Rock Inn, Hoath Corner

19-Jun-09 • Sean O'Neill

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River Eden near Penshurst

02-Jun-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Old farm buildings at Wat Stock (trompe-l'oeil)

20-Jun-09 • Sean O'Neill

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Entrance to Penshurst Place

05-Jul-09 • Sean O'Neill

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Fleur-de-lis, Leigh

30-May-10 • Sean O'Neill

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Institute Cottage, Leigh

30-May-10 • Sean O'Neill

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Restored water pump, Leigh

30-May-10 • Sean O'Neill

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Leigh and Penshurst walk

The Eden valley, Penshurst Place and a rural pub for lunch.


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, 01-Dec-18 11

Saturday short - Leigh to Penshurst - Fair do's in Penshurst

An opportunity to explore Penshurst and visit the Christmas Fair there.

Length: 13.5 km (8.4 miles) with options to shorten the afternoon section.
Getting there: Catch the 10:10 am from London Charing Cross, (10:12 Waterloo East and 10:17 London Bridge) - change trains quickly (platform 3 to 1) at Tonbridge to arrive at Leigh 11:05am
Tickets: Buy a day return to Penshurst.
Details of the walk may be found here and a PDF download here

The recommended lunch stop is at the Rock Inn (01892 871617) at Hoath Corner, however I suggest walkers wishing to visit the Christmas Fair at Penshurst (Village Hall) take lunch in Penshurst after visiting the fair, The recommended places to eat are the Leicester Arms Hotel and the Porcupine Pantry (01892 870307)

The afternoon section of the walk via Hoath Corner, Hill Hoath and Chiddingstone is just under 9 km. However if you prefer the shorter route via Wat Stock and Wellers Town this is about 6 km.

End of Walk refreshments may be taken at the Little Brown Jug about 100 metres beyond Penshurst Station where trains return to London at 22 minutes past the hour (changing at Tonbridge)

Is this a fourth Saturday walk? Rich
Yes, this is week 4 of the trial
Great initiative Mike for getting some short walks for us. Thank you.
Here here
11 walkers on this walk. drizzly all day. Thought I was in for a nice leisurely stroll in the countryside having chosen to do the short walk, however, there was so much mud this walk felt more like 12 miles than 8 or 9. The Christmas market in Penshurst was a little smaller than I expected, nothing like the size of the one in Winchester. Of interest to history buffs, like me, the first Rector of the church in Penshurst was appointed by Thomas a Beckett a few days before his death. Also there was a 'Dole' table outside the church but nothing had been left on it.
There was a wedding at Chiddingstone, it was romantic to hear the bells ringing out in recognition of the newly married couple. Good luck to them and good luck also to the turkeys I saw a mile further on. A pleasant walk with very clear and well written instructions.
Following on from BrightSpark's missive, this Kentish walk was relatively short with just one climb after leaving Leigh station. After the climb, the walk along the north ridge of the Penshurst estate was atmospheric in the dank and drizzly conditions before it descended to pass Penshurst Place and it's surrounding topiary which still looked magnificent despite the gloomy weather.
Penshurst fair was dampened by the weather so we set off to investigate "The Rock" at Hoath Corner for luncheon. Here we were not disappointed, friendly efficient bar staff in a cosy and quirky environment with many nooks and crannies. Some of us ate partridge and others fish and thrice cooked chips, all delicious I'm told. Sandwich folk lolled in the easy chairs around the fireplace.
After some walkers imbibed the local cider, tongues loosened and there was talk of cabs and short cuts. There was also chat about the pantomime "Aladdin" at the Hackney Empire (Oh know there wasn't, oh yes there was). So we will wait with baited breath to see if our Social Poster can come up with some ideas : ).
We deferred puddings (although they too looked delicious) and the group headed off to Penshurst Station, although I have to say some of us took a short cut.
The sheep in nearby fields were remarkably clean and bright and we were curious if this was the rain or if Kent farmers had devised a clever sheep wash.
About 1km before Penshurst Station, the forward group was overtaken by the two Russians on the walk running to catch the 3:29pm train (which they caught bravo!) while the rest of us visited the welcoming Brown Jug and took tea (some scoffing home made tarte tatin puddings) before catching the 4:29 back to the Great Wen.
An interesting day out with a pleasant surprise at the lunch time pub.
I did not find the path very muddy, it was the drizzle most of the morning made this walk felt quite long to Hoath Corner, although the afternoon was relatively dry and a lot easier. Or perhaps the distance in the walk direction was a bit under rated as my GPS registered 9.8 miles (that was with the afternoon shortcut, which I am told cut the walk about 1 mile). A nice day out in good company despite the weather. Thanks Bridie for looking after us and for keeping most of us together.
The Rock is very nice, small venue, good service, excellent food and even the ambience was delightful
One day all pubs will be like this
I need to visit it again
Sat, 16-Dec-17 18

