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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Midsummer meanders in the Medway Valley

SWC Walk 220 - Tonbridge to Hadlow
Length: 17km (10.6 miles) with longer option of 24.3km (15.1 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

9.33 train from Cannon Street (9.37 London Bridge), arriving Tonbridge at 10.16


9.40 train from Charing Cross (9.43 Waterloo East) arriving Tonbridge at 10.20

If you miss the above, get the 9.45 from Charing Cross, arriving Tonbridge 10.27

Buy a day return to Tonbridge.

For walk directions click here.

New walks appear on our website regularly these days and it is a little hard to keep up with them all. This one had an outing last July and appears not to have been given an airing since. (Note that this is not the same walk as SWC 219 Hildenborough to Hadlow and Tonbridge, done last October, though it obviously is in similar territory).

The map shows few contours on the route, so I am guessing it is not demanding in terms of gradients. It apparently boasts lots of meadows which can be rather dreamy at this time of year, and seems to have a fair quota of pubs for those who want to fill up the (nearly) longest day of the year with some pleasant rural drink and chat.

Lunch is a little over 8km/5 miles in, though there seem to be other possible options before and after. Tea, if you can get there before 5pm, at the tea room of Broadview Gardens in Hadlow. The village also has a large tower, built as an aristocratic folly, which you see rising above the fields as you approach, and the walk has two interesting churches, one decorated by Mark Chagall.

The standard version of the walk takes a no 7 or 77 bus from Hadlow back to Tonbridge. These run at 02, 24 and 42 past until 17.42, then 18.35, 18.47, 18.55, 19.43, 20.46, 21.46 and 22.56.

Alternatively if you really want to make the best of the (nearly) longest day, an optional 7.3km (4.5 mile) extension to the walk takes you back to Tonbridge. This is the 24.3km (15.1 mile) version of the walk.

Trains back from Tonbridge are too frequent to enumerate - every 10 minutes or so.


moose4711 said...

anyone participating? I am thinking of joining in from Waterloo

Walker said...

I know several who are going on this walk, don't worry.

Walker said...

Saturday 20 June 2015: n=21 on this walk, w=cloudy-but-warm with only occasional spots of rain. This lowland walk more than once wandered into Essex-like big flat arable fields territory (though with no electricity pylons) but overall had enough charming corners and points of interest to sustain interest.

In particular we were all enthused about the church with the Marc Chagal stained-glass windows, which is definitely worth seeing. I also reflected that the lush meadows and verges on this walk would have looked wonderful a couple of weeks back when the spring flowers were full out.

The lunch pub, the Dovecote, was excellent too, and coped calmly with us all arriving unexpectedly. The Hadlow Tower kept out of sight till the last minute, but there was a fine view of it as one walked away from the village, for those of us who did the full circular walk.

After tea in Broadview Gardens I would estimate that at least a dozen opted to make the most of the (nearly) longest day by finishing the walk back to Tonbridge. Glimmers of light in the western skies suggested we might get rewarded with a fine summer's evening. Alas, the reverse was true, and it started to rain lustily from around 6.30pm onwards. But still it was satisfying to see the slightly parched ground getting a good solid drink.