Main Walk: 19½ km (12.1 miles). Four hours 55 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.
Short Circular Walk, omitting Westerham: 10 km (6.2 miles). Two hours 25 minutes walking time.
Long Circular Walk, via Chartwell: 22¾ km (14.1 miles). Five hours 50 minutes walking time.
Alternative Walk, finishing at Westerham: 18¼ km (11.3 miles). Four hours 45 minutes walking time.
Alternative Circular Walk, from Westerham: 9¼ km (5.7 miles). Two hours 25 minutes walking time.
Explorer 147 & (for a small section at the start and finish) 146. Oxted, map reference TQ393529, is in Surrey, 15 km SE of Croydon. Westerham is in Kent.
5 out of 10 (3 for both Short Walks, 7 for the Long Walk, 6 for the Alternative Walk).
Much of this walk is on the wooded Greensand Ridge running parallel to and just south of the North Downs. At various points in the walk there are views across the valley to these downs, contrasting with far-reaching views out to the High Weald from the southern escarpment.
The outward route is across the National Trust's Limpsfield Common, the High Chart (some of which is part of the Titsey Estate) and Squerryes Park. This brings you to Westerham, described by Daniel Defoe as a “neat, handsome, well-built market town”. Memorials in the 14thC St Mary's Church and two statues on the Green honour its most famous residents, General James Wolfe and Sir Winston Churchill. Wolfe was born in the town and his childhood home, named Quebec House after his famous victory in 1759, is owned by the National Trust. The house is open Wed–Sun afternoons from mid-March to October; admission (2018) is £5.60.
The afternoon route starts with an attractive section up the open Darent valley and climbs onto the wooded Crockhamhill Common, from where an optional extension (see below) loops out to Churchill's family home Chartwell, also owned by the National Trust. The garden and restaurant are open throughout the year, but the house is only open from March to October; admission (2018) is £14.40 or £7.20 for the garden only. The walk crosses over the outward route at Limpsfield Chart, continues through more parts of Limpsfield Common and returns to Oxted via the village of Limpsfield, which has retained many of its historic buildings.
This walk began as an attempt to extend the short Hurst Green to Oxted walk (2–16a) into Westerham but it has evolved into a separate walk, almost as long as the main Walk 2–16. It was revised in 2018 to minimise overlaps with both variations of the Book 2 walk, in the process replacing a notoriously muddy stretch in the High Chart with a much more appealing section via Ridlands Grove. The original start through Limpsfield has been transferred to the Oxted to Lingfield walk (#135).
The sections of the walk around Chartwell had been revised earlier because the National Trust locked some back entrances into the estate in 2015, presumably because a few walkers were using them to avoid paying the entry fee. The revised version does a short loop from Crockhamhill Common to Chartwell via Mariners Hill, and drops the original Long Walk's different route back to Oxted (which still features in several other SWC walks).
The new walk options which finish at Westerham currently leave the Chartwell Estate via Hosey Common Lane, but it is possible that this exit too might be closed in future.
The revised walk's crossover design allows for several variations. Most simply, you can do a Short Circular Walk (similar in concept to Walk 2–16a) by turning back at Limpsfield Chart.
The other variations all go via Chartwell. The Long Circular Walk loops out from Crockhamhill Common, taking in some fine views from Mariners Hill. It adds at least 3¼ km to the walk length; more if you also do the estate's Woodland Walk and/or visit the property.
This walk's original route to Chartwell is used here in the reverse direction to provide an Alternative Walk, looping back to Westerham. This is particularly useful if you spend time at Chartwell and want a shorter ending; Oxted is twice as far away. The structure of this option means that you could do the second half as an Alternative Circular Walk from Westerham, although this is obviously easier for car drivers.
Chartwell has a bus service on Sundays and Bank Holidays when the house is open, so you could finish the walk there on those days (details below).
There is a half-hourly service from Victoria to Oxted, taking 40 minutes. There is also a faster hourly service (Mon–Sat) from London Bridge, taking 28 minutes.
There is no station in Westerham but it is served by several bus routes for the walk options starting and/or finishing there. There are three Southdown services going W to Oxted (but none on Sun/BH), the 236 (Mon–Fri) and 594/595 (Mon–Sat); London bus 246 goes N to Bromley (starting from Chartwell on summer Sun & BH); and Go-Coach 401 goes E to Sevenoaks. Although much of its route is outside the London boundary, Travelcards and Oyster can be used on the 246, even from Chartwell.
If driving, Oxted station car park notionally costs £6.35 Mon–Sat, £2.15 Sun & BH, but is free after 10am (though often full on weekdays). Westerham has a large car park on the eastern edge of the town, free for the first three hours; street parking is possible away from the town centre.
Take the train nearest to 10:00 from London Bridge (or Victoria) to Oxted.
