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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, 14 May 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Apple blossom special

SWC Walk 150 - Yalding to Sutton Valence
Length: 15.1km (9.4 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

10.10 train from Charing Cross (10.13 Waterloo East) to Paddock Wood, arriving 10.58, changing there (same platform) for the 11.11 to Yalding, arriving 11.19.

If you just miss the above train you can catch the 10.10 from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East) to Tonbridge, arriving 10.57, crossing from platform 6 to platform 1 for the 11.04 train to Yalding, arriving 11.19 as above.

Buy a day return to Headcorn.

For walk directions click here.

This walk had an outing in early February in a howling gale, but it is at this time of year that it is at its best. In particular it passes through a whole series of commercial apple orchards, which should hopefully be in full blossom at present. (Last Sunday the ones near Borough Green were about two thirds out).

Otherwise you get a gentle ridge walk (a bit of climbing in the morning, but otherwise largely flat) with fine views throughout. There is one lunch pub, The Bull in Linton, but it has always accommodated us without trouble before. It serves food all afternoon and has a large outside terrace with a magnificent escarpment view. Whether it is a good idea to give them a courtesy call in advance I do not know: we did this in February and the result was that they put us alltogether and insisted on taking orders at the table, which slowed things down quite a bit. Arriving in dribs and drabs and ordering at the bar would probably be quicker.

In the afternoon you pass several ancient churches before ending in the pretty village of Sutton Valence, though its prettiest bit is not obvious from the main road (see walk directions). Of the three pubs here, we found the King's Arms the most amenable in February, while the Clothworkers' Arms was a 1970s timewarp (I am told it has a fine terrace view, however). The Queen's Arms has a well-hidden garden (ask the bar staff). If a bus is imminent (see next paragraph) another idea is to go to Headcorn, where the George & Dragon in the village centre is a wonderful pub, which sometimes does cakes. It is also a great place for dinner, if you can get a table.

To get home from Sutton Valence, catch the no 12 bus from outside the King's Arms at 15.41, 16.58, 18.05, 18.53, 20.16 or 21.46. This goes all the way to Headcorn station (the stop after the George and Dragon in the centre of Headcorn), taking 9-10 minutes.

Trains back from Headcorn are at 18 and 48 past till 22.48


Daisy Roots said...

Just to report back on the route from Sutton Valence into Maidstone, this was much nicer than I expected and mainly along footpaths and into Maidstone Park. The route took me past the impressive building of SV School, through bluebells and pine woods, orchards and strawberry feilds, through to Otham and past Stone Acre national trust then along a footpath to Mote Park in Maidstone. I think this leg would make a nice addition to this walk. I forgot to record the route on my GPS but I think it was about 7KM.

Sean said...

The long walkers must all have been in West Sussex as of the n=14 starters only Daisy Roots was tempted to extend this walk (with what sounds like a nice route into Maidstone). The main walk is a scenic stretch of the Greensand Way with more variety than you might expect: not just apple, pear and plum orchards but wildflower meadows, a deer park, goat sanctuary and interesting churches. A w=cold-and-overcast morning had brightened up enough by 1.30pm for the pub lunchers to enjoy the views from the Bull Inn's terrace, with efficient bar service and good food. Some of the picnickers who carried on almost made the 3.40 bus and shared a taxi, but most caught the 5pm after refreshment in the King's Head: an unprepossessing exterior but another friendly welcome and tea served in pots.

Daisy Roots said...

I'll do a GPX/KML file of the route that I took and put it on the website.

Anonymous said...

I managed to make this walk an hour after everyone else.It is a lovely walk once you climb up beyond Yalding. However at the time I was passing the orchards the farmer was spraying insecticides. Something to bear in mind.