Weald of Kent walk: Cranbrook North Circular

Pretty houses in Cranbrook

Pretty houses in Cranbrook - Credit: Nicholas Keeble

Soak up the summer sunshine in the wonderful Weald of Kent with a countryside circuit around the charming town of Cranbrook…

A bustling high-street, peaceful woodland, a historic windmill standing proud, and more picture-perfect homes than you might believe possible; yes, this month’s 4.5km course offers an impressive quota of ‘I Spy’ sights for rambler’s to uncover during a summer stroll.

So, grab your walking shoes - and don’t forget your sunscreen - charming Cranbrook (and its surrounding countryside) is beckoning!

This Smock type of Windmill is in the small town of Cranbrook in the county of Kent.

Cranbrook's iconic Smock-type windmill - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The route

1. Start and end today’s circuit outside The White Horse pub, located on the corner of Cranbrook High-Street. With The White Horse in front of you, turn left and walk the length of Cranbrook’s main high-street, past a selection of storefronts. 

2. Once you have passed the final stores along the high-street, continue straight on this road past an array of grand houses (a marvellous medley of Tudor-framed, Georgian, and Victorian era homes). 

3. Just past the modern St Theodore Catholic Church (on your left), cross the road and turn into New Road, a residential road located just off the main High-Street. 

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4. Walk the length of New Road before crossing straight over the main road (A229) and entering a large expanse of ancient mixed woodland (Angley Wood) through a metal gate. 

5. Here, keep to the predominant woodland track as it leads you into the rows of trees. Ignore the first junction (with a track leading off to your left), keeping ahead until you reach the next fork in the pathway, where you should take the track leading off to your left.

6. Continue ahead where this track will eventually lead you downhill slightly, to a slight junction in the trees. Here, you will need to take the track to your right, which is the less obvious of the two routes. 

7. Continue straight ahead, taking the pathway to your left at the next two junctions you reach. You will soon come to a slight clearing in the trees, where a couple of make-shift swings have been tied to some low-hanging branches. 

8. Continue straight ahead - with a fairly steep drop on your right-hand side - until you see a metal Motorcycle Inhibitor gate in front of you. Walk through the gate, and you will catch a glimpse of an impressive white timber-framed house on your left. 

9. You will then be led over a narrow pedestrian bridge, where you should continue straight as the track leads you uphill. Soon a metal wire fence with wooden posts will emerge in your right. Once you’ve reached this point in today’s route you should continue straight ahead, keeping the fence next to you the whole way along. 

10. This stretch of today’s circuit will lead you past a large expanse of open landscape (where you might catch a glimpse of some horses grazing in front of a large, newly built house), until you arrive at a metal kissing gate leading onto a tarmac driveway. 

11. Turn right here, to walk along the length of the driveway (with Cranbrook Rugby Club on your left), before crossing the main road (A229) to enter a pedestrian footpath. 

12. At the end of the footpath follow the waymarkers as they lead you left, into an open field, with a clear pedestrian footpath leading uphill slightly through its centre. 

13. Turn right at the far side of the field, and follow another short stretch of footpath which will lead you out beside Cranbrook Primary School. 

14. Here, turn left, and follow the road back downhill (Carriers Road) until you reach Cranbrook High-Street and find yourself beside The White Horse pub once more.

Steps, stats & stiles: At just over 2.5 miles (4.5km) long, you should allow approximately 1 hour 10 minutes to complete this countryside circuit. The circular route contains a mixture of terrains, including pathway, open landscape, and woodland trail, meaning walkers should take extra care if embarking on a wet day (and will need to consider weather appropriate shoes). This route contains no steep steps or stiles.

Make a day of it: Located a short stone’s throw by car from Cranbrook (4 mins drive), there are few locations better set-up for a summertime stopover than National Trust’s spectacular Sissinghurst Castle Garden!

Refreshments: From picturesque pubs to cosy cafes, Cranbrook high-street overflows with enticing eateries to grab some pre-or-post walk refreshments. Situated in the heart of the high-street, we highly recommend settling down for coffee and cake at Arthur’s Coffee House. With garden space to enjoy any treats alfresco, Arthur’s is the perfect spot to complete this summer stroll.

Route followed: For this month’s walk we followed the Cranbrook North Circular map on the AllTrails app.