Saturday Walkers Club www.walkingclub.org.uk
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by Sean O'Neill

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by Sean O'Neill

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by Sean O'Neill

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by Sean O'Neill

Beeches near Oxted

Beeches near Oxted

by Saturdaywalker

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by Sean O'Neill

Oxted Circular Walk

The Greensand Hills on the Surrey/Kent border to historic Westerham, with a choice of routes for the return leg.

Oxted Circular
Length

Main Walk: 19¼ km (12.0 miles). Four hours 45 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.

Long Walk, via Chartwell: 22½ km (14.0 miles). Five hours 45 minutes walking time.

Alternative Walk, finishing at Westerham: 18¼ km (11.3 miles). Four hours 40 minutes walking time.

Short Circular Walk, from Westerham: 9½ km (5.9 miles). Two hours 30 minutes walking time.

OS Maps

Explorer 147 & (for a small section at the start and finish) 146. Oxted, map reference TQ393529, is in Surrey, 15 km SE of Croydon. Westerham is in Kent.

Toughness

5 out of 10 (7 for the Long Walk, 6 for the Alternative Walk, 3 for the Short Circular Walk).

Features

Much of this walk is on the wooded Greensand hills running parallel to and just south of the North Downs, which you can see across the valley for much of the outward route. The return route is closer to the southern escarpment and has far-reaching views out to the High Weald.

The route out of Oxted is via Limpsfield, where a stained glass window dedicated to St Cecilia in St Peter's Church commemorates the celebrated musicians who are buried in its churchyard. The walk continues across the National Trust's Limpsfield Common, the High Chart (some of which is part of the Titsey Estate) and Squerryes Park.

There is a choice of lunchtime pubs in Westerham, described by Daniel Defoe as a “neat, handsome, well-built market town”. Memorials in the 14thC St Mary's Church and two statues on the Green honour its most famous residents, General James Wolfe and Sir Winston Churchill. Wolfe was born in the town and his childhood home, named Quebec House after his famous victory in 1759, is owned by the National Trust. The house is open Wed–Sun afternoons from mid-March to October; admission (2016) is £5.50.

The afternoon route starts with an attractive section up the open Darent valley and climbs onto the wooded Crockhamhill Common, from where an optional extension (see below) loops out to Churchill's family home Chartwell, also owned by the National Trust. The garden and restaurant are open throughout the year, but the house is only open from March to October; admission (2016) is £13.40 or £6.70 for the garden only.

Additional Notes

This walk began as an attempt to extend Book 2 Walk 16a (Hurst Green to Oxted) to take in the attractive town of Westerham. As some of the more direct routes proved unsuitable it has evolved into a separate walk, almost as long as the main Walk 16. Some sections inevitably overlap with the route of the Book 2 walk, but these are mostly done in the reverse order and only the final section is the same as Walk 16a.

The sections of this walk around Chartwell had to be revised because the National Trust locked some back entrances into the estate in 2015, presumably because a few walkers were using them to avoid paying the entry fee. The revised version does a short loop from Crockhamhill Common to Chartwell via Mariners Hill, and drops the original Long Walk's different route back to Oxted (which still features in several other SWC walks).

The new walk options which finish at Westerham currently leave the Chartwell Estate via Hosey Common Lane, but it is possible that this exit too might be closed in future.

Walk Options

As mentioned above, when you reach Crockhamhill Common you can take an optional loop to Chartwell. This Long Walk takes in some fine views from Mariners Hill and adds at least 3¼ km to the walk length; more if you also do a circuit around the estate's Woodland Walk and/or visit the property.

This walk's original route to Chartwell is used here in the reverse direction to provide an Alternative Walk, looping back to Westerham. This is particularly useful if you spend time at Chartwell and want a shorter ending; Oxted is twice as far away. The structure of this alternative walk means that you could do the second half as a Short Circular Walk from Westerham, although this is obviously easier for car drivers.

Chartwell has a bus service on Sundays and Bank Holidays when the house is open, so you could finish the walk there on those days (details below).

Transport

There is a half-hourly service from Victoria to Oxted, taking 37 minutes, and a faster hourly service (Mon–Sat) from London Bridge, taking 28 minutes.

For the walk options which start or finish in Westerham you will need to take a bus, but note that it is not possible to travel to or from Oxted on Sundays and Bank Holidays. From Westerham Southdown 594/595 goes W to Oxted (Mon–Sat), London bus 246 goes N to Bromley (starting from Chartwell on summer Sun & BH), and Go-Coach 401 goes E to Sevenoaks. Although much of its route is outside the London boundary, Travelcards and Oyster can be used on the 246, even from Chartwell.

