This beautiful circular walk links Emmetts Garden and Chartwell; the walk is fully waymarked and passes through the woodland areas of Toys Hill and Hosey Common, as well as the pretty hamlet of French Street.
Emmetts Garden, grid ref: TQ477525
Leave Emmetts by the footpath next to the tea-room. Go over the stile, ignoring a minor path to the left continue on to a crossroads of paths. Turn left downhill, over crossroads then uphill on a sunken path through Scords Wood.
At the next crossroads of paths go straight ahead and continue on this path for some distance. At the next crossroads turn right and go steadily uphill. On reaching a junction of 5 paths maintain direction uphill. At the top go straight over a crossing track to Chart Lane. (If you wish to visit the Fox and Hounds public house turn right and the pub is a short distance along the road on the right).
(If you do not visit the pub) Cross the road and take the path opposite to the left of the house. At a T-junction turn left onto a wide path. Shortly go over a crossing track and continue on this path, ignoring two paths to the left, until you reach the site of Weardale Manor on the left. There is an information panel about the history of the house and its demise.
Once a Tudor mansion owned by Lord and Lady Stanhope, it fell into decline after Lord Stanhope died and was finally destroyed by a bomb in the Second World War.
Maintain direction on the wide stony track between the information panel and the monument, later pass two paths on the right and go through a wooden barrier. Go straight over a crossing track, ignore two paths on the right and continue downhill to exit Toys Hill through posts by a gate. Continue down the lane for some distance - this quiet lane serves only a few properties so is virtually traffic free.
Pass a farm and continue uphill to French Street hamlet. After passing the first few cottages turn left on a sign-posted bridleway and keep left whenever the path forks until reaching a road - Hosey Common Lane.
Turn left onto the road and after a short distance turn right by a National Trust sign for Chartwell. Almost immediately turn right at a T-junction. Follow this wide path down to a gate leading back to the car park. From here you have magnificent views over the estate and the Weald of Kent.
Visit the family home of Sir Winston Churchill. The house is still much as it was when the family lived here with pictures, books and personal belongings.
With your back to the tea-room, go left until reaching the main entrance gate to the car park. Exit and turn immediately right onto an enclosed path. Follow uphill until reaching Hosey Common Lane. Cross the road to the bridleway opposite.
Remain on this track keeping to the right whenever it forks. At the road (French Street hamlet) turn left. Shortly opposite a 'GR' red post box in the hedge, turn right onto a footpath taking the right fork. This enclosed path descends via steps and a couple of stiles to a footbridge.
Continue straight ahead uphill to a stile in the top-right-hand corner of the field. Once over the stile cross the track and take the path opposite eventually coming to a wooden seat. Over the next stile bear diagonally right heading towards a further stile in the corner of the field.
Cross this stile and turn right. Continue with the fence on your left and where the fence ends bear right and follow this path for a short way to a crossing track. Turn left, soon ignoring a path to the right and continue to a road - Chart Lane.
Cross the road and take the path opposite. Follow it through the glade for some distance to emerge by a fence on to Emmetts Lane. Turn left ignoring the bridleway opposite.
Soon opposite the entrance to Ide Hill House turn right onto a footpath. Eventually come to a crossing track and waymark post. Go straight ahead to arrive at Emmetts tea-room and garden.
Emmetts Garden, grid ref: TQ477525
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