Field and Fence

23-May-04 • Catherine Ames on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk19


23-May-04 • Catherine Ames on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk19


07-May-05 • Bela Struzkova on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk19


07-May-05 • Bela Struzkova on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk19


07-May-05 • Bela Struzkova on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk19

hever village

07-May-05 • Bela Struzkova on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk19

hever village2

07-May-05 • Bela Struzkova on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk19

Hever to Leigh walk

2 castles, a stately home, rivers, ponds, woods, undulating hills and three lovely villages


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, 23-Jun-18 23

Saturday walk - Hever to Leigh - a short, leisurely walk for (nearly) the longest day

Length: 14.2km (8.8 miles)
Toughness: None (all right, 2 out of 10)

10.07 train from London Bridge (10.22 East Croydon) to Hever, arriving 10.49

Buy a day return to Leigh ("Lie"), Kent. Our train ticket boffins tell us that this is valid to Edenbridge Town, the stop before Hever, because Edenbridge station (nearby but on a different line) is a possible route to Leigh and tickets to Edenbridge are valid to either Edenbridge station. Hever is one stop beyond Edenbridge Town, but Leigh is several stops beyond Edenbridge, so going one extra stop to Hever should be OK.....Alternatively, you might reverse this logic and buy a day return to Hever: this by definition is valid via Edenbridge Town, and so also via Edenbridge station. A valid route from Edenbridge station to London is via Leigh and Tonbridge, so a Hever return should one theory work on that route too. (Good luck explaining any of this to a bolshie train manager, however...)

For directions click here. For GPX click here.

Oh, how fashions change!! Once this walk was posted so often we could have changed our names to "The Hever to Leigh Walking Club". Its popularity was undoubted and unassailable. But now like a child that becomes a teenager, the SWC has moved on to longer, more adventurous walks. Would you believe that dear old "H2L" has not had a Saturday posting for two and a half years, nor a spring or summer one for four?

My other reason for picking it is that I hear the mutterings from the "Left Behinds", from the ones who do the short option, take the bus from the lunch pub, watch sadly as the group races off into the distance. "Why do we never have any walks under ten miles anymore?" they cry. So here is my response.

Also not incidentally, today is the longest Saturday of the year. No doubt other posters will wish to celebrate that fact by posting long expeditions to far-flung places. Well, this is a short expedition to a near-flung place and one well worth dawdling over. You might decide to visit Hever Castle or Penshurst Place (not, alas, Chiddingstone Castle, which perversely does not open on Saturdays) You might want to linger over tea in the Fir House Tearoom (if it still exists or deigns to open) or stop in one of the four pubs en route for a summery drink. This is a walk to savour, not to gulp. It is light till 10pm: take your time.

Trains back from Leigh are at 26 past (until 22.26, if you want to make the most of the daylight...) changing at Tonbridge for a train back to London Bridge or Charing Cross. T=1.19

Anyone wanting to do a longer option could of course continue on to Tonbridge. As for me, I can feel an afternoon snooze on a hillside coming on : )

This walk is perfect, good for both a day out in the countryside and a night out in town. Thanks for posting this.
You can indeed extend this walk to Tonbridge using the morning of the Tonbridge to Penshurst walk in reverse: a pleasant evening stroll

23 on this walk on a day of sun and high cloud.

I was asked to call this report “Three Weddings and No Funeral” but I personally only saw two weddings, one in Chiddingstone and the other in Penshurst. The former almost put us off going to the pub as they were all drinking outside it. But in fact the pub itself was empty and positively begged for our custom. The fact that they only had four mains they were working up a new menu, apparently might have been one reason. We nearly all had fish and chips. It was grand sitting out in the very picturesque garden with the church spire behind.

In the afternoon the countryside looked parched: it will be time to break out the desert kit soon. Coming into Penshurst we passed wedding number two (or three) and found a small queue outside the Fir Tree tea room waiting for it to open at 2.30pm. We turned this into a big queue and I was all ready for grumbles from the proprietress as it became clear we wanted a table for fifteen or so. But in fact she could not have been nicer. Tables were moved, chairs were moved and we all sat in the delightful shade of a willow tree in the garden and were royally served. The tea in pots so big they were heavy to lift seemed inexhaustible. The cakes were gorgeous and all was dished up on proper china. There was even soy milk. We all agreed that this was the best SWC tea ever.

Passing the happy couple being photographed drinking a freshly opened bottle of champagne in the back of their chauffeured Aston Martin (I wonder how much all that cost) we carried on. Always nice to have a walk with a good stretch after tea to work the cake off. Most finished at Leigh but four of us went on to Tonbridge (one more having started with us but then changed her mind), adding 2.5 miles or so to the walk. In Tonbridge we rehydrated in Weatherspoons and went to a nice Nepalese curry house. There are worse ways to spend a day.
Tue, 04-Apr-17 2

Tuesday Walk - Two Castles, a Stately Home and the Medway Valley

Book 1, Walk 19: Hever to Leigh

Length: 14.2 km (8.8 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

London Bridge: 10-08 hrs Uckfield service. East Croydon 10-23 hrs
Arrive Hever: 10-49 hrs

Leigh (Kent) to London Victoria: direct - 16-23, 16-44 and 17-25 hrs. Changing at Redhill - 17-53 and 18-27 hrs.
Leigh to Charing Cross: 16-35 and 17-28 hrs changing at Tonbridge

Rail ticket: suggest a day return to Leigh (Kent). This is usually accepted on your outward journey although tehnically you might have to pay a small supplement from Edenbridge Town.