If driving, Oxted station car park is free after 10am, but you are unlikely to find a space during the week. Westerham has a large car park on the eastern edge of the town, free for the first three hours; street parking is possible away from the town centre.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 10:00 from London Bridge (or Victoria) to Oxted.

Train Times

Lunch

There are three large pubs to choose from in Westerham, 8¾ km into the walk. If it is not too busy the suggested lunch place is the George & Dragon (01959-563071), but the Kings Arms Hotel (01959-562990) and the Grasshopper on the Green (01959-562926) are both good alternatives and large groups would do well to disperse among all three. There are also several cafés and tearooms in the town (see below).

Tea

For the main walk options finishing in Oxted you pass a Costa Coffee (01883-723149) at 62 Station Road East, open to 6.30pm (5.30pm Sun); there is also a Caffè Nero (01883-730220) just past the station, open similar hours. On the other side of the railway, Café Papillon at 54 Station Road West (01883-717031) serves afternoon tea until 5pm (Mon–Sat), and there is a JD Wetherspoon's pub, the Oxted Inn (01883-723440).

For the alternative walk options ending at Westerham there is an even greater choice of tea places, plus all the pubs listed above. Around the Green the Tudor Rose Tearooms (01959-563391) are open to 4.30pm Tue-Fri, 5pm Sat-Sun (closed Mon); Food for Thought (01959-569888) is open to 5pm Mon-Thu, 5.30pm Fri-Sun. Up the A25 towards Market Square there is a Costa Coffee (01959-563443) and Deli di Luca (01959-569726), and more places further along the main road.

All the walk options pass other tea places in mid-afternoon. If you go via Chartwell its popular (and usually busy) Landemare café (01732-866368) makes a convenient refreshment stop. About an hour before Oxted you could break at the Carpenters Arms (01883-722209) in Limpsfield Chart.

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: RH8 9EU | Directions

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Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jun-16

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

Oxted Circular

Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).

Walk Map: Oxted Circular Walk Map

Walk Options

Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.

  1. Main Walk (19¼ km)
  1. Long Walk, via Chartwell (22½ km)
  2. Alternative Walk, finishing at Westerham (18¼ km)
  3. Short Circular Walk, from Westerham (9½ km)

Walk Directions

Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.

For the Short Circular Walk from Westerham, start at §6.

  1. Oxted Station to Limpsfield Church (1½ km)
  2. Go down Station Road East and then along Gresham Road and Granville Road. Turn right onto a footpath which leads into a meadow, and go through this to Detillens Lane. Turn left onto this road and then left at a T-junction to reach Limpsfield church.

    Go down steps from the platform and turn right to go through a small car parking area. Bear right into Station Road East, then in 200m turn left into Gresham Road. After passing the Council Offices and Oxted Library, turn right into Granville Road.

    250m along this road, before #24, turn right onto a narrow footpath between hedges. After passing the houses and a small allotment, a meadow appears on your left.

    The original walk route went through this open meadow to Bluehouse Lane, but public access through this area is disputed and in mid-2009 it was fenced off. The route now follows the public footpath.

    Continue across a footbridge over the infant River Eden1 and bear left on the other side. Follow a grassy path across the meadow, alongside a row of wooden posts. This leads to a fenced-in path between houses, which comes out on Detillens Lane. Turn left and go along this road for 300m to a T-junction with Limpsfield's High Street, where there is a row of attractive half-timbered cottages on your right.

    Turn left at the junction and cross over the road. In 100m go up a slope and through the lychgate into St Peter's churchyard. The public footpath continues to the right of the church (eventually leaving the churchyard in its opposite corner), but you might like to detour ahead to find the gravestones of some celebrated musicians2 overlooking the road.

  3. Limpsfield Church to Westerham Road (1½ km)
  4. Take a footpath at the back of the churchyard and zig-zag right and left to reach a sunken lane. Turn right onto it; later, keep ahead through a wood and then alongside a golf course to Westerham Road.

    After visiting the church, make your way through the churchyard to leave it near the opposite corner and continue along a path between hedges, heading N. After bending round to the right, this comes to a path junction by a small car parking area.

    Turn right onto a footpath heading SE, with a field on your left behind a wire fence. Follow the path round to the left at the top corner. Where the path splits, fork left across a small dip and continue along the right-hand edge of a field. At the far end, go down steps on the right to a sunken lane. Turn right onto the lane to head SE again, gently uphill, initially with open fields on your left and then a wood.

