Hollyhocks

Penshurst. Leigh to Tunbridge wells

05-Jul-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Book 1 Walk 15 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells

Sheep warriors near Penshurst Estate. DGA. Vivitar 5199 5mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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To let

Birchetts and Doorknobs! DGA. Vivitar 5199 5mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 15, Leigh to Tunbridge Wells 2

Small child investigates small dog, 14 April '07

14-Apr-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 15, Leigh to Tunbridge Wells 1

Small child spots small dog, 14 April '07

14-Apr-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

wells book1 leigh tunbridge penshurst walk15 swcwalks

Book 1, Walk 15, Leigh to Tunbridge Wells 4

14 April '07

14-Apr-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 15, Leigh to Tunbridge Wells 6

14 April '07

14-Apr-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

kent sheep wells book1 lamb leigh tunbridge penshurst walk15 swcwalks

Leigh to Tunbridge Wells walk

Penshurst Place (a stately home), rivers, woods, and Kent's rolling hills

History

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, 13-Jan-18 13

Saturday Walk: Leigh to Tunbridge Wells

Leigh to Tunbridge Wells - Book1 Walk 15
11.7 miles / 18.9km


Penshurst Place, the Medway Valley, and Tunbridge Wells


Trains: Take the 09:39 from London Victoria (09:56 East Croydon), arriving at Leigh at 10:34.
Return trains to London Bridge from Tunbridge Wells at xx29/59. Note that there are no trains to Charing Cross today due to engineering works.
Buy a day return to Tunbridge Wells.


Lunch: The Spotted Dog (tel 01892 870 253) at Smart's Hill, phone first if you would like to sit inside. An alternative nearby is the Bottle House Inn (01892 870306) on Coldharbour Road.


Tunbridge Wells has plentiful teashops in the Pantiles area and the High Street (Juliet's has nice cakes). Or a five-minute walk past the station up Mount Pleasant Road will bring you to the splendid Opera House, now a JD Wetherspoon pub.


T=1.15
13 SWC walkers alighted from the scheduled train at Leigh, together with some 20 in a Meet Up group, none of whom seemed to know where they were going. Having been corralled by a leader of sort, they set out 50 metres behind us, on the opening leg of our walk to Penshurst. 75 metres ahead of us was an additional group of 8 walkers, who disappeared into the great unknown on reaching Penshurst. The Meet Uppers also went their own way after Penshurst, not to be seen again by us during the rest of the day.
The weather was overcast and mild, with the sun briefly appearing when we reached Smarts Hill, to disappear back into the clouds after lunch. Said lunch was enjoyed by 5 of us at the excellent Spotted Dog pub, who had reserved a cosy alcove for us. Some of the sandwichers dropped in for a drink, with 4 of them setting out on the long afternoon leg shortly after our arrival (the other 4 left thirty minutes later).
On leaving the pub, as we headed back to the top of Smarts Hill, us lunchioners were treated to the sight of 5 young roe deer dashing across the road, some 50 metres ahead of us, to disappear into the woodland beyond.
Time now to mention the mud: it was heavy duty for most of the day, mainly of the slubberdub, slippery variety, but all seemed to cope with it, and accepted that being early January, there will be mud !
Our afternoon was uneventful but very pleasant, this walk having lots of variety to keep a walker interested. We were losing the light as we eventually entered RTW, where 4 of us stopped at Juliet's Cafe in the High Street for a very nice tea. Up the hill then to the railway station for a fast train back to London.
A most enjoyable day was had in good company in Kent's lovely countryside: indeed, I might be tempted to venture out again on a SWC walk on a Saturday !


