East Hoathly to Stone Cross

Thankfully the strong northerly winds had blown itself out overnight, though the forecast still mentioned wintery showers, as I started out on day 2 from East Hoathly. The frost on the ground had stiffened up the mud just a little, though most of the fields were permanent pasture and not too muddy or slippery underfoot.

I was soon walking through Great Wood, its name the reminder of what was once here. It had probably been decimated several times over the centuries – nearby there are extensive remains of former iron-foundries which would have used the wood as fuel, but more recently the Great Storm of 1987 destroyed much woodland in the area.

I soon started to get glimpses of Ashdown Forest in the distance, and the view north was only slightly tempered by flurries of sleet and snow! I was thankful that the route dropped down again off a ridge, into the valley of the River Uck and around Buxted Park and Church

By the time I had made it up onto Ashdown Forest I was soaked, and so was my camera. The snow had turned to rain, but remnants of snow were still visible around Camp Hill Clump as I ate my lunch sheltering in the trees.

Continuing to walk north I started to leave the high ground of Ashdown Forest behind, walking down through Five Hundred Acre Wood and into the valley of the River Medway. The closer I got to the river the muddier it got, and it did not seem to be ordinary mud – it was super sticky mud and it made the going very tough. It took me quite a while to make it to the finish of the day at Stone Cross but I had covered a good 21 miles and had crossed the border into Kent.

More pictures from the walk can be found here.

Center of map
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