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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, 15 July 2017

Hollingbourne via Thurnham - the North Downs and a castle or two

SWC walk 221 - Hollingbourne Circular via Thurnham
Length: 16.5km (10.3 miles) to 21km (13 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10

9.22 train from Victoria (9.39 Bromley South) to Hollingbourne, arriving 10.28.

Buy a day return to Hollingbourne. Be aware that Victoria may be busy if the forecast is sunny: allow extra time to buy your ticket or (ideally) buy in advance.

Walk directions are here.

Picking walks is a bit challenging at the moment, what with industrial action on Southern and major engineering works (which will last the rest of the summer) on South West Trains.... But we can turn this to our advantage by scouring the walks database for some neglected gems. This one appears not to have had an outing since summer 2015.

The main walk takes you up onto the downs and across fields and past some castle ruins to a lunch pub, the Black Horse, in the village of Thurnham. It is supposedly a "large free house" (though bring some money just in case...) but as it is the only lunch option it might not be a bad idea to call it from the start of the walk to check it is able to cater for you.

Otherwise, a short cut allows you to loop back to Eythorne Street, which has two other pubs. Here you are actually a short walk from Hollingbourne station. So on either the main or short option you could end the walk here if you wish, cutting 4.3km (2.6 miles) off its length.

The rest of the walk consists of a loop around Leeds Castle. Describing itself as "the loveliest castle in the world", this is well fortified against the rest of the world by the encircling M20, A20 and high speed railway line to the Channel Tunnel. You have to pass all these barriers (via footbridges etc) but your reward is a very scenic walk through the castle grounds on public footpaths. You must not deviate from these unless you pay the £24 castle entrance fee but I have dim recollections of a tea kiosk that was in close proximity to one of the paths. (No inducement to trespass is intended by that last sentence..... ).

Otherwise tea is back at one of the pubs in Eythorne. From there it is a short walk up to Hollingbourne station, from where trains go back at 59 past the hour. T=3.221

1 comment:

Thomas G said...

As told by someone on today's Whitstable walk...
N=15 (roughly) and a dog, which caused some consternation with some walkers, many of which did not have directions with them. A couple of difficult to negotiate diversions after lunch meant that Leeds Castle was never passed by this particular walker.