SWC Walk 151 - Sutton Valence to Pluckley
Length 17.1km (11 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10: mostly flat but high up, with a few hills 9.40
train from Charing Cross
(9.43 Waterloo East,
9.49 London Bridge
) to Headcorn, arriving 10.45. Buy a day return to Pluckley
. ** At Headcorn, go quickly
to the station forecourt for the 10.49 number 12 Maidstone-bound* bus
which takes 12 minutes to Sutton Valence (Kings Head stop: the bus climbs a long steep hill up to the village and Kings Head is the first stop) - Don't get on a Tenterden bus by mistake: this calls at 10.39 from the same stop but is sometimes late. - If you miss this bus, there are usually some taxis at Headcorn and the fare for four of you to Sutton Valence would probably be competitive with the bus fare, which was £3.50 last time I looked.
For walk directions
For GPX file
This is a very nice outing along a pleasant section of the Greensand Way - it follows the GSW throughout, though waymarking is not always wonderful. There are a few apple orchards, a mansion house that turns out to be a women's prison, lots of fine escarpment views, and some ancient old churches. This is generally just nice Kentish countryside.
This walk had only had one Saturday outing in 2015 when one of the two lunch pubs, the George in Egerton, closed. It has now been resurrected as the Barrow House
- a gastro pub but not unfriendly. They take bookings for lunch but serve food in the bar all afternoon, they tell me.
An earlier option (3.3 miles into the walk versus 7.3 miles for the Barrow House) is the wonderful Pepper Box Inn
. Being wonderful means it is often booked inside and I am not sure they would respond well to a great phalanx of walkers arriving at once. But they do have plenty of outside tables which are not reserved, and provided you don't alarm them with numbers this is a nice place to eat.
If you have not had lunch there, the Barrow House has a nice sofa area for tea
. Otherwise, tea options
are the Black Horse
pub in Pluckley or - after 6pm - the Dering Arms
by Pluckley station. The latter is a high-falutin seafood restaurant but does actually have a very nice bar area with sofas and is usually happy to serve tea.
Both these are on the walk route, but 1km off it, just before Pluckley, is the lovely Rose and Crown
in Mundy Bois, a pub with an isolated rural location - fields lie all around it - and a nice garden: directions are not provided for this, but you turn right at the ditch junction in paragraph 109, then right at the house (Honey Farm) to come to a road/track, and turn left on this to follow it down to a T-junction, with the pub ahead of you. You would need to retrace your steps after leaving the pub. Trains back
from Pluckley go at 08
past till late.