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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.

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Sunday, 28 May 2017

A short but hilly walk in the Darent valley

New Walk – Otford Circular, via Shoreham
Length: 14 km (8.7 miles). Toughness: 5/10

10:29 Canterbury West train from Victoria (Bromley South 10:54), arriving Otford at 11:13. Note that there are no services from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge this weekend, but if it's more convenient you could take the 10:16 Ramsgate train from Cannon Street (Orpington 10:37) and change at Sevenoaks, arriving Otford at 11:06; a return to Otford is valid on this route.

There's a fast hourly train back to Victoria at 32 minutes past, plus slower ones at xx:06 & xx:36. If you want to return to Cannon Street via Sevenoaks, those trains are at xx:07 & xx:37.

Once again one of my ‘new’ walks is a thinly-disguised version of an existing walk, in this case the well-known Otford Circular from Book 1. However, that walk was left with a very short afternoon after the closure of its lunch pub in Romney Street, and this version essentially offers a more balanced walk before and after the new lunch stop in Shoreham. Although primarily intended as a short autumn or winter walk, I've given it a spring début because it goes through several areas which are good for wildflowers. The bluebells in Meenfield Wood will have all but gone by now but there should be orchids in Magpie Bottom and Polhill Bank.

In these days of pub closures it's a surprise that Shoreham still offers a choice of four for lunch (although I think an alternative, the Honeypot Tea Rooms, might still be closed). If you have a favourite hostelry you might want to book a table when you set off, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't squeeze in somewhere. At the end of the walk the Pond View Café is the suggested tea stop when the Otford Tea Rooms are closed; there are also a couple of pubs if you want something stronger.

You'll need to print the walk directions from this temporary New Walk page.


Unknown said...

Now I might do the Walk next Sunday. But I can't Guarantee I will. So during the Walk. There will be no Pub Restaurant to stop at. Anyway if I do make it. Then I will be bringing Sandwiches etc.

Sean said...

There are no guarantees that country pubs will survive from one week to the next, but it would be a shock if all four of Shoreham's pubs close by next weekend. Still, pessimists who bring sandwiches will find some nice spots in the churchyard or on the riverbank.

Fi said...

I am doing this walk but starting an hour earlier as have something on in the evening

Unknown said...

Do I need a Return ticket from Otford there and back?

Anonymous said...

Unless you're planning to stay in Otford, you would need a return ticket.

Sean said...

On a w=sunny day n=17 walkers set off at the appointed time for this (mostly) new walk, with quite a lot of climbing packed into its modest 14km. The Crown was as good as ever for lunch, but as I've commented here before I wish some people wouldn't eat their own food in a pub's beer garden - the pub might not be so welcoming to the next group of walkers. At the end of the walk the Pond View Café had annoyingly shut at least 30 minutes before its published 4.30pm closing time; with a little time to spare before the 16:32 some stopped for a quick drink in the Bull, but were then caught in a heavy downpour. [Three piled into my car for a lift to the station and in the confusion I managed to lose a nice Tilley hat...probably dropped in the rush but if someone did mistakenly walk off with it, please say].

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Rank bank manners to eat your own food in a pub. Cheapskatery & gives those who properly support often struggling country pubs a bad name. Find a bench, or apply for a job in the pub kitchen.