1 - From the car park exit, turn right for just over 100 yards to the road junction (A21/A265). Cross at traffic lights and go down a driveway to the left of a marble water fountain. Follow the driveway round to the right in front of a house; then, on approaching the cricket field, take a sharp left turn.

Continue along the track; then at Driftways Farm a footpath plinth will confirm that the way is straight ahead. There is an old red telephone kiosk on the right, but don’t try making a call from there.

The way becomes a field path which goes along and downhill for about 600 yards where there are a couple of seats by a green shed (useful, if a rest is desired).

From here bear right slightly downhill and over a stream; then go up a slight rise to turn left onto a wide grass path. This leads to and through Mill Wood; then turn left down a field edge path.

At the bottom, turn right and follow along the field edge with a stream on the left. Go through another short piece of woodland and continue straight on, still with a field edge and stream on the left, until coming to a track.

For the purists who want to go all the way to the Kent border, turn left, go to the road (just over 200 yards) and back again.

2 - Otherwise, turn right on the track which rises gradually between trees. This becomes a sunken way, first with a field on the left and woodland on the right, then with fields on both sides.

Where this emerges into a field, with a barn on the right, continue on through a large wooden kissing gate into the grounds of Great Wigsell.

On reaching the gravel path in front of this large historic house, turn right and then round to the left alongside outbuildings. At the end, turn diagonally right to go up a long straight track and continue until reaching the road.

3 - Turn right for about 140 yards, then left down Bourne Lane. After about 700 yards, find a finger post and go through a metal gate on the right. Go down the field edge, through another metal gate and then uphill. Bear slightly left across the field to a footpath sign and over a stile.

Go down some steps in the wood, over a new footbridge, and then follow footpath markers uphill and over a stile into a field. Keep to the left-hand field edge up to, and through, a small metal gate, with a small piece of woodland on the right. Continue up the field edge and through a metal gate to the road (Bourne Lane again).

4 - Turn right, and then at the junction continue straight ahead past the road sign indicating Bodiam. Continue on past the picturesque Jollies Farm Oast for about half-a-mile to a junction. Turn left along the road which goes steadily uphill (beware of fast moving traffic).

Soon after, the road levels out and immediately before some houses on the right, turn right to go up a track. The gate here is usually locked but there is a gap at the side. At the top of this short hill is a noticeboard indicating that the field on the right is Stage Field Open Space.

If a detour is desired, enter the field to find the remains of a stage or viewing platform from where, on a clear day, there are extensive views: north, over the Kent border and beyond; and south, over the Rother valley to the Hastings ridge. This is a good spot for a picnic if the weather is fine.

5 - Otherwise, opposite this field there is a footpath to the left of a footpath sign. Follow this through bracken round to the right, then over a stile on the left. Turn right down the field edge to go over a stile hidden in the field corner.

Continue down the right-hand field edge with Silverhill Wood on the right. Where the field edge bears right, turn left across the field to the left of a cottage ahead.

On reaching a grass path, follow round to the right by the cottage; then, on reaching a tarmac driveway, continue straight ahead.

Where this driveway divides, turn left and in a short distance go through a metal gate on the left. Then go along the field edge on the right and through a gate into another field.

Go through yet another metal gate into a woodland strip; then up into a rough field and straight across through another woodland strip and rough field. Where the path is indistinct, use a compass to follow a generally north-westerly direction.

After going through a third woodland strip, continue across a field and over a stile. Then go across another field and stile to the main road (A21). As there is no path on this side, be very careful to cross here (not all motorists keep to the 30mph speed limit).

Turn right along the roadside path for nearly 400 yards to the junction of A21/A265. If time permits, explore the village to discover some of the historic buildings which can be found at this strategic point on the London to Hastings Road. If returning to the car park, turn left here.

  • Distance/Time: Six miles/three hours; plus extra for detours and exploring
  • By Car: Free car park in Station Road (A265), Hurst Green
  • By Public Transport: Buses 304/305 to Hurst Green, frequent service from Hastings and Hawkhurst. Also bus 318, limited service from Uckfield via Heathfield
  • What’s underfoot: Mostly good field paths and tracks, but can be muddy in places if wet; also some road walking. Not advisable with shorts or skirts because of brambles and nettles
  • Thirsty Work: Pub and other food/drink outlets in Hurst Green. Nothing en route, so take a drink or picnic
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer Map 136; also a compass for general direction

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