Big barn, Lenham

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk1 swcwalks

Under Lenham Cross

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk1 swcwalks

Under Lenham Cross

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk1 swcwalks


Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk1 swcwalks

Through a wood

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk1 swcwalks

up a field edge

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk1 swcwalks


Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

pretty book3 walk1 swcwalks

Lenham to Charing walk


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: Sat, 31-Oct-20

Date # Post
Sat, 08-Feb-20 21

Saturday Walk: Lenham to Charing

8.3 miles / 13.3 km

A walk in a quiet area of the North Downs.

Trains: 09:25 London Victoria (09:42 Bromley South), arrives at Lenham 10:38. Return trains from Charing at xx:41. Buy a day return to Charing.

Lunch: The Plough Inn, Stalisfield Green (01795 890256), food served til 2:30pm.

The Mulberry Tea Rooms at Charing are open until 4pm. If you wait until 6pm you can get a drink at the Bookmakers Arms.

You can extend this walk to 9miles as per instruction, more by map.
The 9 mile option (Lenham to Hollingbourne) is really a different walk, as it heads off in the opposite direction after just 2.7 km (40 minutes).

Another way of extending the posted walk would be to follow it until just before the standard ending in Charing, then return to Lenham along the North Downs Way (a total walk of around 20 21 km). That variation has actually been posted twice in the dim and distant past. There are no written instructions but the NDW is well waymarked and you can simply reverse a short chunk of the outward route when you get near to Lenham.

Or you could do the Fleet walk...
21, 18 on the platform and 3 in the car park. 4 University of Ohio students who are on an exchange program in London joined us. They were recommended by their tutor to our walk. A very nice walk especially in the afternoon when sun came out as forecast. The path was a bit muddy and stiles sometimes wobbly. 12 dined at the Plough Inn, really good quality food especially if you opted for specials on the black board. Service here was a bit slow but it was well worth the wait. Fish & Chips also looked good. Afternoon was a short walk. One was determined to get to the Mulberry Tea Rooms before 3:30pm to satisfy the long suppressed desire. Several followed. Tea, Cream tea, pie... we had, then off to catch 4:41 train, the full moon was with us all the way back to London.
Wed, 20-Feb-19 20

Wednesday walk Lenham to Charing or Hollingbourne - The North Downs Way and Kentish landscapes

SWC 1 - Lenham to Charing or Hollingbourne

Length: 13.3 km (8.3 miles) Option to walk to Hollingbourne adds 1.2 km to walk but no lunch stop serving food
Toughness: 3 out of 10 (more when muddy)

London Victoria: 10-25 hrs Canterbury West service Bromley South 10-42 hrs
Arrive Lenham: 11-38 hrs

Charing to Victoria: 05 and 41 mins past the hour
Hollingbourne to Victoria: 18 and 54 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Charing. If walking to Hollingbourne, buy a day return to Lenham

Today's walk makes for a pleasant, tranquil outing on a winter's day in Kent's classic countryside. Your pub stop for lunch is the Plough Inn in the village of Stalisford, some 8 km into the walk. For tea options at walk end, please refer to the Directions.
Walk Directions are here: L=swc.1
A quick food update for the Charing end of this walk. The Oak pub closed in 2015. There is another small pub in Charing, The Bookmakers Arms, but it doesn't open until 6pm.

The Rosebud Tea Rooms is now Mulberry's ( at 42 the High Street.
Mulberry's is open until 4. Phone number is 01233 714171.
How do I get rid of the pink pins on the OS map?
The normally very quiet Lenham station was uncharacteristically busy this morning as at least 18 walkers got off the train from Victoria. The weather was bright with sunny periods and mild when sheltered from the wind. However, much of the walk is at an altitude of over 400 feet (130 metres), so in exposed places, the wind felt quite cold. One or two stretches were muddy underfoot, but most of the walk was pleasant enough, and the directions were straightforward to follow. Those bringing sandwiches were politely asked not to occupy the picnic tables in front of The Plough, but use the side garden (hidden away from sight) instead. It was a good two hour walk from Lenham to the pub, so this walk would work best at the weekend, when a train can be caught an hour earlier, without incurring extra expense. The after lunch stretch took only 75 minutes to the excellent Mulberry's, where six of us enjoyed a reviving cuppa before catching the train back to London. Others might like to comment on the food and service at The Plough.
With two additional walkers arriving at the lunch pub some fifteen minutes after our main cohort, we actually mustered 20 on the day, an excellent turnout for a SWC mid week walk. Nine of us dined at the Plough Inn where we received friendly service and enjoyed well presented, very good food. Having been informed the kitchen was not functioning to proper capacity when I phoned through in the morning to book, the pub performed very well to look after us. A few of the sandwichers ventured inside the pub for a drink, but most left early, leaving the diners to follow in two waves commencing thirty plus minutes later. Per David's report, the sandwichers had the benefit of arriving at the nice cafe in Charing in time for tea the caff was well closed by the time my rearguard group arrived in Charing at 5 pm. We caught the 5 05 pm train, whilst I expect most other non sandwiches were on the train before and the sandwichers the day before !!
Methinks this short(ish) walk makes for a perfect winter outing, mid week or at a weekend, with lots of variety and some lovely views. Agreed an earlier start today would have worked better for our arrival at the lunch pub, but us oldies have to have regard to our younger walkers whose travel cards do not kick in until 10 am. On reflection, perhaps we could have reversed the walk today Charing to Lenham but then I would have had to field complaints from those who do not like to walk the bulk of a walk after lunch (as per last week's walk in Arundel). There you go.......but no matter, I thoroughly enjoyed my day, late start notwithstanding, and I hope a few others did likewise.

