Hodsall Street Pub Walk
Walk No 16 from Pub Walks in Kent by David Hancock
This delightful white painted cottage nestles beside a small green on a dead-end lane in a tiny rural hamlet. In the summer months its facade is ablaze with an award winning floral display of colourful hanging baskets, tubs and window boxes. The name Green Man dates back to 1775-85 when it was given to the leaf-clad Mummer. He was generally a chimney sweep, who walked encased in a framework of wood or wickerwork which was covered with leaves and occasionally flowers and ribbons. He would dance on May Day and other pageants at the head of the procession to clear the way. The interior comprises four neatly furnished interconnecting rooms which are warmed by a woodburner and a further open fire in the winter months. Summer invaribly sees the logs in the logs in the fireplace replaced by a colourful dried flower arrangements adding to the numerous displays, hop garlands and corn dollies that adorn much of the walls and ceilings. Floral wallpaper, old prints and a collection of horsebrasses enhance the relaxing, cottagey ambience that prevails throughout the rooms. Fine weather imbibng can be savoured in the peaceful rear garden, complete with picnic benches, aviary, pet corner and children’s play area. The pub is owned by Whitbread and lovingly cared for by Richard and Jocelyn Prebble.
Real ales on draught are Marstons Pedigree, Wadworth 6X and Fremlins Bitter. A popular attraction here is the good quality bar food that is served daily from 12 noon till 2pm and Tuesday to Saturday evenings from 7.30pm till 9.45pm. Favourites on the main menu are the range of home-cooked pies – steak and kidney, chicken, ham and mushroom, rosemary lamb, fish and seafood – as well as ploughmans, salads, filled jacket potatoes and large generously filled rolls. Daily blackboard specials may include beef stroganoff, chicken and broccoli in pepper sauce, chicken korma, liver and bacon and vegetarian lasagne. Displayed in the food counter are the choice of puddings which range from chocolate fantasie to toffee meringue.
Weekday opening times are from 11am till 2.30pm and from 6.30pm till 11pm.
Both children and dogs are welcome in the bars.
Telephone: (0732) 823575.
Walk No. 16
Hamlet and pub signposted from the A227 between Meopham and Wrotham.
Approx. distance of walk: 5 miles. O.S. Map No. 188 TO 625/630 I
The inn has its own car park.
A very enjoyable rural walk that undulates on well signposted paths through wood: across farmland and along short stretches of quiet country lanes. The peacefully located village of Stansted is picturesque with an interesting church.
1. Leave the pub, turn right past Hodsall House and the village hall to a T-junction. Turn left and shortly bear off right onto a waymarked by-way past Home Farmhouse. Follow the hedged track to metal gates, enter a farmyard, turn left, and straight ahead pass through another gate onto a track. Very shortly turn right with yellow arrow (footpath 254/255) onto a field there is a hedged track on the field edge, follow this or if overgrown follow the field edge entering woodland on path 254, then at the woodland fringe bear left onto path 204 to a stile. Cross two fields via stiles, then bear half-left to a gate and pass a pond to a lane in the hamlet of Fairseat.
2. Cross over onto waymarked path along a drive between the chapel and Court House Farm. Proceed to a metal gate at the edge of the concrete farmyard, then beyond the fenced grassy track turn right along the field edge to a stile by a water trough across a field corner. Continue ahead downhill, cross a stile by a field entrance and proceed on a worn path to climb two stiles on the field edge. Bear slightly left uphill, follow path through woodland keeping right at the wire fence and follow yellow markers to a stile. Keep to the path, close to Woodland fringe and shortly join a good grassy path. Soon bear right across the grassy valley to a stile, head diagonally right uphill to stile by a telegraph pole, and bear half-right to stile to the right of a house.
3. Keep straight on across pasture, climb the stile on your right and follow a tree-line path gently downhill to a stile. Continue to a stile on the woodland edge, bear right steeply downhill to a further stile and proceed half-right on a well marked path across an open field to a stile. Climb through scrub to a stile, keep left to another stile onto a path leading to a lane. Turn right downhill into Stansted, turning right at the T-junction down Plaxdale Green Road to the War Memorial.
4. Keep left, cross Malthouse Road and a waymarked stile and bear diagonally right steeply uphill to a stile. Turn left onto a stony track, then head half-right across a large open field on a path marked by white-painted stakes to a stile and cross a lane. Maintain direction across a further field pass through a waymarked gateway, then at an arrowed post turn left and bear diagionally right on yellow waymarked path 251 Pass through a gateway and eventually reach a lane beside the driveway to Petting
Farm. Turn right into Hodsoll Street, turning left back along the lane to the pub.