View from hill above Otford

View from hill above Otford

01-Nov-03 • Catherine Ames on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk43

Tree Lined Path

Tree Lined Path

01-Nov-03 • Catherine Ames on Flickr

swcwalks book1 walk43

Book 1 Walk 43 Otford (round walk)

Book 1 Walk 43 Otford (round walk)

On the North Downs Way looking Southwards. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

way downs kent north book1 otford walk43 swcwalks

Pond life, Otford

Pond life, Otford

I'll have to get a plumber in again! D.Allen ViviCam 5199 5mp

21-Mar-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

pond roundabout book1 otford walk43 swcwalks

Autumn tinges

Autumn tinges

Otford Round Walk

24-Oct-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 otford walk43 swcwalks

Misty gate

Misty gate

Otford Round Walk

24-Oct-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 otford walk43 swcwalks

In the woods

In the woods

Otford Round Walk

24-Oct-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 otford walk43 swcwalks

Otford Circular via Romney Street walk

A short walk packed with variety and fine views, bluebell woods in season, a pretty village and a short train journey

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, 16-Dec-17 22

Saturday walk - Otford Circular, short or longer

Otford Circular via Romney Street (Book 1 Walk 43)
Length: 12km (7.5 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

OR

Longer Otford Circular using afternoon of walk 290
Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.52 train from Victoria (10.09 Bromley South) to Otford, arriving 10.28

Buy a day return to Otford

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

If doing the LONGER AFTERNOON, also click here for walk directions and here for GPX.

I have had a request for the Book 1 Otford Circular walk, a fine little gem of a walk on the North Downs which lands you after 8.7km (5.4 miles) in the village of Shoreham for lunch. Here SWC walkers tend to flock to the conveniently located Kings Arms but I would also recommend the very cosy Two Brewers and Crown Inn: to get to these carry on up the road past the Kings Arms and in 170 metres turn right at the T-junction: the Two Brewers is on the right in 200 metres or so, with the Crown 300 metres beyond that.

After lunch it is a short and easy walk on the book 1 route to Otford - just 2.6km or 1.6 miles to the centre of the village, which has nice tea options such as the Hospices of Hope cafe or the Willow Tea Rooms. Ideal if you want to get back to town early for some Christmas shopping.

For a LONGER AFTERNOON WALK, I suggest switching to the walk 290 directions (starting with section 4) which provide a loop of up to 8.5km (5.3 miles) back to Otford ("up to" because there are two possible short cuts saving 1.8 or 2.3km respectively).

Allow 10 minutes to walk from Otford to its station.

Trains back are at 00 and 32 past to Bromley South and Victoria (fast trains taking 35 minutes).

There are also stopping trains to Blackfriars at 07 and 37 but these take 57 minutes and are only likely to be useful if you live near one of the stations on route. T=1.43

Any slug a beds who fail to make the scheduled train and start half an hour late could catch up by doing the shorter morning route in Walk 290. In fact these renegades would probably get to Shoreham first, and meeting up with the main group might require a diligent inspection of the village's four pubs at some point.

The afternoon leg of Walk 290 is significantly tougher than the flat return leg of the original walk since it climbs up the other side of the valley. I'd have said that the toughness rating of Walker's suggested 'Longer Afternoon' combination is closer to 7/10.
22 on this walk on a day of glorious morning sun but cloud and some rain after lunch. We got a bit split up in the morning, a few taking shortcuts, a few getting lost, so I am not sure what happened to around half the group. But eight us had a fine lunch at the Two Brewers, a very pleasant place which sees itself as more of a restaurant than a pub but which accommodated a few extra drinkers from the sandwich crowd (rather reluctantly, according to one of them). Unable to fit onto our table, one joined the Walk Inspector in the Crown.

Emerging at about 2.45pm to grey skies and rain what a change! several who had planned to do the longer afternoon decided not to, and only six of us that I know of set off to do it. Three of these basically reversed part of the Otford to Eynsford Walk route, but three of us did the full 290 route, and very fine it was too, despite including its author’s trademark close encounter with a motorway. I reflected that I would love to come back and do it in summer, though I guess then it would seem too short a walk for many SWC ers.

