Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Station to Northiam Station and Bodiam Circular (Kent & East Sussex Railway)

  • Two walk choices – 4.75 miles, 7.6k, 2.5 hours, linear route from Bodiam to Northiam (use Kent & East Sussex Railway to return to Bodiam) and 6 miles (9.7k) circular.
  • Several pubs along the way – Castle Inn oppsosite the Castle at Bodiam,  White Dog at Ewhurst Green (walk one), Salehurst Halt  at Salehurst (walk two, closed Mondays, attractive garden with views). Refreshments at Bodiam and Northiam stations.
  • Two historic attractions – Bodiam Castle and Great Dixter House & Gardens.
  • Field paths and bridleways.

cup of teabushistoric attraction

These walks are two of  6 Railtrails by the Kent & East Sussex Railway, a small rural light steam railway. The line gently wends its way from Tenterden in Kent for ten and a half miles, through the unspoilt countryside of the Rother Valley, passing through several stations including Northiam, to terminate in the shadow of the magnificent and perfectly moated National Trust castle at Bodiam.

Both walks begin in Bodiam. The first passes the 15th-century timber-framed manor house of Great Dixter set in one of the most beautiful gardens in England, created in 1910 by English architect Edwin Lutyens and renowned for the use of bold planting and strong colours by the late gardener and gardener writer Christopher Lloyd. The walk ends in Northiam where you can catch the train back to Bodiam or the start of the line in Tenterden.

The second walk includes a good section of waterside walking along the River Rother, passing the site of the Cistercian Robertsbridge Abbey, founded in 1176. Nothing survives of the abbey church, but substantial parts of the monastic buildings are incorporated into the private Abbot’s House which now occupies the site.  The Salehurst Halt is a good stopping point for refreshment before returning to Bodiam across field paths.