Saturday Walk: Leigh to Penshurst

SWC Walk 92: Leigh to Penshurst
8.4 miles /13.5 km
This is the Main Walk of the various options

Trains: Take the 9:39 from London Victoria, arriving at Leigh (Kent) at 10:34. Or the 9:15 from Charing Cross, change at Tonbridge (arr 9:58, dep 10:19), arriving at Leigh at 10:23.
Return trains from Penshurt: xx27 to Victoria, xx31 to Charing Cross via Tonbridge.
You will need a day return to Leigh (or Penshurst if coming from Charing Cross).

Lunch: The Rock Inn, Hoath Corner, 01892 870296, a small pub so good to phone ahead.

A late lunch or mid afternoon stop is possible in Chiddingstone at the Tulip Tree tea room in Burghesh Court (behind the Chiddingstone Stores) or the National Trust owned Castle Inn.

The Little Brown Jug in Chiddingstone Causeway is near Penshurst station.

Click here for full details/walk directions


18 on this walk which was just the right number and the weather was bright sun changing to cloud after lunch but fine really it was decidedly warm in the morning. Luckily the The Rock Inn accommodated us with no fuss and I think that we all agreed that the food was excellent. Thankfully we had reserved a table and when we arrived at the pub at 12.15 it was almost empty but when we left at 1.30 the place was rammed to the gunnels with the hunting fraternity, all looking affluent in their tweeds and tassels on their socks.
Chiddingtstone was the tea break for some but as it was so close to dinner half the group went on to The Little Brown Jug.
Most of the Chiddingstone tea'ers then timed it just right for The Little Brown Jug and had liquid refreshmenrt and free mince pies delightful.
An excellent choice of walk Thank you very much Bridie2 I vote it gets posted at the same time next December and also in Spring please.
I only have one concern the cake at Chiddingstone is too large but it would seem that that is up to me to deal with not the walk poster
The Rock Inn was indeed excellent. It's pricey though so expect to pay about £17 for a main course. It's tiny so if you are intending to eat there, you'll need book in advance. What space there is is given to tables and there little or no bar space for anyone just wanting a drink.
There wasn't anywhere for sandwich eaters to sit by The Rock Inn. Probably best to look out for a picnic stop either before or after the pub.
Wed, 15-Mar-17 20

Wednesday Walk – A Classic Pub, Medieval Manor House and Tea Shop

SWC Walk 92: Leigh Circular T=SWC.92.c

Distance: 11.2 Miles or 18 km for those more metrically minded
Difficulty: 4 out of 10

Train: Take the 10:39 AM Tonbridge train from London Victoria (stopping at Clapham Junction at 10:45 and East Croydon at 10:57), arriving at Leigh at 11:34. Return trains from Leigh are at 17:25, 17:28 (change at Tonbridge); 18:04 (change at Tonbridge); 18:27; 18:55; 18:58 (change at Tonbridge); 19:29 (change at Tonbridge) and 20:16 (change at Tonbridge). Buy a day return to Leigh.
I had originally planned a wealden exploration walk from Stonegate to Battle – but have decided to postpone that option and have instead opted for this little gem. This walk covers some delightfully undulating wealden territory and includes a charming lunch stop and a lovely tea shop. The route also passes by Penshurst Place, an impressive medieval manor house, both early and late in the route. There is quite a lot of optionality in the walk – so you can adjust the routing length to your needs. The suggestion here is for the long Leigh Circular. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is the Rock Inn (01892 870 296) in Hoath Corner (4.5 miles/7.5km into the walk). Please call ahead. An alternate early possibility would be the Leicester Arms Hotel (01892 871 617) in Penshurst. Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had at the Fir Tree House (if open) or the Leicester Arms Hotel, both in Penshurst. The Fleur-de-lis in Leigh offers nice post walk sustenance.

