Rocks. Continue through a strip of woodland and join the A26 near its junction with The Forstal.

    Broadwater Warren The suggested route through Broadwater Warren to the ‘veteran oak’ follows the RSPB's Heathland and Woodland Trail (H&WT), waymarked by green arrows on low posts, and initially also its Nature Trail (white arrows).

    Take the short track to the right of the information board, past a couple of wooden posts. At the end go through a wooden kissing gate and turn right onto a broad track heading SE. Follow this for 600m past a landscape being transformed from a conifer plantation to heathland11, ignoring paths off to both sides until you reach a major crosspaths.

    At this junction turn right onto another broad track, which later curves left and goes down a slope. Follow the main track as it passes to the left of Decoy Pond, crosses a stream and climbs through a wood. In 75m keep ahead where the Nature Trail turns off to the right, then in a further 125m turn right at the next crosspaths. In 150m you come to another path junction.

    You can shorten the walk by 500m by forking left here, but this would miss out an interesting section along the full length of Eridge Rocks. If you take this short cut, fork left after 400m as the path emerges into a semi-open area, then 250m later go up a short incline and bear left onto the main route in front of the rocks; continue the directions at [•] below.

    For the suggested route fork right at the path junction, still following the H&WT and now going along the (unfenced) reserve boundary. In 350m you come to a three-way path junction in a large clearing, with an information panel about Broadwater Warren in front of the 300-year old ‘veteran oak’.

    Turn left at this path junction, leaving the RSPB reserve and heading S. In 100m fork left and now simply keep ahead along the main path, passing the first of Eridge Rocks12 on your right just after a minor crosspaths. In about 500m the path (still alongside the rocks) curves to the left and then back to the right, where the short cut rejoins.

    [•] Head S alongside a final group of rocks to reach a small car park with an information panel about the rocks. Go through the car park and bear right across its access road onto a narrow path into the trees, heading SW.

    Follow this undulating woodland path for 600m, which unfortunately runs fairly close to the noisy A26 for much of the way. Eventually the path veers left and you go through a metal fieldgate onto a tarmac path beside the main road. Turn right and go up to its junction with The Forstal.

  17. The Forstal to Eridge Station (1½ or 1 km)
  18. Either go along The Forstal and turn left at the end into Groombridge Lane, or for a more direct (but noisier) route follow Cycle Route 21 parallel to and then under the A26.

    The suggested route to complete the walk is along country lanes. There are some fine views at first but the ending is down a gloomy sunken lane with more traffic than you might expect. In poor light the more direct route in §9b is recommended, despite the traffic noise from the A26.

    1. Main route (1½ km)
    2. For the quieter main route, turn right into The Forstal. Stay on this lane as it heads W for 750m, with some fine views across the Medway valley.

      At a T-junction turn left into Groombridge Lane. Take great care along this narrow lane as it goes downhill between increasingly high earth banks. At the bottom of the hill the lane curves left and goes past a few houses, with Eridge station visible off to the right. Follow the lane round to the right at a bend by The Huntsman pub.

    3. Direct route (1 km)
    4. For the shorter route to the station, cross the A26 with great care and turn right onto the roadside path. At the far end of a lay-by keep ahead onto a path between trees, signposted as Cycle Route 21.

      In 500m ignore an opening on the right leading to a bridleway on the other side of the A26 to continue on the cycle route. After another short wooded section this joins the driveway from Hamsell Manor. Go under the main road and follow the drive out to a lane. Bear left to come to The Huntsman pub.

    After visiting the pub continue up the lane for 100m to the station entrance.

  19. Old Groombridge to Aytton's Wood (2 km)
  20. Take a footpath past the churchyard towards Groombridge Place. Go round its right-hand side and cross a stone bridge over the River Grom. Head south-west on a footpath leading back into Groombridge via its recreation ground. Retrace part of your outward route along Station Road, Gromenfield and Corseley Road to a primary school. Turn left onto the High Weald Landscape Trail (HWLT) and follow this alongside fields. At the end turn right onto the access road for Aytton's Wood car park.

    For the shorter return route, go straight across a tree-lined avenue and turn half-right onto a broad grassy path between low wire fences. At the field edge follow the path round to the left and uphill, then through a gate at the top into the corner of a recreation ground. Continue between its left-hand edge and a line of tall trees, later with a children's playground on your right. With the Junction Inn opposite, leave through a side gate and turn left onto Station Road.

    For the next 500m you will be retracing your outward route as far as Groombridge's primary school. Before heading back, you have another chance to visit the SVR by detouring along Newton Willows to the station.

    For the main route, go up Station Road. In 100m, opposite a flight of steps signposted to the SVR, turn right through a small wooden gate onto an unmarked tarmac path and keep ahead along a cul-de-sac. At the end turn right and then left onto Corseley Road. Go along this road for 250m, past a church and a school, to a sharp right-hand bend.

    Instead of following the road round to the right, turn left onto a tarmac path, leaving your outward route and joining the HWLT. Cross the railway on a footbridge and continue on an enclosed path alongside fields for 400m. Go through a kissing gate and turn right onto the access road for Aytton's Wood car park. In 150m a signpost indicates that the public footpath turns left into the wood.

