Octavia Hill Centenary Trail - views and nature

Walking trail

Celebrate the life of Octavia Hill (1838–1912) on a walk to the picturesque village of Ide Hill and her commemorative seat, passing Emmetts Garden on the way back.

Walk in the footsteps of our celebrated founder

Founder of the National Trust in 1895, Octavia Hill was a social reformer, philanthropist, artist and writer. A remarkable woman, her vision has led to her being a major influence on our lives today. Why not also download Octavia Hill centenary trail west, a 6-mile (9.6km) walk that can be done separately or together with this one, to make up a figure-of-eight trail. Please keep dogs on leads when in fields with livestock.

The bat tower at Toys Hill


Map route for Octavia Hill centenary trail east


Toys Hill car park on Chart Lane, grid ref: TQ470517


In the top left-hand corner of the car park by the information panel, go up the steps in the direction of the arrow on the Octavia Hill Centenary Trail waymarker disc.


At a crossing track and waymark post turn left, go downhill through a wooden barrier and fork left to drop down to Puddledock Lane and a grass triangle with a seat. Turn right through the hamlet and soon reach a low stone wall on the left, with steps leading down to a covered well and a viewpoint with extensive views over the Weald of Kent.

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Retrace your steps and, keeping to the left of the grass triangle, cross to Scords Lane opposite. Continue along Scords Lane until the road bears to the right and a sign indicates Scords Farm down to the right. Directly ahead is a pathway signposted 'No roadway for vehicles - continue up this private road until reaching a metal National Trust sign for Scords Wood.


Bear left onto a footpath and immediately right onto a small footpath with a fence on the right. On reaching a wide track turn right and continue downhill. At a waymark post keep straight ahead on the small path marked Greensand Way to emerge via a squeeze stile into a field.


Turn left past a seat to follow the boundary of the wood. Ahead can be seen the spire of St Marys church at Ide Hill. At the corner of the wood bear slightly right to a gate and maintain direction down to the bottom right hand corner of the next field and a small footbridge over a stream.


Continue straight ahead up the next field and under power cables to the start of a dirt track. Follow this track through a metal kissing gate and past a solitary oak tree. Very soon go through another metal kissing gate on your right.


Passing between woods on the left and a field on the right, enter woodland. After an uphill section at a fork bear right and continue uphill. The path levels out at a junction of paths. Keep straight ahead to a stone seat commemorating Octavia Hill.

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Return to the junction of paths and take the second on the right, just to the right of a waymark post. Soon cross an open space with seats on either side of the pathway and at the end turn left by another waymark post to follow a field fence. On reaching a drive turn left to come out to Ide Hill village green.

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At the roundabout bear left onto Sundridge Road and, after the last house on the right, turn right onto a sign-posted footpath. Continue straight ahead to a gap in the hedge and then bear diagonally left across the field to a kissing gate in the hedge by a telegraph pole. Turn left onto a small lane and on reaching a T-junction turn right.


After approximately 250metres (or 270 yards) on the left next to South Lodge, take the sign-posted footpath onto a private drive. After some distance the drive passes between the north and south gardens of Emmetts Garden to arrive at the café.

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To continue, take the footpath next to the café and at the gate go straight ahead to a waymark post. Turn left onto a wide track. In a while, at a crossing track, continue straight.


At the next waymark post turn right uphill, shortly passing through a wooden gate. As the path levels out and at a waymark post turn left and follow this wide path for some distance.


At a junction of five paths continue straight ahead on the level, ignoring two paths on the left and one leading up on the right. Eventually, the path bears right and comes out to a road. Cross to Toys Hill car park.


If you wish to continue walking there is another walk - Octavia Hill trail west - that is 6 miles (allow 3 and a half hours) and includes her burial place at Crockham Hill, passing through the charming hamlets of Froghole and French street.


Toys Hill car park on Chart Lane, grid ref: TQ470517

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Octavia Hill Centenary Trail - views and nature


The terrain varies throughout the route; some areas are quite rough and have steep slopes and some steps, including rough paths through woodland. Some sections are on the road so be aware of traffic.

Dogs are welcome on the trail but we ask to keep your waggy-tailed walking pal on a lead in the garden at Emmetts.

Octavia Hill Centenary Trail - views and nature

Contact us

Telephone: 01732 868381

Email: emmetts@nationaltrust.org.uk

Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/toys-hill/

Octavia Hill Centenary Trail - views and nature

How to get here

Toys Hill car park on Chart Lane, Brasted, Nr Westerham, Kent TN16 1QG
By train

Sevenoaks station is the nearest station.

By road

From A25 in Brasted village take Chart Lane leading to Toys Hill car park (National Trust).

By bicycle

From A25 in Brasted village take Chart Lane leading to Toys Hill car park (National Trust).

Octavia Hill Centenary Trail - views and nature

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome but please keep on a lead in the garden at Emmetts
  • The café is open for takeaway drinks, cakes and light snacks