Sat, 03-Feb-18 16

Saturday Walk - A North Downs Combo: Hollingbourne to Charing (1st part in reverse, i.e. map-led)

Length: 26.2 km (16.3 mi) (or 14.5 km to Lenham)
Ascent/Descent: 485/456m
Net Walking Time: 6 hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10
Take the 09.22 Canterbury West train from Victoria (Bromley South 09.39), arrives Hollingbourne 10.29.
Return trains from Charing are on xx.47. Buy a Charing return.
SWC 1 comes in two versions, both short: from Lenham, one leads south to Charing, and the other leads north to Hollingbourne. So why not make a proper walk of it by combining the two? Walk the start of the walk from Hollingbourne to where the two routes split map-led (or read the written directions in reverse) and then pick up the Lenham to Charing write-up where the routes meet.
A large section of the walk is to the north side of the North Downs Way and passes along some little used footpaths, making for a tranquil walk. Its attractions include the pretty hamlet of Stalisfield Green and the historic village of Charing for tea. Shorter Walk: finish at Lenham Station.
Lunch: Blacksmith Arms in Wormshill (8.3 km/5.2 mi, no food), Ringlestone Inn in Ringlestone (9.7 km/6.0 mi, food), Harrow Inn (Hotel) in Warren Street (17.1 km/10.6 mi, food to 14.00). Tea: Mulberry’s Tea Room and The Oak (which may or may not now be a Costa Coffee).
For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. t=swc.1.c
16 overcast till lunch drizzle for most of afternoon

16 off the train from London. One Rambler who missed the train for her intended walk with the Blackheath Ramblers took the initiative to approach one of our number in Victoria, found out we were doing a similar length walk and joined for her first SWC experience.

Nicely undulating in the morning with a couple of good ascents. Some nice views. Plenty of mud, so quite hard work. On the upside, used lots of muscles that don’t get a work out very often... Map led until lunch, so a few navigational mishaps.

8 had lunch at the very quirky Ringlestone Inn where the food was slow to arrive. The picnickers didn’t spend too long outside as the drizzle had started to come down just as we reached the pub. The slow arrival of the food was explained by an incident in the kitchen (said incident didn’t delay food service to the locals who arrived and ordered after our group).

Us picnickers moved on. More arable fields in the afternoon, but like the morning, with clearly defined paths. Some nice wooded areas. Two of us stopped at the Plough Inn about 5km from the end and found it to be a lovely pub with friendly pleasant staff. 2 of the lunchers caught us up. The rest of the lunch group took various routes to Lenham as they’d had enough of the mud. 4 of us got to Charing Station with a comfortable 5 minute wait for the train, meeting the picnickers who had eschewed the Plough Inn with the hope of refreshment in Charing. What they got was a 50 minute wait at the station as despite its size Charing, is devoid of any refreshment stop at 17:00 on a Saturday. 17:47 train to Victoria. Good day out. Would be interested in doing this walk again on a dry sunny day when the views could be better appreciated.

Wed, 01-Feb-17 11

Wednesday Walk - Lenham to Hollingbourne

SWC Walk 1a - Lenham to Hollingbourne

Length: 14 5 km (9 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

London Victoria: 10-22 hrs Canterbury West train (Bromley South 10-39 hrs)
Arrive Lenham: 11-35 hrs

Return: Hollingbourne to Victoria: 23 & 59 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Lenham

I have little recollection of this walk (the only time I ventured out on it was in February 2009) other than during the morning our group of nine was knee deep in fresh, drifting snow. Otherwise, my notes just state it was a nice walk - so there you go - it must be worth another winter's outing.......

