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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.

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Saturday, 2 February 2019

Saturday Walk Tunbridge Wells to Tonbridge

Tunbridge Wells to Tonbridge (or Hildenborough)  T=swc.238

Length: 8.9 miles (14.3km)

The turn off for the Tonbridge finish is near the end of the walk, and starts at para 23 in the directions. Anyone wanting a bit more walking can carry on to Hildenborough (17.7 km)

The walk follows a familiar SWC route out of Tunbridge Wells via the town commons and Hurst Wood, mainly uphill but nothing too strenuous. It joins the Wealdway shortly before the hamlet of Modest Corner. A delightful section follows, through Brookhurst Field and Birch Wood on the outskirts of Bidborough, where you can stop for lunch. You then cut across Haysden Country Park, following a section of the River Medway. 

Southeastern are running a Winter Timetable on Friday. I'll check on Friday for any changes on Saturday.

Get the 0945 Hastings train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 0952) arriving 1052. Buy return to Tunbridge Wells. Return trains from Tonbridge xx06, xx22, xx36, xx53 to Charing Cross, from Hildenbouroug xx27 xx57.

Lunch: The Kentish Hare Bidborough, TN3 0XB after 4.5 Miles (7.3km.) The pub incorporates two bar areas though seating is limited. The public bar serves bar meals. The second bar, with dining tables, has an open fire and a small private dining area. Food 12 to 2.30 pm. It would be prudent to book a table. Tel: 01892 525709

There is a churchyard with fine views for picnics.


Anonymous said...

I'm planning to do the Hildenborough ending, so about 10.9 miles in total.

Brian said...

I live in Tunbridge Wells. There is a warning of overnight snow. I'll try to post an update first thing on Saturday morning.

Bridie said...

Thank Brian

Anonymous said...

Just looked at website of The Plough. Seems to be closed at lunch for a couple's anniversary event, only opening to general public at 6.

Anonymous said...

Fear not. The Kentish Hare in Bidborough is open and there's pubs at the end in Tonbridge and Hildenborogh

PeteG said...

Trains look OK

Kate H said...

Is there much snow on the ground? I can't find out...

Brian said...

Heavy local snowfall last night caused some problems on the roads, but trains running normally. Expect a few inches of snow on open ground, but temperature is (just) above freezing.
Sadly, I won't be joining you, as my wife got trapped in Wadhurst and I have to go and rescue her.

Walker said...

Thanks, Brian. Hope you manage to dig your wife out without too much trouble

Walker said...

The guard on the train said there was lots of snow south of Tunbridge Wells - 2 inches at Stonegate, apparently. But alas, in vain did I attempt to persuade the 22 walkers who got off the train to abandon the specified walk and head south. Instead we headed north through intermittent snow - some fair-sized patches - but basically fewer and further between as the day went on.

Some apparently got lost in Hurst Wood, blaming the directions. I wasn’t looking at the directions and so did not get lost. One reported to be lost and trying to catch up had not been in my original count, so I am saying n=23.

Six had booked at the Kentish Hare. Seventeen wanted to lunch there, but they managed to accommodate us without difficulty. We were, in fact, about half of their lunch business. Not a few of us looked with quiet desperation at the rather odd restaurant menu before discovering a much more basic bar menu. Nice fish and chips, though for once more chips would have been nice.

At the end of lunch, lots had coffees. So many did that two of us decided to do so also. Just as our coffees arrived everyone else got up and left. We did not see them again, so the rest of the report is a partial one.

It was cloudy and rather cold after lunch, perhaps because we caught the north wind as we came over the escarpment. But there had been w=sunny-intervals in the morning and there were some at dusk, so I am choosing that as the “official” weather. Underfoot there was slippy mud. The tunnel under the A21 was closed, but the advance party forewarned us (thanks) and we went round to the left by road.

We were by now four walkers again and two split off to Tonbridge “looking for the tea we hope they found”, as the song nearly says. Two of us went on to Hildenborough, where a sad sight awaited. No more Kelly Holmes cafe, of course, and the Half Moon pub had a “Sky Sports” sign outside and proved as unpromising as that suggested. Five minutes into the half cup of tea they had produced with much raising of eyebrows, we decided to rush for the 16.57 train. Google Maps said a 23 minute walk: we did it in 15. We met one other walker on the train.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to leave you Walker, as the drinks arrived, but we were already in a standing position and raring to go. We noticed you had excellent, and highly musical, company. Glad you enjoyed the rest of a great walk. Thanks for all your brilliant scheduling.

branchline said...

Arriving at the first tea room in Tonbridge at 3.45 we were told by the proprietress that the machines had been switched off and the T Room was closed.
This turned out to be quite fortunate as we found the Bakehouse at 124 High Street. Artinsan Bakery, lovely cakes and floury scones, slices of bread available to toast for yourself at a table laid out with jams etc, spacious seating downstairs, and very spacious with beamed and more seating upstairs. We thought this tea room should be added to the list for Tonbridge.