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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, 3 August 2019

Saturday walk - Sutton Valence to Pluckley - A quiet section of the Greensand Way

Length: 17.1km (11 miles) T=3.151
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.32 train from Victoria (not Charing Cross as per usual, due to engineering works) (10.00 Orpington) to Headcorn, arriving 10.45.

Buy a day return to Pluckley (possibly including the high speed supplement: see last paragraph of this post)

On arrival at Headcorn, go quickly to the front of the station to catch the 10.49 number 12 bus (bound for Maidstone) to Sutton Valence, arriving 10.01. The bus climbs a long steep hill to the village, and your stop, the King's Head, is the first stop. If you miss the bus, a taxi to Sutton Valence should not cost much more than the bus if shared by four or five people.

For walk directions click here. For GPX file click here. For a map of the route click here.

This walk follows a quiet and pleasant section of the Greensand Way (reasonably well waymarked, but there are gaps...) passing apple orchards, a mansion that turns out to be a woman's prison and some ancient old churches. There are plenty of fine escarpment views.

For lunch it is hard to resist the excellent Pepper Box Inn even though it is just 5.3km (3.3 miles) into the walk, which serves hearty and delicious food: it has lots of outside tables if the weather is fine. Otherwise 10km (6.2 miles) into the walk you come to the Barrow House, a gastro pub. As far as I can tell this does food all afternoon, at least in its bar area, but it might be an idea to check this before relying on it.

If you have not stopped at the Barrow House for lunch it makes a nice mid-afternoon tea stop. Otherwise nearer the end of the walk there is the Rose and Crown in Mundy Bois - a lovely rural pub just a short diversion off the route - or the Black Horse Inn in Pluckley. After 6pm the Dering Arms by Pluckley station is also open: it is a posh seafood eatery but also happy to do cold or hot drinks for weary travellers.

Trains back from Pluckley are at 09 and 39 past the hour, taking 1 hour 27 minutes. A quicker journey (1 hour) is available the other way via Ashford and the high speed train to St Pancras, but if you plan to do this is best to buy a return ticket including the high speed supplement rather than trying to pay for it en route.


Anonymous said...

It appears that one can take 9:25am train from Victoria to Harrietsham directly rather than to Headcorn (which require a bus connection). Total distance will be 9.9 miles.

Anonymous said...

The 9.9 mile option, however, means you miss one of the best bits of the walk.

Walker said...

Both the previous two comment are correct

Anonymous said...

n=8 got off the train and swiftly caught the bus to the start of the walk. w=hot_and_humid_with_sunny_intervals. The morning segment of the walk was OK, but some of us felt it did not really worth the cost of the bus ticket at £4.2 (pretty steep for a 10 mins ride!). We met the West London Ramblers on the bus who were also doing the same walk but We separated from them pretty quickly and only saw them again near Pluckley station. All stopped except one at Pepper Box Inn for lunch. Food was good. One left after a short break at the pub, never to be seen again. Six of us walked together after lunch. The scenery definitely improved in the afternoon with some lovely views. We stopped again for freshment at Barrow House, some had gooseberry cake. We reunited with the walker who did not stop at Peppr Box Inn. Seven of us completed the rest of the walk together and caught 5:39pm train back to London. A nice day out in good company. PS - Our GPS (at least two) registered about 12.5 miles rather than 11 miles as advertised. If this walk comes up again, it would be useful to put Hariettsham as the start of the walk as the 'best' bit of the walk does not live up to its reputation or worth the bus fare.