The original suggested lunch pub (the Blacksmiths Arms) appears no longer to serve lunch on weekdays (just Sundays) so your lunch stop today should be The Ringlestone Inn in Harrietsham, some 6 km into the walk which from write ups sounds good. Best 'phone ahead with numbers: 01622-859900.

Other than that, I leave it to you all to read the Directions and notes on what I hope is a pleasant walk in Kent.
Directions here: L=swc.1

Next Week, Wednesday 08 February: Book 2, Walk 9a - Kintbury Circular
11 off the train 5 booked for lunch all hoping that the forecast would be optimistic for a break in the rain and mist. Sadly the ground was so sticky in the unrelenting drizzle we were glad to reach the lunch stop after 1.30pm and I for one refused to continue. 3 others set off before me to walk by road to Hollingbourne station but i was offered a lift by a couple who took pity on me and we 4 caught the 4pm train to Victoria. Quite the earliest i've ever returned from a Wednesday walk. How did the others get on who walked in the afternoon?
I believe our 5 sandwichers continued the walk in the rain to Hollingbourne, with 2 others taking the road to Harrietsham (I hope they made it OK) and our independent walker doing her own thing, per usual.
I continued with one other on the main walk open fields, some woods, and more large fields. Briefly, around 4 pm, the rain stopped and mist/fog descended, making route following tricky. The final descent from the fields above Hollingbourne was on nasty, slippery, muddy paths and I for one had difficulty remaining upright. My younger companion found this going easier. Our walk through the village was by now in the dark and we made the station in good time for the 17 59 hrs train.
The company today eleven regular mid week walkers was, as always, most enjoyable, with plenty of good chat in the rain. We also enjoyed the cosy, quirky Ringlestone Inn which served nice, home cooked meals. And despite the weather, it was pleasant to breathe in clear, country air after London's recent polluted conditions. As for the walk, it is exactly eight years since I last did it, and I would be quite happy to leave it another eight years before venturing out on it again.
11 wet
In spite of adverse weather conditions the morning walk was enjoyable . After lunch at the lovely oldie worldy Ringlestone Pub with its roaring fires I departed by road for Hollinbourne in the mist. En route I encountered q full aniseed type hunt with the
collection of hounds and horses. It was a wonderful sight to see in the English countryside.
I had to get get back a bit earlier than some to attend my book club followed by my two hour Scottishcountry dance class. jfk

Saw 3 of the others on the train
Sat, 14-Jan-17 14

Saturday First Walk - Lenham to Charing

Lenham to Charing - SWC Walk 1
8.3 miles / 13.3km
A tranquil walk along the North Downs

Trains: take the 9:22 Canterbury West service from London Victoria (9:39 Bromley South), arriving at Lenham at 10:35. Return trains from Charing to London Victoria at xx47. Buy a day return to Charing.

Lunch: The Plough, Stalisfield Green (01795 890256), food served til 2:30.

The refreshment options listed in the walk notes for Charing have not fared too well. The Rosebud Tea Rooms at 42 High Street has closed down but is due to re-open as Mulberry's. The Oak has also closed down.

Click here for full details and walk directions

14 on this, on a crisp winter day cold but sunny and dry There was ice and snow underfoot mostly a light dusting of the latter but occasionally deeper. One or two slopes were tricky. The Plough was welcoming and people seemed content. Some even stayed for pudding. And so on to Charing where the Mulberry was open and the Oak was shut. All 14 arrived at the station within minutes of each other (is this a record?) and got the 15:47. Enjoyable walk, good day out.
Sun, 15-Feb-15 7 Lenham to Hollingbourne
Sat, 27-Sep-14 5 Lenham to Charing
Sun, 23-Mar-14 9 Lenham to Hollingbourne
Sun, 16-Sep-12 Lenham to Charing
Sun, 04-Sep-11 Lenham Circular
Sun, 28-Nov-10 Lenham to Charing
Sun, 09-May-10 Lenham to Hollingbourne
Sat, 06-Feb-10 Lenham to Hollingbourne
Sun, 09-Aug-09 Lenham to Charing
Sun, 03-May-09 Lenham to Hollingbourne
Wed, 04-Feb-09 Lenham to Hollingbourne
Sat, 24-Jan-09 Lenham to Charing
Sun, 11-May-08 Lenham to Charing
Sat, 08-Dec-07 Lenham to Charing
Sat, 13-Jan-07 Lenham to Charing