There are three large pubs to choose from in Westerham, about 9 km into the main walk variations. If it is not too busy the suggested lunch place is the George & Dragon (01959-563071), but the Kings Arms Hotel (01959-562990) and the Grasshopper on the Green (01959-562926) are both good alternatives and large groups would do well to disperse among all three. There are also several cafés and tearooms in the town (see below).
On the Short Circular Walk the suggested lunchtime pub is the Carpenters Arms (01883-722209) in Limpsfield Chart, after 5¼ km. The only alternative is a late stop at The Bull (01883-713402) in Limpsfield, just 1½ km from the end of the walk.
As the Oxted-Westerham routes cross over at the Carpenters Arms (see above) this pub functions as both a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon refreshment stop. Towards the end of the walk there is The Bull in Limpsfield and many more possible tea places in Oxted itself.
In Station Road East the walk route passes Costa Coffee at #62 (01883-723149; open to 6.30pm Mon–Sat, 5.30pm Sun) and Coughlans Bakery at #76 (01883-716972; open to 5pm Mon–Sat, 3pm Sun); Caffè Nero is just past the station at #139 (01883-730220; open to 6pm Mon–Sat, 5pm Sun).
Near the station entrance on the other side of the railway are Café Papillon at 54 Station Road West (01883-717031; nominally open to 5pm Mon–Sat, 2pm Sun, but may stop serving earlier) and a JD Wetherspoon's pub, the Oxted Inn (01883-723440).
For the alternative walk options ending at Westerham there is an even greater choice of tea places, plus all the lunch pubs listed above. Around the Green are the Tudor Rose Tearooms (01959-563391; open to 4.30pm Tue–Fri, 5pm Sat–Sun, closed Mon) and Food for Thought (01959-569888; open to 5pm Mon–Thu, 5.30pm Fri–Sun). Up the A25 towards Market Square there is a Costa Coffee (01959-563443) and Deli di Luca (01959-569726), and more places further along the main road.
On the walk options via Chartwell its popular (and usually busy) Landemare café (01732-866368) makes a convenient refreshment stop.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
|Copyright||© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml|
The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).
Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.
- Main Walk (19½ km)
Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.
If you are doing the Alternative Circular Walk from Westerham, start at §6.
- Oxted Station to Wolf's Road (2¼ km)
- Wolf's Road to Tenchley's Lane (1½ km)
- Tenchley's Lane to Limpsfield Chart (1½ or 1 km)
- Main route (1½ km)
- Direct route (1 km)
- Limpsfield Chart to Goodley Stock Road (2 km)
- Goodley Stock Road to Westerham (1¾ km)
- Westerham to Squerryes Park (1 km)
- Squerryes Park to Crockhamhill Common (2¼ km)
- Crockhamhill Common to Chartwell (2 km)
- Chartwell to Hosey Common Lane (1¼ or 2¼ km)
- Longer route (+1 km)
- Hosey Common Lane to Westerham (2¾ km)
- Chartwell to Crockhamhill Common (1¼ or 2¾ km)
- Woodland Walk (+1½ km)
- Crockhamhill Common to Limpsfield Chart (2½ km)
- Limpsfield Chart to Ridlands Grove (1 km)
- Ridlands Grove to Limpsfield (2¼ km)
- Limpsfield to Oxted Station (1½ km)
Go down Station Road East, turn right into Johnsdale and keep left past a green to come to the A22. Cross over and go up a bridleway (Old Lane) parallel to the railway. Continue in the same direction on Rockfield Road and turn left onto the Greensand Way (GW). Head east across West Heath on a permissive path parallel to the GW, rejoining it by the former St Michael's school.
This section is essentially the same as the ending of Walk 2–16a (in reverse).
Arriving from London, go down steps and turn right to go through a small parking area. Turn right again and go down Station Road East for 275m. At the end of the shops turn right into Johnsdale. Where this splits in front of a small green, fork left. At the end of the road keep left and go down an alleyway to the A25.
Cross this busy main road with great care and take the bridleway opposite, to the left of a driveway. This old sunken lane climbs steadily and when you get to see the railway line on your right entering a tunnel, you are some way above it. 200m after crossing over a drive the track comes out onto Rockfield Road and you continue along it in the same direction.
In 100m turn left opposite a minor road (Icehouse Wood) into the left-hand of two driveways, signposted as a bridleway and briefly joining the Greensand Way1 (GW). After passing a house this comes out onto West Heath (part of Limpsfield Common), with the GW continuing along the leftmost of several paths ahead.
The remainder of this section differs slightly from the Walk 2–16a route, taking a permissive bridleway close to the GW until the two routes rejoin. If you prefer you could simply follow the GW all the way to Wolf's Road.
