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This Week's Walks - Archive

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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Saturday Third Walk

SWC Walk 150:  Greensand Way – Yalding to Sutton Valence along the Greensand Ridge

Distance:  9.4 miles (with option to extend by 5.2 miles by walking on to Harrietsham)

Difficulty:  3 out of 10

Train:  Take the 10:15 AM Hastings train from London Charing Cross (stopping at Waterloo East at 10:18 and Orpington at 10:39), arriving at Yalding at 11:19 (with a change at Tonbridge – arriving 10:57 and departing 11:04). If not planning on doing the extension, you will need to take a bus (9 minutes) from Sutton Valence to Headcorn (buses at 16:58; 18:05; 18:53; 20:16; and 21:46). Trains depart Headcorn at 18 and 48 past the hour until 22:48.  If carrying on to Harrietsham, the trains are at 55 past the hour until 20:55; then at 21:49. Buy a day return to Headcorn for the standard walk and to Yalding if walking to Harrietsham (you will then need to buy a single from Harrietsham to Maidstone). 
This walk largely follows the Greensand Ridge with nice views to the south.  Sadly, the weather forecast continues to be a bit suspect for a nice long outing along the South Downs – so, the thought was that this stretch of the Greensand Ridge may provide a pleasant alternative which is not too muddy once up on the ridge.  In the afternoon, the route passes a number of pretty old churches – which may well have nice displays of Snowdrops at this time of year.  Sutton Valence is a charming hilltop village which is well worth exploring.  If you decide to carry on to Harrietsham, please bring a print out of the OS map, as it does not appear there are any written instructions – the route is drawn on the map and looks fairly straight forward.  You can find more information about the walk and the instructions here
The recommended lunch spot is The Bull in Linton (01622 743 612) about 5.5 miles into the walk.  They serve food all afternoon.  Sutton Valence has several pubs from which to choose for post walk refreshies and the George and Dragon in Headcorn is a pleasant place for a drink and/or a bite to eat before the train.  Harrietsham also apparently has a pub near the train station.
Enjoy the walk!



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

With train arriving to Yalding at 11.19 am, do you think it is doable to walk the extended version, so circa 15 miles before the sunset? I would be interested in completing longer walk as long as I don’t have to use torches… Thanks, Bozena

Sean said...

Sunset is at 16:56 so you'd have about 6 hours of daylight before you'd need to use a torch. If you have a one hour lunch stop you'd need to keep up a fairly brisk pace of around 3mph for the whole walk, including hill climbs, stopping to work out the directions, etc. Not impossible, but too much for me!

Walker said...

As the walk instructions advise, I would strongly counsel getting the 10.10 train from Charing Cross, (10.13 Waterloo East) and changing at Paddock Wood (arrive 10.58, depart 11.11 - both trains from the same platform). This saves you having to hare across the footbridge to make the connection at Tonbridge.

Only if you miss the 10.10 is it worth getting the 10.15.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful walk with almost no mud
Judas Slip

Walker said...

n=19 on this walk. I confess that I had wondered whether it was a good idea to do a walk along an escarpment on a day of w=strong-wind-but-no-rain but in fact the wind never proved particularly troubling, and for considerable sections there were lines of trees to give us shelter. Otherwise, lovely views to the south and dry paths underfoot - a very pleasant winter walk. Several walkers suggested we do it again in autumn when we could scrump apples from the copious orchards (criminal activity that of course I could not possibly endorse).

Lunch was once again slow in coming. Having been warned of our coming, the Bull in Linton wrapped itself in knots, insisting on taking orders at the table not the bar - which added about 20 minutes to the proceedings - and then taking a long time to produce the food for some of the diners. On the plus side they were friendly and the food was worth waiting for, and we still finished the walk in daylight, so what the hey?

A comprehensive tour of the three pubs in Sutton Valence found that the Kings Arms was the best of the bunch. One senses that tea orders are not something they are used to, but they produced nice pots of the stuff. Some of us also tried the Clothworkers Arms and found possibly the last traditional boozer in the south east - sport on the TV, a pool table and darts board occupying most of the floor space, and no hot drinks. The outside terrace looked like it would be nice in summer, though, with a magnificent view. The Queen's Arm was full of sports fans, though has done tea in the past.

Four of us eventually decamped to the much more congenial George and Dragon in Headcorn for a lovely dinner.

Walker said...

PS As far as I know, no one carried on to Harrietsham, but if anyone did, please post a report.