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Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate

There are currently 2 comments and 6 photos online for this walk.

Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 21 Apr 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guidestar1 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guidestar1 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guidestar1 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guidestar0 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide
Kent, Tonbridge
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide boot Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide
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A four mile circular walk starting from the small village of Shipbourne (pronounced ‘Shibbun’) in Kent. The walk leaves the pretty village via the village church and out through open countryside and woodland to reach Ightham Mote and Fairlawne Estate (two estates with intriguing histories) before returning to Shipbourne. A lovely walk through the beautiful rolling Kent countryside.

The walk follows mainly field and woodland tracks which will be muddy after wet weather. There are also a couple of short sections of road walking along quiet country lanes with no pavements. Some of the fields will be holding sheep so take care with dogs. The walk has a few steady climbs and descents, there are six stiles (the first three of which are surrounded by wire mesh so dogs will need to be able to climb them or be lifted over) plus a number of gates/kissing gates. Ightham Mote is owned by the National Trust. The walk follows public footpaths through the estate but if you wish to tour the house itself check the National Trust website for prices and opening times. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

The walk starts from the stone car park alongside Shipbourne Common, just 100 yards along Upper Green Road from the junction with the A227. The car park holds around 20 cars but if this is full, it is also possible to park along the road itself. Approximate post code TN11 9PE.

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Walk Sections

Shipbourne Common to South Seers Wood
Shipbourne Common to South Seers Wood

Start point: 51.2469 lat, 0.2813 long
End point: 51.2523 lat, 0.2718 long

Walk back along Upper Green Road towards the main road (A227). Cross over the main road and go straight ahead up the small gravel drive to reach the lichgate for St Giles Church. Pass through the gate and follow the path to the right of the church through the graveyard.

At the far side of the church, pass through a kissing gate made with a circular section of the stone wall. Immediately afterwards turn right over a stile in a gap in the hedge. Cross over the tarmac drive and then follow the grass footpath running parallel with the black metal fence on the right. Cross over the drive again (with a cattle grid to the right) and continue to the bottom corner of the lawns.

Cross over a pair of stiles marked with yellow waymarker arrows for the Greensands Way. Go ahead onto a grass footpath with fenced fields each side. When you reach a small clearing at the end, go over another stile onto a mud track. Follow the waymarked footpath opposite to go straight ahead into an open grass field, keeping to the hedgeline on the left.

Ignore the left fork, instead continue straight on with the hedgeline on the left and the open grass field immediately on your right. At the top of the field as the hedgerow ends by a large oak tree, bear slightly right to continue uphill with a crop field now on the left. Soon you will reach another stile.

South Seers Wood to Ightham Mote
South Seers Wood to Ightham Mote

Start point: 51.2523 lat, 0.2718 long
End point: 51.2576 lat, 0.2694 long

Cross over the stile to follow the fenced path into dense woodland – South Seers Wood. In the springtime the woods boast a beautiful carpet of bluebells.

Follow this path as it climbs and then as it starts to slowly descend. Soon you will reach a further stile. Cross over and follow the obvious path as it bears slightly right alongside the hedgeline on the right with open grass fields to the left. Pass through the gap in the hedge ahead and then follow the path along the left hand edge of a crop field. At the end of the field, cross over the final stile to reach the road.

Turn right onto the tarmac lane heading once again uphill. Pass Mote Farm on the left. Soon afterwards, you will reach the entrance to Ightham Mote on the right.

Ightham Mote to Fairlawne Estate
Ightham Mote to Fairlawne Estate

Start point: 51.2576 lat, 0.2694 long
End point: 51.2557 lat, 0.2812 long

Pass through the brick pillared entrance to Ightham Mote. Follow the path as it bends to the right with the main house, managed by the National Trust on the left.

Ightham Mote is a Grade 1 listed medieval moated manor house, originally dating from 1320. The house has been owned over the years by medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians.

Continue ahead along the tarmac lane and you will pass the gift shop on the left. Soon after you will pass the car park and signs to the visitor entrance on the left.