    In 500m, where the lane bends sharply to the right, keep ahead past a green vehicle barrier into a wood. Follow the main path uphill, slightly to the left, to meet another lane by the corner of a golf course, with a three-way signpost on your right. Keep ahead on a bridleway on the edge of the golf course, parallel to the lane (Grub Street) on your left.

    In 300m the path and lane both meet the A25. Cross this busy road carefully, slightly to the left, and go into the car park for the Club House opposite.

  5. Westerham Road to Moorhouse Road (2¼ km)
  6. On the other side of the main road continue along the edge of the golf course, then turn left to go through woods and fields towards Watts Hill. Veer right to join the Vanguard Way and follow this to Ridlands Road. Go across this and skirt around a cricket pitch to reach Moorhouse Road.

    Go across a minor road to the far corner of the car park and continue on the broad track heading SE. The gardens of some large houses are behind fences on the left and the golf course is behind trees on the right.

    In 500m you reach the end of the houses and the track comes out at a path junction by a golf green. Do not take either of the tracks ahead, but turn left to walk along the edge of the fairway, heading NE.

    For the next 1½ km you now follow (in reverse) part of the route of Book 2 Walk 16a.

    Where the fairway ends, keep ahead into the trees and stay on a path near the edge of the wood for 200m, ignoring a fork to the right. Where the path bends right at a corner of the wood, however, go over a stile on the left and continue along the left-hand edge of a field for 150m, with another wood ahead on your right.

    At the end of the fence turn right, away from a gate and stile. Enter the wood on a rather indistinct track and follow it round to the left to head NE again. In 150m this muddy path drops down and leaves the wood by a footpath post.

    Keep ahead across a narrow field and go over a stile into another wood. The path veers left and right to join a bridleway, which immediately splits. Take the right fork to head E and follow another potentially muddy path for about 250m as it meanders through the wood.

    At the next set of path junctions, keep right to head SE on a path near the right-hand edge of the wood. Where the path widens and becomes less distinct, follow the line of some old beech trees on your right, near the edge of the wood. The path crosses this ancient boundary by a bridleway marker and you continue with the trees on your left, heading due S.

    At the next path junction fork left off the bridleway, following a yellow NT marker (and leaving the Book 2 route). The path climbs gently and in 175m reaches Ridlands Lane. Cross the lane and go past a few trees onto a playing field, with a pavilion on your left. Skirt around the right-hand side of the cricket pitch and turn left on the far side onto a grassy path leading towards some trees. Go past these and across Moorhouse Road into a small car park.

  7. Moorhouse Road to Goodley Stock Road (1¾ km)
  8. Go through the car park and head eastwards to Yalden Spring. Go past this onto a broad track heading north-east through the Titsey Estate. At a corner of the wood, continue eastwards on a path on the edge of the wood to reach Goodley Stock Road.

    Go through the car park and take the path next to the information panel, heading E. Keep ahead where a broad grassy path merges from the right. About 200m from the road, immediately after a path merges from the left and the main path bears right, keep ahead on the path indicated by a yellow NT marker. In 50m, go straight on at the next path junction3.

    The path dips down into a hollow where there is a large pond and some other pools of water, including one by a sloping beech tree4. Go across the edge of the pond on a new wooden footbridge. On the other side, bear left onto a broad track into the Titsey Estate's High Chart (not the public footpath to its left), initially heading N.

    The route described below is along permitted paths and horse rides which are normally open to the public all year round. If access is not possible (eg. because of forestry operations) you would need to devise an alternative route. One possibility would be to head south through Limpsfield Chart and join the Greensand Way, which includes a waymarked Link Route from Goodley Stock into Westerham. If you do this you can pick up the directions at [•] in the next section.

    The broad track curves round to the right and later goes through a large cleared area, the result of forestry operations in 2014. After another bend to the right the track comes to a T-junction near a corner of the wood, with a large field visible up ahead on the left. Turn left, then right onto a track running just inside the wood, curving gradually to the right to head E. Continue along this woodland track for 500m to reach Goodley Stock Road, with fine views across the valley to the North Downs.

  9. Goodley Stock Road to Westerham (1¾ km)
  10. Westerham Cross the road and keep left to come to a junction with a branch of the Greensand Way. Turn left and follow this towards Westerham. On the outskirts of the town, leave the GW and take a footpath which goes past the Kings Arms Hotel into Market Square, opposite the George & Dragon.