This lovely walk through Kent's Garden of England packs a punch way above its weight for a short(ish) walk, as it fits in lots of places to visit along the route whilst you progress through Kent's lovely countryside. Depending on how much time you wish to set aside for sightseeing, you are spoilt for choice: in order along the route, you have Hever Castle, St Peter's Church, Chiddingstone Castle, St Mary's Church, Penshurst Place and John the Baptist Church. Add in the Medway River as your water feature for the day, and you have the ingredients for more than a half decent walk.

Your lunch stop depends on whether you wish to stop in Chiddingstone or press on to Penshurst. Your only option today in Chiddingstone (as the Castle Inn has yet to re-open) is the Tulip Tree Tea Rooms - perfectly pleasant for light fare. If you think you can make Penshurst by 2-30 pm, then your option here is the Leicester Arms , an atmospheric hotel-pub-restaurant, serving good food. This pub also acts as a tea stop if you luncheoned in Chiddingstone. Your alternative tea stop in Penshurst is the cafe within Penshurst Place - the Porcupine Pantry. On arriving in Leigh you will find the Fleur-de-Lis pub closed for the afternoon, not re-opening until 6 pm. Just up the road is the Village Stores, which sells cold drinks, cakes and provisions.
If the weather is nice today you should enjoy this walk, with Spring flowers in abundance along the way, new-born lambs in the fields early on in the walk and in Penshurst Place, plus all the sights and places to visit.
Newly updated Walk Directions here: L=1.19

2 dry

Sat, 31-Oct-15 40

Saturday Walk 1 Hever to Leigh

Length 14.2km (8.8 miles)
Toughness 2 out of 10
This is a beautiful walk through the Garden of England. It includes two castles, a stately home, rivers, ponds, woods, undulating hills and three lovely villages: the National Trust village of Chiddingstone; Penshurst, with its half-timbered houses; and Leigh , with its large cricket green, dominated by the Church of St Mary. The Medway Valley is prone to flooding, and it is possible that parts of this walk may not be passable in extreme conditions, but hopefully that won't be a problem this weekend. If you want to visit Penshurst Place, last admission is 4pm, closing at 5pm
Get the 1008 London Bridge Uckfield train (East Croydon 1023) arrives Hever 1050.
Return from Leigh 1723, 1823 (platform 1) are direct to London Bridge (change East Croydon for Victoria). 1643, 1743, 1843 (platform 2) are via Tonbridge to London Bridge & Cannon Street. There are later trains back.
Buy a return to Leigh (pronounced 'lie') "This is valid for both return routes, but on the way out it is only valid as far as Edenbridge Town (on a different line, but tickets via the two Edenbridge stations are interchangeable). In practice a Leigh ticket is usually accepted to Hever, the next stop, but you might be asked to pay a small supplement.
The Castle Inn (tel 01892 870 247) in Chiddingstone, after just over a third of the walk.
Further on (two thirds?), The Leicester Arms Hotel (12-3pm) in Penshurst (tel 01892-871617), is up-market and "serving excellent food".

There are tea shops in Penshurst closing at 5pm, or the Fleurs-deLis pub in Leigh near the station.


sunny still calm day

I'm not sure if anyone actually counted how many but I'd say we were around 40. A lovely, pleasant walk in fabulous weather. Some lunched in the Castle pub or The Tulip Tree cafe in Chiddingstone, others went on the Leicester Arms or Porcupine Pantry in Penshurst and a few stopped to watch the rugby at the Fleur de Lys in Leigh.

Sat, 06-Dec-14 0 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 24-May-14 12 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 15-Mar-14 40 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 07-Dec-13 23 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 07-Sep-13 17 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 17-Nov-12 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 07-Jan-12 Hever to Leigh
Sun, 26-Jun-11 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 26-Feb-11 Hever to Leigh
Mon, 27-Dec-10 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 10-Apr-10 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 19-Dec-09 Hever to Leigh
Sun, 31-May-09 Hever to Leigh
Mon, 29-Dec-08 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 09-Aug-08 Hever to Leigh, omitting Chiddingstone
Sun, 18-May-08 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 22-Dec-07 Hever to Leigh, omitting Chiddingstone
Sun, 24-Jun-07 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 12-May-07 Hever to Leigh
Sun, 03-Dec-06 Hever to Leigh
Sat, 11-Nov-06 Hever to Leigh