15.4km (9.6 miles)
|Toughness||4 out of 10|
This is an absolute favourite Sunday outing of mine, passing two National Trust properties (Ightham Mote and Knole House) and traversing gentle countryside on the Greensand Ridge that somehow seems quintessentially English. In early spring it has interesting wildflowers - wood anemones, bluebells and wild garlic - and in the afternoon there is a fine (but gentle) climb up along an escarpment with magnificent views.
There are always several trains an hour from Charing Cross and Waterloo East to Sevenoaks, but trains are not stopping at London Bridge until mid 2016 due to station upgrade work. You can also reach Sevenoaks on Thameslink services from Blackfriars via Bromley South. Aim to start the walk at 10.30pm to get to The Padwell, Snail or Ightham Mote comfortably in time for lunch.
There are early lunch options at the Knole House tea room, and The Bucks Head in Godden Green (3.6km, 2.3 miles into the walk). More centrally placed are The Padwell, a pleasant rural pub, and the more upmarket Snail at Stone Street: these are about 6km, 4 miles into the walk).
Also a good choice is the National Trust-run self service restaurant at Ightham Mote (8km, 5 miles into the walk)
The National Trust Knole House tea room is recommended once it reopens after its refurbishment (which as of December 2014 was still ongoing). Otherwise, Sevenoaks has several nice cafes.
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Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk