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The bat tower at Toys Hill, Kent
The bat tower at Toys Hill | © National Trust Images/Jo Hatcher

Octavia Hill Centenary Trail East

This walk celebrates the life of Octavia Hill (1838–1912). Starting at Toy Hill, you'll walk to the picturesque village of Ide Hill and her commemorative seat, passing Emmetts Garden on the way back.

Octavia Hill Centenary Trail West

You could also try walking the 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.

Total steps: 14

Total steps: 14

Start point

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

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

At the roundabout bear left onto Sundridge Road and, after the last house on the right, turn right onto a signposted 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.

Step 10

After approximately 250 metres (270 yards) on the left next to South Lodge, take the signposted 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.

Step 11

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. At the crossing track, continue straight.

Step 12

At the next waymark post turn right uphill, 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.

Step 13

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.

Step 14

If you wish to continue walking there is another walk – Octavia Hill Centenary Trail West – that is 6 miles (allow 3.5 hours) and includes her burial place at Crockham Hill, passing through the charming hamlets of Froghole and French Street.

End point

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

Trail map

Map route for Octavia Hill centenary trail east
Map route for Octavia Hill centenary trail east | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Brasted Chart, Kent, TN16 1QG

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