Enjoy the walk!
hot and sunny about 20 + 1 dog (otto). Welcome bright sunshine after some overcast days. A very spread out group by the time they got to Penshurst where I joined them. The walk's author joined us for lunch having checked another walk option. The lunch pub was happy for people to eat their sandwiches outside. Thanks to the author and poster for a great walk in a lovely area.
PS in case you didn't realise, sorry the front group were unable to wait for others at the pub in Leigh because it was closed! We should have had a cup of tea at Penshurst. Still, as Andrew says, beautiful walk in great weather.
Wed, 25-Nov-15 12

Midweek Day Walk - Penshurst to Leigh

Penshurst to Leigh omitting Hoath Corner

The Eden valley, Penshurst Place and a nice hotel/pub for lunch.

Book 3* Walk 92

* online only
Length : 9 km or 5½ miles

Toughness : 2 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:33 am train from London Cannon Street to Penshurst. Change smartly at Tonbridge from platform 3 to 1 for the short journey to Penshurst Station.
Calling Stations:
  • London Bridge: departs 10:37 am
  • New Cross: departs 10:43 am
  • Orpington: departs 10:56 am
Meeting point : Penshurst Station at 11:27 am

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Penshurst

Brief Description

This is the short walk version, but if the weather is good, I'm proposing to extend it slightly to pass through Chiddingstone, joining the Hever to Leigh (Book 1 Walk 19 route there).
(The Rock Inn on the Hoath Corner loop is having it's kitchen renovated, hence dropping that section of the walk)
You may find full details of this walk here

Suggested Lunch stop

The Leicester Arms Hotel in Penshurst Village t: 01892 871617

Suggested Tea stop

The Fleur De Lis Pub in Leigh is shut between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm. So given the fairly short section from lunch at Penshurst to Leigh Station, I asked to be excused for not posting a tea stop on this occasion.

OS Map

OS Explorer : 147

Return train times

Trains return from Leigh at the following times ...

15:44 to London Cannon Street (Platform 2 and change at Tonbridge)
16:23 to London Victoria (Platform 1)
16:46 to London Victoria (Platform 1)
17:25 to London Victoria (Platform 1)
17:39 to London Cannon Street (Platform 2 and change at Tonbridge)

I'm sorry to be a subversive, but I'd like to propose an earlier start and a longer version of the walk. Wasting limited daylight hours with a late start seems unnecessary. Off peak fares are available from 9:30 and most railcards can also be used from that time. Even for network railcard holders the saving on this journey by travelling after 10:00 is very small.

Five and a half miles is unsatisfyingly short for a day walk, even with a minor extension. There's no need to avoid the Hoath Corner loop, since the Rock Inn is still providing excellent light lunches during its kitchen renovation, as several SWC walkers found recently.

So I propose catching the 09:44 train from London Bridge to Penshurst (no changes), arriving at 10:39 and doing the main walk (15.5km). Or you could get the 9:30 train from Charing Cross and change at Tonbridge to reach Penshurst at 10:27. Does anyone else fancy doing this?
Hi, i would like to walk on Wednesday and really do not mind which version! Just post a decision by Tuesday if that's OK!
I intend to catch the 09:44 train as proposed and do the 15.5km walk.
Will take the 10.45 from London Bridge so that I don't have to change trains. Will arrive 10 minutes after the group and hope to join your table at lunch in the Leicester Arms hotel so please keep a seat for me, preferably not beside the farting dog. Looking forward to Wednesday. The Lunch Monitor.
hey! all mammals fart..
since everybody does their own thing anyway in this club is there any point in formally posting a walk ?! feel quite sorry for the poster.
A message from this walk's poster
I've just caught up with all the comments against this walk and I'd like to reassure folks that this walk will go ahead as it is posted (I am intending to come).
There is another lunchtime eatery in Penshurst, The Porcupine Pantry serving hot and cold light menu choices, with sweet pastries and savoury items baked on the premises.

If I may turn to ChrisL comment, I would strongly suggest that those who wish to propose changes to any posted walk, discuss the matter off line with the poster to avoid confusion.
In this instance, Chris could have simply commented something along the lines ...
"I'm intending to catch an earlier (9:44 am) train from London Bridge in order to do the Hoath Corner Loop as well. If anyone wishes to do this longer walk, they are welcome to join me"
My apologies, Arthur. It was discourteous of me not to consult you. But since I was proposing a significant alteration to the posted walk, I thought I should explain my reasons for doing so, rather than just post a brief comment of the sort you suggest. I believe my objections to late winter starts and ultra short walks are sensible. But in order to avoid fragmenting the group, I will withdraw my proposed variation to what you posted and will not be coming on any version of the walk this Wednesday.
I totally agree with not fragmenting the group by suggesting alternatives, as it can deter people from going, not knowing who will turn up where. also it is unappreciative of the walk poster & his choice, & the effort he makes on our behalf.

he is actually very receptive to suggestions, if you speak to him directly on a walk.
I am looking forward to doing this lovely walk and hope to take the late train from charing Cross. jfk
Hello Chris,
I would be happy to go on the longer walk. Our printer is not working again. Will you have printed directions?

