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Cowden Circular

Countryside Walk + Woodland + Attractive Village

County/Area - Kent & East Sussex

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.7 miles / 14.1 km    Ascent - 800 feet / 242 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Cowden Circular
Click image to see photo description.

A circular walk exploring the landscape around the Kent village of Cowden. The route follows field paths, a section of the Sussex Border Path and passes through Cowden and other small communities featuring buildings typical of the area. About halfway round the walk you pass the former home of Roger Hargreaves who created the Mr Men.

The start is Cowden railway station (grid ref. TQ476417) which is served by trains from London Bridge with a journey time of just under an hour. Exit the car park down to a lane and turn right under the railway. Take the first stile on the right with adjacent fingerpost. The path runs beneath the railway and soon enters woodland. Continue ahead at the first path junction and continue to a three-way junction, which is close to Hole Cottage (see image). Keep left here and continue on a rising path to reach Pyle Gate Farm and the B2026.

Cross the road as indicated by the fingerpost, pass between farm buildings, and enter open countryside. The path descends into a shallow valley before rising to the edge of Jones's Wood. Bear left and continue to the edge of Cowden. The path cuts right to join a track which leads to a road (grid ref. TQ464407). Turn left and walk into Cowden. Turn left along High Street as far as the parish church. Turn right down Church Street to join the Sussex Border Path. The route leads to Kent Water. Cross the stream into East Sussex and turn left. The route heads east and soon passes Sussex House Farm on your right.

Cross a track and follow the waymarked Sussex Border Path and continue to reach the B2026 at Kentwater Cottages. (It is worth noting that the path strays from Kent to East Sussex.) Turn right along the B2026, cross a bridge, and turn left through a gate (waymarked). After a kilometre you reach a cross path (grid ref. TQ484407). Continue ahead soon bearing left under the railway. Continue along the border path and turn left over a footbridge. The route now heads north leaving the border path and climbs slightly up to Prinkham where your follow a driveway to a road (grid ref. TQ496414).

Turn left along the road and take second signed path on the right. The path soon runs below a sandstone outcrop to reach a fingerpost. Turn right down to a stile into wooded Birchcope Shaw. Stay on the path up through the trees. After running along the edge of woodland the path joins a track. When the track bends right, turn left to follow path with a hedge on your right. Reaching a lane go straight across into woodland. Exiting the trees keep ahead across field to a lane. Bear left and continue down to Hoath Corner (grid ref TQ497431).

Turn left down a narrow lane signed to Markbeech. Turn right onto signed path (after Apple Tree Cottage). The path crosses fields, passes through the trees of Trugger's Gill and then curves right to enter Stock Wood. After 200 metres you reach a wider track where you turn sharp left. The onward path continues across fields and through woodland (Newtye Hurst) to reach a road (grid ref. TQ4581430). Turn left, ignore lane coming in on the right and turn right at next fingerpost by Mallett's Barn. Join the path across fields to a lane at Horseshoe Green. Turn left and then first right up Cow Lane. After 250 metres turn left at fingerpost to follow a path along a field edge and then through trees to rejoin the outward route. Turn left to return to Cowden station.

Other walks nearby

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Walk 2011 Chartwell from Crockham Hilleasy2.8 miles
Walk 2284 Limpsfield Circulareasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 2335 Ashdown Forest & Nutley Windmilleasy/mod4.7 miles
Walk 3441 Sevenoaks, Seal Chart and Ightham Motemoderate11.0 miles
Walk 1953 Balcombe & Ardingly Reservoireasy/mod7.8 miles
Walk 2479 Worth Way from Three Bridges, near Crawleymoderate14.0 miles
Walk 1510 Otford, Romney Street & Woodlandsmoderate14.5 miles
Walk 1610 Otford, Romney Street & Kemsingmod/hard16.8 miles
Walk 1048 Ardingly Reservoireasy/mod8.5 miles

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Walking in Kent

Walking in KentA guidebook describing 40 walks in the county of Kent. Covering west Kent and The Weald and north and east Kent, including the Kent Downs and the Greensand Hills. Walks of 5 to 9 miles explore rivers and coastline, beautiful countryside and historic villages. With outlines of 11 longer walks ranging from 15 to 163 miles.
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