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Permissive path through Eridge Old Park

19-Nov-13 • Sean O'Neill

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The Nevill Crest at the golf club

30-Oct-13 • Sean O'Neill

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The Nevill Crest at the golf club

30-Oct-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Sussex Border Path near Buckhurst Place

19-Nov-13 • Sean O'Neill

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View across Eridge Old Park

19-Nov-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Frant Old School

25-Apr-11 • Sean O'Neill

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St Alban's Church, Frant

25-Apr-11 • Sean O'Neill

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Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells walk

Plenty of fine views on this short High Weald walk to the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Length

Main Walk: 16 km (9.9 miles). Three hours 55 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8½ hours.

OS Map

Explorer 136. Wadhurst, map reference TQ621330, is in East Sussex, 7 km SE of Tunbridge Wells, which is in Kent.

Toughness

4 out of 10.

Features

This walk near the border of East Sussex and Kent takes in similar territory to the Wealden walks from Book 2, with the first 1 km being the same as the Wadhurst Circular walk (2–18). It starts along the Sussex Border Path, a long-distance east-west route which here includes open ridges with fine views, interspersed with short sections across streams in wooded valleys. The latter provided the water power for the Wealden iron industry, Britain's ‘first industrial revolution’; in the 16th & 17thC this would have been a busy industrial area but today only traces remain in names like Furnace Wood.

Across the A267 the scene changes to the landscaped parkland of the Nevill Estate's Eridge Old Park, where the colours on the mature beech trees are particularly attractive in late autumn. A permissive path along its eastern boundary takes you to a lunch stop in the elegant hill-top village of Frant, dominated by its large triangular green.

The afternoon section heads northwards across a valley and soon reaches the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells. The original version of this walk then took a fairly direct route to the town centre, but it now veers off through Hawkenbury to take in the “spacious and elegant” Dunorlan Park, originally the private grounds of a Victorian mansion. A drawback of this revised version is that much of the final section is along main roads – rather too many of the town's quieter streets have “No Public Right of Way” signs to shield their desirable properties from the public gaze. However, there is a short stretch near the end through another public park, Calverley Grounds.

If you have time to spare the spa town of Tunbridge Wells is well worth exploring. No specific extension is described but the Leigh to Tunbridge Wells walk (1–15) and the Tunbridge Wells Circular walk (#19) both enter the town via the large Common and go through the Pantiles and High Street.

Walk Status

The walk route in §C makes use of one of the permissive paths through Eridge Old Park established under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme. All financial support for this scheme ended in 2020 and there is no longer any incentive for the Nevill Estate to maintain these paths for public use. Some of the Permissive Access notices have disappeared and although the path in §C has not been blocked off, it is becoming overgrown and unpleasantly boggy in places. It seems unlikely that the situation will improve, in which case the first part of this walk will have to be completely revised.

Walk Options

Two ways of shortening the walk after lunch are described. As noted above, the original version of this walk bypassed Dunorlan Park and the shorter ending is a variation of this; it also benefits from a relatively traffic-free route along back streets and alleyways to the town's High Street.

The other option is to finish at Frant station, in the neighbouring village of Bells Yew Green. This alternative ending should be used with caution: although it includes some fine views and a pleasant descent through a wood, the final ten minutes are along a busy road with no pavement.

Transport

There is a half-hourly service from Charing Cross to Wadhurst, two stops down the line from Tunbridge Wells, taking just over an hour. Tunbridge Wells has up to four trains an hour; fewer on Sundays and in the evenings. If you finish at Frant station (the one in between), it only has an hourly off-peak service. Buy a return to Wadhurst.

If you want to finish the walk after lunch in Frant, an alternative to walking to its (distant) station is to take one of the regular buses from the stop opposite the Abergavenny Arms to Tunbridge Wells; in the other direction the 254 would also take you back to Wadhurst station.

If driving, Wadhurst station car park costs £5.80 Mon–Fri, £3.50 Sat, £1 Sun & BH (2021). You could instead try parking at the end of the walk in Tunbridge Wells, but parking anywhere near the centre of the town is difficult and/or relatively expensive.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 09:45 from Charing Cross to Wadhurst.

