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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

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Sunday Walk – Bluebells in the Weald (Cowden-Hever)

Extra Walk 78 – Cowden to Hever (or Circular)
Length: 16½ km (10.3 miles), with longer and shorter options. Toughness: 4/10

09:47 Lewes train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:53), changing at East Croydon (arr 10:09, dep 10:15 from Platform 6) for the Uckfield train and arriving Cowden at 10:53. Buy a return to Cowden (Kent).

If it's more convenient you can travel from London Bridge on the 09:34 Three Bridges train (Norwood Jct 09:46), again changing at East Croydon (arr 09:50).

Trains back are hourly at xx:04 from Cowden and xx:09 from Hever, changing at Oxted for Victoria.

This Wealden walk is noted for both mud and bluebells, and it would be nice to find more of the latter than the former. The full version goes through the attractive village of Penshurst for lunch at the Leicester Arms Hotel, but you've also got the option of the Castle Inn in the next village, Chiddingstone (perhaps after taking the short cut bypassing Penshurst). The Castle Inn re-opened a year ago and has had good feedback. Both places are up-market and likely to be busy, but you should be able to squeeze into their gardens (or call in advance to book a table). As it's a Sunday you should be able to wander freely around the grounds of Chiddingstone Castle, which has also got a nice tearoom if you're stopping for a second round of refreshments in this village.

When you get to Hever you can choose between heading for its station or completing a circular walk back to Cowden. There's a pub in the village and another along the route to Cowden, but note that there's nothing very near either station.

You'll need to bring the directions from the Cowden to Hever walk page.


Anonymous said...

planning to go - anyone else? heavy rain isn't forecast until late afternoon fingers x'ed!

Anonymous said...

Yes I am planning on going as well so you won't be on your own. Am hoping it will not be too muddy!! Paula

Anonymous said...

Two walkers met at Victoria. However after the cancellation of two consecutive trains (excuse-faulty train) and in the face of the bitter and unseasonal cold, we took this as an omen and returned home.

Sean said...

As noted above Southern were in truculent mood and did their best to prevent anyone joining this walk from central London. As a result two car drivers met only five off the train at Cowden, though two more resourcefully took a later train to Leigh and met others at the lunch pub in Penshurst. So n=9 walkers on a w=cold-damp-and-gloomy day, but thankfully with no rain to speak of.

The starters split up in mid-morning with three opting for lunch in Chiddingstone and a circuit back to Cowden. The Penshurst lunchers did much the same length of walk by finishing in Hever. This was not a day for lingering in pub gardens or courtyard tearooms, so there was a reunion on the 4pm train back.

Anyone hoping that last week's heatwave had dispelled the Wealden mud was soon put right, with gloopy stretches around wobbly stiles and along narrow fenced paths. There were plenty of bluebells in the woods but the judges awarded the Flower of the Day award to the ramsons (wild garlic), with thick carpets around every woodland stream spreading up into bluebell territory.

Anonymous said...

I ended up doing this walk on my own as the rail companies managed to cancel my trains so could not find anyone else by the time got there over an hour later than scheduled.
It was a nice walk but I have to say I found the directions rather difficult to follow - I got lost in the woods - the right fork completely threw me and I ended up climbing up towards a field until I retraced my steps - I would say keep left!! Also at the end I did actually get lost totally at the Hamlet of Hill Hoath where you were meant to vere right but there was a sign saying "private road" on one road on the right and to the left a footpath sign after which I vered right but this took me in completely the wrong direction - in the end found a pub and got rescued but to me it was not at all clear at that point - some more landmarks would have been very useful. Would be a lovely walk on a sunny day!!Paula

Walker said...

I do not know the details of this walk, but would just like to say that it is not uncommon to find “private road”’signs on a right of way. Ignore such signs. Nearly all rights of way are across private land. The ownership of the land or the views of the land owner are irrelevant. It is a RIGHT of WAY for walkers. This sign was probably directed at car drivers anyway.