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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, 26 October 2019

Saturday walk - Cuxton Circular - North Downs views and beech woods

Length: 17.3km (10.7 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10 T=3.173

9.18 Thameslink train from London Bridge* to Strood, arriving 10.24, changing there for the 10.34 to Cuxton, arriving 10.38

* This train also calls at St Pancras Thameslink at 9.02, Greenwich 9.27


9.55 Southeastern High Speed train from St Pancras International to Strood, arriving 10.28, to connect with the Cuxton train as above.

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

According to the dusty tomes of the SWC archives this walk has not had an outing since April 2017. The sharp-eyed among you will notice that the main walk ending is in Halling, but I think at this time of year the Cuxton ending is preferable, since it goes along a lovely ridge of beech woods. It would be a brave man who predicted significant leaf colour on this, since autumn colour seems to be dragging its heels a bit this year, but there may be a bit.

Otherwise this walk includes some pleasant downland views, a mausoleum in the middle of the ancient estate, and the village of Cobham for lunch, where there are three possible lunch pubs (the Leather Bottle making rather too much of its very slight Dickens connections, but otherwise quite nice). The ancient tombs in Cobham church are also worth a glance.

Your tea stop is the White Hart in Cuxton, which is very handy for the station. It serves a full range of hot drinks and food all afternoon ("please ask about today's selection of delicious desserts"), and promises "roaring fires".

Trains back from Cuxton are at 22 and 52 past, arriving at Strood at 26 and 56 past, connecting there with:
32 and 02 past Southeastern High Speed trains to St Pancras (34 minutes)
45 and 15 past trains to London Bridge (1 hr 9 minutes) and on to St Pancras Thameslink: these trains also call at Greenwich, so the 17.22 from Cuxton = 17.45 from Strood would get you to Greenwich at 18.47


Walker said...

It is not mentioned in the walk directions, but after lunch on this walk you are very close to Sole Street station and could take a train back from there, if the weather turns out very inclement. Trains at 01 past to Victoria - a Cuxton return would be valid - and at 31 past to St Pancras changing at Rochester - Cuxton return with high speed supplement would probably be accepted. Both take about an hour (the Victoria train being actually a bit quicker).

Walker said...

N=6 on this walk, 1 on the high speed train, 4 on the Thameslink and 1 who drove to the lunch pub and walked back to meet us. Once again the rest of you were fooled by an over-gloomy forecast. In fact we had fairly w=light-rain-after-lunch-with-sunny-intervals-in-the-morning. At times, indeed, it was quite pleasant before lunch: mild, breezy and bright.

Autumn colour is definitely ticking up. Some trees - field maples, Norway maples - were showing quite a lot of yellow, and there were glorious red tones on some wild cherry, along with gold and maroons in the hedgerow. I might stick my neck out and predict good autumn colour for the next two weekends.

For lunch one went to have sandwiches and was lost to history. The rest went to the Dickens-laden Leather Bottle where food was tasty and quickly served. After lunch we spent quite a while exploring the medieval tombs and brasses in interesting Cobham church, and the almshouse behind, which I had been in before.

The car driver then left us and four of us plodded on in the light rain. Around Luddesdown vast areas of vineyard have been planted and on the ridge to Cuxton there was more autumn colour, though still far from its best. We had interesting and wide ranging conversations.

The White Hart provided nice puds and tea for two of us, beer for the others, and we caught the 5.22 train home.

Walker said...

Oh, and we also saw two ENORMOUS “fairy rings” of fungi on the last stretch through the woods. A shame it was raining more persistently here, so I could not take a photo.