Near the start

Edenbridge to Westerham

12-Sep-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk79

A cranesbill

Edenbridge to Westerham

12-Sep-09 • moontiger on Flickr

pretty book3 newwalk swcwalks walk79

Sunlit fern

Edenbridge to Westerham

12-Sep-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk79

Oasthouse with fuschia

Edenbridge to Westerham

12-Sep-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk79

Oasthouses

Edenbridge to Westerham

12-Sep-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk79

Gunnera

Chartwell House & Gardens were free today. I was most impressed by these huge leaves. Edenbridge to Westerham

12-Sep-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk79

"Ghostly" figure

Edenbridge to Westerham This figure in medieval dress was visible for quite a distance. As I got closer however it turned out to be a large tree stump.

12-Sep-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 newwalk swcwalks walk79

Edenbridge to Westerham walk

A slow climb from Eden Valley to the Greensand Ridge and the High Chart,via Chartwell (NT, Churchill's Home) and Emmetts Garden (NT).

History

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, 05-May-18 16

Saturday walk - Hurst Green to Ide Hill and onwards - bluebells and views

Hurst Green to Ide Hill to Penshurst (or Westerham) T=3.79
Length: 19.6km (12.2 miles) or 18.6km (11.6 miles) - Shorter options possible: see ** below
Toughness: 6 out of 10

9.53
(East Grinstead-bound) train from Victoria (9.59 Clapham Junction, 10.10 East Croydon) to Hurst Green, arriving 10.34.

Buy a day return to Penshurst, unless you intend to do the Westerham ending, in which case a Hurst Green return will do.

Whole swathes of SWC walkers are rushing off to barren mountainsides this weekend. Those of us who remain will have to console ourselves with bluebell woods, new green foliage, verges covered in flowers and flitting butterflies. Sigh....

This walk may look like the Book 2 Hurst Green to Chiddingstone walk, but it actually only shares the first mile and a half with that walk and - depending on which option you take - the ending. In between it keeps to the edge of the Greensand escarpment with mouth-watering views and several nice bluebell woods, finally landing up at the extensive bluebell woods below Ide Hill, which you can explore thoroughly.

So your directions for the walk are NOT the book two ones, but this document. (GPX file) You are doing the Hurst Green start (paragraph 164 on page 11) of the Edenbridge to Westerham walk. After this joins the main walk route, you follow that to Ide Hill (paragraphs 45 to 129).

Here you have a choice:

- You can, if you wish, just finish the walk to Westerham (the 11.6 mile option), passing lovely (but crowded) Emmetts Garden with its tea kiosk. But I am aware that this ending was done by some only a few weeks back on the Sevenoaks to Westerham walk. Emmetts Garden apart, it does not have any more bluebells either, though Westerham has nice tea options

- The alternative is to switch at Ide Hill (and ONLY at Ide Hill!!!) to the Book 2 Hurst Green to Chiddingstone Causeway walk - this document, this GPX file - picking up the directions from the Cock Inn on page 6 (so you only need pages 6-8). You then have a very pleasant stroll downhill (lovely at this time of year, with some more minor bluebell woods and so my preferred option) to the very nice Little Brown Jug pub opposite Penshurst station (12.2 miles from Hurst Green).

Lunch on either walk can be had in several places. The small pub in Crookham Hill always seems to be booked. The National Trust Cafe at Chartwell does hot food but in somewhat small portions. You can divert to the Fox and Hounds pub (directions provided), though this pub always seems to be a bit sniffy about walkers. Or you can hold on to the Cock Inn in Ide Hill 7.2 miles into the walk. This can be busy on a sunny day (though it was OK three weeks ago) but - as far as I know - does food all afternoon, so arriving after the main rush might not be tragic. In emergencies, Ide Hill has a nice community shop which does some food and has some tables. If you had lunch earlier, it is a possible tea stop.

Trains back from Penshurst are at 17.27 and 18.27 direct to Victoria - enjoy these through services, because after 20 May you will have to change at Redhill, albeit with a range of new Thameslink connections from there - or at 18.31 and 19.31, changing at Tonbridge, 20.27 changing at Redhill, 20.31 changing at Tonbridge or 22.21 changing at Redhill. These trains go in opposite directions from opposite platforms, so make sure you wait on the right side. Even with the changes, journey time is only just over an hour and because of engineering works this weekend the Tonbridge trains run into Victoria not Charing Cross, so plus ça change, plus c'est le meme chose - ha ha ha!