Go straight ahead on the public bridleway between hedges. Soon, over the lefthand hedge you’ll get a great view of a pair of oast houses, buildings designed for drying hops as part of the brewing process, which are typical of the Kent countryside.

After another field’s length continue ahead, ignoring the path to the left marked with a red arrow. At the end of the hedgerows, pass through a large wooden gate into a grass field. Note this field will probably be holding sheep so make sure dogs are on a lead. Turn right to follow the field edge with the boundary fence on the right. At the end of the field pass through another gate and after a few paces turn left up a fenced stone track to reach the main road.

Fairlawne Estate to Lime Tree Avenue
Fairlawne Estate to Lime Tree Avenue

Start point: 51.2557 lat, 0.2812 long
End point: 51.2565 lat, 0.2929 long

Cross over the road with care and go through the wooden gate opposite to enter the Fairlawne Estate.

Fairlawne Estate was owned in Stuart times by Sir Henry Vane the Elder who was Secretary of State to Charles I. Sir Henry Vane the Younger was a Royalist, then a Roundhead and then switched back to being a Royalist. As a result he was executed in London after being reported to be too dangerous to live. His ghost is said to wander the village of Shipbourne.

Follow the path downhill and at the bottom of the slope with a bridge over the lake ahead, turn left - marked as the footpath and bridleway. As you draw level with the house on the left, turn right again marked with the footpath sign. Pass through a gate into grass fields (probably holding sheep).

Follow the grass path uphill and bending slightly left marked initially by vehicle tracks. You will soon pick up the footpath across the fields marked with yellow posts. After some distance pass through a five bar wooden gate (which is likely to be open) and continue along the well defined wide grass path. The path begins to run alongside woodland on the right. At the end of the woodland follow the path as it bends to the right to reach a grass avenue of lime trees.

Lime Tree Avenue to Shipbourne Common
Lime Tree Avenue to Shipbourne Common

Start point: 51.2565 lat, 0.2929 long
End point: 51.2471 lat, 0.2826 long

Walk down the beautiful avenue lined with lime trees. At the end of the avenue, pass through the metal gate onto School Lane. Turn right and follow the tarmac lane with care as there are no pavements.

After a little distance you will pass a stone cottage with an oast house behind. About 200 yards later you will come to a black and white sign for Fairlawne Home Farm on the right. Turn right here onto the drive entrance. Pass through the gate alongside the cattle grid – again entering a field of sheep. Pass through a second gate alongside another cattle grid and continue along the farm drive.

Pass by the farm and farmhouse on the right and then continue straight ahead down the grass and stone vehicle track. Follow the track downhill and as it crosses a stream and then uphill across a crop field. At the end of the field, pass through the kissing gate and follow a short section of grass path with hedges to private gardens each side. When you reach the road, turn right and follow the road as it bends first left and then right. Ahead you will see the church, follow the road straight ahead to reach the car park on the right.

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network Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate"

Lovely walk really easy to follow from the app guide😀

By palmerel on 2016-05-07 21:42:09

Interesting and pretty walk, easy to follow using the app and you can pop into the lovely Chaser for a swift refresher!

By arandall on 2016-08-01 08:50:56

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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6 images to "Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate"

749_0sarahthunderbolt1424784984 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide Image by: sarahthunderbolt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

749_0sarahthunderbolt1424785020 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide Image by: sarahthunderbolt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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749_0sarahthunderbolt1424785040 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide Image by: sarahthunderbolt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

749_0sarahthunderbolt1424785072 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide Image by: sarahthunderbolt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

749_0spike2901661469996128 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide Image by: spike290166
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
9F6C7131-0B0C-4A92-B406-5ABBC2F3B141.JPG
749_0spike2901661469996146 Shipbourne and the Fairlawne Estate Walking Guide Image by: spike290166
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
2FE7C2B9-C007-41AE-836E-0EB7AB40EB0C.JPG

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