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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, 5 March 2016

Saturday Third Walk - Real countryside, close to London

SWC walk 82 - Hayes to Knockholt
Length: 16km (10 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.47 train from Charing Cross (9.50 Waterloo East) to Hayes (Kent), arriving 10.26

Tickets: Hayes is in London Transport zone 5 and Knockholt in zone 6, so use Oyster.

For walk directions click here.

It seems to be my week* for picking walks with different train lines out and back (see First Walk above), but in this case it is no hassle as both trains are within the LT travelcard/Oyster boundary.

As with the First Walk, multiplicity of lunch pubs was also a draw, just in case there is a spillover effect from Mother's Day tomorrow. On this walk Downe has two while Cudham has another. If you see someone that looks like Nigel Farage in the Queen's Head in Downe, don't get him talking about Europe, because it probably will be Nigel Farage. (See photos)

These factors apart, this is a proper little country walk on the southern fringes of London (or the northern fringes of the North Downs, if you prefer), with a nice mix of scenery. I offer no opinions on the mud quotient, but isn't the underlying soil here chalk?

If you can get to it in time (it closes at 4.45pm), it is worth making the effort to divert into Coolings Garden Centre towards the end of the walk to sample their wonderful self-service cafe, which has excellent cakes. If not the Rose and Crown pub usually puts up with our strange walkery ways. Note that it is 2km - 40 minutes walk or so - from here to Knockholt station, in whose environs there is no comfort, refreshment or relief of any kind. But it is light these days till 6.15pm or so.

Trains back from Knockholt are at 14 and 44 past.  ***DON'T FORGET to TAP IN **** (easy to do, as there are no barriers)

* Stargazer is away.


Anonymous said...

There's also a cafe in Down House, Darwin's former home. When I was last there, visitors were allowed to the cafe without needing to pay the English Heritage entrance fee for the house and gardens.

MG said...

Sorry to dent hopes re mud on this walk but my note on the previous time I did this walk at exactly the same time of year is that a lot of it was muddy or waterlogged.

Walker said...

What year was that? I only ask because in 2014 at this time the ground was particularly soaked due to a very wet February. But it has not been so wet this year.

Anonymous said...

I'm intending to do this walk. I've done it in January before and the ground was fine. It really depends on the conditions year by year.

MG said...

It was in fact 2014. February may not have been particularly wet this year but the previous months certainly have been. The overall impact remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

n=10-or-so w=a-bit-of-drizzle-initially-but-then-dry-and-cold

There was a lot of slippery mud, probably about 70% of the paths. Nonetheless, It's a very nice walk this one. I'd say it's best done during a dry summer or autumn, or on frozen winter ground.