From Westerham you need to get a bus. The 594/595 runs at 16.33 and 17.33 to Oxted railway station, from where there are several trains an hour to London (your Hurst Green ticket is valid from Oxted). Otherwise the 246 (a London service, usual London bus fare, Oyster accepted) goes at 22 and 52 past till 18.22, then 19.22, 20.22, 21.13, 22.14, 23.15 to Hayes station (27 minutes) or Bromley South (38 minutes)

** SHORTER OPTIONS You can combine the Hurst Green start with the shorter ending of the Edenbridge to Westerham Walk. This makes a walk of 12km (7.5 miles). This misses out Ide Hill but still passes some bluebell woods, including a very nice one just beyond Mariners Hill which is not passed on the main walk. Lunch on this walk is at Chartwell, unless you can get into the pub in Crookham Hill. A shortcut to Emmetts Garden also cuts the main walk down to 14.6km (9.1 miles), again missing out Ide Hill but including most of the other delights of the escarpment walk: this is a good choice if you want time to explore the garden. Details of all these options and prompts telling you when to switch to them are in the Edenbridge to Westerham walk document.


Bus 404 stops next to Cock Inn in Ide Hill to either Edenbridge (16:11 and 18:20) or to Sevenoaks (13:55 and 17:00). Good or those who wish to take a short cut but do not want to miss Ide Hill Bluebells
Bus 404 may not run on weekends. Please check
Bring carrots for the Llamas at Ide Hill. Not cubed, as they can choke on these.
Llamas? I think you'll find they're donkeys. But you're right, the three of them like carrots (sliced lengthways).

The bluebells at Ide Hill are fully out but I reckon the display is better on the extensive south facing bank at Emmetts Garden. You can't see them from the public footpath but NT members can go through the South Garden to find them.

Bus 404 is Mon Fri only.
11 gathered on the platform in the already hot sun, but by mid morning we were mysteriously 13 and at lunch I learned 5 had got off the front of the train and not bothered to join us mid platform for the meet and greet. So 16 (possibly even 18, but I am not going to be greedy).

A gorgeous day out at a gorgeous time of year. Lambs were in the field, there were intense carpets of dandelions, the foliage was bright green, and stitchwort lined the lanes. Lots of butterflies (including my first red admiral of the season) and varied birdsong.

It is now evident, however, that there is something amiss with the bluebells this year. One delight of this walk is a series of little woods that are normally thick blue purple carpets in early May. But in some bluebells were barely visible and in others there was a thin covering a blue mist but no blue sea. Reasonable displays could be found on Mariner’s Hill (a tad off piste, so only three of us saw these) and on the lower slopes of Ide Hill. But only in one coppiced (felled) area were they really good, plus in another off piste area where the trees were sweet chestnut and so the foliage was not yet out. These latter two areas are the key to the puzzle, I think. What I think happened was that the bluebells were caught on the hop by the rapid advance of foliage in the hot third week of April, when we went from bare trees to nearly all leafing in five days. The period when the leaves are part out is normally the bluebells time. This year they were shaded out.

Support for this came late in the walk when we went off the path a bit and ended up in a fenced wood that was in intense flower. Here were bluebells thick and lush, as they should have been all the walk, a poignant sight.

Lunch was had at Chartwell, which has upped its game and now has an efficient and quick ordering system and decent food portions. Some did the short ending from here. Some talked of going to Emmetts Garden by the short cut and on to Westerham but I don’t know how many did. Around half of us carried on to Ide Hill to the Community Shop and Cafe there for a fine tea with a glorious escarpment view. We then had a long but idyllic walk down through fields and woods and along lanes to the Little Brown Jug by Penshurst station. (Making a 12 mile walk: proponents of 19 milers take note that we were all exhausted by the end of this). The pub was busy and lost marks for slow bar service and music blaring in its garden, but four of us decided to eat there and the food came quickly. It was lovely (though surprisingly a tad chilly) sitting in the golden sunset as insects milled about in the air. We got the 7.31pm train to Tonbridge, exhausted but happy.
Wed, 18-Oct-17 9

