Magpie Bottom

Knockholt to Otford walk

27-Dec-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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extra New walk - Knockholt to Otford

Long rest on Eastdown looking back towards Magpie Bottom. D.Allen. Vivitar 5199mp

16-Feb-08 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Under the motorway

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Down a lane

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk37


Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk37

Down to Shoreham

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk37

Down to Shoreham

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk37

Knockholt to Otford walk

A moderately strenuous stroll in the North Downs, taking in the pretty village of Shoreham


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.

Updated: Tue, 29-Jan-19

Date # Post
Sat, 22-Dec-18 28

Saturday walk - Knockholt to Otford - a short but vigorous walk in the North Downs

Length: 12.9km (8 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10 - two steep hill climbs

10.05 train from Charing Cross (10.08 Waterloo East, 10.14 London Bridge) to Knockholt, arriving 10.49.

If you miss the above, get the 10.15 from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East, 10.24 London Bridge) to Orpington and change there for the above train, but this is a tight connection - arriving 10.39, departing 10.43.)

Buy a day return to Sevenoaks which is the same price as a day return to Otford and valid for both outward and return legs of the journey. Since Knockholt is in LT zone six, you could instead use Oyster to it (don't forget to tap out, though - easy to do at this rural station), but on the way back you need to buy a single from Otford. You could buy this just as far as Swanley, get out there, tap in using Oyster and get the next train into London, but this seems a bit of a faff....

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

This is a brisk short walk in the North Downs, with two good hill climbs to help make room for some mince pies, but not too long so you can get back to town early if you wish to do your last minute Christmas shopping.

Lunch in in Shoreham, Kent, where most walkers seem to rush to the Kings Head and its fairly basic food: but more upmarket options are available in the shape of the Two Brewers and the Crown. It is possible if you are feeling ultra lazy to get the train back from Shoreham, but then you will only have walked 5.3km (3.3 miles).

After lunch it is over the hills to Otford, dreaming as you pass through Magpie Bottom of summer butterflies and downland flowers. The Hospices of Hope is a nice place for tea in Otford.

Trains back are at 26 and 56 to Victoria, taking 42 minutes, or 29 and 59 to Blackfriars, taking an hour. (All these services stop at Swanley. The Blackfriars trains also stop at Shoreham at 02 and 32 past.) You can also get 18 and 48 trains in the other direction from Otford to Sevenoaks and get fast trains from there to London Bridge and Charing Cross (46 minutes in all). T=3.37
The George in Shoreham on the other side of the river near the church also does a good ginger beer...
28 on this walk, including two who joined us during the morning having started walking from other places. A lovely sunny day at last, perfect for walking. Pleasant scenery with two big hill climbs to get the blood pumping.

For lunch we seem to have spread out among three of the four pubs in Shoreham. The Crown received good reports and I believe some went to the George. The King’s Arms was actually nearly fully booked but was nearly empty when we arrived at midday and found space for five of us.

Leaving lunch about 1pm it looked as if we might finish the walk too early but in fact the light was fading by the time we got to Otford. Some went to the Pond Cafe and some to the Hospices of Hope tea room (nice Christmas cake and scones).

Several set off at dusk to walk to Sevenoaks and two of us headed off towards Shoreham, where we stood in the middle of the solar system and watched a dramatic full moon rise over the ridge. It somewhat played cat and mouse with us as we continued northwards but eventually we got up onto the ridge and had a nice moonlit walk along back lanes before descending to Otford again, just catching the 18.59 Thameslink train for a fascinating tour of obscure south east London stations. (Ravensbourne?)
Re obscure stations in south east London: They are not so obscure for those for whom this line is the local (albeit slow) one. Ravensbourne is the name of the nearby river that flows into the Thames at Deptford. You can follow its upper reaches all the way to its source next Saturday on the pretty Hayes Circular walk. Also, between the stations Ravensbourne and Beckenham Hill is Beckenham Place Park, a large expanse of green space in south east London with a beautiful Grand House and some ancient woodland. Lewisham Council is currently building a lake at the very location of the original lake according to the 19th century design of the park's architect. It is scheduled to open in 2019 and will provide another option for a wild freshwater swim in London. Maybe a new SWC summer evening walk through this park is called for ...
The 4 of us who walked on to Sevenoaks under moonlight came across a small outdoor community gathering, offering mulled wine and home made mince pies in return for a donation to the local residents association fund. The smell of the spiced wine was just too good to pass by so we joined them for a quick tipple before carefully making our slightly merry way along the lakeside path into town. There was definitely brandy in that mulled wine.
Sat, 06-Jan-18 26

Saturday Walk - Knockholt to Otford

Knockholt to Otford
Length: 7.9 miles (12.5km) (or 3.6 miles to end at Shoreham station)
Difficulty: 7 out of 10 (two steep hill climbs: otherwise not over-hilly)

A relatively low cost option for the New year, with Knockholt in zone 6.
This walk approaches the familiar walking territory around Shoreham and Otford in Kent from an unfamiliar angle, passing at first over wooded hills, then climbing up and over a steep ridge to get down to Shoreham.
In the afternoon the route largely reverses the morning of the Otford Circular walk (Book 1, walk 43 on this website), though with one twist that introduces the lovely hidden valley of Magpie Bottom, now a nature reserve, with fine downland flowers and butterflies in the summer.
In winter the walk is not over-afflicted with mud, but the descents into Shoreham and Otford can be a bit slippery. Make sure you have the December 2016 instructions.
Travel: 1005 Sevenoaks train from Charing Cross (1012 London Bridge) arrives 1049. Fastest returns are xx:00 and xx:32 direct to Victoria plus trains at xx:07 and xx:37 via Sevenoaks to Blackfriars or Charing Cross (you need to check what the options are for each train). Tickets are a return to Sevenoaks, but Knockholt is in zone 6, so a single from Otford to zone 6 (St Mary Cray) is an option for some.
Lunch is at Shoreham after 3.2 miles (5.1km), with a number of options.
Tea is 400 metres beyond the station for several choices in Otford itself.

