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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, 27 January 2018

Snodland to Sole Street


Length: 13km (8m)
Toughness: 5 / 10
Transport: There are several options:

Outbound:High speed train from London St Pancras at 9:55 arriving in Snodland at 10:45 via a change at Strood
Train from London Charing Cross at 9:15 arriving in Snodland at 10:45 via a change at Tonbridge
Train from London Victoria at 9:22 arriving in Snodland at 10:45 via a change at Maidstone: Walk from Maidstone East to Maidstone Barracks (5mins)
Return:From Sole Street direct to London Victoria at the hour
From Sole Street to Rochester at xx:25 and then with high speed train to London St Pancras
You can pick and mix as you wish, but the high speed train has special fares. With a day return you commit yourself to that mode of transport. Also, I do not know if a day return from Charing Cross will be accepted on the return to Victoria.

This is a pleasant walk through winter woods on the North Downs and open fields, passing a historic church and ending at the very cosy pub, the Cock Inn, for tea which usually has a fire going in the winter.


Walker said...

You are best advised to choose between high speed or non-high speed before buying your ticket, as the high speed trains imposed a ban last year, for some reason, on people upgrading non-high speed tickets on the train.

If going from Charing Cross, unless you get to the station at the very last minute get the 9.11 from Charing Cross to Ramsgate (9.20 London Bridge): this gets to Paddock Wood at 10.00 and you then change (same platform) for the train to Snodland at 10.11. If you go on the 9.15 from Charing Cross you have a six minute connection at Tonbridge which involves crossing from one side of the station to the other: not impossible, but the 9.11 is much more comfortable and only four minutes earlier.

As for whether a Charing Cross outward ticket would be accepted back from Sole Street: it always has been. Slightly grey area as it is two competing Victorian lines that don't actually meet, but it is all Southeastern and they have never objected yet in the history of this walk.

Dirk said...

n=6 walkers on the walk in initially w=pleasant-then-deteriorating-to-windy-drizzle conditions. In the morning the route led through a field which today was home to a herd of black cattle among them majestic, beautiful bulls reminiscent of bisons. Since the ground behind the stile leading into the field looked quite muddy we decided to detour a bit and rejoin the official path after the field. The detour led past a quaint little church, unfortunately closed, and a large patch of early snowdrops both of which made this detour quite interesting. Lunch at the quiet Amazon & Tiger was by consensus very good. We continued on through more woodland paths along a ridge until the route opened up with expanding views across rolling hills and valleys. The church at Luddesdown was oddly enough also closed. Is there a problem with theft from churches in this part of the country ? Before reaching the cosy Cock Inn another field with livestock, this time horses, had to be crossed. After having evaded the bulls it was surprising to be attacked by a horse which initially was just curious and docile but suddenly reared on his hind legs and made other threatening gestures towards our group. Fortunately, everybody made it safely over the stile out of the field and into the warmth of the pub. For some reason there was a push to move on to the Railway Inn next to Sole Street station. After another quick drink there everyone took the 17:00 train to Victoria and two of the party decided to see the light show at Canary Wharf.

This is a lovely walk which in my opinion is slightly underappreciated (at least the version starting in Snodland) maybe due to the somehwat awkward outbound journey when coming from South London. It is, however, well worth the effort. As the route follows ridges most of the time, the mud (currently the most fashionable topic) was not a large problem and often easily avoided by detouring into the woods.

Anonymous said...

I quote
the mud (currently the most fashionable topic)
greta - I love it though you forgot to mention Vegan options at lunch