Leave the GW by taking the wide path to its right, curving gently to the right alongside some trees with open heathland on the right. In about 150m fork left through the wooded common. Keep left through a small clearing and continue on a permissive bridleway, close to a lane (the GW) on the left. In 400m this woodland path veers left and meets the lane in front of a large redbrick building, the former St Michael's school2. Turn right onto the lane to come to Wolf's Road.
Follow the GW across Limpsfield Common to Brick Kiln Lane, then across Chapel Road. Turn left onto Pastens Road and go up to a path junction with Tenchley's Lane.
Cross the road carefully and continue on the bridleway opposite, heading E. In 200m this bends right towards another road (New Road). Cross over and go gently downhill on the continuation of the bridleway, now heading SE.
Follow this bridleway through the wooded common for 500m, ignoring several permissive paths off to both sides. After going through a dip it climbs gently and eventually comes out onto a private road (Stoneswood Road) at its junction with Brick Kiln Lane. Go straight across Stoneswood Road and bear right to head S on Brick Kiln Lane. In 100m, just after a driveway on the left, bear left at a GW marker onto a path which leads to a golf tee.
The right of way continues straight ahead, cutting across the front of the tee and going past the corner of a small wood to come out onto Chapel Road opposite Pains Hill Chapel3, but you could also take a path through the wood and turn left onto the road to reach the chapel. Take the footpath to the left of the chapel, which goes between fences for 200m.
At the end turn left onto Pastens Road, joining the main Walk 2–16 route from Hurst Green (1¾ km away on the right). The road bends right to head SE and soon there are fine views over the Low Weald. The lane ends at a T-junction with a private road (Tenchley's Lane) in front of some houses, with a four-way footpath signpost.
Either head east on the GW to the Carpenters Arms on Limpsfield Chart, or (for the suggested route) go downhill through Tenchleys Wood and turn left onto a new right of way below the wood. Join a bridleway coming up from Tenchleys Manor. Take a footpath heading north-east and cross the B269 onto a small common at Limpsfield Chart.
There is a choice of routes for this section, as in Walk 2–16. The main route takes in a newly-established right of way with fine views across the Low Weald, but involves going halfway down a steep hillside and back up again. For an easier alternative you can take the direct route in §3b, although this partially overlaps the return route to Oxted.
Keep ahead onto the private drive to “Headland”, which is also a public footpath. In 40m, shortly before reaching a gate across the drive, go through a wooden gate on the left. Turn right and go all the way down a potentially muddy sunken path, with Tenchleys Wood on the left. At the end go over a stile into the top corner of a large field. Do not take the obvious grassy path going straight ahead down the hillside, but instead turn left to go along the top of the field, just below the wood.
This new right of way does not appear on older OS maps as it was only established in 2015.
At first there is only a faint grassy path near the top of the field. In 150m the right of way continues through a new metal gate up a small bank; the path becomes clearer but inconveniently leads you through a boggy area. After a further 200m go through two more gates, joining a bridleway coming up the hill from Tenchleys Manor.
Follow this bridleway as it climbs round to the right, passing Tenchleys Cottage. In a further 50m a slightly shorter route would be to turn sharp left onto the signposted continuation of the bridleway, a rather gloomy path going steeply uphill.
If you decide to take this potentially muddy path, turn half-right at the top onto the driveway to Quince House and turn left in front of its entrance; resume the directions at [•] below.
For an easier route, however, continue along the driveway and turn sharp left at the end onto a tarmac lane. In 100m, just past the driveway to Spring Cottage, bear right onto a signposted footpath. This narrow path runs along the grassy bank beside the lane and goes up a short slope to emerge by the entrance to Quince House.
[•] Go uphill past a couple of houses and continue on the waymarked footpath alongside a garden fence, into a wood and curving round to the right. This comes to a parking area where the continuation of the right of way is along its driveway, which you follow out to the B269. Cross this main road carefully and keep ahead on a short grassy path through some trees. Ahead on your right is the Carpenters Arms (the suggested lunch place on the Short Circular Walk) on Tally Road.
Turn left onto the lane, staying on the GW and heading E. The grounds of Tenchleys Park are behind the trees on your right and later you pass the entrance to the large house. Keep right, soon going alongside the B269 on your left. Cross this main road carefully and continue along the tarmac footway on the other side, which gradually moves away from the road through a wooded area.
The path comes out onto a minor road (Ridlands Rise). Cross over and continue on a short unsurfaced lane just off to the left (Post Office Row). At the end this swings right and comes out onto Tally Road in front of the Carpenters Arms.
If you are doing the Short Circular Walk, go to §13.
Head east alongside Tally Road and cross Moorhouse Road. Fork left off the GW and take a footpath heading north-east to Yalden Spring. Go past this onto a permissive ride heading north-east through the Titsey Estate. At a corner of the wood, continue eastwards on a path on the edge of the wood to Goodley Stock Road.
