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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, 26 August 2017

Famingham Road to Eynsford - "Stop and stare" in a pretty corner of Kent

SWC walk 291 - Farningham Road to Eynsford
Length: 17.5km (10.9 miles) with shorter options possible
Toughness: 4 out of 10

10.07 train from Victoria (10.23 Bromley South) to Farningham Road, arriving 10.36

Buy a day return to Farningham Road. This should be accepted for return from Eynsford, but if not, you will only have to buy a single from Eynsford to Swanley (one stop).

For walk directions click here.

This new walk had its debut in June when only five people turned up for it. That seems a poor recompense for all the author's efforts in creating it. So come on SWC-ites, let's see if we can do better than that today.

I am also choosing it in response to a comment in our walk requests section (see, we do read them) for a walk closer to London today. Quite right too. It may be bank holiday weekend but you don't have to go rushing hither and yon to the far corners of the kingdom, doing 16 milers and flinging yourself in the sea. Instead take it easy and enjoy a pretty corner of Kent. Stop for a while and enjoy the view.

Partly this walk approaches familiar SWC territory from a different angle: the lovely country park around Lullingstone, whose visitor centre is a possible tea stop and whose castle (a mansion actually) you can visit. Other visitor attractions on the route include Lullingstone Roman Villa (English Heritage) and Eynsford castle (ruins: free).

Less familiar to most walkers will be its start at Farningham Road. True, the environs of the station are dull and there is some motorway noise in the early stages, but you soon plunge into ancient woods and descend to the very cute village of Farningham, which has a gorgeous riverside pub. South of Farningham a pleasant field edge route brings you to Eynsford, and when you return to Eysnford at the end of the walk there is another riverside pub and a stream you can dangle your feet in.

In short, lots of reasons to dally: no great reasons to rush.

Trains back go at 13 and 43 past to Blackfriars, taking 51 minutes: or you can change at Bromley South for a Victoria connection, a journey taking 43 minutes in total. T=3.291


Anonymous said...

I'm planning to come on this walk - looking forward to it 😎 Sarah

Walker said...

N=30 escaped from the maelstrom of Victoria, with its immense ticket queues, to do this walk. 29 of us were lucky because one late starter got caught by a "person under a train" incident at Bromley South and was very delayed.

Despite warnings of motorcross events and busy roads in the walk directions, there was widespread enjoyment of this outing. I thought it a delightful new route through familiar territory. After a few flat fields, Farningham Woods were interesting and the view from the hilltop when one came out of them was stupendous. There was then a nice section along the River Darent into Farningham and only here was the motorway noise really noticeable. But the crystal clear stream and its charming surroundings were adequate compensation.

The Lion Hotel in Farningham is a lovely place for lunch with a beautiful riverside garden but the staff got 'nul points' for their unsmiling service and none either for accommodating vegans: about a dozen vegetarian options on their menu and none without dairy in them. The village itself is very quaint, a real find.

After lunch there were long stretches along the upper side of the Darent Valley with some really magnificent views. Around Lullingstone woods provided relief from the w=blazing-hot-sun: surely hotter than the official 23 degrees?

By this time we were separated from the main group, if one still existed. I know some took the afternoon shortcut and finished quite early, possibly after tea in Eynsford. We did the whole walk and had a leisurely tea at the Lullingstone visitor centre and still got to Eynsford about 5pm. We dangled our feet for a long time in the stream and had a drink at the Plough and caught....was it the 6.43 train? All in all a really lovely summer day out.

Sandy said...

Four of us got to Eynsford at 4, where the Riverside Tearoom kindly stayed open for us (the Lullingstone Visitor Centre having been a bit busy when we passed). Didn't see anyone else at Eynsford but others were definitely ahead of us. Thanks for suggesting a good walk for the nice weather, and not too tiring to do another one the next day . . .