    Cross the road carefully (the traffic can be quite fast) into the Squerryes Estate. Take the left-hand path, heading NE, then fork left to stay near the edge of the wood. 300m from the road you come to a T-junction and turn left, joining a Link Route for the Greensand Way5 (GW).

    Westerham [•] In 100m go across a farm track into Squerryes Park (Squerryes Court6 is in the valley down to the left and not visible from the public footpath). Continue in much the same direction, negotiating a series of kissing gates and stiles about 100m apart. The path eventually goes down a long slope towards Westerham.

    At the bottom of the hill turn left, which takes you onto a track alongside the infant River Darent, just 2 km from its source. Opposite a large pond ignore a footpath on the right (the continuation of the GW, which you will be coming back on after lunch), but shortly afterwards fork right at another public footpath sign to go gently uphill on a track.

    Where the track ends at a couple of gates, continue on a path between them to reach a lane. Go across this (slightly to the right) onto an enclosed path which leads to a hotel car park. Turn left to go past the entrance of the Kings Arms Hotel into Market Square, with the George & Dragon on the other side of the A25. Both of these large pubs7 are possible lunch stops; for others turn right to find the Grasshopper on the Green and several cafés and tearooms.

  11. Westerham to Squerryes Park (1 km)
  12. From the Green, the suggested route out of the town is to go past the parish church and down to Quebec House, then via Mill Street to a footpath heading west to join a branch of the Greensand Way (or for a short cut, take this Link Route from the Green along Water Lane). Leave the GW where it forks right uphill, taking a permissive path into Squerryes Park.

    The main route goes past Quebec House on the way out of the town, but involves a slightly awkward crossing of the A25. For an easier and shorter route you can cross the main road below the centre of the Green and go along Water Lane, turning right at the far end onto a path running along the bottom of a field. If you do this, continue the directions at [•] below.

    For the suggested route go across the top of the Green (with its statues of General James Wolfe and Sir Winston Churchill) to St Mary's church, which is worth visiting. Pass to the right of the war memorial and leave the churchyard by a kissing gate near Church Cottage. Go down the short alleyway to the A25 and turn left.

    Quebec House is on the left-hand side of this main road opposite its junction with the B2026 (Hosey Hill), but the continuation of the walk is on the other side of the A25 before then, along Mill Street. Unless you are visiting the house, therefore, cross the busy main road with great care as soon as it is safe to do so and turn into this private road, which is also a public footpath.

    At a parking area at the end of this short lane, bear right up a path and cross a stile into a field. Follow the path to the right, crossing a footbridge over the River Darent. Go through a gap in the hedge ahead and turn right to walk along the bottom of the field. In 150m you pass a kissing gate on the right, the route of the short cut.

    [•] Go all the way along the bottom of the field, with the river flowing through some large gardens behind the trees on your right. At the end go over a footbridge and a stile and turn left onto a track. The track leads into an open valley and splits; the right-hand path (uphill) is the route from Oxted but you fork left past a metal fieldgate onto a permissive path into Squerryes Park.

  13. Squerryes Park to Crockhamhill Common (2½ km)
  14. Follow the path along the left-hand side of the Darent valley for 1 km, then veer right to join a public footpath on the other side. At the end of the valley head for Crockham House and go onto Crockhamhill Common. Take the footpath heading south across it for 500m, then turn right briefly onto a bridleway at a T-junction.

    Follow a clear path heading SE and later S along the valley floor for 1 km, with a wooded hillside behind the River Darent on your left; along the way you pass some old fish ponds. Eventually the path goes through a metal fieldgate onto a track, where you turn right (if the gate is locked, a stile 20m to its left is the official right of way). Follow the path alongside a hedge for 125m to a path crossing.

    Turn left at the path crossing and go up to a stile beside a field gate. Cross this and continue along the right-hand side of the valley, now with a wood on your right8. In 400m, before the wood curves away to the right, follow the path down a short slope and across the grass towards Crockham House, with another isolated house off to the right. Go over a stile into the wooded Crockhamhill Common. Ignore paths to both sides and go straight ahead on a narrow footpath climbing through the wood.

    The path climbs quite steeply at first and continues to climb steadily as you go through a more open area. Ignore any temporary forest tracks and follow the footpath as it heads roughly S for 500m, with occasional yellow arrows on trees to guide you. The path eventually comes to a T-junction with a bridleway where you turn right. In 40m you come to another three-way path junction.

    If you are doing the Main Walk and returning directly to Oxted, go to §12.