Train Times
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Timetables
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Lunch

The suggested lunch pub is the popular George Inn (01892-750350) in Frant village, after 8¼ km; it has a beer garden and serves good home-made food, up to 2.30pm daily. If this is too busy there is a good alternative on the main road through the village: the Abergavenny Arms (01892-750233) serves food all day.

Tea

On the full walk you pass two park cafés on the approach to Tunbridge Wells, both of which are usually open daily to 5pm: the Dunorlan Park Café about 2 km before the finish, and the Tea House in Calverley Grounds, just 250m from the station. There are more cafés, delicatessens and coffee shops in the nearby High Street, such as Juliets at #54 (01892-522931; open Tue–Sun to 5pm); these are all passed on the shorter ending, which approaches the station from the opposite direction.

There are also plenty of pubs in the town, with the most unusual being the Opera House, a splendid building which more recently was a cinema and bingo hall and is now a JD Wetherspoon pub; it is a five-minute walk up Mount Pleasant Road from the station.

If you have to wait for a train on the alternative ending, the convenience store near Frant station serves hot drinks. Just up the road in the centre of Bells Yew Green, the Brecknock Arms (01892-750237) is normally open all day (but from 4pm Mon & Tue).

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Aug-21 Sean

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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.

Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells

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

Walk Map: Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells 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 (16 km)
  1. Main Walk, with shorter ending (13¼ km)
  2. Main Walk, finishing at Frant station (11 km)

