Backup Only

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, 28 December 2019

Saturday walk - Knockholt to Otford, with possible Shoreham loop afternoon

Length: 12.9km (8 miles) - with options of 14.6km (9 miles) or 15.8km (9.8 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10: two big hill climbs

10.04 train from Charing Cross (10.07 Waterloo East, 10.13 London Bridge) to Knockholt, arriving 10.49

If you just miss this train, get the 10.15 Hastings service from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East, 10.24 London Bridge) and change at Orpington (arrive 10.39, depart 10.49) onto the above train.

Buy a day return to Sevenoaks, which is valid for both outward and return journeys (and is the same price as a day return to Otford): Knockholt is in LT zone 6

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

This little walk seems to be too short to get an outing at other times of the year, but it makes a good post-Christmas outing with a couple of big hill climbs to help you work off those excess mince pies.

I particularly like the morning (5.3km/3.3 miles), which involves an interesting expedition in the woods, and then a steep climb up and over a ridge to descend into Shoreham, whose four pubs should provide you with sufficient lunch stops.

After lunch the main walk (7.6km/4.7 miles) climbs up onto the downs, passing through the pretty valley of Magpie Bottom, to come down into Otford, where, if you can resist the temptation to get the train straightaway, the Hospices of Hope shop, with its tea room, should be open till 5pm, half an hour longer than the Pond View Cafe. (There are also pubs.)

ALTERNATIVE AFTERNOON: For a slightly longer afternoon,  you could try one of the loops of the Shoreham Circular walk (SWC walk 289): walk directions here, GPX here, map here:

- The Short walk (north) is 10.5km (6.5 miles), which would make a total walk from Knockholt of 15.8km (9.8 miles). Midway this passes the Lullingstone Cafe, open till 4pm

- The Short walk (south) is 9.3km (5.7 miles), making a total walk from Knockholt of 14.6km (9 miles). Midway this passes the Otford tea options mentioned above. (Don't get lazy after tea and forget to finish the walk, however...)

Trains back from Otford are at 29 and 59 (Thameslink stopping service - 1 hour to Blackfriars or 52 minutes to Victoria with a change at Bromley South), or at 20 and 46 past to Victoria (34 or 38 minutes).

Trains back from Shoreham are at 02 and 32 (Thameslink stopping service - 57 minutes to Blackfriars or 49 minutes to Victoria with a change in Bromley South).



T=3.37

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=17, I guess. 16 at the start (including two newbies, who we hope had a good day) and one met mid afternoon going the other way. She had apparently missed the outward train and decided to do the Otford Circular instead, so I think that counts.

It was w=cloudy-but-mild. There was mud, inevitably, but the thin slippery stuff over chalk was more of a problem than the deep gloopy stuff, producing one or two falls. To my surprise everyone seemed happy enough to do the main walk, so the Shoreham loops were not needed. We finished at dusk, so today at least 8 miles was enough.

After our first big climb of the day we got to Shoreham at 12.30 or so, early enough to squeeze into the King’s Arms, which otherwise had lots of reserved tables. Most ate here, including some who had tried the George and been told they would not even be allowed to order for 45 minutes. The food at the King’s Arms might not qualify for a Michelin star, but its staff served us quickly, it let us rearrange the furniture without complaint, and its portions were large, so it gets three stars in my book.

Arriving in Otford at 4pm a whole bunch of us had an earnest intent to go to the Hospices of Hope for tea, but one walker was already ensconced on the sofa at the Pond View Cafe and it seemed rude not to join him. Some of us then walked in the dark via the churchyard to the station to get trains at around 5pm.