  15. Crockhamhill Common to Chartwell (2¼ km)
  16. At the next junction fork left onto the continuation of the footpath. Veer left past The Warren and leave the common in its south-east corner. Go across the B2026 onto Mariners Hill and take a permissive path looping round to the right (past a memorial) for the best views. Go back into the woodland and turn right down a bridleway. Shortly before this comes out onto Mapleton Road turn left onto a permissive path parallel to the road. At the end veer right down the bank to come out opposite the visitor entrance to Chartwell. Veer right through the car park for the NT Café and entrance to the property.

    At this second path junction fork left to head S again on the continuation of the footpath. In 150m you come to an open space in front of an isolated house, “The Warren”. Veer left across its parking area and take a path back into the wood, then in 20m turn right at a footpath marker post.

    Follow this narrow path gently downhill for 200m, heading SE, to come to a path junction at the edge of the wood. Immediately after merging with a bridleway from the left, turn left at a T-junction (essentially you are staying on the footpath as it crosses over the bridleway). After curving right the path straightens out to head E, with a large garden behind a hedge on your left and far-reaching views off to the right.

    The path comes out onto a road (the B2026) at a sharp bend, with a private road (Froghole Lane) off to the right. Cross the main road with great care and climb a flight of stone steps near the start of the side road onto a wooded part of Mariners Hill. At the top of the steps turn right onto a short woodland path, which comes to a bench at a viewpoint. Continue over a stile and across a field, then over another stile onto a path through a copse, where you pass a memorial9 stone.

    At the end of the trees keep ahead down a short bank (or use some steps just off to the left) and turn left onto a fenced path, with more fine views off to the right. Follow this path around the field edge and back into trees on the far side. At a path crossing just inside the wood turn right onto a bridleway going downhill and heading E.

    In 200m turn left at a path crossing (away from a new permissive path down to your right). The path climbs gently for a short distance and then levels out. Soon you are walking along the top of a wooded bank some way above Mapleton Road on the right, and through gaps in the trees you might be able to glimpse Chartwell and its grounds on the other side of the road.

    The National Trust entrance to the property is 400m ahead, so continue along the path. At the end keep right to go down the bank onto Mapleton Road, with the visitor entrance opposite and a public footpath to its left, the Greensand Way5 (GW).

    The Long Walk returns to this point so if the grounds are closed you can simply ignore the directions to and from the café area. If you are returning to Westerham you can bypass the grounds by taking the Greensand Way uphill alongside them; at the top turn left onto Hosey Common Lane and continue the directions at §10.

    Cross the road carefully and go into the grounds, then immediately turn right off the driveway onto a path down a grassy bank into the visitor car park. At the far end the NT Café is on the right, opposite the visitor entrance to the house and garden.

    If you are doing the Long Walk and returning to Oxted, go to §11.

  17. Chartwell to Hosey Common Lane (1½ km)
  18. Make your way onto the NT Woodland Walk, a circuit around the woodland at the back of the Chartwell Estate. Leave through a pedestrian exit onto Hosey Common Lane and turn left onto the lane.

    From the café area make your way back through the main car park.

    If you have been visiting the property you could head for the back of the grounds, go through one of the gates and turn left onto the NT Woodland Walk; if you do this, pick up the directions at [•] in the ‘Longer route’ below.

    Towards the end of the main car park veer right onto a new surfaced path. Go through a wooden gate and along the right-hand side of the overflow car park. Leave through another gate and turn half-left to go diagonally across a picnic area and up a broad grassy path leading to a wooden fieldgate. Go through a side gate and turn right onto the NT Woodland Walk, which in 40m forks into two broad estate paths, both climbing up the hillside.

    • Short cut (−600m)
    • If you want to take the most direct route fork left, climbing more steeply up the hillside. At the top the path veers right and in a further 150m comes to the exit, a wooden fieldgate on the left. Go over the adjacent stile, turn left onto Hosey Common Lane and in 200m keep ahead where the lane crosses the Greensand Way.

      Continue the directions at §10.

    For the suggested route fork right. Follow the path uphill and round to the right, then on an undulating stretch for about 500m to a path crossing. The main route is the path up to the left, but for an extended loop follow the directions below.

    • Longer route (+1 km)
    • For the extended loop keep ahead at the path crossing and follow the main path all the way down to the far side of the Chartwell Estate, where there is a (locked) fieldgate ahead. Turn sharp right to double back on a fenced path running along the back of the grounds, with fine views across the lake to the house. Along the way you pass several gates where visitors to the property can join the Woodland Walk.

      [•] Follow the path as it makes its way back up the hillside. Shortly after zig-zagging right and left the path turns right again and a short climb brings you to the path crossing at the start of this extension. Go straight ahead, crossing over the outward route.