Head E across the grassy area, staying close to Tally Road on your left. At the end go straight across a lane (Moorhouse Road) onto the signposted footpath opposite. In 60m fork left onto a broad grassy path, finally leaving the GW (and the Walk 2–16 route). In 200m the path curves right, merging with another grassy path coming from High Chart car park on Moorhouse Road.
In a further 75m, immediately after a path merges from the left and the main path bears right, go straight ahead on a narrow path. Keep ahead at path crossings4 and follow the path down into a hollow where there is a large pond and some other pools of water, fed by Yalden Spring5 under a sloping beech tree. Go across the edge of the pond on a new wooden footbridge. On the other side, bear left onto a permissive ride into the Titsey Estate's High Chart (not the public footpath to its left), initially heading N.
The route described below is along permitted paths and horse rides which are normally open to the public all year round. If access is not possible (eg. because of forestry operations) you would need to devise an alternative route. One possibility would be to make your way back to the Greensand Way, which includes a waymarked Link Route from Goodley Stock into Westerham. If you do this you can pick up the directions at [•] in the next section.
The broad track curves round to the right and later there is a large cleared area on your right, the result of forestry operations in 2014. Stay on the main track as it makes several more turns to the right. At the end of the cleared area the track comes to a T-junction near a corner of the wood, with a large farm field visible up ahead on the left. Turn left briefly onto a path heading N; almost immediately there are two paths off to the right.
The simpler option is to turn right onto the first path, leading to a track running just inside the wood, but the parallel path along the top edge of the field seems to be well-used and has clearer views across the valley to the North Downs. Either way, keep ahead at a path crossing after 300m and continue to Goodley Stock Road at the far end of the wood/field.
Cross the road and keep left to come to a junction with a branch of the GW. Turn left and follow this towards Westerham. On the outskirts of the town, leave the GW and take a footpath which goes past the Kings Arms Hotel into Market Square, opposite the George & Dragon.
Cross the road carefully (the traffic can be quite fast) and take the left-hand path into the Squerryes Estate, heading NE. In 150m the path forks and you can take either; the narrower left-hand path is slightly more direct. In a further 150m both come to a path T-junction where you turn left, joining a Link Route for the GW.
[•] At the edge of the wood go across a farm track and through a metal gate into Squerryes Park (Squerryes Court6 is in the valley down to the left, not visible from the public footpath). Continue in much the same direction, negotiating a series of kissing gates and stiles about 100m apart. The path eventually goes down a long slope towards Westerham.
At the bottom of the hill turn left, which takes you onto a track alongside the infant River Darent, just 2 km from its source. Opposite a large pond ignore a footpath on the right (the continuation of the GW and your return route after lunch), but shortly afterwards fork right at another public footpath sign to go gently uphill on a track.
At the top keep ahead on a path between a couple of gates, ending at a lane. Go across this (slightly to the right) onto an enclosed path. At the end turn left and go through the car park for the Kings Arms Hotel into Market Square on the A25, with the George & Dragon opposite. Both of these large pubs7 are possible lunch stops; for others turn right to find the Grasshopper on the Green and several cafés and tearooms.
From the Green, the suggested route out of the town is to go past the parish church and down to Quebec House, then via Mill Street to a footpath heading west to join a branch of the GW (or for a short cut, take this Link Route from the Green along Water Lane). Leave the GW where it forks right uphill and enter Squerryes Park.
The main route goes past Quebec House on the way out of the town, but involves a slightly awkward crossing of the A25. For an easier and shorter route you can cross the main road below the centre of the Green and go along Water Lane, turning right at the far end onto a path running along the bottom of a field. If you do this, continue the directions at [•] below.
For the suggested route go across the top of the Green (with its statues of General James Wolfe and Sir Winston Churchill) to St Mary's church, which is worth visiting. Pass to the right of the war memorial and leave the churchyard by a kissing gate near Church Cottage. Go down the short alleyway to the A25 and turn left.
Quebec House is on the left-hand side of this main road opposite its junction with the B2026 (Hosey Hill), but walk route turns off the other side of the A25 before then. Unless you are visiting the house, therefore, cross the busy main road with great care as soon as it is safe to do so and turn into Mill Street, a private road which is also a public footpath.
At a parking area at the end of this short lane, bear right up a path and cross a stile into a field. Follow the path to the right, crossing a footbridge over the River Darent. Go through a gap in the hedge ahead and turn right to walk along the bottom of the field. In 150m you pass a kissing gate on the right, the route of the short cut.
[•] Go all the way along the bottom of the field, with the river flowing through some large gardens behind the trees on your right. At the end go over a footbridge and a stile and turn left onto a track. The track leads into an open valley and splits; the right-hand path (uphill) is the outward route from Oxted but you fork left past a metal fieldgate onto a permissive path into Squerryes Park.