Wednesday Walk – Eden Valley and Greensand Ridge: Edenbridge Town to Westerham


Length: 18.8 km (11.7 mi) [shorter walk possible, see text and route map on the webpage]
Ascent/Descent: 442/378m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ½ hours
Toughness: 6 out of 10
Take the 10.08 Uckfield train from London Bridge (East Cr. 10.23), arrives Edenbridge Town 10.46.
Return from Westerham is by (TfL) bus to one of many stations, please see the webpage for details.
Buy an Edenbridge Stations return, to cover you for most possible return routes.
I know, this walk has already had two (weekend) outings this year, but only 2 and 3 people turned up respectively...and it sounds like a proper midweek walk: short but with hills.
The walk climbs out of the Eden Valley up to the Greensand Ridge for splendid views, passes Chartwell (NT), Churchill’s abode, and also Emmetts Garden (also NT). In between it skirts Toy’s Hill around its base, but later climbs Ide Hill, one of a total of five ascents.
Lunch: The Royal Oak in Crockham Hill (6.4 km/3.6 mi, food 12.00-14.30), Chartwell (NT café and self-service resto, 8.5 km/5.3 mi), Fox and Hounds in Toy’s Hill (off route uphill, 11.8 km/7.3 mi, food 12.00-15.00), Cock Inn in Ide Hill (13.3 km/8.3 mi).
Tea: Old Stables Café at Emmetts Garden (NT, 15.3km/9.5), several pubs and cafés in Westerham.
For walk directions, map, height profile, some photos, a video and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.79.a
6 off the train at Edenbridge Town, 1 encountered at lunch who had taken a train to Edenbridge (he walked the short version of the walk after lunch), and 2 encountered near Toy's Hill, who were on their way back from Emmetts to their car at Chartwell, so 9. The weather was drizzle to lunch then thick fog with the sun trying to break through late on.
The weather made for a bit of a boring trudge to the lunch pub in Crockham Hill, as it's mainly field boundaries, where it's not traversing a golf course (a nice on actually, but you needed all eyes on the directions to find your way through it), so in the drizzle it wasn't great. Food and service at The Royal Oak were average to good.
Then the walk got going, as it was on to the hilly bits. With the fog we didn't get any views from the hills of course, but it was quite atmospheric in the many woods at least, which were full of interesting fungi (again: a close eye was needed on the directions here, as there's lots of paths in them woods). A well deserved tea stop at a deserted Emmetts was had, then up through more woods and past caves and a final grassy descent to Westerham, where the respective buses were due within 10 minutes.
A final drink for some in Oxted, before boarding the train home.
Mon, 01-May-17 2

Bank Holiday Monday walk - bluebells, views, Chartwell, ridges, an NT garden

SWC walk 79B - Hurst Green to Westerham
Length: 17.3km (10.1 miles) - but lots of options to shorten: see below
Toughness: 8 out of 10

9.53 train from Victoria (9.59 Clapham Junction, 10.10 East Croydon) to Hurst Green, arriving 10.34.

Buy a day return to Hurst Green (or a single: return is by bus: see below)

For walk directions click here

For those who think the Brecon Beacons is a bit far to go on a day trip, a walk closer to home. You still get to scale a ridge with fine views, but the floral displays will be nicer.

At the heart of the walk are the fine bluebell displays around Toys Hill and Ide Hill, but I have also chosen the Hurst Green start ("Alternative route B") to this walk which passes a few bluebell woods in the morning too. To do this, start with the directions on page 11 of the walk document

If you did the Hurst Green to Chiddingstone Causeway walk two weeks back and think you have been here and bought the T-shirt, be assured that the walk 79 route is largely (though not entirely different). It takes a beautiful route along the escarpment in the morning and explores the bluebell woods around Ide Hill much more fully. You also go to the National Trust Emmett's Garden in the afternoon with more bluebells.

Though there is an early lunch pub in Crookham Hill, but it is rather tiny and always seemed to be booked up. The National Trust self-service restaurant at Chartwell is the easier choice, though its portions can be a bit on the small side. The walk also includes a diversion to the Fox & Hounds in Toys Hill, but they turned us away two weeks ago, so book a table with them before relying on this. If you can hold on till then, the Cock Inn in Ide Hill serves food until 3pm (assuming they are on Saturday times today) or 4pm (if on Sunday times): but be warned, it is popular and busy.