    The path (signposted “Bomb crater” and “Chestnut coppice”) zig-zags uphill and continues briefly alongside a field. At the corner fork left onto a newly-laid path through the trees, leaving the main estate path. In 100m you pass the crater (with a distant view of the house) and later a small boardwalk around four coppiced sweet chestnut trees. The path then turns right and eventually comes to a T-junction in front of a newly-coppiced area of woodland. Turn left back onto the main estate path.

    In 60m you come to the exit, a wooden fieldgate on the right. Go over the adjacent stile, turn left onto Hosey Common Lane and in 200m keep ahead where the lane crosses the Greensand Way.

  19. Hosey Common Lane to Westerham (2½ km)
  20. Head north-west along Hosey Common Lane. 100m before reaching the B2026, turn left onto a footpath to reach this road in front of Tower Wood. Follow a permissive track through the wood, which curves round to the right and goes past its folly (alternatively, take a public footpath running along the boundary of the wood). At the far end continue across a grassy plateau past Glebe House and down towards Westerham. Keep ahead on a fenced path across the River Darent and along Water Lane to the Green.

    Continue along this quiet lane through the wooded Hosey Common for 500m, heading NW. Immediately after passing a fenced-off area around an isolated property on the left, turn left onto a signposted footpath. Ignoring side turns, this brings you to the B2026 (Hosey Common Road) in 125m, with a fieldgate opposite guarding the entrance to Tower Wood10.

    If access through Tower Wood is no longer permitted, turn right briefly along the road and then bear left onto a public footpath running along its boundary. In 750m the path curves left and comes out into the bottom corner of a field, at the point where the main route leaves the wood. If you take this route, continue the directions at [•] below.

    For the main route, go past the fieldgate and take the left-hand of two tracks into Tower Wood, initially heading W. This gradually curves round to the right and comes to a meeting of tracks around the ruins of a large brick watchtower folly, smothered in ivy. Go past this to continue in the same direction, gently descending on a long straight track heading N. In 600m the track swings right and drops down to the bottom of the wood, where you turn sharp left to come out into the corner of a large field.

    [•] Veer right to climb steeply uphill on a grassy path a little way out from the right-hand field edge. 200m after the path has levelled off, keep ahead at an oblique path crossing, aiming slightly to the left of Westerham church ahead. In a further 150m go through a metal kissing gate and down a grassy slope to the trees at the bottom.

    Keep ahead through a wooden kissing gate onto a fenced path between gardens. After crossing the River Darent a short climb (now on Water Lane) leads out onto the A25 opposite Westerham Green.

    There are several tearooms and other refreshment places around the green. London Bus 246 to Bromley leaves from the stop by Water Lane, and buses to Sevenoaks from the stop opposite. Buses to Oxted leave from the stop outside the Kings Arms Hotel (along the main road to the left, where there are more refreshment places).

  21. Chartwell to Crockhamhill Common (1¼ km)
  22. Retrace your steps through the car park. If you wish you can take an optional circuit around the woodland at the back of the Chartwell Estate before leaving via the main visitor entrance. Cross Mapleton Road and go back up the bank, joining the Greensand Way. Follow the GW south-west through a wood to the B2026. Cross this and continue down a driveway. After passing April Cottage fork left, then in 100m bear right off the GW onto another bridleway heading west across Crockhamhill Common. In 250m the footpath from Westerham joins from the right and you briefly retrace your steps to the next path junction.

    After visiting the café and/or the house and garden, make your way back through the main car park. Unless you want to do an additional loop around the woodland at the back of the estate grounds (described below), simply keep left and leave the estate through the main visitor entrance.

    • Optional Woodland Walk (+1¾ km)
    • Fork right and follow the path uphill and round to the right, then on an undulating stretch for about 500m. You reach a four-way signpost where you turn left.

      In 60m keep left, ignoring an exit onto Hosey Common Lane. In a further 150m the path veers left and drops steeply downhill. Go all the way down to the bottom and leave the estate through the main visitor entrance.

    Cross Mapleton Road carefully and retrace your steps up the footpath opposite, on the Greensand Way (GW). At the top of the bank ignore several paths off to the left, including the permissive path from your outward route. Follow the GW for 500m as it heads SW through the woodland, ignoring signposted footpaths off to both sides along the way.

    Towards the end of the wood go straight across a driveway and follow the path up to and then briefly alongside a high wooden fence. At the end of the fence bear right to go downhill on a sunken path which comes out onto the B2026 beside the drive you crossed earlier. Cross the road carefully and continue on the driveway opposite, still on the GW.