Follow the permissive path along the left-hand side of the Darent valley for 1 km, then veer right to join a public footpath on the other side. At the end of the valley head for Crockham House and go onto Crockhamhill Common. Take the footpath heading south across it for 500m, then turn right briefly onto a bridleway at a T-junction.
Follow a clear path heading SE and later S along the valley floor for 1 km, with a wooded hillside behind the River Darent on your left; along the way you pass a series of old fish ponds. Eventually the path goes through a metal fieldgate onto a track, where you turn right (if the gate is locked, there is an old stile 20m to its left). Follow the path alongside a hedge for 125m to a path crossing.
Turn left at the path crossing and go up to a stile beside a field gate. Cross this and continue along the right-hand side of the valley, now with a wood on your right8. In 400m, before the wood curves away to the right, follow the path down a short slope and across the grass towards Crockham House, with another isolated house off to the right. Go through a metal kissing gate into the wooded Crockhamhill Common. Ignore paths to both sides and take a narrow footpath just off to the right, steeply uphill through the trees.
The path continues to climb steadily as you go through a more open area. Ignore any temporary forest tracks and follow the woodland path as best you can for 500m, heading roughly S. It eventually comes to a T-junction with a bridleway where you turn right. In 40m you come to another three-way path junction.
If you are doing the Main Walk (bypassing Chartwell), go to §12.
At the next junction fork left onto the continuation of the footpath. Veer left past The Warren and leave the common in its south-east corner. Go across the B2026 onto Mariners Hill and take a permissive path looping round to the right (past a memorial) for the best views. Go back into the woodland and turn right down a bridleway. Before this comes out onto Mapleton Road turn left onto a permissive path parallel to the road. At the end veer right down the bank to come out opposite the visitor entrance to Chartwell. Go through its car park for the NT Café and entrance to the property.
At this second path junction fork left to head S again on the continuation of the footpath. In 150m you come to an open space in front of an isolated house, “The Warren”. Veer left across its parking area and take a path back into the wood, then in 20m turn right at a footpath marker post.
Follow this narrow path gently downhill for 200m, heading SE, to come to a path junction at the edge of the wood. Immediately after merging with a bridleway from the left, turn left at a T-junction (essentially you are staying on the footpath as it crosses over the bridleway). After curving right the path straightens out to head E, with a large garden behind a hedge on your left and far-reaching views off to the right.
The path comes out onto a road (the B2026) at a sharp bend, with a private road (Froghole Lane) off to the right. Cross the main road with great care and climb a flight of stone steps near the start of the side road onto a wooded part of Mariners Hill. At the top of the steps turn right onto a short woodland path, which comes to a bench at a viewpoint. Go through a new wooden gate, across a field and through another gate onto a path through a belt of trees, passing a memorial9 stone.
At the end of the trees go down a short flight of steps just off to the left and turn left onto a fenced path. Follow this path around the field edge, with more fine views off to the right. On the far side go back into the trees and turn right at a path crossing onto a bridleway going downhill, heading E.
In 200m turn left at a path crossing (away from a new permissive path down to your right). After a short climb the path levels out, going along the top of a steep wooded bank. A gap in the trees on the right gives you a fine view of Chartwell and its grounds on the other side of Mapleton Road.
The National Trust entrance to the property is 400m ahead. The path eventually meets the Greensand Way1 (GW) and you turn right to go down the bank onto Mapleton Road. The visitor entrance is opposite, while the GW continues on a footpath to its left.
The Long Circular Walk returns to this point so if the grounds are closed you can simply ignore the directions to and from the café area. If you are returning to Westerham you can bypass the grounds by taking the GW uphill alongside them; at the top turn left onto Hosey Common Lane and pick up the directions near the start of §10.
Cross the road carefully and go into the grounds, immediately turning right off the driveway onto a path down a grassy bank into the visitor car park. At the far end the large NT Café is on the right, opposite the visitor entrance to the house and garden.
If you are doing the Long Circular Walk (returning to Oxted), go to §11.
Make your way onto the NT Woodland Walk, a circuit around the woodland at the back of the Chartwell Estate. Leave through a pedestrian exit onto Hosey Common Lane and turn left onto the lane.
If you have been visiting the property you could go through one of the gates at the back of the grounds and turn left onto the NT Woodland Walk. If you do this, pick up the directions at [•] in the ‘Longer route’ below.
Make your way into the overflow car park (behind the main car park) and leave through a wooden gate in its top right-hand corner. Turn half-left to go diagonally across a picnic area and up a broad grassy path leading to a wooden fieldgate. Go through a side gate and turn right onto the NT Woodland Walk, which in 40m forks into two broad estate paths, both climbing up the hillside.
