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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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Sevenoaks to Westerham - hills, views and woodland on the Greensand Way

SWC walk 20 - Sevenoaks to Westerham
Length: 18.8km (11.7 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10: quite hilly in places

9.30 train from Charing Cross (9.33 Waterloo East, 9.38 London Bridge, 9.56 Orpington) to Sevenoaks, arriving 10.05

Buy a day return to Sevenoaks.

For walk directions click here, for GPX file click here.

Thoughts turn at this time of year to walks one would like to do before things get too muddy. This one is a interesting and varied walk along the Greensand escarpment, descending it, ascending it, enjoying some fine views, then passing through woods and wooded valleys to the charming town of Westerham. Hopefully it will not be too slippery and gloopy yet and there may be some early hints of autumn tints.

For lunch you have to choose between a relatively early stop at the very charming Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald 4.9 miles into the walk - it is quite a small place and a short diversion off the walk route, so it is probably worth ringing to check it can accommodate you - or the Cock Inn in Ide Hill after 8.6 miles: that makes the Cock Inn quite a stretch distance-wise but I have chosen a relatively early train to give you plenty of time to get there. The walk directions say it serves till 3pm, but I have not been able to check this. It has had a revamp since it was described in the walk directions as "rough and ready"..

For tea the prime choice is Emmetts Garden, the National Trust site, open till 5pm, which has a tea shack with outside tables. If this is too soon after lunch at Ide Hill, Westerham also has oodles of tea places, not to mention several characterful pubs.

To get home from Westerham there are two options

- The 401 bus to Sevenoaks railway station at 09 minutes past the hour until 18.09. This takes 26 minutes and trains from Sevenoaks are then very frequent (every ten minutes) and take half an hour or so

- The 246 bus from Westerham to Bromley South: this takes 43 minutes (calling Hayes station after 30 minutes) and it is then 16 minutes (at best) by train to Victoria (again, very frequent). A return to Sevenoaks is valid for travel back from Bromley South. This bus goes at 22 and 52 past the hour until 18.22, then 19.22, 20.22, 21.12, 22.12, 23.12. T=3.20


Anonymous said...

A very nice walk with good views, no rain to speak of and the pub lunch at Ide Hill was very good
8 of us hopped on the 401 bus just after 4pm that arrived as we did at Westerham and thus we left without having any tea or cake much to the chagrin of one couple - i know that this is considered disgraceful by some but sorry some of us do have other things to do of an evening - even if it is just to chill at home.
Home at 18.00
Mr Atetoo Muchatlunch

Walker said...

N=24 on this walk, plus two more who turned up for lunch. The weather was w=quite-sunny-but-showery-later. About 10 visited the earlier pub, the Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald. I think some just had drinks but at least six of us ate, four of us out on the sunny patio. I think this pub normally expects lunchers to book, but it coped with our influx calmly enough.

We could not wait to get to Emmetts Garden for tea: instead we succumbed at the Ide Hill community shop, which had a nice selection of cakes and did tea in pots. A couple of us then had tea in a remarkably empty Emmetts Garden too.

As we approached Westerham through the woods it got distinctly gloomy - a foretaste of winter walks to come, though in this case it was an approaching shower. In Westerham the group choice was mysteriously to miss the 18.09 Sevenoaks bus, instead rush to a pub for an over-hasty drink, then rush for the 18.22 to Hayes and Bromley South. We met two other walkers on that.

Mike A said...

As Walker points out the weather had become w=somewhat_autumnal but nevertheless fairly rain free up to 4pm.
In a senior and slightly contrary moment and with an over familiarity of Knole park in mind, I decided to explore a shorter more northerly route (about 8Km) to Ide Hill initially up Granville Road (with grand houses and leafy gardens) then through pleasant byways and snickets to Kippington.
Two other walkers (you know who I mean!) had the same idea and swiftly passed me en route.
Crossing the A21 (AKA Sevenoaks bypass) was easy via a country lane underpass, and after a small diversion to check out The Woodman (Large dining area and gardens in Bessels Green Road), I rejoined the Greensand Way about 2Km before Ide hill meeting other SWC walkers who were eating at the Cock Inn.
Not a great choice of cakes in Emmetts gardens so on to Westerham to the Tudor Rose Tearooms with those delicious home made cakes and the dulcet tones of a country rock singer emanating from the festival on the green opposite.

Anonymous said...

That's interesting Mike, as it cuts 3.6 miles off the walk in the morning and makes the walk just under 10 miles for those prefer a bit shorter distance given the walk is quite hilly. I also note that the combined turn out on this walk and Ashurst, both about 12 miles, is 3:1 against the grand march in Salisbury.

Thomas G said...

Thanks, Anonymous, for that brilliant piece of analysis, only the sharpest brains could have done the complicated maths, I'm sure. So, some walks have higher attendances than others, and sometimes two walks' attendances added together are significantly higher than a third walks' attendance? That's groundbreaking stuff, it really is. How can we get you more involved in the shaping of this clearly underperforming walking club? It needs people like you, more than ever!
Just a shame you weren't on the much derided Salisbury walk yesterday (it has a teeny weeny 11 mile-option, as you - as an avid follower of the blog - will have noticed, surely that's within your limited capabilities?), it would have been great to discuss all your wonderful ideas in detail.
I've got just a couple of questions, one is a little bit of a conundrum, really: if you want to ban all postings of walks with an avg attendance of 11 (as the Salisbury walk has) or lower, then what do we do with the near 50% of Book 1 and Book 2 walks that have avg attendances of 11 or less? Never post them again either? But what will your fellow Traditionalists say to all that? Or shall we just post your personal top 52 in eternal weekly rotation?