Greensand Way Stage 9 - fine views from a gentle ridge, orchards and nice pubs
Starting from Sutton Valence: 17.7km (11 miles)
Starting from Harrietsham: 15.9km (9.9 miles)
|Toughness||3 out of 10 with 630 ft (200 meters) of ascent. Gently undulating mainly short climbs. A gentle climb to the Greensand Ridge on the Harrietsham start.|
OS Explorer Map : 137
This is the 9th stage of the Greensand Way (GW) - from Sutton Valence or Harrietsham to Pluckley. A very rural walk with delightful walking through 'Darling Buds' scenery of orchards and meadows. A great pub in pretty village for lunch, and a nice pub by the station for tea.
Two possible starts to the walk are given here. By far the most attractive - as well as satisfying Greensand Way purists - is the one from Sutton Valence. But getting to it involves a 13 minute bus ride from Headcorn station, costing £3.50 at time of writing.
The Harrietsham start gives you a railway station to railway station option, and saves you the bus fare, but this is cancelled out by a more expensive train ticket. Scenically it is less interesting, crossing a motorway, arable fields and going through rather dull coppiced woodland (admittedly with a good display of wood anemones in late March and early April and bluebells in late April and early May).
The Pepper Box inn (01622 842558) in Fairbourne Heath is a possible early lunch stop. It is a popular pub and you probably need to book to be sure of an inside table. But there is also a large area of outside tables that are accessible to walk-up customers in fine weather.
A later option is the Barrow House, Egerton 01233 756 599 www.thebarrowhouse.co.uk 11.8km (7.3 miles) from Sutton Valence, 10km (6.2 miles) from Harrietsham, which re-opened in 2016 under new management with a modern, stylish menu. It is open all afternoon and evening Monday to Saturday but closes at 6pm on Sundays.
If you have had lunch at the Pepper Box, the Barrow House (see Lunch above) might make a mid afternoon tea stop.
Reachable by a 1.2km diversion off the walk route just before Pluckley village (directions given in the written walk directions), the Rose & Crown (01233 840048) in Mundy Bois, is a pub in a delightful rural location, open all afternoon daily. It makes an excellent tea stop, with a pretty garden with a view of the fields and plenty of comfortable sofas.
The Black Horse Pluckley 01233 841 948 www.blackhorsepluckley.co.uk is a traditional village pub, with a pleasant garden by a church. It is open all afternoon daily and serves hot drinks.
The Dering Arms Station Road, Pluckley, TN27 0RR (01233 840371, www.deringarms.com) . Open 11.30am-3pm, 6-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-4pm Sun. Food served noon-2pm, 6.30-9pm Mon-Sat; noon-2pm Sun. Located beside Pluckley station, this former hunting lodge is now an award-winning pub that specialises in seafood, for which booking is necessary. Note that only a snack menu is available on Sunday evenings.
This walk is one of 11 stages of the Greensand Way - a regional long distance path in the Southeast of England
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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