The left fork is the most direct route, leading directly to the exit onto Hosey Common Lane. If you take this short cut (saving 600m) turn left onto the lane and continue the directions in §10.
For the suggested route fork right. Follow the path uphill and round to the right, then on an undulating stretch for about 500m to a path crossing. The main route is the path up to the left, but for an extended loop follow the directions below.
For the extended loop keep ahead at the path crossing and follow the main path all the way down to the far side of the Chartwell Estate, where there is a (locked) fieldgate ahead. Turn sharp right to double back on a fenced path running along the back of the grounds, with fine views across the lake to the house. Along the way you pass several gates where visitors to the property can join the Woodland Walk.
[•] Follow the path as it makes its way back up the hillside. Shortly after zig-zagging right and left the path turns right again and a short climb brings you to the path crossing at the start of this extension. Go straight ahead, crossing over the outward route.
The path (signposted “Bomb crater” and “Chestnut coppice”) zig-zags uphill and continues briefly alongside a field. At the corner fork left onto a newly-laid path through the trees, leaving the main estate path. In 100m you pass the crater (with a distant view of the house) and later a small boardwalk around four coppiced sweet chestnut trees. The path then turns right and eventually comes to a T-junction in front of a newly-coppiced area of woodland. Turn left back onto the main estate path.
In 60m you come to the exit, a wooden fieldgate on the right. Go over the adjacent stile and turn left onto Hosey Common Lane.
Head north-west along Hosey Common Lane. 100m before reaching the B2026, turn left onto a footpath to reach this road in front of Tower Wood. Follow a permissive track through the wood, which curves round to the right and goes past its folly (alternatively, take a public footpath running along the boundary of the wood). At the far end continue across a grassy plateau past Glebe House and down towards Westerham. Keep ahead on a fenced path across the River Darent and along Water Lane to the Green.
Head NW along this quiet lane, crossing over the GW after 200m and continuing through the wooded Hosey Common for a further 500m. Immediately after passing a fenced-off area around an isolated property on the left, turn left onto a signposted footpath. Ignoring side turns, this brings you to the B2026 (Hosey Common Road) in 125m, with a fieldgate opposite guarding the entrance to Tower Wood10.
If access through Tower Wood is no longer permitted, turn right briefly along the road and then bear left onto a public footpath running along its boundary. In 750m the path curves left and comes out into the bottom corner of a field, at the point where the main route leaves the wood. If you take this route, continue the directions at [•] below.
For the main route, go past the fieldgate and take the left-hand of two tracks into Tower Wood, initially heading W. This gradually curves round to the right and comes to a meeting of tracks around the ruins of a large brick watchtower folly, smothered in ivy. Go past this to continue in the same direction, gently descending on a long straight track heading N. In 600m the track swings right and drops down to the bottom of the wood, where you turn sharp left to come out into the corner of a large field.
[•] Veer right to climb steeply uphill on a grassy path a little way out from the right-hand field edge. 200m after the path has levelled off, keep ahead at an oblique path crossing, aiming slightly to the left of Westerham church ahead. In a further 150m go through a metal kissing gate and down a grassy slope to the trees at the bottom.
Keep ahead through a wooden kissing gate onto a fenced path between gardens. After crossing the River Darent a short climb (now on Water Lane) leads out onto the A25 opposite Westerham Green.
There are several tearooms and other refreshment places around the green. London bus 246 to Bromley leaves from the stop by Water Lane, and buses to Sevenoaks from the stop opposite. Buses to Oxted leave from the stop outside the Kings Arms Hotel (along the main road to the left, where there are more refreshment places).
Retrace your steps through the car park. If you wish you can take an optional circuit around the woodland at the back of the Chartwell Estate before leaving via the main visitor entrance. Cross Mapleton Road and go back up the bank, on the GW. Follow this south-west through a wood to the B2026. Cross over and continue down a driveway. After passing April Cottage fork left, then in 100m bear right off the GW onto another bridleway heading west across Crockhamhill Common. In 250m the footpath from Westerham joins from the right and you briefly retrace your steps to the next path junction.
Unless you want to do an optional loop around the woodland at the back of the estate grounds (described below), go back through the main car park and leave the estate through the main visitor entrance.
Fork right and follow the path uphill and round to the right, then on an undulating stretch for about 500m. You reach a four-way signpost where you turn left.
In 60m keep left, ignoring an exit onto Hosey Common Lane. In a further 150m the path veers left and drops steeply downhill. Go all the way down to the bottom and leave the estate through the main visitor entrance.
Cross Mapleton Road carefully and retrace your steps up the footpath opposite, the GW. At the top of the bank ignore several paths off to the left, including the permissive path from your outward route. Follow the GW for 500m as it heads SW through the woodland, ignoring signposted footpaths off to both sides along the way.
