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 bluebell woods and the site of a Saxon manor.
1 SWANNING AROUND
The walk starts on Swan Lane, near Marlpit Hill allotments, passing through the original swan-topped brick pillars of Swan Lane Farm.
In spring, look for frolicking lambs in the fields, before crossing a tributary of the River Eden at a turnstile.
2 MAGICAL WOODLAND
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.
3 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.
4 NO CHEESE PLEASE
The walk meanders through arable farmland and scattered ponds, rich with Wealden clay and blooms of cuckoo flower.
Listen for mewing buzzards and the high-pitched “little bit of bread with no cheese” song of yellowhammers.
5 KISSING GOODBYE
The walk continues through another bluebell wood and stream before coming to an end at the kissing gate.
“A tripod and wide-angle lens helped capture this misty dawn over the pasture of Marlpit Hill”
Sarah Medway is an outdoor photojournalist who loves exploring Kent and the south coast.