For tea, Emmett's Garden has a National Trust tea place, but queues can be long. Westerham has lots of choices otherwise.

SHORTER OPTIONS

If you want to visit Chartwell or explore its area at leisure, the 246 bus runs from there to Westerham 6 mins), Hayes station (34 mins) and Bromley South station (46 mins) at 20 past the hour until 17.20.

You can combine the Hurst Green start with Alternative Route A, the shorter ending to Westerham, but you miss the nice bluebell displays around Toys Hill and Ide Hill: this reduces the walk to 11.4km (7.1 miles): you can visit Chartwell and then do this ending.

The main walk directions also contain a short cut to Emmetts Garden, but this also cuts out the bluebells around Toys Hill and Ide Hill

GETTING BACK

To return from Westerham to civilisation, you have to get the 246 bus. This takes 28 minutes to Hayes station (LT zone 5) or 40 minutes to Bromley South (also LT zone 5): from there you will need to pay your way with Oyster or contactless to wherever you live. The bus leaves Westerham at 26 past till 17.26, then 18.34, 19.22, 20.22, 21.12, 22.12 and 23.12
T=3.79b
2 lady walkers enjoyed this walk. There were some beautiful bluebell woods along the way and the weather was better than expected mainly dry cloudy with sunny and warm intervals and a couple short showers in the afternoon.
Sun, 19-Mar-17 3

Sunday walk: Greensand Ridge and Churchill's home

Extra Walk 79, Edenbridge to Westerham T=3.79
Length: 17.3km (10.7miles) Toughness: 8/10

10:06 Tonbridge train from London Bridge arriving at Edenbridge at 10:56.
Or 09:53 East Grinstead train from Victoria (Clapham Junction 09:59), changing at East Croydon (arr 10:09; dep 10:21) on to the Tonbridge train.

From Westerham, buses run on Sundays to Hayes and Bromley South stations.

The walk begins with a slow climb from the Eden valley up to the Greensand Ridge, and continues past Churchill’s home, Chartwell (NT), and Emmetts Garden (NT). Shortcuts will allow time for visiting both these properties.

The recommended lunch stop is The Royal Oak in Crockham Hill (01732 866335 – booking essential), or the National Trust tea-room/restaurant at Chartwell.

You will need to download the Walk Directions.
Just 3 on this walk. We bypassed Chartwell to press on for a later lunch at Ide Hill which has a decent pub and picnic benches on the green. Got to Westerham just after 3.30pm which allowed us terrific tea and cakes at the independent cafe on the green before catching the 16.25 bus back to the two rail stations. Weather was cloudy mild and breezy.
Excellent day out with a number of other walkers doing the route independently. Book this walk for a bluebell outing in mid to late April as the shoots we saw promise a fine display. Also wild garlic in evidence.
Tue, 29-Dec-15 14

Tuesday walk - Up and Over the Greensand Ridge

T=swc.79.a SWC walk 79A+D - Edenbridge Town to Westerham
Length: 13.2km (8.1 miles), with a optional 2.1km (1.3 mile extension)
Longer walk: 19.1km (11.8 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

10.08 train from London Bridge to Edenbridge Town, arriving 10.46.

Buy a day return to 'Edenbridge Stations'

For walk directions click here.

It is challenging to pick walks for the period between Christmas and New Year!! Engineering works to the left of them, engineering works to the right. But we will turn adversity to advantage by giving this little used combination an airing.

It starts with Alternative Route D on page 14 of the walk document, which takes you out, initially over lowland fields (mud likely!) to join with the main walk directions. The Greensand Ridge looms on the horizon and you climb it by gentle stages, with fine views from the top.

The diminutive Royal Oak in Crockham Hill may be able to squeeze some of us in for a pub lunch, but the fall back lunch option is the self-service restaurant at the National Trust property of Chartwell (the home of Winston Churchill, though its house is closed today: the garden and exhibition are open, however).

Just before Chartwell, in paragraph 30 of the main walk directions, switch when prompted in to Alternative Route A (page 11). You then follow this on a direct route for 4.5km (2.8 miles) over the hills to Westerham and its sundry tea options.