Walk Directions

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

  1. Wadhurst Station to Partridges Lane (3¼ km)
    • Outside the station turn right through its car park and go uphill on the B2099. In 150m turn right onto the Sussex Border Path (SBP) and follow it across the railway and then along a farm drive to Tapsells Lane. Turn right onto the lane and go straight across Faircrouch Lane onto the driveway to Ravensdale Farm. Turn right in front of the farm buildings and follow the footpath along field edges, across a stream and up to Buckhurst Lane. Turn left briefly onto the lane, then right onto the continuation of the SBP. Head west along field edges, then across a wooded valley to Partridges Lane.
    1. Outside the station turn right, go through its car park and continue uphill on the B2099 for 150m. Opposite a small development called “The Keys” veer right off the road onto an easily-missed public footpath, joining the Sussex Border Path? (SBP). Go down a slope towards the railway and cross the tracks carefully.
    2. On the other side follow the footpath waymarkers to head S across a field, then through a small wood. Go through a wooden gate onto a narrow enclosed path past farm buildings and out along its drive. At the end turn right onto a lane, soon ignoring a footpath off to the left (the route of Walk 2–18) to reach a T-junction with a minor road.
    3. Go straight across this road onto a driveway to the right of a garage. Follow this public footpath past a few houses and downhill through a wood, curving left around a pond at the bottom. As the drive approaches the buildings of Ravensdale Farm turn right as indicated through a wooden gate and follow a grassy path down the left-hand side of a field, heading NW.
    4. Near the bottom follow the path round to the left and into the trees. Cross a stream on a wooden footbridge and go up a potentially muddy sunken path, through a gate and along the right-hand edge of two fields. After curving round to the left in the second field, follow the path down into the trees on your right.
    5. At the bottom cross a stream on a wooden footbridge and follow the path up and round to the left. Go through a metal kissing gate into a large field and make your way up to its top left-hand corner, where you will be able to see an imposing building on the hill behind you, The Mount?.
    6. At the top go through a metal side gate and turn left onto a lane. In 100m turn right onto a car-wide track, with a footpath signpost half-hidden in the hedge. Go through a couple of side gates and then turn half-left as indicated to stay alongside a wire fence. At the end go through another wooden side gate in a belt of trees and bear right to go alongside them.
    7. Continue along the right-hand edge of two large sloping fields for 600m, still on the SBP and with fine views off to your left. At the end of the second field go through a wooden side gate on the right and turn left as indicated.
    8. Go along the left-hand edge of this field and through a kissing gate in the bottom corner. Follow a slightly awkward path going steeply downhill through a wood, crossing a stream at the bottom. The path comes out onto a minor road (Partridges Lane).
  2. Partridges Lane to the A267 (2½ km)
    • Turn right onto the lane, cross another stream and then turn left to stay on the SBP. Go up a field edge to the buildings of Earlye Farm. Follow the waymarkers through the farm and out to a field. Head north-west across it and down to a strip of woodland at the bottom. Cross a stream and climb steeply up the next field to reach Lightlands. Turn left to continue on the SBP, heading west along field edges to Pococksgate Farm, then along its driveway to the A267.
    1. Turn right and go along the lane for 175m, curving round to the left and then going across a semi-cleared valley. As the lane swings back to the right turn left onto a signposted footpath going steeply up the wooded valley. At the end of the trees go through a wooden gate and continue up the right-hand edge of a large field.
    2. In the corner go through a metal fieldgate onto a farm track, passing a converted oast house on your left. At a T-junction turn left onto a track towards the buildings of Earlye Farm. After passing the farmhouse follow the yellow waymarkers (slightly to the left) between barns and sheds to a wooden gate leading into a field.
    3. Go straight across the field, roughly parallel to the hedge on your left; as the ground dips away towards a wooded valley aim for a wooden gate near the bottom left-hand corner. Go through this and down an awkward slope (with a helpful handrail), then across a stream on a wooden footbridge. Go up to a wooden gate leading into another field and climb steeply up its right-hand edge.
    4. In the top corner go through a gap and bear right across the next field to a gate in the far right-hand corner, which takes you onto a narrow path between hedges. This comes out onto the driveway to “Lightlands” by a four-way footpath signpost. Turn left through a gate and follow a faint grassy path straight ahead across a meadow, still on the SBP.
    5. On the far side go through a metal fieldgate and continue along the right-hand edge of the next field. In the corner a small metal gate takes you into another field. Ignore a gate ahead and follow the hedge round to the right, uphill. At the top go through a metal fieldgate on the left into another field, which you will be leaving near the opposite corner.
      • On the OS map the right of way appears to go diagonally across the field but it is easier to follow the broad grassy margin around the top.
    6. Either way, go through the fieldgate on the far side (not the one in the corner) and continue in much the same direction along the right-hand edge of more fields towards some large barns 400m away; across the valley on your left you might be able to see the top of Saxonbury Hill Tower? poking out above the trees of Nap Wood.
    7. In 250m veer right through a metal fieldgate in a large gap in the hedge and go past the left-hand side of these barns. Bear left across a yard onto a farm track going downhill. At the bottom turn right in front of the buildings of Pococksgate Farm and follow its driveway out to the A267.
  3. The A267 to Frant (village) (2½ km)
    • Turn right briefly onto the main road and take a track heading towards Eridge Old Park, but almost immediately turn right onto the start of a permissive path just outside its boundary fence. Follow this northwards between Eridge Old Park and the A267 for 1½ km, mostly through woodland but with a 200m stretch along the right-hand side of a field to the left of the trees. At the end join both the High Weald Landscape Trail (HWLT) and the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk (TWCW), coming in from a public footpath across the park. Turn right to return to the A267 and turn left onto the main road to come to Frant's village green. Either bear right across the green to find the George Inn at the far end of the High Street, or stay on the A267 for the Abergavenny Arms and then go up Church Lane.
    1. Turn right briefly onto the main road, crossing over with great care at some point. Ignore a footpath signpost pointing to a narrow path through the bracken (the continuation of the SBP) but shortly afterwards turn left briefly onto a car-wide track, a private entrance into Eridge Old Park?.
    2. The continuation of the walk (as originally devised) is an inconspicuous path into the undergrowth on the right of the track, although the information panel at the start of the path confirming that this is a permissive route through the Nevill Estate had disappeared when last checked.

      The directions below describe the intended route but there is no guarantee that public access will continue to be possible.