  21. Aytton's Wood to Forge Farm Oast (1½ km)
  22. Birchden Wood Either follow the HWLT as it skirts around Aytton's Wood car park and Birchden Wood to the start of Harrison's Rocks, or take a more direct route through the car park and a corner of the wood. Head south on the HWLT or any convenient path parallel to the rocks. Return to the public footpath and follow it to Forge Farm Oast.

    The route described below follows the public footpath, but you could also stay on the road and go down through the car park onto one of the paths used by climbers to reach the start of Harrison's Rocks.

    Birchden Wood For the suggested route turn left and follow the potentially muddy footpath downhill and round to the right. Cross over a forestry track and continue on a path through trees, skirting the car park on your right and keeping ahead at path crossings (unless you want to cut through the open access Birchden Wood on the left).

    The footpath comes out into a more open area and then turns left to continue alongside the wood, gradually approaching the embankment carrying the SVR. At the closest point to the railway there are two ways into the wood; the first is the route from the car park and the second (a wooden gate 50m further on) has a sign for Harrison's Rocks5.

    The suggested route now leaves the footpath to take a route closer to the rocks. If you decide to stay on the footpath alongside the SVR it goes up a slope and through a wooden fieldgate after 500m, where the main route rejoins from the left. If you take this route, continue the directions at [•] below.

    For the suggested route, go through the gate and turn right to reach the start of the rocks. The path soon forks; the easier route is the lower path which stays near the right-hand edge of a strip of woodland, a little way below the rocks on your left. For a closer look, fork left to go along the climbers' path at their base; on this route you will need to return on one of the link paths before the line of the rocks turns left after 500m. The lower path eventually bears right and leaves the wood through a gap in the fence, where you rejoin the public footpath.

    [•] Follow the footpath downhill, initially close to the railway below on your right. Go through a gate and past a few cottages to come to a path junction in front of Forge Farm Oast, an attractive oast-house conversion on the site of Birchden Forge4.

  23. Forge Farm Oast to Eridge Station (1¾ km)
  24. Leave the HWLT at Forge Farm Oast and go along its driveway. After crossing the railway turn left onto Forge Road and follow this lane all the way to Eridge station.

    Turn right onto the house's driveway, leaving the HWLT. After going over a level crossing (where the first track is the SVR and the second is the main line) you come to a T-junction with a lane (Forge Road).

    Turn left and go along this quiet lane for about 1½ km, parallel to the railway. Shortly after the lane skirts around some large ponds you will see the platforms of Eridge station off to your left. Turn left at a T-junction to reach the station entrance.

    • Detour to The Huntsman (+200m)
    • If you want some refreshment before the journey home continue past the station; the pub is on the left-hand side of the road. Return the same way.

Walk Notes

  1. The Spa Valley Railway restored a public service between Tunbridge Wells West and Groombridge in 1997, extending this to Eridge in 2011. The line had been closed by British Rail in 1985, some years after the Beeching Report.
  2. The Sussex Border Path runs for 240 km along the length of West & East Sussex, from Thorney Island on the Hampshire border to Rye.
  3. The High Weald Landscape Trail runs for 145 km across the length of the High Weald, mostly near its northern edge, from Horsham in West Sussex to Rye.
  4. Ammunition was manufactured at Birchden Forge until the mid-18thC.
  5. Harrison's Rocks are managed by the British Mountaineering Council. The path along the base of the rocks is a good place to observe climbers on this outcrop of Ardingly sandstone.
  6. The SVR had to re-site the platform at Groombridge station on the other side of the road bridge because the station building had been converted into a private residence. The line through Groombridge used to carry trains to London, Three Bridges, Brighton and Eastbourne.
  7. Groombridge Place Gardens are a popular visitor attraction, combining 17thC formal walled gardens designed as ‘outside rooms’ of the house, and the Enchanted Forest which aims to “intrigue, amuse and entertain”.
  8. The cluster of houses around the village green is the original settlement (‘old’ Groombridge, in Kent). The railway led to the development of the new village across the River Grom, in East Sussex.
  9. St John the Evangelist was built in 1625 as a private chapel for Groombridge Place, only becoming the parish church in 1872. It has some unusual features, such as a one-handed clock.
  10. The present house at Groombridge Place was built in the early 17thC on the site of a medieval moated house (and possibly an earlier Saxon fort). A 12 year-old French Count was held hostage here in the Hundred Years War until his ransom was paid 30 years later. It was the setting for Peter Greenaway's 1982 film The Draughtsman's Contract and was used for Longbourn in the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.
  11. Some of the earthworks in Broadwater Warren are thought to be ‘pillow mounds’ where rabbits were raised in medieval times. From the late 18thC the open heathland was used for military training and the long straight banks are the old firing points on rifle ranges.
  12. Eridge Rocks is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because the rocks support a great variety of tiny ferns, mosses, lichens and liverworts. Some climbing is permitted but there are more restrictions than at Harrison's Rocks.

» Last updated: April 10, 2017

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