Crossing the field

Farningham to Sole Street walk

02-Jan-17 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk207 walkicon

Large arable field

Farningham to Sole Street walk

02-Jan-17 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk207

Arable field and pylon

Farningham to Sole Street walk

02-Jan-17 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk207

Farningham Road to Sole Street walk

A walk of contrasts, urban sprawl, and then caught by what it may have been like a hundred or more years ago, coming across the Wheatsheaf pub and Chapter House Farm. Plenty of good pubs along the way.

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
Mon, 02-Jan-17 20

Bank Holiday Monday Walk South - "A walk of contrasts with lots of pubs"

SWC Walk 207 - Farningham Road to Sole Street
Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

10.04 train from Victoria (10.14 Denmark Hill, 10.27 Bromley South) to Farningham Road, arriving 10.44.

Buy a day return to Sole Street.

For walk directions click here.

It is a new year, so why not try something different? This walk has attracted some lively comments in the past, but they seem to be all about paths overgrown with summer vegetation, which will definitely not be a problem at this time of year (it all dies back to nothing in winter).

It also features "lots of pubs", which sounded a good idea for a bank holiday - if one is busy, hopefully another will not be. And - most importantly given the current industrial dispute - it does not involve travel on Southern trains.

Otherwise, the walk creator is a bit modest about this outing in the gently-contoured countryside of North Kent, talking of "a walk of contrasts". A more enthusiastic write-up comes from a walk report this time last year: "Given the mixed reviews this walk was a very pleasant surprise! This walk was a lovely wander though the fields and villages of this not-so-distant part of Kent. The previously 'impassable' sections were all perfectly navigable and most of the field crossings were clearly marked."

More than that I cannot add, having not done the walk, but I can vouch for the Railway Inn at Sole Street station as a cosy place to wait for the next train.

Trains back are at 59 past the hour and take 49 minutes into Victoria.
20 refugees from the New Year's Day weather on this walk, including 2 late starters who caught us at lunch all enjoying unbroken sunshine. Any walk would have looked glorious on such a day, and this was indeed a fine day out. The rolling scenery had some fine vistas and charming corners.

Set against this were lots of big arable fields where clinging clay rapidly doubled boot weights, and more than a few electricity pylons. Paths across several of the arable fields had not been reinstated after ploughing or crop sowing, so might well not be passable in summer. On several occasion we used the GPX to resolve head scratching over the directions.

We opted for the last of the pubs for lunch Manor Farm Barn which was huge, modern, pleasant and efficient (though a little disappointed, I think, when we opted to order from the bar depriving the waiting staff of expected tips). We finished as a crescent moon and Venus arose in the clear night sky. The guard on the train said he had never seen so many people get on at Sole Street.
Sat, 19-Dec-15 12

Third walk - Urban sprawl and other delights

SWC Walk 207 - Farningham Road to Sole Street
Length: 17.2 km (10.7 miles). Toughness: 3/10

Catch the 10:07 from London Victoria arrives Farningham Road station 10:36. Buy a day return to Sole Street. Return trains from Sole Street xx:46.

The story so far: In the introductory text, JB never went out of his way to market the walk. It received some tough feedback following on from its first outing in June 2014 (ref.: #207 comments), mainly due to overgrown paths which you certainly could not blame the walk for. Prior to a subsequent Saturday outing / vegetation check in August 2014 Anonymous (bored at work as usual) decided to point out these "issues" under the walk posting a couple of days before the Saturday, so I was pleasantly surprised when two others turned up for the walk. IMO the walk is undersold and apart from the final 100m access road down to Sole Street station it overlaps with no other SWC walk.

Longer option: Catch the earlier 8:52 train from Victoria to Swanley (arrives 9:19). Adds 6.1km to the walk from Swanley to Farningham Road, gpx route here.
Intend going.
There's at least 2 doing the earlier train/longer option...
I may do 2 17a (same train) and meet the group for tea in Sole Street
12 (5 on early train/extension)
W= bright and unseasonably warm

Given the mixed reviews this walk was a very pleasant surprise! This walk was a lovely wander though the fields and villages of this not so distance part of Kent. The previously "impassable" sections were all perfectly navigable and most of the field crossings were clearly marked.

Lunch was at the second Ship Inn at Southfleet. Food was the usual good pub selection and we finished off with a couple of drinks at The Railway Inn next to the station at Sole Street.

An impressively active day given that it's one of the shortest of the year.

Thanks everyone for another fantastic day out!
Sat, 02-Aug-14 3 Farningham Road to Sole Street
Sun, 01-Jun-14 4 Farningham Road to Sole Street
Sat, 15-Feb-14 2 Farningham Road to Sole Street