1 - The Millennium Green entrance is adjacent to the car park and bus stop in Station Road. Before leaving, or after the walk, why not take a look around the Nature Trail which covers 13 acres? Free illustrated leaflets are available from a dispenser by an information board. Also see the decorative sign to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Cross the road, turn left and in a very short distance turn right by a blue sign, indicating pedestrian access to the High Street. Here, turn right and go straight ahead into North Street. Continue past the primary school on the right for 600 yards, taking great care after the footway ends.

Where the road bends around to the right, turn right to go along a clearly marked byway known as Chant Lane. Follow this for 800 yards until you pass a row of cottages just before reaching a road.

2 - Turn left over a stile, by a fingerpost on the left, to follow the footpath downhill between fences. Go over a footbridge, alongside a stream and then uphill through a small gate and bear right along a track.

In a short distance, go over a stile, cross a track and over another stile. Continue straight ahead along the left-hand field edge and over a stile on the left to follow the footpath by the side of an old quarry.

Those with an Explorer map will see this area is shown as “Heathfield” but it is somewhat smaller than its better-known, and larger, namesake six miles to the south. Continue on the footpath for about 300 yards, going over several stiles to cross a driveway and a wide grass area to a road.

Turn left along the road for 500 yards, observing the thatched cottages on the right, then at a road junction turn right and continue for a further 350 yards downhill.

3 - At the bottom of the hill, turn left by a footpath plinth along the driveway to Entry Hill. (Although private, this drive is a public footpath.) Passing the house, bear slightly right to go through a small gate and then follow the clear path through saplings.

On reaching wooden barriers, turn sharp left on a signed byway. Continue steadily uphill as it gradually veers around to the right, changing direction from south-east to west. At a junction with a footpath, a fingerpost indicates that the byway turns left; follow this to a road.

Turn right and in a few paces, go through a small gate on the left. Ahead is a well-defined footpath through Big Millhole Wood; follow this, observing the yellow waymarks and ignoring all other side paths.

This leads eventually downhill to go through a gate and under a bridge, above which is an old dismantled railway. Cross the footbridge to where a seat will be found if a rest is desired. Now bear slightly right to go uphill through Little Millhole Wood.

After 150 yards, be sure not to miss a right turn on the footpath, indicated by a low-level waymark, leading uphill to a road. Here the walk can be shortened by turning left and walking along the road to point 5.

4 - Cross to the footpath directly opposite into Hornshurst Wood. Carefully follow the waymarked path, westwards at first, then after crossing a track at staggered barriers, south-westwards to cross another track and then turn right heading north-west downhill.

At a T-junction, turn left for 150 yards and then left again by a fingerpost to go uphill. Cross a track and continue on as directed by the signposts. On leaving the wood, follow the fenced footpath ahead.

Go over a stile and across the field to another stile, then across the next field and over yet another stile on the right. Turn left along the track, which veers first to the right and then to the left, for 300 yards until you reach a road.

5 - Here turn right along the road used on the outward part of the route. Take great care, especially until reaching a wide grass verge and footway. Continue past the Recreation Ground and Village Hall until reaching the High Street and then turn right.

In a few paces, cross the road and go through a gate which leads to a footpath to the left of the Parish Church. Observe the old propped-up yew tree, thought to be at least 1,500 years old, in the churchyard.

This ancient place of Christian worship, dedicated to St Denys, dates back to the 11th century. The original 15th- century spire was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1987 but was replaced two years later by the present one of steel construction, which reaches a height of 165ft.

There are many interesting features inside, including an ornate font cover, a carved oak pulpit with canopy, memorials, wall paintings and stained-glass windows. So, take a look inside, if open.

To continue the walk, follow the footpath alongside the churchyard. Go through a gate and turn left leading down to the High Street. Cross the road and go down Station Road to the left of the Kings Arms pub, originally a 17th- century inn, to return to the car park and/or bus stop adjacent to the Millennium Green.

There are many places of interest in this centuries-old village; so, if time permits, take a look around before leaving.

  • Distance/Time: Five miles/two-and-a-half hours; extra for the Nature Trail; four-and-a-half miles if road walking between points 4 and 5
  • By Car: Car park (free) in Station Road, Rotherfield (B2100) on the Crowborough to Mark Cross road
  • By Public Transport: Buses (251/252) to Rotherfield from Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells; alight at Millennium Green, Station Road. Timetable information from Traveline: 0871 2002233 or www.traveline.info
  • What’s underfoot: Field and woodland paths which are likely to be muddy, if wet; also, some minor roads and quite a lot of stiles
  • Thirsty Work: The Kings Arms pub and restaurant and The Catts Inn, both in the High Street (near start/finish)
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer Map 135 or Landranger 188; also a compass for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Rotherfield circular walk