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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, 27 August 2017

A plucky looky at spooky Pluckley

Pluckley Circular
Book 2 walk 21 and optional non-SWC diversion.
Difficulty 1 out of 10 (I'd say 2 or 3 for the longer versions)
Length 7.2, 9.2 or 11.2 miles (11.5, 14.7, or 18 km)

Pluckley in Kent’s Low Weald, claims to be the UK’s most haunted village. Our basic Pluckley walk is 7.2 miles and you could, if you wish, add our online extensions. But what if Mr Tiger had found a walk that took you round where the real actual ghosts are? Well, he has. It's written by an authority on ghost stories who also puts on walks in London.
So the idea is this… Follow our basic "Book 2" walk in the morning, with lunch at either the Swan or the Black Horse, then, at St Nicholas Church, switch to the ghost walk. That walk is 4 miles long and brings you back to the Black Horse. From there, you resume the original walk back to the station. So total 11.2 miles. That’s the simplest combination, but you could shorten things....
......After encountering the ghostly schoolmaster down Dicky Buss's Lane, instead of turning left along Smarden Rd to return to the Black Horse, you could re-join our walk by running screaming in the opposite direction (right) down Smarden Rd, heading SW. (The SWC walk turns onto this road at point 57). Shortly after the former Blacksmiths Arms/Tea-rooms on your right, follow our walk left into Lambden Rd (point 58) still running, still screaming.
Get the 09:42 Ashford International train from Victoria (Bromley South 09:59, Orpington 10:07) arriving Pluckley 10:57.
Return trains at xx:37 to Victoria. Get a return to Pluckley.
(More expensively, you could  take the 9:37 Ashford International HS1 from St Pancras changing at Ashford for the Victoria-bound 10:31, arriving earlier at Pluckley at 10:37. Your only real advantage is a return journey 20 mins quicker. That's on the xx:57 back to Ashford to pick up the HS1.)
The Swan Inn in Little Chart is recommended 01233 840 702. They have a garden by the stream.
A bit later, in Pluckley, there's the (very haunted) Black Horse  01233 841 948. This also serves as a tea stop. Phoning advised for both.
The Black Horse is the most reliable choice for the short walk and the ghost walk.
St Nicholas' Church, Pluckley occasionally offers cream teas on Sunday afternoons, though not as often as they used to.
The Dering Arms, 01233 840 371 opposite the station, has a quaint charm but often closes early on a Sunday, at around 4:00 pm (earlier than their website suggests).
The Blacksmiths Forge Tea Room (once the Blacksmiths Arms), mentioned in the ghost walk, is just a private house now. (Private, except for the cavalier, the phantom coachman, and the Tudor serving maid).
The SWC extensions both go past the Rose and Crown at Mundy Bois 01233 840 048. From there, allow 45-50 minutes to the station. The longest extension also passes the The Barrow House  in Egerton 01233 756 599 (formerly the George).
Directions Use this online version for the basic SWC walk (includes the two optional extensions).
The ghost walk is available here. (Use in conjunction with the basic walk)

1 comment:

PeteB said...

8 assembled on the platform but 2 stayed behind to await a third whose car journey had been delayed so lets make that n=9. Sadly we never saw the 3 again.
Six of us ambled off in "perfick" w=sunny-and-warm weather to take an early lunch at the Swann Inn who were fully booked but salads, burgers and pizzas were on offer from food vans there for a "festival". (Is it just my inner Victor Meldrew that finds bog standard disco mix music - Stayin Alive, I will Survive - utterly depressing as it booms out over quiet idyllic countryside... Whatever)
We did not linger too long at the Black Horse and were all too scared to do the ghost walk and soon we six split- 2 doing the short version, 3 the medium and me who did an abridged version of the long walk, leaving out the pub at Egerton to give me and my dodgy knees a fighting chance of a quick drink at the Dering Arms at Pluckley Station which I reached at 3.45pm for a £4.80 lager shandy!! I wish I had gone to the Rose and Crown at Mundy Edge which was packed and looks to be doing great business. The Dering Arms was virtually empty and had all the atmosphere of an empty attic. A quick drink and then the 15.57 to Ashford for the HS1 to whisk me back to the East End in 30 minutes. A charming, quiet walk with perhaps a little too much tarmac but nevertheless a lovely day out with SWC regulars.