    3. Follow the path through the trees and bracken, gradually moving away from the noisy main road. In 400m the path comes to the unsurfaced driveway to a large house off to the left. Do not continue through the trees ahead but turn left briefly onto the drive, then immediately veer right onto a broad grassy path along the edge of a long narrow field, with the wood on your right.
    4. In 200m follow the path back into the trees and bear left to resume your previous direction, as indicated by a waymarker on a tree trunk. For a while the route is not clearly defined. After going down a short slope you need to make your way across a small stream. On the other side follow the path uphill and keep left at junctions. From this point the route is a little clearer; you are never too far away from a high deer fence on your left.
    5. In 250m you go past a (locked) metal gate on the left leading into the park, with Saxonbury House? off to the right. In the remaining 400m of this permissive path you have to negotiate some very boggy patches where it dips down across seasonal streams.
    6. Eventually you come to a pedestrian gate in the deer fence with waymarkers on a footpath signpost for both the High Weald Landscape Trail? (HWLT) and the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk? (TWCW). Do not go through this gate but in 20m turn right at another footpath signpost.

      The route to Tunbridge Wells follows these two waymarked trails for the next 3 km, as well as (in reverse) the route of Walk #19.

    7. Follow the path uphill between wire fences. It zig-zags left and right, narrows and comes out between buildings onto the A267. Carefully cross over this main road and turn left to come to the bottom of Frant's large triangular green. Carry on along the grass, crossing two driveways and then a side road (The Green) onto the main part of the village green.
    8. The main route takes you past the suggested lunch pub on the village's High Street, but if you want to visit the alternative pub on the A267 follow the directions in [?].

    9. Main route

      1. Bear right to take the path between the cricket pitch and The Green, aiming for a small building with a pyramidal tiled roof (an old well). In the top corner of the main green cross a side road (The Green again) and continue along Frant's High Street, past the well and heading towards the church.
      2. At the end of this picturesque little street you come to the suggested lunch pub on the right, the George Inn, opposite the Old School?.
    10. Alternative route (+200m)

      1. For the other pub carry on along the bottom of the main green. At the end cross a side road (The Green again) and continue along the main road to reach the Abergavenny Arms on the right.
      2. To resume the walk turn right out of the pub to continue along the A267 for a further 100m, then turn right into Church Lane. Follow this narrow lane uphill for 200m to its junction with the High Street.

      If you are doing the alternative ending (to Frant station), go to §H.

  4. Frant (village) to Forest Road (3 km)
    • Go through the churchyard and follow the HWLT and TWCW north along field edges, down through Chase Wood and past Brickhouse Farm to Bayham Road. Continue along the edge of Nevill Golf Course and turn left onto Benhall Mill Road, leaving both the HWLT & TWCW. In 400m take a footpath on the right through woodland. At the far end turn right onto Forest Road.
    1. At the northern end of the High Street go through the lychgate and up to the church of St Alban?, which is worth visiting. Follow the path round to the right of the church and all the way to the far corner of the churchyard. Make your way into the top of a large field and continue in the same direction, with a hedge on your right. In 100m there is a three-way footpath signpost by a gap in the hedge.
    2. Carry on down the field edge and go through a gap in the trees in the bottom corner. Bear right to go down another field edge to the bottom corner, crossing over a track along the way. Go through a wicket gate and follow a path on a long steady descent through Chase Wood.
    3. Towards the bottom stay on the main path as it curves round to the left. Immediately after crossing a small stream fork right as indicated, then keep right at the next path junction. After crossing a footbridge over another stream at the edge of the wood, ignore a stile leading into a field on the right and continue on a tree-lined path between fields, heading N.
    4. In 200m the path comes out in front of Brickhouse Farm. Turn left briefly onto a farm track, then in 25m turn right into its farmyard. Go along its left-hand side and continue on the farm's long drive to reach a road (the B2169). Cross over carefully and go through a wicket gate opposite (slightly to the left) onto a corner of Nevill Golf Course.
    5. Follow the right of way alongside the brick wall on your left. At the top of a practice area continue through a small car park, then keep left of the club house. After a final section alongside the main car park you come out onto a lane (Benhall Mill Road) by the Golf Club entrance, with the Nevill Crest? on top of each of the brick pillars. Turn left onto the road, leaving both the HWLT & TWCW.
    6. Go along the road for 400m, initially with a wood on the right and then the new Regency Grange housing estate. Where the road briefly widens at the end of these houses turn right onto an inconspicuous path into some trees (a public footpath, though not signposted when last checked). Follow it round to the left and past the last of the new houses, then through a wood for 300m. At the end turn right onto Forest Road.
    7. If you are doing the shorter ending (omitting Dunorlan Park), go to §G.

