Length: 20.5km (12.8 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10 (a couple of big climbs, basically) T=3.24 10.09
(Margate-bound) train from St Pancras International
to Ashford International, changing there
(arrive 10.47, depart 11.02) for Sandling, arriving 11.13. OR 9.40
(Dover Priory-bound) train from Charing Cross
(9.43 Waterloo East
, 9.49 London Bridge
) to Sandling direct, arriving 11.13.
Buy a day return to Sandling
(valid for High Speed if going from St Pancras, otherwise not).
For walk directions
. For GPX
. For a map
of the walk and some brief notes on the route click here
and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Once you are up on the downs you are basically following the North Downs Way, with one or two minor "improvements".
I know this walk was posted on Sunday just two weeks back, but for whatever reason only six turned up. Saturday walkers are made of sterner stuff.
This is, in my humble opinion, a near perfect downland walk, with mouthwatering escarpment views for most of the way, except for an "inland section" just after lunch. Fear not, though: glorious downland views return towards the end. In past years it has also been a eye-aching yellow carpet of buttercups
at this time of year - see the photo page
for this walk. Lunch
is usually at the Tiger Inn
5.8 miles into the walk. This is a deservedly popular pub, whose capacity is doubled if the weather is fine by outside seating. It serves food all afternoon so it may not be a bad idea to get there a bit after the main lunchtime rush. The back-up option is the Five Bells Inn
in Brabourne, another wonderful pub that also does food all afternoon but which requires an extra tranche of road walking and a 800 metre addition to the walk to get to it.
the Wye Coffee Shop and Kitchen
is now open till 5pm, not 4pm as stated in the walk notes, but for most a more practical and desirable destination is the Tickled Trout
pub, idyllically and conveniently situated by the river just across the bridge from the station. It has a garden from which you can paddle in the stream, if that takes your fancy. It does tea, even cakes sometimes. Nice food too. Trains back
from Wye are at 20
past till late. The 54 past
train takes 1hr 28 minutes
to Charing Cross
, while the 20 past
is a bit of a dawdler, going to Victoria
in 1hr 46 minutes
: but with a five minute change at Ashford
(from one side of the station to the other, so be quick) you can get to Charing Cross
in 1hr 32 Both trains
16 minute connection at Ashford to the high speed trains to St Pancras
, giving a Wye to St Pancras journey time of 1 hour.