    After passing the entrance to April Cottage fork left to go gently uphill on a rutted track, heading W. In 100m (at a bridleway marker post) fork right off the GW onto another bridleway. This narrow path climbs through the trees for 50m and then emerges into a more open area. In a further 200m bear left at a path junction where the footpath from Westerham joins from the right. Retrace your earlier route for 40m to another three-way path junction.

  23. Crockhamhill Common to Limpsfield Chart (2½ km)
  24. At the next junction fork right, staying on the bridleway. In 250m keep ahead at a major path crossing, then fork left. After briefly merging with the GW veer left onto a narrow footpath which comes out onto the B269 near its junction with Goodley Stock Road. Head west along the B269 for a short distance and turn left up the driveway to Greystones. Bear right past the house onto a footpath which leads down to a lane. Turn right onto this, then fork left onto a footpath which goes along the side of Scearn Bank and eventually back up to the B269 at Limpsfield Chart. Go diagonally across a small common towards the Carpenters Arms.

    At this second path junction fork right, staying on the bridleway and heading W. Continue for 250m to a five-way path junction (the path splits into two before then but the two arms rejoin), with a large oak tree at one corner. Keep ahead at this major junction, then in 30m fork left at an unsignposted path junction. In a further 250m a footpath (the Greensand Way) merges from the left.

    The final set of path junctions is tricky. Essentially you will soon be veering left onto an unsignposted footpath which emerges onto the B269 close to its junction with Goodley Stock Road. If you go astray and come out onto this minor road (a long straight road running north-south), turn left onto it and then turn right at its T-junction with the B269.

    In 100m bear left onto a narrow path, leaving the GW which veers right. Go straight across a bridleway and follow the footpath as it winds its way through the trees towards the B269 (Kent Hatch Road): take care when you reach it as the traffic is quite fast and there is no pavement.

    Cross the busy main road with great care, trying not to be distracted by the fine views ahead across the Weald. Turn right to walk alongside it: although the traffic is coming from behind there is slightly more space for pedestrians on this side of the road. 100m past the junction with Goodley Stock Road, and just before the road sign welcoming you to Surrey, turn left off the road into the driveway to Greystones, signposted as a public footpath.

    At the end of the driveway bear right onto a narrow path through the trees, heading SW. In 100m turn left at a T-junction onto an awkward little path which drops steeply down to a tarmac driveway. Turn right onto the drive, then in 150m (as it starts to climb) bear left onto a signposted footpath. In 100m keep right and follow this path for a further 500m as it climbs gently along the side of the hill (Scearn Bank), with occasional glimpses of the High Weald through the trees on your left.

    Halfway along, a short detour up a path through gorse bushes on the right would take you to a bench at a viewpoint overlooking the trees; another path back down the slope lets you rejoin the main footpath a little further along.

    Where the footpath comes out onto a lane opposite a house (The Old School), turn right and follow the lane back to the B269 at its junction with Moorhouse Road. Cross the main road carefully (slightly to the left) onto a small common, with St Andrew's church on the other side of Moorhouse Road. Head NW across the common on a broad grassy bridleway to rejoin the Greensand Way by the Carpenters Arms.

  25. Limpsfield Chart to Limpsfield Common (1¾ km)
  26. At the Carpenters Arms join the Greensand Way and follow it along Post Office Row, across the B269 and past Tenchleys Park. Turn right into Pastens Road, then in 300m turn right onto a fenced footpath leading to Pains Hill Chapel. Cut across the corner of a golf course and continue along Brick Kiln Lane to Limpsfield Common.

    For the next 900m you now follow (in reverse) the short cut route near the start of Book 2 Walk 16.

    Cross Tally Road in front of the pub and go past its left-hand side into Post Office Row. Follow this round to the left to walk parallel to the road. At a T-junction with Ridlands Rise, cross over and take the tarmac path opposite, slightly to the left. This eventually reaches and runs alongside the B269. Near a pair of bus stops, cross back over the main road and go onto a path opposite, which gradually curves away from the road.

    Continue on this path, passing the entrance to Tenchleys Park on the left. 250m from the road, keep ahead through a wooden gate onto a path between hedges. In a further 200m this becomes a lane and reaches a road junction with a four-way signpost. Turn right at the junction into Pastens Road.

    Head NW along Pastens Road for 300m. Just after it bends to the left, turn right onto a footpath between the tall beech hedge and Oast Cottage (leaving the Book 2 route, which comes up Pastens Road on its way from Hurst Green station).

