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Spring sun through the trees at Toys Hill, Kent
Spring sun through the trees at Toys Hill | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

Weardale walk from Emmetts Garden

This beautiful circular walk follows a hilly route through the Weald of Kent. It links Emmetts Garden with Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill. It also passes through the woodland areas of Toys Hill and Hosey Common, as well as the pretty hamlet of French Street. Normal admission applies to visit either Chartwell or Emmetts Garden.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Emmetts Garden, grid ref: TQ477525

Step 1

Leave Emmetts Garden by the footpath next to the tea-room. Go over the stile, ignoring a minor path to the left, and continue on to a crossroads of paths. Turn left downhill, over another crossroads, then uphill on a sunken path through Scords Wood.

Step 2

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 five paths maintain direction uphill. At the top go straight over a crossing track to Chart Lane.

Step 3

Cross the road and take the path opposite, to the left of the house. At the next T-junction turn left onto a wide path. 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.

Bench standing on grass in front of stand of tall trees, with two people standing in background
Site of Weardale Manor at Toys Hill, Kent | © National Trust Images/Sam Milling

Step 4

Maintain direction on the wide stony track between the information panel and the monument, 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 is usually a quiet lane.

Step 5

Pass a farm and continue uphill to French Street hamlet. After passing the first few cottages turn left on a signposted bridleway and keep left whenever the path forks until reaching a road. This is Hosey Common Lane.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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. Cross the next stile and bear diagonally right, heading towards a further stile in the corner of the field.

Step 10

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. This is Chart Lane.

Step 11

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

Step 12

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 back at Emmetts Garden.

End point

Emmetts Garden, grid ref: TQ477525

Trail map

Map of Weardale Walk from Emmetts Gardens, Kent
Weardale Walk from Emmetts Gardens, Kent | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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