  5. Forest Road to Dunorlan Park Café (2¾ km)
    • Dunorlan Park Go along Forest Road for 100m, then take a parallel route on the left through Farmcombe Road Open Space. At the far end return to Forest Road, then go along Westbrook Terrace to Hawkenbury Road. Go diagonally through Hawkenbury Recreation Ground and continue along Dorset Road. Turn right into Forest Road and follow it round to the left at a junction, then turn right into Dunorlan Park. The suggested route is to go around the right-hand side of the lake, up the avenue on the far side and back along the terrace to the Park Café.
    1. Go along Forest Road for 100m, crossing over at some point. By the Forest Way bus stop go down steps on the left and through a gate into Farmcombe Road Open Space. Veer right through a belt of trees and make your way across the grass to leave via another gate in the middle of the far side, 150m away. Go out to a residential street (Farmcombe Road) and turn right to return to Forest Road.
    2. Turn left onto the main road, cross over at the traffic island and then turn right into an alleyway (Westbrook Terrace), signposted as a footpath. This goes past a row of terraced houses and veers left to emerge into a small parking area off Hawkenbury Road. Bear right to go along this road, crossing over a side street (Maryland Road), then cross the main road and go through a gate into Hawkenbury Recreation Ground.
    3. Take the tree-lined tarmac path straight ahead, to the left of some astro-turf pitches. You can simply follow it all the way round to the opposite corner, or take a short cut across the grass on the far side. Leave the recreation ground and bear left onto a residential street (Sherborne Close, which becomes Dorset Road). Follow this out to Forest Road (again).
    4. Turn right onto the main road and go along its right-hand pavement. Follow it round a sharp left-hand bend at a junction, crossing Hall's Hole Road. After passing the Rookley Close bus stop turn right through a black metal gate in the hedge, a pedestrian entrance into Dunorlan Park?.

      The route described below reaches its café via a loop around the lake, but you could use the map to devise a more direct route.

    5. Dunorlan Park For the suggested route bear slightly right across the grass, skirting a protruding clump of trees on the right and passing another pedestrian entrance (from Hall's Hole Road) off to the right. Near the far right-hand corner go through a gap in the trees and carry on near the right-hand edge of the park.
    6. When the lake comes into view, take any route down the slope and turn right to go alongside it. Follow the winding perimeter path until you come to some black metal railings on the right over the Cascade.
    7. Go down a flight of steps beside the waterfall and continue past the Summerhouse in the small Water Garden. Go over some stepping stones and keep ahead through a gap in the trees to come to the Fountain at the bottom of the Avenue.
    8. Go all the way up this broad grassy strip between cedars to the Grecian Temple. At the top take the level path on the left, which leads into the Terrace. At the far end keep ahead to come to the Park Café, the suggested tea stop.
  6. Dunorlan Park Café to Tunbridge Wells Station (2 km)
    • Tunbridge Wells Leave the park by the main exit and turn left onto the A264, crossing over onto the adjacent cycleway. In 500m fork right into Calverley Park Gardens and follow this downhill to a major road junction. Continue along Crescent Road for 150m, then turn sharp left through an archway into Calverley Park. Take the path on the right into Calverley Grounds, where there is a café. Leave the gardens by the main exit and go across Mount Pleasant Road to the station.
    1. From the café go up the grassy slope, away from the lake. At the top take the path to the right of the car park to leave Dunorlan Park by a side gate. Turn left onto the A264 (Pembury Road) and cross it at the nearby pedestrian lights to continue on the combined pedestrian and cycleway.
    2. You have to put up with the traffic on this busy road for 500m before you can fork right into Calverley Park Gardens. Follow this much quieter road as it curves down to the left, soon with glimpses of the large Spa Hotel ahead on the horizon, 1¾ km away. The road ends at a T-junction with Calverley Road.
    3. The nicest (and shortest) continuation would be on one of the private roads opposite, but in deference to the “No Public Right of Way” notices you should take the main road ahead on the right (Crescent Road), alongside the back of Calverley Crescent.
    4. After passing the other end of the private road alongside this building turn sharp left through an imposing carriage archway with a sign for Calverley Park?. Before the stone pillars at the entrance to the park turn right onto a tarmac path, passing an information panel for Calverley Grounds?.