Peter Gibson
12 plus a dog. 10 at the station, 2 started earlier for a longer walk and joined us for lunch. cloudy with patches of sun. A pleasant stroll, quite muddy in places. Leicester Arms Hotel was welcoming, food varied and reasonably good. Hot drinks and biscuits from a convenience store in Leigh substituted for afternoon tea near the station.
Sun, 18-Oct-15 7

Sunday Walk 2 – a short Wealden walk

Extra Walk 92b – Leigh to Penshurst
Length: 13½ km (8.4 miles). Toughness: 3/10

There are two ways of getting to Leigh (on the Redhill-Tonbridge line), and the trains arrive within two minutes of each other. Take either:

1. The 09:40 Ashford train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 09:43, Orpington 10:05) and change at Tonbridge (arr 10:23, dep 10:29) for the Redhill train from Platform 1, arriving Leigh at 10:33. On this route, buy a day return to Penshurst.

2. The 09:32 Brighton train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:38, East Croydon 09:54) and change at Redhill (arr 10:05, dep 10:10) for the Tonbridge train from Platform 1A, arriving Leigh at 10:35. On this route, buy a day return to Leigh (Kent).

Note that on both routes you have to change platforms and there's only 5 or 6 minutes to make the connection, so be brisk.

You can travel back from Penshurst station in either direction and again the hourly trains arrive at similar times: 32 minutes past to Tonbridge, 37 minutes past to Redhill.

I've chosen the shortish “Reverse Walk” starting at Leigh (option b) to cater for any rugby fans who want to finish in time to watch the 4pm quarter-final, but anyone wanting a longer walk can switch in mid-afternoon to the 18 km Leigh Circular (option c): see the walk document for details.

Extra Walk 92 covers Wealden territory which you may recognise from two of the Book 1 walks: the initial section through Penshurst Park is taken from Walk 15 and the stretch through Chiddingstone village from Walk 19. The normal lunch stop is the Rock Inn at Hoath Corner, although this can only provide ‘lite bites’ at present as its kitchen is being refurbished. If you'd prefer something more substantial you could carry on to the Castle Inn at Chiddingstone, but I'd be inclined to take what the Rock has to offer and save room for tea'n'cake in this picture-postcard village, where there's a tough choice between the Victorian Tea Room in the grounds of Chiddingstone Castle and the equally good Tulip Tree in Burghesh Court. [On the Circular Walk the tea places in Penshurst village won't disappoint either.]

Note that both villages are some way from the end of each walk option, but there are pubs near both stations if you misjudge or aren't in a rush to get back.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 92 page. Clicking "Other" in the Walk Options heading line will hide the directions for the variations starting at Penshurst station.T=swc.92.b
As another tea option, there's a really nice pub right opposite Penshurst station.
I'm planning to do the longer, circular walk ending in Leigh.

Also planning to do longer walk
7 (possibly 8)cloudy then sunny.
Six started the walk at Leigh and ate at the Rock Inn which provided excellent ploughman's lunches. All continued to Chiddingstone to stroll round the castle grounds and partake of an early tea at its café. Two then headed for Penshurst station, while the other four took a longer route to complete the circuit back to Leigh. On the way they met up with a seventh walker who had started an hour late and who reported that another SWC walker did likewise but had not been seen thereafter. All five stopped at the refurbished Fleur de Lis pub in Leigh for refreshment before catching the 5:33 train back.
Wed, 24-Dec-14 Leigh Circular (short walk, for Penshurst Place)
Wed, 14-May-14 Penshurst to Leigh (original version, withdrawn)
Sun, 02-Jun-13 11 Leigh Circular
Sun, 06-Jan-13 3 Penshurst Circular (original version, withdrawn)
Sat, 18-Aug-12 Penshurst to Leigh (original version, withdrawn)
Sun, 18-Sep-11 Leigh to Penshurst
Sun, 18-Sep-11 Penshurst Circular (original version, withdrawn)
Sat, 15-Jan-11 Penshurst Circular (original version, withdrawn)
Sat, 02-Oct-10 Leigh Circular
Sun, 01-Aug-10 Penshurst to Leigh (original version, withdrawn)
Wed, 16-Jun-10 Penshurst Circular (original version, withdrawn)