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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, 23 November 2019

Saturday walk - Edenbridge to Westerham - Up and over the Greensand Ridge

Length: Options from 11.6km (7.2 miles) to 15km (9.3 miles) to 17.8km (11 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10, apart from the very longest option which is 8 out of 10 T=3.79

10.10 train from Charing Cross (10.13 Waterloo East, 10.19 London Bridge) to Tonbridge, changing there for the 11.01 to Edenbridge, arriving 11.16

Buy a day return to ‘Edenbridge stations’

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

This walk is often done in bluebell time, but has not had a weekend outing at this time of year since 2012. There may not be much autumn colour left now, but this route passes through lots of woods where it might still be lurking. There are also fine escarpment views and a section across open fields at the start: the latter may be muddy, but once on the Greensand Ridge things should be better. It IS November, though: don’t come in your party shoes.

Lunch is usually (but see ** below for other options) taken after 4.2 miles in the self-service restaurant at Chartwell, country home of Winston Churchill (he was a famous predecessor of Boris Johnson, apparently...). After this you have a choice:

- A short ending to Westerham (with a new improved start never done by the SWC, incidentally) takes you to Westerham in just 4.8km (3 miles), making a total walk from Edenbridge of 11.6km (7.2 miles).

- Alternatively, if you continue on the main route but take the short cut to Emmetts Garden when prompted, you will do a total walk of 15km (9.3 miles). Normally the caveat against this short cut is that it goes through dull woods rather than dramatic escarpment scenery, but the woods might be rather picturesque at this time of year. This short cut certainly removes a big descent and ascent.

- Or do the whole main walk - 17.8km (11 miles) and a good strenuous work out.

** If you do either of the last two options, an alternative lunch stop is the Fox & Hounds pub,  6.4 miles into the walk, reached by a short diversion off the route. Directions linking this to the Emmetts short cut have now been added to the walk directions - 19 November 2019 version - and they are obvious from the map or GPX. On the full main walk only, a very late lunch (7.9 miles in) is possible at the Cock Inn in Ide Hill.

Westerham has bucketloads of tea options - pubs, tea rooms, Costas etc. An earlier tea on the two longer options is possible at Emmetts Garden, which bizarrely is open even in November (who on earth goes to a garden in November?): its cafe/kiosk is open till 4pm.

Return travel from Westerham is by bus. Three options, and probably not a vast amount of difference between them in terms of overall journey times.

- Bus 246 to Hayes station (26 minutes) or Bromley South at 22 and 52 past until 18.22 and then hourly at 22 past till late: Oyster etc is valid on this bus and the usual LT fare of £1.50 applies.  Rey frequent trains from Bromley South to Victoria (also some to Blackfriars). Whether your train ticket is valid via Bromley South I leave to others to say, but you can obviously use Oyster from there.

- Bus 594/595 to Oxted at 3.03, 4.33 and 5.33 (20 minutes journey time): Oxted has fairly frequent trains to East Croydon and on to Victoria or London Bridge and your return train ticket is valid.

- Bus number 1 to Sevenoaks station at 4.14 and 5.12 (20 minutes journey time): Sevenoaks has very frequent trains to London and your return train ticket is valid.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Only one of this group did the shortcut totalling 7 odd miles but this was a truly delightful route after lunch with wonderful views and lovely going underfoot - so unlike the morning before Chartwell. It seemed that all except the one were planning on doing the full walk but rumour has it that at least 6 took the 9.2 mile option - I met a snitch on the way home so she gets a mention in dispatches.

The lack of sighting of rabbits came up in conversation and a walker mentioned a snip of doggerel, so I looked it up and here it is in its fullest form

The rabbit has a charming face:
BUT its private life is a disgrace.
I really dare not name to you
The awful things that rabbits do;
Things that most papers would never print
But only mention them in a hint
Rabbits have such lost, degraded souls
No wonder they inhabit holes;
When such depravity is found
It only can live underground
Things that most papers would never print
But only mention them in a hint

Is it really Rabbits or is it the journalists? OR is it MPs? and of course it is Royalty [everyone it seems except me then]

I will leave one of the others to post a fuller report
E E C Mings and E L Ear

Anonymous said...

N =12
W = cloudy_with_one_shower

A route that makes for a very good workout. Most seemed to do the 9-10 mile option. Muddy at times, but not oppressively so. At least 4 dined with Winston, an experience that proved that not all NT restaurants are equal:a few weeks ago, Ightham Mote offered good, fresh fare, but Chartwell was neither award-winning, nor war-winning. Rapid, but vapid. Three then diverted to Emmetts Garden (good cakes and scones). Shortly before the trio reached Winston and Wolfe in Westerham, we met up again with the one (?) 11miler of the day, and a genial duo who had formed a de facto Radio 4esque Philosophy Club all day. A short wait and then onwards to Hayes Station, where straight off the bus we seemed initially to be ambushed by excited locals for a surprise suburban celebration of the cult that is the SWC. Alas it turned out to be merely the last stages of the countdown to the switching on of the Christmas lights. Another fine SWC adventure in great company. Thank you to Walker for scheduling.

sylvia said...

Two of us skipped the detour to Chartwell in favour of eating sandwiches on the way to Toy's Hill where we sat on a bench by an old well and looked at the grand view of grey clouds and smudgy countryside. We too came to Emmets for tea and saw the trio as aforementioned just leaving but so deep in their conversation that they didn't hear our shouts of hello there! A little way before Westerham , whilst still in deep countryside and in the dusk, we saw a number of bats flitting around just above our heads - what a treat. It was pretty dark on the final stretch, caught the bus to Hayes at 16.52. We did the full walk, 11 miles I guess less the Chartwell detour.