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Sibton Park

Kent, England

Paddlesworth and an ancient trackway walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start Point

Leave HPB Sibton Park, turn right, to walk along Longage Hill (formerly a private road running through Sibton Park). Roadside wildflowers and the typically ‘English’ setting created by the cricket ground will surely enhance the anticipation of enjoyment to come.

At the T junction known locally as Yewtree Cross turn right - note the Lyminge village sign, one of two designed by Mrs Ann Sparkes in 1990 to illustrate the village’s history.

Enter Lyminge, passing a C17th timber framed building - Old Robus, on the right. The house is named after a local family who lived there in the C18th. Around 1900 a new ‘Robus’ house was erected nearby - hence the ‘old’ title of the original. Further on, on the left stands Lyndon Hall, a late C17th construction (datestone 1668) named after John Lyndon, a former rector of Lyminge in the C18th.

Immediately beyond Lyminge Food & Wine Store turn left into North Lyminge. The lane after approximately 200 yards forks. A lamp post supports two finger footpath direction signs indicating two routes. Take the right fork (and then this links in with) to Shuttlesfield. An additional map is available at reception if this is at all unclear. Pass ‘Beechings End’ keep right on track through an avenue of trees to enter the fields, through a gate and continue ahead uphill towards a second gate. Cross the next field diagonally left, walking towards another gate positioned in the distant corner of the field.

Ascend an obvious green swathe (notable for spectacular displays of cowslips in season) then swing right towards the farm buildings (Great Shuttlesfield Farm) when the ground levels out. Pass through adjacent gates and proceed straight-ahead (pylon evident) keeping close to the right hand boundary. Please do not take any other route as it is not a designated footpath!

Pass through adjoining gates, follow the indication of the blue arrows, and make towards the close horizon. At that point scan the distant fence, seeking a small exit gate situated slightly right - across the field. Cross the second field heading towards the house on the left (and Tan Barn).

At the road turn left towards Shuttlesfield (supreme displays of primroses in season), turning right at the junction signposted ‘Public Bridleway’ to walk along a farm driveway. Keep left of a brick built barn, then staying close to the right hand field boundary, descend towards a double gate. Maintain the same line as you cross the next field, keeping well to the right of an isolated plantation, beyond which the faint path passes a flattened marker post indicating the way towards an exit gate, at the bottom of the large field. An uphill route ensues within an enclosed track, towards the top of which it veers right eventually to merge with a road. At the top of the incline veer right to merge with a road. Turn right and proceed to a junction. Turn left if you wish to visit The Cat and Custard Pot public house, St. Oswald’s church and Paddlesworth village, returning eventually to the junction and proceeding straight ahead.

The pub has had several names over the years - Red Lion, Sprawling Cat etc. and surely was once popular with the RAF crews at nearby Hawkinge. The church displays examples of Saxon influence, together with fine Norman doorways. The chancel measures just 10’ x 8’. A key can be obtained from the pub during opening hours if wishing to inspect the church internally.

Otherwise turn right soon passing the entrance to Cole Farm. The narrow road descends between bankings, generously embroidered with an assortment of wild flowers. Go through the gate at the junction and accompany the right hand boundary of the field the short distance to the angle point. Then maintain this line for some distance diagonally left across the huge field, passing single or small groups of trees and making for farm buildings (Shearings Farm) on the left to reach a road. Turn right passing the farm.

Veer slightly left towards another stile (near large tree), and continue in the same direction towards a stile (and signpost all one big cultivated field now, fences/hedges must have been removed). Aim for largest tree, then sign posted stile in far right hand corner, to reach road. Turn right passing a farm. Beyond a junction leave the road on the right, entering a by-way.

Cross a stile resting alongside a gate, then march directly ahead, soon entering an enclosed ‘ancient trackway’ a route which probably linked Lyminge and Paddlesworth. Another wild flower wonderland.

Merging with an access road turn left, soon reaching Station Road (and Mrs Sparkes’ second Lyminge sign) turn right and follow the road to Yewtree Cross and Sibton Park. If wishing to visit Lyminge’s ancient church, walk along Mayfield Road. Leaving the church, walk along Church Road and then turn left.

The church - St. Mary and St. Ethelberga, is built on the site of a nunnery founded in C7th by Ethelberga, daughter of King Ethelbert of Kent. The church was rebuilt in 965 AD by St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury. A short distance from the church is St. Ethelberga’s well. It’s possible the crystal clear spring that feeds the well is the main source of the river Nailbourne.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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