Boarshead

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Boarshead © Simon Lawson
The Boar's Head © Jonathan Billinger
Orznash Oast © Oast House Archive

Deep in the heart of the High Weald, a long and beautiful valley opens out to the north of the busy hilltop town of Crowborough. Rising in thick woodland, twin streams flow along the fertile farmed valley floor flanked by well-wooded slopes, on course to join the River Medway near Groombridge. Our walk crosses and recrosses the upper end of this valley, following a varied route, down through a well-tended orchard, across pasture and arable fields and steadily up amidst delightful semi-natural woodland, a good spot for bluebells in the late spring. The return route along part of the Sussex Border Path uses two sunken tracks lined by high banks, a characteristic feature of this rich sandstone landscape.

1. From the pub, walk back along the old road and left along the new access link out to the A26. Cross the main road, turn right and after a few yards go left through a swing gate beside a large double gate. Follow a well-signed path forward through an orchard, then right as directed by a finger post. Shortly, at a path junction, turn left, descending along the right edge of the orchard to a stile and on down into a beautiful well-wooded valley.

2. At the bottom of the hill go ahead over a wide culvert, forward up a low bank and then bear right along a right field edge. After 60 yards, at a four arm sign, ignore paths to right and left and head out across a large field, over a low summit and down to enter woodland over a stile. A few yards beyond a stream, at a path junction, bear left on a wider path along the valley and then steadily up. At a junction of four paths, go ahead, veering slightly left. Go straight over a wide crossing track and climb on a narrower path which brings you out to a wide farm track at the top of the hill.

3. Turn right. After a little over 1/2 mile, just after the track bears round to the left at the corner of the wood, turn right along a signed headland path with a hedge, left. After about 150 yards turn right along a trodden crossing path which skirts to the right of an isolated tree clump and drops diagonally down across a field.

4. At the bottom, cross a stile and bear left along a hedged track which crosses a stream and climbs, soon between banks. At a T-junction turn right and follow another clear path which continues obliquely up the hill, soon once again between high sandstone banks. At the top you will emerge at a fine viewpoint.

5. Join a drive over a stile and bear right along it, past Renby Grange and out to the A26. Cross the road using the ramped paths provided and go forward along the redundant loop of the old A26 back to the start.

Location

Boarshead is on the A26 Uckfield to Tunsbridge Wells Road about 1 mile north of Crowborough. The Boar's Head Inn is set back to the east of the main road at the southern end of a redundant loop of the old A26. There is parking in the pub car park (with permission) or in various places along the old A26, now a quiet cul-de-sac.

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