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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, 12 March 2016

Saturday Second Walk - A gentle slice of Kent

SWC Walk 235 - Tonbridge to Penshurst
Length: 17.3km (10.7 miles) with shorter afternoon option of 15km (9.3 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.31 from Victoria (note: not Charing Cross, due to engineering works: this train also calls at Bromley South at 9.56 and Orpington at 10.03) to Tonbridge, arriving 10.20.

Buy a day return to Penshurst.

For walk directions click here.

I am aware the Weald can be muddy at this time of year, but this walk starts on firm tracks and pathways out of Tonbridge, and I venture to suggest (famous last words!) that the mud is starting to dry out now as evapouration from the higher spring sun takes effect. The short cut route in the afternoon also follows a good firm track for a good distance. I am sure we will manage.

Otherwise, I am hoping this walk will yield some signs of spring - willow catkins, lesser celandines, emerging foliage on weeping willows. And is it too much to hope for some springlike weather?

Lunch is at the revamped Leicester Arms, though the Porcupine Pantry, the cafe of Penshurst Place, is also open. So is this Elizabethan house and its gardens (which if they did not figure in Wolf Hall certainly ought to have done) and with the longer days it would be feasible to combine a visit to them with the short ending. Tea is in Chiddingstone or at the nice pub opposite Penshurst station.

Trains back are at 27 past to Victoria: direct until 18.27; after that needing a change at Redhill (which only adds a few minutes to the journey time).

You can also go in the opposite direction at 31 past to Tonbridge and change there, but since trains from Tonbridge are also running into Victoria today it makes little difference, unless you want to go to Sevenoaks, Orpington or Bromley South.


Sean said...

The engineering works actually provide an alternative outward route which may be more convenient for some. The 09:23 Hastings service from London Bridge is diverted through East Croydon (09:41) and Redhill (09:58), arriving Tonbridge two minutes before the train from Victoria, at 10:18. If you take this route, get a return to Tonbridge.

Walker said...

N=10 on this walk, a heavenly day out in w=warm-spring-sunshine. Birds sang, shrubs were budding leaves, and later in the walk there was a field of lambs. We ate lunch outside the pub (which was remarkably empty: not sure why as the food was generally good and quickly served) and had tea outside at the Tulip Tree in Chiddingstone. I walked without pullover or jacket all afternoon and even rolled up my sleeves for a time. You could feel that vitamin D flooding in.

Though I say so myself as the walk poster, the walk perfectly fitted the day too. This was a very scenic walk through a lovely gentle corner of Kent. Though I know the area well, there were many parts of the route - including all of it between Penshurst and Hill Hoath - that I did not know at all and was delighted to be introduced to.

As for mud, yes there was quite a bit in a few places - mainly one 100 metre stretch along one of the lakes in the morning and a section across Yewtree Wood. Plus a few bits by gates and so on. But generally the ground was pretty firm underfoot. I stand by my comment in the walk post about the mud starting to dry out now.