      The information panel confirms that public access into Calverley Grounds is permitted through this archway, despite the “Private” notices.

    5. Tunbridge Wells Follow the path downhill between hedges and then past a basketball court. Keep ahead at a path junction, then go down steps on the right and turn right at the bottom to come to a possible refreshment stop, the Tea House? café.
      • For a small detour you could carry on past the steps and double back through the small Sunken Garden on the right.
    6. To reach the station, turn right out of the café and follow the path as it curves down to the main entrance. Keep ahead along a short street to reach Mount Pleasant Road. One of the station entrances is about 50m off to the left; alternatively a path opposite (slightly to the right) behind Bus Stop B will take you over the railway and down to the ticket office.
      • Most trains to London depart from Platform 1, by the ticket office. If you use the Mount Pleasant Road entrance there is an overhead walkway linking the two platforms.
  7. Forest Road to Tunbridge Wells Station direct (2 km)
    • Tunbridge Wells Go along Forest Road for 100m, then go down through Farmcombe Road Open Space. Turn left onto Delves Avenue and follow it to Cavendish Drive. Turn left and go along Upper Cumberland Walk to Rodmell Road. Turn right briefly onto this road, then turn left into Cumberland Walk. Shortly before this comes out onto the A267, cut through Cumberland Gardens and Mount Sion to the High Street. Go up this street and across Vale Road to the station.
    1. Go down the slope, with a line of trees on your right, to leave the recreation ground via another gate at the bottom. Go out to a residential street (Delves Avenue) and turn left.
    2. Follow the street round to the right. In 250m keep left where it merges with Cavendish Drive and then turn left onto a signposted footpath (Upper Cumberland Walk). This goes over the railway line and continues as a tree-lined path, then a lane. Where the lane turns half-left (and becomes Blatchington Road) keep ahead, still on Upper Cumberland Walk.
    3. The track goes over an old railway bridge?, bends right and comes out onto a residential street (Rodmell Road). Turn right briefly onto this street, then turn left at a footpath signpost into an alleyway (Cumberland Walk).
    4. Tunbridge Wells In 200m you pass a parking area and garages down to the left. In a further 100m, by an old lamppost, turn right up a few steps into Cumberland Gardens. Follow this passageway out to a street (Mount Sion) and turn left.
    5. In 50m you reach the town's High Street and turn right onto it. There are plenty of cafés, coffee shops and delis along this street: Juliets is on the left about halfway along, at #54.
    6. At the far end of the High Street the main station entrance and ticket office is down to the left on the other side of Vale Road, along Station Approach. Most trains to London depart from Platform 1, on that side.
      • If you do not want to dodge the traffic on Vale Road you can reach the alternative station entrance in Mount Pleasant Road (straight ahead) via two sets of pedestrian traffic lights. There is an overhead walkway linking the two platforms.
  8. Frant (village) to Frant station (2¾ km)
    • Go through the churchyard and follow the HWLT and TWCW north for 100m, then turn right onto a footpath going via Ely Grange to the B2169. Turn right and go along the road to Frant station.
    1. To head for Frant station turn right through this gap, leaving both the HWLT & TWCW. Follow a faint grassy path across a sloping field for 500m, roughly parallel to a track below and with fine views off to the left.
    2. At the end of the field go through a wicket gate and bear left across a driveway as indicated. Go along a short grassy strip and over a stile onto a track between tall hedges. Follow this round to the left, passing a paddock and stables on the right. Go over a stile to the left of a wooden gate and follow the track round to the right, heading NE on the edge of a wood.
