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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, 12 May 2018

Saturday Walk: A Saturday stroll through the Kentish weald from Staplehurst to various destinations

SWC Walk 80: Staplehurst to Headcorn, Sissinghurst, Cranbrook or Goudhurst T=SWC.80
Distance: Various lengths on offer:
Staplehust to Headcorn:  7.9 miles/ 12.8 km
Staplehurst to Sissinghurst:  7.8 miles/ 12.6 km
Staplehurst to Cranbrook:  9.4 miles/ 15.2 km
Staplehurst to Goudhurst:  13.6 miles/ 22 km

Difficulty: 2 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:40 AM Dover train from London Charing Cross (stopping at Waterloo East at 9:42 and London Bridge at 9:48), arriving at Staplehurst at 10:39. Return trains from Headcorn are at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour until 21:45; from Staplehurst (for the Cranbrook or Sissinghurst endings) 20 and 50 minutes past the hour until 21:50 and from Marden (for the Goudhurst ending) 24 and 54 minutes past the hour.

For the Cranbrook or Sissinghurst endings, you will need to catch an Arriva 5 bus back to Staplehurst at 17:10, 18:21 or 18:55 from Cranbrook or 17:18; 18:29 or 19:01 from Sissinghurst. For the Goudhurst ending, you need to catch a bus 27 to Marden at 17:15 -- alternatively, you can catch a bus 297 to Tunbridge Wells at 18:11 or going the opposite way to Cranbrook at 18:31 (where you would then catch the Arriva 5 bus to Staplehurst at 18:55).  Buy a day return to Staplehurst unless walking to Headcorn (in which case you should buy a day return to Headcorn). If you find your self in Tunbridge Wells, you may need to buy a supplement to cover part of the journey (Tunbridge Wells to Tonbridge).

After the exertions of the bank holiday, this is a relaxing walk through the Kentish weald of varying lengths to hopefully suit most interests.  Although many of the botanical delights will be past their prime, the route still passes through pretty countryside with the option of visiting Sissinghurst Gardens. You can find more information about the walk and the instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is The Bell and Jorrocks in Frittenden (01580 852 415) about 4.4 miles into the walk.  Tea options include: the NT cafĂ© at Sissinghurst Gardens or in Headcorn, the George and Dragon; in Cranbrook, Ted’s Room or George Hotel; in Sissinghurst village, the Milk House and in Goudhurst, the Star and Eagle Hotel or the Vine Inn.

Enjoy the walk!

1 comment:

Walker said...

W=Drippy is the word I would use for the weather. Occasionally there were showers, sometimes it was dry and even seemed to be brightening, but mostly there were just little drips of rain. Oh well. I suppose the countryside needs some moisture to keep it looking lovely and lush, which is definitely how it did look.

N=14 assembled at the start of the walk including two newbies and two visitors from California. We all had an early shock in discovering that a large housing estate is being built across the first section of this walk. To tell the truth this was always a rather awkward bit of the path - indistinct and poorly maintained. Now it will probably be a tarmac path between high fences.

Otherwise it was interesting to do this walk, normally scheduled for bluebell time, in mid May. There was lots of cow parsley hemming in the paths and hawthorn blossom in the hedgerow. Some nice buttercup fields too. After lunch we had to wade chest high through an oilseed rape field, sadly (or happily, depending on your taste) nearly gone over. It was not that there was no path across this field, I hasten to add, just that the oilseed had grown so tall that it obscured it.

Lunch at the Bell & Jorrocks was fine. We were their only customers as far as I could see. After lunch the newbies split off to go to Headcorn and the rest of us went onto to an oddly quiet Sissinghurst (the National Trust place). Most of us had tea here and the Californians and their host stopped to see the gardens. One walker had proclaimed earlier that she planned to do the long route to Headcorn but whether she did or not, I do not know.

On the walk from Sissinghurst to Sissinghurst village there was the nice surprise of a large area of bluebells, still more or less full out - the last we will see this year, I guess. Five got the 4.13 bus from Sissinghurst village (as later on did the three who had gone to the gardens), so along with the two newbies who went to Headcorn that makes ten walkers out of fourteen who opted for a 7.9 mile walk. (I mention this merely in the spirit of scientific enquiry).

Three of us carried on to Cranbrook, by which time the rain was starting to look more organised. We had a rapid drink in the George and got the 5.05 bus, picking up the three garden visitors en route.