An alternative lunchtime pub is The Bottle House Inn, close to The Spotted Dog. A few of us looked at it and it seemed popular. Might be a good option when there's a large group http://www.thebottlehouseinnpenshurst.co.uk/
Not surprised you were running out of daylight Marcus. I was one of the "30 minutes later" group, we caught up with the advance party and arrived at RTW together; it was getting pretty murky even at 4.15. Four of us went to a cafe called Claudia's, which apparently used to be something else, but was fine, and got the 1659 train.
Sun, 19-Feb-17 12

Sunday Walk: Rolling hills in Kent and the Medway Valley

Book 1 Walk 15, Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Length: 18.9km (11.7 miles) Toughness: 5/10

10:06 Robertsbridge train from Charing Cross, changing at Tonbridge (arr 11:01, dep 11:11) to arrive at Leigh at 11:15.

Buy an off-peak day return to Tunbridge Wells. Return trains from Tunbridge Wells to Charing Cross are at xx:19 and xx:41 until 17:41, then at xx:11 and xx:41 (journey time about 65 minutes).

This classic Book 1 walk traverses beautiful pastoral landscapes and the Medway valley, to finish in the historic centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells. It hardly needs saying that it could be muddy at this time of year.

The recommended lunch pub, the Spotted Dog (01892 870253) at Smart’s Hill, is only a third of the way through the walk. They are expecting our group soon after 12:30, but haven’t reserved tables yet, so please do phone them as you set out to let them know how many will be lunching there. There are a number of tearooms in Tunbridge Wells, especially in the Pantiles and in the High Street.

Take TOCW Book 1 or download the walk directions.
Sunday 19th February 2017

12 on this walk which was as lovely as ever. 5 of us ate at the Spotted Dog and then had tea in The Cake Shed in RTW.
12
Sat, 30-Jan-16 18

Leigh to Turnbridge Wells, omitting Smart's Hill

T=1.15.a Length: 14.9km (9.3m)
Toughness: 4/10
Transport: Take the 9:15 from London Charing Cross, change at Tonbridge to arrive at Leigh at 10:23
There are frequent trains back to London from Turnbridge Wells.

This is a pleasant walk through Kentish countryside entering the charming village of Penshurst through the grounds of Penshurst Palace. For this shorter version of the walk the recommended lunch stop is in Penshurst and not on top of Smart's Hill before the walk continues along the river Medway. Be aware that lunch is quite early and 2/3 of the walk are after lunch. There are various places for tea in the Pantiles in Turnbridge Wells.

Walk directions can be found here.

Update: It was pointed out to me that the walk before lunch is very short and arrival time in Penshurst will be about 11:15, too early for lunch. I would like to keep the train time, though and offer these options:
  • Do the full walk up to Smart's Hill for lunch.
  • Do the shortcut but have lunch in the George & Dragon in Speldhurst. A small detour along Barden Road is required for this.
I haven't been to the George and Dragon in Speldhurst for ages but it was always a favourite of mine
http://www.speldhurst.com/
Speldhurst Hill, Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0NN | T: 01892 863125

You could get the 09.39 from Victoria direct arriving at Leigh at 10.34 if that makes sense and I have understood the train times properly
Oh yes i have always loved the George and Dragon in Spedhurst too altho9 hardly ever eaten there jfk
I'll be arriving a bit later on the at 10.34 via East Croydon and will catch the group up later.
Leigh to Tunbridge Wells, omitting Smart's Hill
18 or 25 depending on who you spoke to and whether you counted just the first train load or guessed the total with the second train crowd added in
14 had lunch in the George and Dragon and it was very good though not cheap but with very good waitress service
Weather was glorious sunshine and pleasantly warm all day with NO RAIN WHATSOEVER
Also some debate on how muddy it was, some said it was atrocious whilst others said it wasn't too bad
Okay the mud wasn't too bad but fording streams that don't normally exist made for damp socks
Some saw lambs but I didn't
Loads of other wildlife including badger, deer, foxes but all stuffed except the badger which was road kill
Daffs and snow drops abound around and blossom was blossoming in some trees
Tea in The Pantiles was okay but nowt to write home about I need to choose a different tea room next time the one that we 6 went to was the only one with seats inside
Obviously the locals know the good tea rooms but unfortunately they fill them up and leave no room for the muddy blowins
This change to the route and lunch stop at the George and Dragon is defiantly a good move
all the best
Sunni Daye
Sat, 15-Aug-15 8

Saturday First Walk Book 1 Walk 15 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells

Book 1 Walk 15 : Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
18.9km (11.7 miles) or 15km
5 out of 10.
Explorer 147 or Landranger 188

OS map here

Take the 9.45am from London Bridge Station to Leigh (Kent), going via East Croydon at 10.00 and Redhill at 10.18 arriving at 10.43
4 trains per hour back direct to London
Buy a day return to Tunbridge Wells.