We got to Otford at 4.35, finishing in the dark and were too late for tea at the Hospices of Hope tea room, which closed early hopefully not because of earlier walkers turning up in muddy boots (we always take them off for pubs, rarely for tea rooms: just my observation). But several of us instead found The Bull pub very cosy, and it even had vegan chocolate pudding.
6 who ate at Two Brewers did short cut. We were joined by 4 others who ate in the other pub ( King George?) which was very good and value for money. 7 then went to Hospice tea room (excellent tea and cakes as ever, also for a good cause) whilst 3 decided to go for something stronger 2 rejoined the Hospice group on the train. 5 more walkers who took short cut came to Hospice just when we set to leave. So we vacated the table for them. We took 4:32 train back and met two more walkers at the station. PS Two Brewers had very nice food but expensive (ie London restaurant price) be prepared to spend £20+ for food and a drink. So the other two pubs may be a better choice for future outings.
Wed, 07-Dec-16 7

Wednesday Walk - Otford, Shoreham and the Darent Valley


Book 1, Walk 43 - Otford Circular

Length: 12 km (7.5 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10 (one steep climb at the start)

London Victoria: 10-22 hrs (Canterbury West train), Bromley South 10-39 hrs
Arrive Otford: 10-56 hrs

Return: direct trains at 00 and 32 mins past the hour
and at 07 and 37 mins past the hour, changing at Bromley South,

A short winter's outing today, to enable you to return home early after your walk before attending the SWC Christmas party in the evening, or, should you prefer, to linger for a while in an Otford cafe or pub before heading into London for the party. The quickest way back into Town is to take the short journey to Victoria then 18 mins on the underground to London Bridge (District Line to Westminster, changing to the Jubilee Line to London Bridge).

As for the walk, it's a Christmas cracker, with a lot packed in to its short length. You start with a very steep ascent up into woods, then its plain sailing, so to speak, through woodland, farmland and the Darent Valley.

The original lunch pub for this walk - the Fox and Hounds in Romney Street - closed down two years ago. A shame - I have happy memories sitting outside with Sunday walkers, including the late Richard Harrod on his 12th Leap Year Birthday in February 2004, eating Sunday lunch with snow falling on us.!

For lunch today I suggest you visit one of the three pubs in Shoreham (two thirds way into the walk). The Kings Head is as good as any. The walk comments mention detouring to the Rising Sun in Cotman's Ash, which does not serve food but the landlady permits walkers to eat their own sandwiches on the premises if they buy a drink or two, But a Shoreham pub seems more sensible.

Sections of today's walk can be muddy in winter, but even though we have had some rain recently, conditions under foot should be passable today - and should not spoil your enjoyment of this short, lovely walk.

Enjoy the walk - and the SWC party in the evening.
T=1.43
Walk Directions L=1.43

Next Week, Wednesday 14 December: SWC Walk 231a - Flitwick Circular (shorter version) 10.8 miles, Toughness 2 out of 10


who is going tomorrow ?
Was hoping go but due to SWT train delays have had to abort my journey as wont get there in time
Grr!!!
7 plus one dog on this walk. Weather a tad disappointing give a cheery BBC forecast (which I confess was a factor on tempting your correspondent out), sunny to start but soon clouding up, with bluer skies hovering tantalisingly to the north after lunch: but v mild at least. A pleasant walk with some dribs of autumn colour still (oaks, field maple, hazel) and almost no mud (I have a feeling that is not going to last). Fascinating to see the golf course in the valley after the former lunch pub in Romney Street now completely returned to nature: you would never know it had ever been there.

Only two of us stopped at The George Inn, whose turkey dinner portion was so huge it could have fed a homeless hostel all by itself (as it is, the dog benefited). The sandwich eaters left before I had ploughed through it and the other luncher opted for an early train from Shoreham. So I trudged on alone to Otford, enjoying the book route (a bit different to the direct route I normally walk). I can only assume the sandwich eaters skipped tea as none were in either tea room. I went to the Hospices of Hope and enjoyed a nice slab of Christmas cake, just like my mother used to make, and tea in "a proper China cup"
I am reading Alan Bennett's latest published diaries and Walker you are starting to sound like him! Great stuff... try and mix in some reminiscences of Winchester as well (:>).
I am NOT reading Alan Bennett's latest published diaries so don't know if this is a compliment or otherwise.
Of course its a compliment.
Thank you, then
Sat, 14-Nov-15 12

Saturday First Walk - Last of the autumn colour?

