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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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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Sutton Valence to Pluckley - a gentle section of the Greensand Way

SWC Walk 151 - Sutton Valence to Pluckley
Length 17.1km (11 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10: mostly flat but high up, with a few hills

9.40 train from Charing Cross (9.43 Waterloo East, 9.49 London Bridge) to Headcorn, arriving 10.45. Buy a day return to Pluckley.

** At Headcorn, go quickly to the station forecourt for the 10.49 number 12 Maidstone-bound* bus which takes 12 minutes to Sutton Valence (Kings Head stop: the bus climbs a long steep hill up to the village and Kings Head is the first stop) 
           - Don't get on a Tenterden bus by mistake: this calls at 10.39 from the same stop but is sometimes late. 
           - If you miss this bus, there are usually some taxis at Headcorn and the fare for four of you to Sutton Valence would probably be competitive with the bus fare, which was £3.50 last time I looked.

For walk directions click hereFor GPX file click here.

This is a very nice outing along a pleasant section of the Greensand Way - it follows the GSW throughout, though waymarking is not always wonderful. There are a few apple orchards, a mansion house that turns out to be a women's prison, lots of fine escarpment views, and some ancient old churches. This is generally just nice Kentish countryside.

This walk had only had one Saturday outing in 2015 when one of the two lunch pubs, the George in Egerton, closed. It has now been resurrected as the Barrow House - a gastro pub but not unfriendly. They take bookings for lunch but serve food in the bar all afternoon, they tell me.

An earlier option (3.3 miles into the walk versus 7.3 miles for the Barrow House) is the wonderful Pepper Box Inn. Being wonderful means it is often booked inside and I am not sure they would respond well to a great phalanx of walkers arriving at once. But they do have plenty of outside tables which are not reserved, and provided you don't alarm them with numbers this is a nice place to eat.

If you have not had lunch there, the Barrow House has a nice sofa area for tea. Otherwise, tea options are the Black Horse pub in Pluckley or - after 6pm - the Dering Arms by Pluckley station. The latter is a high-falutin seafood restaurant but does actually have a very nice bar area with sofas and is usually happy to serve tea.

Both these are on the walk route, but 1km off it, just before Pluckley, is the lovely Rose and Crown in Mundy Bois, a pub with an isolated rural location - fields lie all around it - and a nice garden: directions are not provided for this, but you turn right at the ditch junction in paragraph 109, then right at the house (Honey Farm) to come to a road/track, and turn left on this to follow it down to a T-junction, with the pub ahead of you. You would need to retrace your steps after leaving the pub.

Trains back from Pluckley go at 08 and 38 past till late.

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=22 on this walk on a w=lovely-sunny-day, a bit hot at times. Setting off with good intentions of getting to the Barrow House pub in Egerton for lunch (albeit with expected arrival at 2pm), we got diverted early on in the walk by an open day at East Sutton church (the one next to the women's prison), where coffee and cake was being served and the ladies of the parish were keen to share the place's interesting history.

As a result of this, and some nature-watching, half a dozen of us were only passing the early lunch pub, the Pepper Box, at 12.45 and temptation proved too much (with apologies to Mike A who had rung to book the later pub: but we had only said we could eat in their garden, not booked a table....). A lovely lunch there under its pergola with a view of the fields. I hear the bulk of the group did indeed get to the Barrow House around 2pm, however, and I hear good reports about the food.

This is a very pleasant section of the Greensand Way, with fine views for much of the way, lovely churches, some commercial orchards but not too many, and just a bit of upping and downing to keep things interesting.

We stragglers got to the Barrow House at 4pm and spent a long time in its garden drinking tea or other refreshments (just one suggestion for the pub: more shade for the outside seats would be nice...) We then joined the remains of the main group in the garden of the Black Horse in Pluckley for drinks and had dinner in the garden of the Dering Arms at the end of the walk.

So four pubs, each one visited, and at each one we sat outside in fine sunshine. What more felicity does live afford?