This short circular walk begins in Marlpit Hill on the northern edge of Edenbridge, Kent. Once at the heart of the medieval Wealden iron industry, the area is now tranquil farmland.
Discover babbling brooks, tributaries of the River Eden, ancient woods, winter wildfowl in the colder months and the site of a Saxon manor.
The walk starts on Swan Lane, near Marlpit Hill allotments, passing through the original swan-topped brick pillars of Swan Lane Farm. Look out for hardy sheep grazing in the fields, before crossing a tributary of the River Eden at a turnstile.
Turn left after the kissing gate and follow a pleasant line of oak trees through fields of arable farmland, interwoven with streams and brooks. The walk briefly pops out onto Pootings Road, east of the village of Pootings, before returning to farmland. As you pass alongside a stream and an enchanting woodland shaw of hazel and birch trees, look out for deer – a great photo opportunity.
The Unlucky Manor
Head through a stile that leads to a field bordering Broxham Woods. With the trees on your left, follow until a footbridge crosses into this ancient woodland, which is carpeted with bluebells in spring. On leaving the woods, take the footbridge and turn immediately left, following the hedge line to the driveway of Broxham Manor. The restored moat on the left is all that remains of the 13th-century manorhouse that twice burned down. As the site was considered unlucky, the house was eventually rebuilt opposite it in the 18th century.
No Cheese Please
The walk meanders through arable farmland and scattered ponds, rich with Wealden clay. Listen for mewing buzzards and, in the warmer months, the high-pitched “little bit of bread with no cheese” song of yellowhammers.
The walk continues through another woodland and over a stream before coming to an end at the kissing gate.
Click on the map below for an interactive version of the route
Main image ©Sarah Medway