New Walk – Otford Circular, via Shoreham
Length: 14 km (8.7 miles). Toughness: 5/10 10:29
Canterbury West train from Victoria
(Bromley South 10:54), arriving Otford
. Note that there are no services from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge this weekend, but if it's more convenient you could take the 10:16 Ramsgate train from Cannon Street (Orpington 10:37) and change at Sevenoaks, arriving Otford at 11:06; a return to Otford is valid on this route.
There's a fast hourly train back to Victoria at 32 minutes past, plus slower ones at xx:06 & xx:36. If you want to return to Cannon Street via Sevenoaks, those trains are at xx:07 & xx:37.
Once again one of my ‘new’ walks is a thinly-disguised version of an existing walk, in this case the well-known Otford Circular from Book 1. However, that walk was left with a very short afternoon after the closure of its lunch pub in Romney Street, and this version essentially offers a more balanced walk before and after the new lunch stop in Shoreham. Although primarily intended as a short autumn or winter walk, I've given it a spring début because it goes through several areas which are good for wildflowers. The bluebells in Meenfield Wood will have all but gone by now but there should be orchids in Magpie Bottom and Polhill Bank.
In these days of pub closures it's a surprise that Shoreham still offers a choice of four for lunch (although I think an alternative, the Honeypot Tea Rooms, might still be closed). If you have a favourite hostelry you might want to book a table when you set off, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't squeeze in somewhere. At the end of the walk the Pond View Café
is the suggested tea stop when the Otford Tea Rooms are closed; there are also a couple of pubs if you want something stronger.
You'll need to print the walk directions from this temporary New Walk