Towards the end of the wood go straight across a driveway and follow the path up to and then briefly alongside a high wooden fence. At the end of the fence bear right to go downhill on a sunken path which comes out onto the B2026 beside the drive you crossed earlier. Cross the road carefully and continue on the driveway opposite, still on the GW.
After passing the entrance to April Cottage fork left to go gently uphill on a rutted track, heading W. In 100m (at a bridleway marker post) fork right off the GW onto another bridleway. This narrow path climbs through the trees for 50m and then emerges into a more open area. In a further 200m bear left at a path junction where the footpath from Westerham joins from the right. Retrace your earlier route for 40m to another three-way path junction.
At the next junction fork right, staying on the bridleway. In 250m keep ahead at a major path crossing, then fork left. After briefly merging with the GW veer left onto a narrow footpath which comes out onto the B269 near its junction with Goodley Stock Road. Head west along the B269 for a short distance and turn left up the driveway to Greystones. Bear right past the house onto a footpath which leads down to a lane. Turn right onto this, then fork left onto a footpath which goes along the side of Scearn Bank and eventually back up to the B269 at Limpsfield Chart. Go diagonally across a small common towards the Carpenters Arms.
At this second path junction fork right, staying on the bridleway and heading W. Continue for 250m to a five-way path junction (the path splits into two shortly before then but the two arms rejoin), with a large oak tree at one corner. Keep ahead at this major junction, then in 30m fork left at an unsignposted path junction. In a further 250m the GW merges from the left.
The final set of path junctions is tricky. Essentially you will soon be veering left onto a footpath which emerges onto the B269 close to its junction with Goodley Stock Road. If you go astray and come out onto this minor road (a long straight road running north-south), turn left onto it and then turn right at its T-junction with the B269.
In 100m bear left onto a narrow path, leaving the GW which veers right. Go straight across a bridleway and follow the footpath as it winds its way through the trees towards the B269 (Kent Hatch Road); take care when you reach it as the traffic is quite fast and there is no pavement.
Cross the busy main road with great care, trying not to be distracted by the fine views ahead across the Weald. Turn right to walk alongside it: although the traffic is coming from behind there is slightly more space for pedestrians on this side of the road. 100m past the junction with Goodley Stock Road, and just before the road sign welcoming you to Surrey, turn left off the road into the driveway to Greystones, signposted as a public footpath.
At the end of the driveway bear right onto a narrow path through the trees, heading SW. In 100m turn left at a T-junction onto an awkward little path which drops steeply down to a tarmac driveway. Turn right onto the drive, then in 150m (as it starts to climb) bear left onto a signposted footpath. In 100m keep right and follow this path for a further 500m as it climbs gently along the wooded hillside (Scearn Bank).
At a more open area halfway along, a short out-and-back detour up a path on the right would take you to a bench overlooking the trees, with a fine view of the High Weald.
Where the footpath comes out onto a lane opposite a house (The Old School), turn right and follow the lane back to the B269 at its junction with Moorhouse Road. Cross the main road carefully (slightly to the left) onto a small common, with St Andrew's church on the other side of Moorhouse Road. Head NW across the common on a broad grassy ride to cross over your outward route at the Carpenters Arms on Tally Road.
Go past the pub into Post Office Row, round to the left. Go across Ridlands Rise onto a tarmac path through woodland to the B269. Turn right onto a bridleway going past Lombarden Farm and across a field. Turn left and go along Ridlands Lane for 100m, then turn right into Ridlands Grove.
The first 400m of this section is back along the direct route in §3b.
Go past the left-hand side of the pub into Post Office Row. Follow this round to the left to walk parallel to Tally Road. At the end cross over Ridlands Rise and continue on the tarmac path opposite, slightly to the left. This eventually reaches and runs alongside the B269, soon coming to a pair of bus stops (where the direct outward route crossed over the main road).
Do not cross the road but instead turn right into a driveway, signposted as a public bridleway. This merges with another from the left and goes past the buildings of Lombarden Farm. At the far end go through a narrow gap in a hedge and turn left as indicated, along the edge of a field.
Follow the field edge round to the right and keep ahead where the hedge ends, downhill on a grassy strip to a narrow road (Ridlands Lane). Ignore the signposted footpath opposite and turn left onto this quiet lane, taking care as there is no pavement. In 100m, where it bends right, turn right onto a bridleway into Ridlands Grove.
Take any route to the opposite corner of the wood. Continue alongside a golf fairway and turn right onto a long straight bridleway leading to the club house. Go across the A25 and continue along the edge of the golf course, parallel to Grub Street. Cut across two golf fairways onto a footpath sloping down the hillside to Limpsfield's High Street. Turn right and go down this narrow street to The Bull inn.
