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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, 26 May 2018

Saturday walk - Otford to Eynsford - a gentle walk down an idyllic valley

Length: 14.1km (8.8 miles) - with possible extension: see ** below
Toughness: 5 out of 10

10.25 train from Victoria to Otford, arriving 11.00

Note that there can be quite long ticket queues at Victoria on sunny bank holiday Saturdays, so some may prefer to get the 10.10 from Charing Cross (10.13 Waterloo East, 10.19 London Bridge) arriving Otford at 10.48: if so, please wait for the Victoria walkers and don't fraternise with the Frant to Tunbridge Wells crowd...)

Buy a day return to Otford.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

In the early days of the SWC, when we followed the old book one rota, this was a firm favourite as a late spring walk, despite its short length, but it has not had an outing at this time of year for eight years. With gentle Kentish scenery, a lovely village with several pubs for lunch and a pleasant finish along a river into Eysnford, this is a walk to linger over rather than rush through.

At one point in the afternoon and then a bit later around Lullingstone there are also extensive displays of oxeye daisies, which hopefully will be looking good by now. Lullingstone makes a possible tea stop - its cafe looks utilitarian but has nice cakes: you might also be in time to visit Lullingstone Castle (a stately home: don't expect battlements and moats) or Lullingstone Roman Villa (English Heritage) a bit further on. The Riverside Tea Room in Eynsford, by contrast, closes cruelly early at 4pm (it should be illegal for tea rooms to close this early!), though there is a nearby pub or two and a nice stream to dangle your feet in.

For lunch in Shoreham the usual SWC choice seems to be the Kings Arms, which serves basic cuisine, but I continually urge (in vain!) the charms of the Two Brewers, which is a very nice pub, though sometimes booked up. Not mentioned in the walk directions (though passed by the route) there is also a very nice garden tea room as part of the quirky Battle of Britain Museum in the village.

** LONGER OPTION If you want a longer walk from Eynsford you can continue up the waymarked Darent Valley Way for one mile to Farningham (a lovely village with a fine riverside pub, though near the M25 too) and there pick up the directions in sections 7 and 8 of the Farningham Road to Eynsford walk, taking you to Farningham Road station. All told this will add about 5.5km (3.4 miles) to the walk.

Trains back from Eynsford are at 32 and 57 past to Blackfriars and St Pancras, with the 57 offering a change at Bromley South to a Victoria train, saving 15 minutes of journey time.

Trains back from Farningham Road are at 12 past. It is just one stop from Farningham Road to Swanley, which is on the route to Otford, so your Otford return should be accepted. T=1.23


Anonymous said...

The pub on the road to the station has a very nice garden.

Walker said...

N=26 on this walk, including two who joined us at lunch time. Glorious w=hot-sun and wonderful flowers. In particular lots of cow parsley lining every path still and acres of white oxeye daisies around Lullingstone. It was lovely to do this walk in high spring once again, as we used to do in the early days of the SWC.

Most lunched at the King’s Arms but some of us opted for the Battle of Britain Museum tea room. Very 1970s soup and sandwiches here but a lovely garden setting. Nearing Lullingstone we decided to revive the old relaxed walk tradition of having a sit down on the hillside. Then to tea at the Lullingstone tea rooms.

On the way to Eynsford we were taken on a diversion up onto Eagle Heights, which gave us fine views of the viaduct and valley. Most stopped at the riverside pub in Eynsford for a drink and then got the train home, but eight of us carried on to a Farningham. Two left here planning to do a longer loop to Farningham Road station but the rest of us had a drink by the river while mayflies danced overhead (and even landed on our shirts).

It was so nice that we decided to eat at the nearby Pied Bull. We then had a lovely (though increasingly fast paced) walk to catch the 9.12pm train as the light faded.

Unknown said...

Great walk in great weather with great company, the mayflies at the end were a treat. Finally sorted out my pics... (all tagged)