Backup Only

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, 21 July 2018

Saturday walk - Sevenoaks Circular - A quiet rural walk close to London

Length: 16.3km (10.1 miles) or 18.5km (11.5 miles) T=3.21
Toughness: 3 out of 10: gentle gradients

10.00 train from Charing Cross (10.03 Waterloo East, 10.09 London Bridge) to Sevenoaks, arriving 10.35.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

You have to go back to the late Middle Ages (OK, September 2010) to find a time when this walk had a Saturday posting in anything approximating to summer. The midweek walkers - no slouches, they - did it in August 2016, however, and described it as a fine summer outing.

To anyone left in SWC-land who does not know it, the walk offers a charming mix of "Garden of England" scenery, including one area just after Stone Street where lavender fields were in evidence earlier in the year: they may now have been harvested, however. You also pass through the Knole Park estate out and back, and in the early afternoon have fine views southwards. There is a reasonable amount of shade - maybe 40-50% of the walk.

The moated manor house of Ightham Mote is at the heart of the main walk: at this time of year, you could even take time out to visit it, knowing you have infinities of daylight in which to finish the walk. Otherwise, its tea room is the most convenient lunch stop.

For a pub lunch a very early option, 2.4 miles into the walk, is the Bucks Head in Godden Green. 

Otherwise, since the Padwell Arms is no no more, an optional new loop to the Chaser Inn in Shipbourne was added to the walk directions in February but has never actually had an outing with the SWC: this is the 18.5km (11.5 mile) version of the walk. Despite (or perhaps because of) a menu groaning in red meat (generous portions too - but vegetarian options so small you need a microscope to see them), this is a very popular pub, so you might want to phone and check they have a table before diverting to it. It does, however, have quite a large (and non-bookable) garden - very pretty, by the church - and serves food all afternoon. 

For tea, Knole Park's Brewhouse Cafe closes at 5pm, the Malabar Cafe in Sevenoaks at 6pm, and Caffe Nero in Sevenoaks (if things get that desperate) at 6.30pm.

Trains back to London are very frequent - every ten minutes or so.


4 comments:

Marcus said...

Reference the lavender fields near Stone Street, as of Wednesday 18 July when I was out book checking our Borough Green to Sevenoaks walk, the lavender was in full bloom and not yet harvested, but I expect it will be very soon. Hopefully on Saturday you will be lucky.

Anonymous said...

Someone on the walk suggested I do a walk report so I agreed to. You have to enter into the spirit as all these people do all this for free.
So here goes - my walk report is as follows
Number of walkers not sure as I didn't count them but say 30
Good weather
I don't do pub reports
I dont do vegans
I don't do flowers
I don't do muddiness
I don't do dogs
I don't do birds
I don't do rabbits and other wild animals
I don't do cows sheep what ever
My report is finished
I trust that you will not ask me to do one again
Thank you for a good day.

MY BAD
N=30
W=marvelous-sunny

Walker said...

Thanks for the walk report. Knowing people enjoyed the walk so much makes all the effort of posting worthwhile. Just one detail: was the lavender still out, just out of curiosity?

Anonymous said...

To add to Anon's walk report below, only the odd lavender bush remained after harvesting but the few remaining were enough to attract butterflies and bees and the scent of lavender was still in the air. The group split for lunch with about half stopping at the Ightham Mote cafe, which wasn't too busy, despite the large number of cars in the car park, and the group easily found tables and were served quickly. The other half of the group were well accommodated in the garden of the Chaser Inn at Shipbourne. Most of us met up again either en route in the afternoon or at Knowle Park's revamped courtyard tea room, from where we drifted in smaller groups to the station. Some took the route through the park to avoid going through town and a few stopped to watch the local cricket match at The Vines pitch before the final leg to the station.