Book 2 walk 21 and optional non-SWC diversion. Difficulty
1 out of 10 (I'd say 2 or 3 for the longer versions) Length
7.2, 9.2 or 11.2 miles (11.5, 14.7, or 18 km)
Pluckley in Kent’s Low Weald, claims to be the UK’s most haunted
village. Our basic Pluckley walk is 7.2 miles and you could, if you wish, add our online extensions. But what if Mr Tiger had
found a walk that took you round where the real actual ghosts are? Well, he has. It's written by an authority on ghost stories
who also puts on walks in London.
So the idea is this… Follow our basic "Book 2" walk in the morning, with lunch at either the Swan or the Black Horse, then, at St Nicholas Church, switch to the ghost walk. That walk is 4 miles long and brings you back to the Black Horse. From there, you resume the original walk back to the station. So total 11.2 miles. That’s the simplest combination, but you could shorten things....
......After encountering the ghostly schoolmaster down Dicky Buss's Lane, instead of turning left along Smarden Rd to return to the Black Horse, you could re-join our
walk by running screaming in the opposite
direction (right) down Smarden Rd, heading SW. (The SWC walk turns onto this road at point 57). Shortly after the former Blacksmiths Arms/Tea-rooms on your right, follow our walk left into Lambden Rd (point 58) still running, still screaming. Trains
Get the 09:42
Ashford International train from Victoria (Bromley South 09:59, Orpington 10:07) arriving Pluckley 10:57.
Return trains at xx:37
to Victoria. Get a return to Pluckley.
(More expensively, you could take the 9:37 Ashford International HS1 from St Pancras changing at Ashford for the Victoria-bound 10:31, arriving earlier at Pluckley at 10:37. Your only real advantage is a return journey 20 mins quicker. That's on the xx:57 back to Ashford to pick up the HS1.
The Swan Inn
in Little Chart is recommended 01233 840 702. They have a garden by the stream.
A bit later, in Pluckley, there's the (very haunted) Black Horse
01233 841 948. This also serves as a tea stop. Phoning advised for both. Tea
The Black Horse is the most reliable choice for the short walk and the ghost walk.
St Nicholas' Church, Pluckley occasionally offers cream teas on Sunday afternoons, though not as often as they used to.
The Dering Arms, 01233 840 371 opposite the station, has a quaint charm but often closes early on a Sunday, at around 4:00 pm (earlier than their website suggests).
The Blacksmiths Forge Tea Room (once the Blacksmiths Arms), mentioned in the ghost walk, is just a private house now. (Private, except for the cavalier, the phantom coachman, and the Tudor serving maid).
The SWC extensions both go past the Rose and Crown
at Mundy Bois 01233 840 048. From there, allow 45-50 minutes to the station. The longest extension also passes the The Barrow House
in Egerton 01233 756 599 (formerly the George). Directions
Use this online version
for the basic SWC walk (includes the two optional extensions).
The ghost walk is available here
. (Use in conjunction with the basic walk)