    3. The right of way stays close to the fence on the right, but if this main track is too muddy there is an alternative path on the left which rejoins it near the entrance to a water treatment plant (a wooden fieldgate with a prominent “Keep Out” notice). Keep ahead on a woodland path going gently downhill through the trees for 500m, staying fairly close to the left-hand edge of the wood.
    4. The footpath eventually comes out abruptly onto the B2169. Turn right onto this busy road, taking great care as there is no pavement. You have to negotiate this awkward stretch of road for 800m, with a particularly tricky spot two-thirds of the way along where it bends left and right under a railway bridge, with limited visibility.
    5. As you reach the small village of Bells Yew Green? the entrance to Frant station is on your right. Cross the footbridge to Platform 1 for trains to London.
      • The only refreshment places in the vicinity are a convenience store (serving hot drinks) just past the station entrance and a pub in the village centre, 250m further along the road.
      Walk Notes
    1. The Sussex Border Path runs for 240 km along the length of West & East Sussex, from Thorney Island on the Hampshire border to Rye.
    2. The Mount was originally a Victorian monastery. Since 1970 it has been The Mount Camphill Community, a residential centre for students with learning difficulties.
    3. Saxonbury Hill Tower is a gothic folly on the Eridge Park estate, built in 1828.
    4. The spacious parkland of Eridge Old Park was landscaped in the late 18thC by Henry Nevill, the 2nd Earl of Abergavenny, who built Eridge Castle in Strawberry Hill Gothic style (replaced in the 1930s by a Georgian style mansion, Eridge Park).
    5. Saxonbury House looks historic but was built in the 1950s, in the style of a Queen Anne house.
    6. 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.
    7. The 44 km Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk (formerly the High Weald Walk) was established by the Borough Council as one of its centenary events in 1989.
    8. On Frant's Old School, the inscription Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it is from Proverbs 22:6.
    9. St Alban, Frant was almost completely rebuilt in 1822 when the medieval church became uneconomic to repair. It has a particuarly fine August Gern organ.
    10. The Nevill Crest is a bull with a crown around its neck. The family motto Ne vile Velis (‘never have evil thoughts’) incorporates their name, then spelt Nevile.
    11. Dunorlan Park was originally the private grounds of a Victorian mansion built for Henry Reed, who made his fortune in Tasmania. The gardens were laid out by the renowned Victorian gardener Robert Marnock in the mid-19thC. The estate was purchased for the town in 1945 and the park opened to the public, but soon afterwards the large Italianate mansion was badly damaged by fire and later demolished.
    12. The Calverley Park estate was laid out in the 1830s by Decimus Burton, as commemorated on a plaque on the carriage archway at the Crescent Road entrance. The estate included the large Mount Pleasant House, Calverley Park Crescent and the villas in Calverley Park, together with extensive grounds.
    13. Calverley Grounds were originally the pleasure grounds of Mount Pleasant House, later the Calverley Hotel. They were purchased for the town in 1920. Near the main entrance there is a memorial to Lord Dowding, the commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain (1940).
    14. The present Tea House is a replica of one which burnt down in 1997. A concert pavilion and bandstand on the site were destroyed by an air raid in 1940.
    15. The railway bridge in Upper Cumberland Walk crosses a disused spur which linked the main Hastings line with Tunbridge Wells West station, now the terminus of the Spa Valley Railway.
    16. The unusual name Bells Yew Green is derived from the medieval French Bels Lieux, the ‘beautiful place’ being the nearby Bayham Abbey.

» Last updated: August 26, 2021

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