North Downs Way near Cuxton 1

28-Apr-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

book3 walkicon swcwalks walk35


Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk35


Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk35


Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk35

Tall fun guy

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk35


Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

pretty book3 newwalk swcwalks walk35

Approaching Luddesdown

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk35

Cuxton to Sole Street walk

Open views and a wooded ridge before lunch. A short afternoon passes a large organic farm (wildflowers) and the Leather Bottle pub (of Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers) in Cobham


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sat, 24-Mar-18 17

Saturday walk - Cuxton to Sole Street combination walk

Cuxton to Harvel to Sole Street (SWC 35c + Book 2, walk 17)
Length: 16.6km (10.3 miles), with optional 5.6km (3.5 mile extension)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.55 Southeastern high speed train from St Pancras to Strood, arriving 10.27, changing for the 10.34 (Maidstone West-bound) train to Cuxton, arriving 10.38.

You can also get the 9.09 from Charing Cross (9.12 Waterloo East, 9.18 London Bridge, 9.27 Lewisham) to Strood, arriving 10.13 to connect with the Cuxton train as above

Buy a day return to Rochester, which will also be valid for return from Sole Street.

This combination of walks has only been done once before and that many moons ago. It involves doing the morning of the Cuxton to Sole Street walk (SWC 35 : directions here and GPX here), switching when prompted to option c, to get to lunch at the Amazon and Tiger pub in Harvel. From there you can do the afternoon of the Snodland to Sole Street walk (book 2, walk 17: directions here - start from point [4] on page 3 - GPX here) to Sole Street.

If, as I suggest, you use the main walk start from Cuxton, this makes a walk of 10.3km (6.4 miles) before lunch and 6.3km (3.9 miles) after lunch.

- There is the option of a shorter start from Cuxton which reduces the morning to 8km (4.9 miles). You could potentially get the 10.22 train from St Pancras if you want to do this.

- At the end the walk there is a possible 5.6km (3.9 mile) extension up to the village of Cobham, with its choice of pubs: see option d) of the Cuxton to Sole Street walk.

Why am I choosing this walk today? The link route between the two walks contains two nice wood anemone woods, which just may be starting to flower (though last week's cold may have set them back). It is otherwise quite a cute little link route. This whole area is also one of chalk downland (a lot of it wooded) which, while certainly not mud-free, may be a little less muddy than other areas (famous last words).

Whether you do the standard Sole Street ending or the extension, there is a nice choice of pubs at the end of the walk.

Trains back from Sole Street are on the hour (00 past) to Victoria, taking 53 minutes. If you have a ticket from St Pancras it is also possible to get the train in the other direction, towards Rochester, at 25 past, changing there for a high speed service to St Pancras. But there is as 20 minute wait for a connection, making a total journey time of 1 hour 11 minutes, so this is not really worth it unless you really really want to end up in St Pancras. T=3.35c
15 on this walk or rather 17, since 2 started from Sole Street and met us at lunch. The weather was grey, but reasonably mild: I still dream of one day doing a Saturday walk in warm sunshine though. At least there were signs of spring. Lots LOTS of primroses in the woods, the cow parsley plants starting to bush up, mud drying (though still a fair bit on my boots when I got home), oodles of bluebell plants on the morning ridge. And yes, wood anemones, “wooden ms”, mostly just putting out their leaves but some in flower, though closed up under today’s leaden skies. Apologies to those who said at lunch that they had not seen them, but they were there. They get more obvious in coming weeks.

Most of us ate in the Amazon and Tiger, who coped well with our influx (they had no other diners). Credit to them for having a homemade vegan stew on the menu.

After lunch the group got fragmented, so I speak only of what I know, which is that three of us did the extension to Cobham and four (?) others walked directly to Cobham for tea at the Leather Bottle: they were leaving as we arrived. We three left the pub at dusk, which was at the ludicrously early hour of 6.30pm an indignity we will not suffer again until mid October.
Three walkers followed the recommended route to Sole Street and went to Cock Inn for refreshment and found close to 10 fast walkers already there. Some caught 4:53pm train back to Victoria whilst others went to Rochester at 5:25pm then high speed to Kng's X.
Sat, 07-Jan-17 12

Saturday Third Walk -- Open Ridges and a Dickensian Pub

SWC Walk 35: Cuxton to Sole Street

Distance: 11.7 miles or 18.8 km for those more metrically minded
Difficulty: 5 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:55 AM Southeastern train to Rochester from London St. Pancras (10:02 Stratford), changing at Strood (arrive 10:27; depart 10:34), arriving at Cuxton at 10:38. Alternatively, you can take the 9:09 AM slow coach to Strood from London Charing Cross (9:12 Waterloo East; 9:17 London Bridge; 9:27 Lewisham) and change onto the Cuxton train at Strood (arriving 10:19; departing 10:34). Return trains from Sole Street are hourly until 21:00; then there is a 21:31 and a 22:31. Buy a day return to Rochester.
This walk has not been done in quite some time and from recollection it is a pleasant walk in a pretty, but not well known, section of the North Downs with contrasting elements – including some nice open ridges and, for those of you who are Dickens fans, the chance to visit a pub, The Leather Bottle, that features briefly in the Pickwick Papers. The walk can be shorten after lunch. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

We are a bit spoiled for lunch and tea options on this walk. The recommended lunch pub is the Cock Inn (01474 814 208) in Luddesdowne (7.3 miles into the walk). However, the nearby Golden Lion (01474 815 644) also in Luddesdowne now serves lunch on Saturdays until 3:00pm and may well be worth a visit, as the Cock Inn also makes for a good tea stop towards the end of the walk (as the afternoon route loops back past it). The Leather Bottle (01474 814 327) in Cobham (10 miles into the walk) serves food all day and could be used as a late lunch stop or a tea stop.

Enjoy the walk!
12 on this walk. A gloomy and drizzly day. Under such circumstances the walk (which I might belatedly point out is much more varied and interesting than last Monday's Farningham to Sole Street) did its best to charm and enchant us, but truth to say it was rather the good company and interesting chat that provided the cheer.

We tried the Golden Lion for lunch. Very much a "locals" pub in which we were the only diners but the menu and food was not bad and the welcome perfectly friendly. Getting to Cobham at 3.50pm we split between those anxious to finish the walk in the daylight (what passed for daylight, anyway) and those who wanted a quick drink in the Leather Bottle. The pub party emerged half an hour later and still just about managed to get to the Cock Inn under natural light. We met some of the others there and had another drink in cosy surroundings.

There was much discussion about whether to stay or longer but the net result was we all went for the 6pm train, the last part of the walk being an atmospheric night crossing of a large arable field (without torches: you would be surprised how much light there is even at this time). Moonlight walk plans sadly had to wait for another day.
Sat, 20-Dec-14 13 Cuxton to Sole Street
Wed, 23-Oct-13 Cuxton to Sole Street
Sat, 16-Jun-12 Cuxton to Sole Street
Sat, 30-Apr-11 Cuxton to Sole Street, via Harvel
Sat, 09-Oct-10 Cuxton to Sole Street, with shorter start
Sat, 24-Apr-10 Cuxton to Sole Street, with shorter start and via Harvel
Sat, 14-Nov-09 Cuxton to Sole Street
Sun, 13-Apr-08 Cuxton to Sole Street
Sat, 03-Nov-07 Cuxton to Sole Street