There are many paths through this open-access wood, part of the National Trust's Limpsfield Common. The suggested route goes around its edge and passes two of its whimsical wooden houses, while if you cut across the wood you will find others.
For the suggested route head N on the bridleway, turning right at a path junction after 100m to stay near the edge of the wood. The broad grassy path curves round to the left and goes gently downhill. 50m before turning left at the bottom of the wood Hedgehog Hall11 is just off to the left, with Peter Rabbit's Post Office at the corner.
Continue on the path along the bottom of the wood, then in the same direction alongside a golf fairway. At the far end turn right at a major path junction onto a long straight tree-lined bridleway heading NW, with a string of properties behind a high wooden fence on your right. In 500m go past vehicle barriers and through Limpsfield Chart Golf Club's car park to the A25, with a lane (Grub Street) opposite.
Cross the busy main road with great care to continue in much the same direction on a grassy path to the left of Grub Street, along the edge of the golf course. In 100m you cross the driveway to a cricket club (off to the left), then in a similar distance come to a wooden seat carved out of a tree trunk, next to a Limpsfield Community Orchard Walk waymarker. Veer left here across two fairways, passing a clump of three trees in the middle and taking care as golfers are playing in both directions.
Go through a gap in the trees into a small clearing and turn left in front of a bench with a view of the North Downs (ignoring a footpath going down to the right in front of it). Follow a clear woodland path sloping gently downhill, heading WSW. In 100m keep right at a path junction to descend more steeply down the wooded hillside.
The path eventually merges with a bridleway coming in from the right. Follow this out past a few houses to Limpsfield's narrow High Street, with Sylvan Close opposite. Turn right and go all the way down the traffic-choked main street. In 300m you pass The Bull inn on the right, a possible refreshment stop.
At a mini-roundabout on the High Street near The Bull turn into the B2025 (Detillens Lane). In 300m turn right onto a footpath which goes across a meadow to Granville Road. Turn left and go along this road, Gresham Road and Station Road East to Oxted station.
Shortly after passing The Bull turn left at a mini-roundabout into Detillens Lane, passing a row of attractive half-timbered cottages on the left. In 300m (and 60m after passing a cul-de-sac, Padbrook, on the left) turn right onto a signposted footpath, a short path between garden fences which leads out through a gate into a meadow.
Continue in the same direction on a grassy path across the meadow, waymarked with a few wooden posts. As you approach some trees follow the path round to the right, past a vehicle barrier and across a footbridge over the infant River Eden12. Continue through a metal gate, past a small allotment and between houses. At the end turn left onto a residential street (Granville Road).
At the end of Granville Road keep left to continue on Gresham Road, past Oxted Library to a T-junction by Tandridge Council offices. Turn right onto Station Road East, soon passing several possible tea places (eg. Costa Coffee and Coughlans Bakery) on the right. The station is on the left in 200m; if you go past this turning you will find Caffè Nero on the left.
For trains to London from Platform 1 (and other refreshment places) go through the subway under the station and keep right on the far side. Café Papillon is the first place on Station Road West and the Oxted Inn is off to the left.
- The Greensand Way follows the course of a sandstone ridge just to the south of the North Downs. It runs for 175 km from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent.
- St Michael's school closed in 2002 and is now a block of luxury apartments.
- Pains Hill Chapel is a small Independent Evangelical Church dating from the early 19thC.
- At about this point you cross over the course of the Roman Road from London to Lewes. Just to the north, the road ran through what is now Clacket Lane Services on today's equivalent form of highway, the M25. Some Roman artefacts from the area are rather appropriately displayed there.
- The small pool of water is Yalden Spring, said to be the uppermost source of the River Darent. This flows through Otford and Dartford into the River Thames.
- Squerryes Court is an attractive 17thC manor house, owned by the Warde family since 1731. It was used as Hartfield in a BBC production of Emma. Since 2012 it has no longer been open to the public.
- All three of Westerham's pubs were coaching inns. The George & Dragon took the private carriages and the Grasshopper Inn the public coaches.
- This is the site of an Iron Age hill fort, although there is little to see as it is now completely overgrown.
- The Memorial on Mariners Hill commemorates the gift of this land to the National Trust in 1904.
- Tower Wood is part of the Squerryes estate and according to a Sevenoaks Council document “has long been used by the public with the consent of the owner”.
- Hedgehog Hall (‘a little house for woodland creatures’) was built by one of the National Trust volunteers with left-over timber after a woodland management day. Several more whimsical creations have since appeared.
- The source of the River Eden is in the Titsey Estate, less than 2 km away on the slopes of the North Downs. The river flows through Edenbridge and Hever and joins the River Medway near Penshurst.
» Last updated: May 24, 2018