LONGER OPTIONS

include an extra 2.1km/1.3 mile loop around the Chartwell estate that can still be combined with the direct Westerham ending.

Or you may like to complete the main walk route - 10.4km (6.4 miles) from Chartwell to Westerham, giving a total walk of 19.1km (11.8 miles).

TO GET BACK TO LONDON

Catch a bus from Westerham (bus stop location given in walk directions) to Oxted railway station: Variously the 594, 595 or 236 and taking 15-20 minutes, the buses go at 15.03, 16.04, 16.33, 17.24, 17.33, 18.33 and 19.18.

Trains from Oxted are at 19 past to London Bridge and 24 and 54 past to Victoria

If it is more convenient, number 246 buses also run to Hayes (30 mins) or Bromley South (40 mins) stations, but your onward train travel from these stations would not be covered by your Edenbridge return. These buses go at 22 and 52 past until 18.22, then 19.22, 20.22, 21.12, 22.12, 23.12


14 on this walk on another fairly sunny day (not a phrase we have been able to use very much recently). That is to say, there was generous amounts of sun, though also some cloud: also the very occasional spot of rain, but only spots.

The sunshine was so nice that even the crossing of the (deserted) golf course at the start was a delight. The fields once we got onto the Edenbridge start proper were rather squelchy mildly tedious rather than terminally boggy, but this was enough to persuade a French family (pere, mere et fils) to give up at Crookham Hill. Domage, because the next section offered a particularly pretty gout d'Angleterre, (OK, that's enough of the schoolboy French Ed)with sunlit views of the Weald.

Six of us tried to lunch at the Royal Oak in Crookham Hill. But alas, while they had a free table, it seemed we would have had to wait our turn to order behind other parties who had yet to arrive, so we moved on to Chartwell. Its self service restaurant was not exactly covering itself in glory, with a limited selection of sandwiches and only sausage and mash or cheeseburger as hot items. A last minute appearance on the blackboard of Moroccan vegetable stew (tasty, if low on calories) saved the day for this particular punter.

After lunch we did the the optional loop around the Chartwell Estate, which was enjoyed by all. But alas we came to a locked gate at the end of it, and enquiries of passing National Trust staff revealed this locking is permanent. So this permissive route is now non permissive and will be dumped from the walk directions (you all complain about too many options anyway)..

In the afternoon (shorter ending, alternative route a) nice views from Mariner's Hill and sightings of very early bluebell shoots, were not enough to deter some of the group from taking a direct route to Hurst Green. Six of us continued on a rather squelchy walk into Westerham, which we reached at 4.10pm. The consensus was that getting the 4.33 bus was a must so we had a lightning fast tea at the Tudor Tea Rooms and then provided the bus with its only passengers. At Oxted five of us dashed onto platform 1 and only just got the 4.54pm train. Our apologies to the sixth member of the party who did not.
Slight correction: grand pere, mere et fils
Just to add that those who went to Hurst Green arrived there at 17:00. It was a pleasant route. Although there isn't a tea stop at Hurst Green, I suppose an option would be to take the train 1 train stop to Oxted and have tea there.
Sat, 13-Dec-14 12 Edenbridge to Westerham [Bromley South] (short walk)
Sun, 07-Sep-14 0 Edenbridge to Westerham [Bromley South]
Sat, 27-Apr-13 29 Hurst Green to Westerham [Oxted]
Sat, 05-Jan-13 6 Edenbridge to Westerham [Bromley South] (short walk)
Sat, 06-Oct-12 Edenbridge to Chiddingstone Causeway, via Crockham Hill
Sun, 01-Apr-12 Edenbridge to Westerham [Bromley South]
Sat, 24-Sep-11 Edenbridge to Westerham [Bromley South]
Wed, 31-Aug-11 Edenbridge Town to Westerham [Oxted]
Sun, 24-Apr-11 Hurst Green to Westerham [Oxted]
Sat, 13-Nov-10 Edenbridge Town to Westerham [Oxted] (short walk)
Sat, 01-May-10 Hurst Green to Westerham [Oxted]
Sun, 22-Nov-09 Edenbridge to Westerham
Sat, 12-Sep-09 Edenbridge to Westerham [Bromley South] (short walk)