So am I
I'm starting from Otford and will aim to meet the group at lunchtime in Shoreham
23 off of the train at Knockholt and then 3 who started from Otford and met us in Shoreham so 26 on the walk in total
This was truly the muddiest day of 2018 it was unbelievable this was one tough mudder anyone would think that we were mud skippers ( alright that is enough about mud ed )
Other than the mud it was a lovely day though somewhat grey but no rain thankfully and cold.

It was great to see a lot of the old faces and catch up on what had happened over the Christmas / New Year holidays for everybody. And all the talk was about such things and I didn’t hear any deep and meaningfull discussions throughout the day we can start them again soon. Possibly this was because the walk was hard work with all the steep ups and downs ( though stepped in many places ) and continual slipperiness causing a lot of panting and phewing.

The pubs in Shoreham shared us out amongst themselves and 9 of the group ate at the Kings Arms who looked after us wonderfully ( though it was noticed that no Vegan option was to be had ) and I think that the food was well received by all and at a very reasonable price.

After lunch we were off out into the woods and fields and aiming to prove the listing note ‘ in winter the walk is not over afflicted with mud ‘ was far from the truth and still inaccurate and we succeeded with flying colours ( Enough Already )

Some of the chat in the afternoon was spent reminiscing about the copious amounts of mulled wine that had been enjoyed pre Christmas and that seems to have whetted our appetite for more so some of us finished in Otford with an alcoholic beverage ( or 2 ) and off course there were a few people that we saw in the cafe, presumably having tea and calories.

So an uneventful but very enjoyable day though one of the crew took a tumble in the road and bloodied his nose I am sure we all wish him well and for no long lasting effects he did not seem unduly perturbed during the day after the fall.

I hope to see you all again soon
Miss Chief

Tue, 27-Dec-16 19

Bank Holiday Walk - A short but energetic walk in Kent

SWC Walk 37 - Knockholt to Otford
Length: 12.5 km (7.9 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10

9.58 train from Victoria (10.07 Denmark Hill, 10.15 Lewisham, other stops in SE London, 10.38 Orpington) to Knockholt, arriving 10.44.

Best ticket: the simplest option if you don't have a season ticket or Freedom Pass is to buy a day return to Sevenoaks - £7.75 with a Network Card. This will cover you for both outward and return journeys (and is the same price as a day return to Otford, which does not cover the outward journey).

However, Knockholt is in zone 6, so you can use Oyster or contactless to get there - but don't forget to tap out. You would then need to buy a ticket to Swanley, St Mary Cray or Bromley South on the way back, change trains (not such a mad idea: these stations have frequent services), and tap in with Oyster for the rest of your journey.

For walk directions click here.

This is a little terrier of a walk, the perfect brisk winter outing. It may not be long, but it has two steep hill climbs (one in the morning, the other after lunch) to work off all those mince pies and covers some beautiful hilly territory after a slightly ho-hum start from Knockholt. Bits of the walk will be familiar to you from other SWC walks in the area, but it also has big chunks that are all its own.

Lunch is in Shoreham, which has at least three pubs, one of which hopefully will be able to squeeze us in. Tea in Otford requires a 500 metre walk down a road, which you can skip if you want (boo hiss if you do, though).

The fastest trains back from Otford are the 00, 32, 47 past to Victoria, though the 07 and 37 trains to Blackfriars may have better connections for some. All trains stop at Bromley South.
Can I meet you directly at Knockholt at 10:44? I am a but uniformed since this is my first walk.
Maria, yes indeed: either get the specified train, or if you come by other means, meet us at Knockholt station at 10.44. It is a fairly small and isolated station so the group will be obvious.

You are very welcome. It is a nice walk to start on.
Incidentally, in case you have not seen it, this walk explains how the walks work
19 on this walk on a day of lovely sunshine. A happy cheerful group and I think all enjoyed the walk, which though short has some steep hills and fine views to excite the leg muscles and spirit respectively. The main phalanx got to The King's Head a little after midday and were served ultra quick. Two of us in the rear decided to try the Two Brewers which is more upmarket but not that much more expensive a nice lunch option. It was not that slow serving either but eating there meant we did not catch the main group till tea, which most/all took in the cafe by the pond (leaving copious amounts of mud on its floor in the process: "Well, at least it was not at 9am," said a staff member when I apologised on your behalf). There was then a big rush for a train circa 4pm, but two of us had an atmospheric walk to Sevenoaks in the crepuscular gloom.
Sun, 04-Jan-15 8 Knockholt to Otford
Sun, 29-Dec-13 7 Knockholt to Otford
Sun, 31-Mar-13 10 Knockholt to Otford
Sat, 10-Nov-12 Knockholt to Otford
Sun, 27-Nov-11 Knockholt to Otford
Sat, 08-Jan-11 Knockholt to Otford
Sat, 05-Dec-09 Knockholt to Otford
Sun, 09-Nov-08 Knockholt to Otford
Sat, 16-Feb-08 Knockholt to Otford