    In 200m the path comes out onto Chapel Road, with Pains Hill Chapel11 on your left. Turn left onto the road, then take a footpath on the right through trees onto a golf course. Veer left across the front of a golf tee onto a path which leads to Brick Kiln Lane. Bear right onto this lane to come to a road junction, where a bridleway joins from the right and two signposted paths up ahead on your left lead onto Limpsfield Common.

  27. Limpsfield Common to Oxted Station (2¾ km)
  28. Oxted Head north-west across the common to New Road and then Wolf's Road, still on the GW. Continue across West Heath, with the suggested route being a permissive path parallel to the GW. On the far side turn right briefly onto Rockfield Road (leaving the GW), then fork left onto a parallel bridleway going down to the A25. Cross this main road and cut through an alleyway and side roads to Station Road East. Turn left to reach Oxted station.

    The remainder of this walk is essentially the same as the ending of Book 2 Walk 16a, the Hurst Green to Oxted short walk.

    Take the left-hand of the two paths ahead (a public bridleway with a GW marker), heading NW. In 250m, go straight ahead at a major path crossing in a dip, then fork right at the next junction. Ignore side paths to reach New Road. Cross over this road and continue briefly in the same direction, then fork left to head W on the GW. In 200m the path comes out onto Wolf's Road with a large redbrick building ahead, the former St Michael's school12.

    Cross the road and bear left onto the lane opposite, now heading SW. Although you could continue on this long straight lane (as per the Book 2 route), the suggested route is to fork left at the end of the redbrick building onto a permissive bridleway. Follow this through the wood, roughly parallel to the lane and ignoring side turnings.

    In 400m go straight across a small clearing, with the lane just off to your right. On the other side bear right onto a path through a lightly wooded part of the common, which soon comes to a path T-junction in front of open heathland. Turn right onto a broad path curving round to a corner of the common, with the GW rejoining from the right.

    Oxted Continue on a driveway leading to Rockfield Road, with a minor road opposite (Icehouse Wood). Turn right onto the main road, finally leaving the GW. In 100m, just after passing a cul-de-sac on your left, bear left onto a bridleway and follow this downhill for 500m to the A25.

    Cross this busy road carefully at the traffic island and go up the alleyway opposite. Continue along a residential road, forking right at a small green to go down to Station Road East. Turn left here, passing the Council Offices and rejoining your outward route. Costa Coffee is on the right-hand side of this road, and if you go past the turning to the station you come to Caffè Nero on the left.

    For trains to London from Platform 1 go through the pedestrian tunnel; on the other side Café Papillon is the first place on Station Road West and the Oxted Inn is on the left.

Walk Notes

  1. The source of the River Eden is in the Titsey Estate, less than 2 km away on the slopes of the North Downs. The river flows through Edenbridge and Hever and joins the River Medway near Penshurst.
  2. The composer Frederick Delius (1862-1934) and conductors Sir Thomas Beecham and Norman Del Mar are buried in the churchyard of St Peter, Limpsfield. Delius was born in Bradford and spent most of his life in France; he had no connection with the village but his friends thought he should be buried in a typical English country churchyard.
  3. At about this point you cross over the course of the Roman Road from London to Lewes. Just to the north, the road ran through what is now Clacket Lane Services on today's equivalent form of highway, the M25. Some Roman artefacts from the area are rather appropriately displayed there.
  4. The small pool of water is Yalden Spring, said to be the uppermost source of the River Darent. This flows through Otford and Dartford into the River Thames.
  5. The Greensand Way follows the course of a sandstone ridge just to the south of the North Downs. It runs for 175 km from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent.
  6. Squerryes Court is an attractive 17thC manor house, owned by the Warde family since 1731. It was used as Hartfield in a BBC production of Emma. Since 2012 it has no longer been open to the public.
  7. All three of Westerham's pubs were coaching inns. The George & Dragon took the private carriages and the Grasshopper Inn the public coaches.
  8. This is the site of an Iron Age hill fort, although there is little to see as it is now completely overgrown.
  9. The Memorial on Mariners Hill commemorates the gift of this land to the National Trust in 1904.
  10. Tower Wood is part of the Squerryes estate and according to a Sevenoaks Council document “has long been used by the public with the consent of the owner”.
  11. Pains Hill Chapel is a small Independent Evangelical Church dating from the early 19thC.
  12. St Michael's school closed in 2002 and is now a block of luxury apartments.

» Last updated: June 7, 2016

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