Book 1, walk 43 - Otford Circular - 12km (7.5 miles)
or Walk 43 + 23 combination - Otford to Eynsford - 17.1km (10.6 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.52 train from Victoria (10.09 Bromley South) to Otford, arriving 10.28

Walk directions: use the online version of Otford Circular (and Otford to Eynsford if you plan to do the longer afternoon: see below)

We have various walks around Otford and Eynsford these days, so the original Otford Circular walk from book one gets overlooked. A pity as it makes an excellent autumn outing, with hopefully some remaining dribs and drabs of autumn colour still left in its woods after this week's winds, and a couple of stiff climbs so you feel you have earned your chocolate cake

The walk suffers from the tiny problem that its traditional lunch pub, the isolated Fox & Hounds in Romney Street, closed earlier this year. But this is no great hardship as continuing on another 2 miles to the village Shoreham gives you access to no fewer than three possible lunch pubs. This makes a morning of 8.8km (5.5 miles). To get to the pubs, use the detour outlined in para 24 of the Otford Circular walk directions (first making a note of the location of the Darent Valley Path to your left if you plan to continue the circular route after lunch).

After lunch you have a choice:

  • finish the Otford Circular walk. You will be enjoying chocolate cake in the Hospices of Hope tea room within the hour, as it is just 2.4km (1.5 miles) away.
  • switch to the afternoon of Book 1, walk 23 Otford to Eynsford (paragraph 17 of the online directions) and follow that to its end. This is another 8.5km (5.3 miles), the last 3km/2 miles on a road that could easily be followed in the gathering gloom. A glance at a map also shows possible shortcuts towards the end of the walk. Tea would be either at the Lullingstone Vistor's Centre (closes 3.30pm, though) or at a pub in Eynsford.

Trains back from Otford are at 00 and 32 past to Victoria or 07 and 37 mins to Blackfriars. From Eynsford trains go at 13 and 43 past to Blackfriars. Changing at Bromley South on the Blackfriars trains gets you to Victoria 20 minutes earlier (37 mins v 57 mins)

There is a splendid tearoom by the bridge in Eynsford. Don't tell me it's closed already?!
Looking on Facebook and Tripadvisor, the Riverside Tearooms in Eynsford is open
12 on this walk, including one who missed a connection and caught us at lunch and one who took to long parking, failed to catch us up, returned to car and drove to lunch. Light rain the morning turning heavier after 1pm but none of the threatened wind. Bits of autumn colour left (and some green leaves still).

In the morning we got tangled with a meet up group who seemed determined to match our pace exactly. (How annoying these chattering groups of walkers are!!!) They went to the first pub so we went to the King's Head: cheap food, big portions. After lunch seven of us followed the Darent Valley Way. Since this threatened to get us to Eynsford too early four of us stopped at Lullingstone Roman Villa v interesting. We just got to the Eynsford tea rooms in time (early closing!) and got the 16.43 train.
to=too in previous comment!
Sat, 06-Dec-14 30 Otford Circular
Sat, 11-Jan-14 35 Otford Circular
Sat, 14-Dec-13 30 Otford Circular
Sat, 15-Dec-12 Otford Circular
Sun, 11-Nov-12 Otford Circular
Sat, 14-Apr-12 Otford Circular
Sat, 24-Dec-11 Otford Circular
Sat, 12-Feb-11 Otford Circular
Sun, 26-Sep-10 Otford Circular
Sat, 24-Oct-09 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sun, 26-Jul-09 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sat, 06-Dec-08 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sun, 30-Nov-08 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Fri, 21-Mar-08 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sat, 29-Dec-07 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Wed, 19-Dec-07 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sat, 31-Mar-07 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Wed, 21-Mar-07 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sun, 10-Dec-06 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sat, 28-Oct-06 Otford Circular via Romney Street
Sat, 21-Oct-06 Otford Circular via Romney Street