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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, 22 December 2018

Saturday walk - Knockholt to Otford - a short but vigorous walk in the North Downs

Length: 12.9km (8 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10 - two steep hill climbs

10.05 train from Charing Cross (10.08 Waterloo East, 10.14 London Bridge) to Knockholt, arriving 10.49.

If you miss the above, get the 10.15 from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East, 10.24 London Bridge) to Orpington and change there for the above train, but this is a tight connection - arriving 10.39, departing 10.43.)

Buy a day return to Sevenoaks which is the same price as a day return to Otford and valid for both outward and return legs of the journey. Since Knockholt is in LT zone six, you could instead use Oyster to it (don't forget to tap out, though - easy to do at this rural station), but on the way back you need to buy a single from Otford. You could buy this just as far as Swanley, get out there, tap in using Oyster and get the next train into London, but this seems a bit of a faff....

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

This is a brisk short walk in the North Downs, with two good hill climbs to help make room for some mince pies, but not too long so you can get back to town early if you wish to do your last minute Christmas shopping.

Lunch in in Shoreham, Kent, where most walkers seem to rush to the Kings Head and its fairly basic food: but more upmarket options are available in the shape of the Two Brewers and the Crown. It is possible if you are feeling ultra lazy to get the train back from Shoreham, but then you will only have walked 5.3km (3.3 miles).

After lunch it is over the hills to Otford, dreaming as you pass through Magpie Bottom of summer butterflies and downland flowers. The Hospices of Hope is a nice place for tea in Otford.

Trains back are at 26 and 56 to Victoria, taking 42 minutes, or 29 and 59 to Blackfriars, taking an hour. (All these services stop at Swanley. The Blackfriars trains also stop at Shoreham at 02 and 32 past.) You can also get 18 and 48 trains in the other direction from Otford to Sevenoaks and get fast trains from there to London Bridge and Charing Cross (46 minutes in all). T=3.37


Anonymous said...

The George in Shoreham on the other side of the river near the church also does a good ginger beer...

Walker said...

N=28 on this walk, including two who joined us during the morning having started walking from other places. W=A-lovely-sunny-day at last, perfect for walking. Pleasant scenery with two big hill climbs to get the blood pumping.

For lunch we seem to have spread out among three of the four pubs in Shoreham. The Crown received good reports and I believe some went to the George. The King’s Arms was actually nearly fully booked but was nearly empty when we arrived at midday and found space for five of us.

Leaving lunch about 1pm it looked as if we might finish the walk too early but in fact the light was fading by the time we got to Otford. Some went to the Pond Cafe and some to the Hospices of Hope tea room (nice Christmas cake and scones).

Several set off at dusk to walk to Sevenoaks and two of us headed off towards Shoreham, where we stood in the middle of the solar system and watched a dramatic full moon rise over the ridge. It somewhat played cat and mouse with us as we continued northwards but eventually we got up onto the ridge and had a nice moonlit walk along back lanes before descending to Otford again, just catching the 18.59 Thameslink train for a fascinating tour of obscure south east London stations. (Ravensbourne?)

Dirk said...

Re obscure stations in south east London: They are not so obscure for those for whom this line is the local (albeit slow) one. Ravensbourne is the name of the nearby river that flows into the Thames at Deptford. You can follow its upper reaches all the way to its source next Saturday on the pretty Hayes Circular walk. Also, between the stations Ravensbourne and Beckenham Hill is Beckenham Place Park, a large expanse of green space in south east London with a beautiful Grand House and some ancient woodland. Lewisham Council is currently building a lake at the very location of the original lake according to the 19th century design of the park's architect. It is scheduled to open in 2019 and will provide another option for a wild freshwater swim in London. Maybe a new SWC summer evening walk through this park is called for ...

Anonymous said...

The 4 of us who walked on to Sevenoaks under moonlight came across a small outdoor community gathering, offering mulled wine and home made mince pies in return for a donation to the local residents association fund. The smell of the spiced wine was just too good to pass by so we joined them for a quick tipple before carefully making our slightly merry way along the lakeside path into town. There was definitely brandy in that mulled wine.