The route of this walk is through a landscape of great beauty, confirming the description of Kent as the Garden of England. It proceeds through the grounds of Penshurst Place, with fine views of the house, taking in a truly pastoral landscape of rivers, lakes, woods and rolling hills; and passes through the lovely village of Penshurst. The walk then makes its way along the River Medway and into historic Royal Tunbridge Wells, through woods and parks which extend right into the heart of the town. The suggested tea place is in the colonnaded Pantiles about 15 minutes walk from the station..


The suggested lunchtime stop is the Spotted Dog ( http://www.spotteddogpub.co.uk/ tel 01892 870 253) at Smart's Hill, after a third of the walk. This is a large and very popular pub with good food, log fires for the winter and a superb view across the Medway Valley to Swaylands and Penshurst. You will arrive here about 90 minutes after leaving the station.
Food is served from midday to 3pm
Nearby is another large and popular pub, the Bottle House Inn ( http://www.thebottlehouseinnpenshurst.co.uk/ tel 01892 870 306).
Alternatively, for late starters, the Leicester Arms ( http://www.theleicesterarmshotel.com/ tel 01892 870 551) in Penshurst serves à la carte and bar meals all day.

There are several tearooms in the Pantiles, some with outdoor seating. Some of the restaurants and wine bars here also serve excellent cream teas in the afternoon, such as Woods Restaurant & Wine bar at no.62 (tel 01892 614 411). Cafés include Just for You at no.42 (tel 01892 539 652), The Picnic Basket at 26-28 (tel 01892 527 690) and Gastronomia G. at no 7 (tel 01892 618 281). Alternatively, there are several pubs and snack bars near the station. A five-minute walk past the station up Mount Pleasant Road will bring you to The Opera House, a splendid building which more recently was a cinema and bingo hall, and is now a JD Wetherspoon pub.
Lots more info here
https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/book_1/walk_15/index.shtml
Give the Pantiles a miss and a little further on you'll find the high street with it's cafes and very nice cakes.
Book
1 Walk 15 : Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Distance: 18.9km (11.7 miles) 5/10
8, sunny warm

Very nice walk with unexpectedly good weather. 5 had a good lunch at the Spotted Dog, seated outside with lovely views across the countryside. 3 picnicked nearby.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was an encounter with some friendly piglets that were grazing in a field alongside some sheep. Lots of fields of cows to traverse also. Walk was surprisingly tiring as there are many long, slow climbs and descents.

Arrived Tunbridge Wells not long after 4. 6 eschewed the tearooms on the Pantiles and instead had very good tea and cake at Juliets on the high street. I left the others after tea as they made their way to the station, and I took a walk around the town, making the 17:39 train.
Sat, 14-Mar-15 28 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Wed, 13-Aug-14 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sun, 11-Aug-13 0 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sun, 04-Nov-12 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells, omitting Smart's Hill
Sat, 09-Apr-11 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sun, 03-Apr-11 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells, omitting Smart's Hill
Sun, 13-Feb-11 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sun, 24-Oct-10 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sat, 15-May-10 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sun, 05-Jul-09 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sat, 11-Apr-09 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sun, 01-Jun-08 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells, omitting Smart's Hill
Sat, 12-Apr-08 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sat, 10-Nov-07 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells, omitting Smart's Hill
Sat, 14-Apr-07 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sun, 14-Jan-07 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells
Sat, 04-Nov-06 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells, omitting Smart's Hill