Extra Walk 21 – Sevenoaks Circular
Length: 15.4km (9.6 miles) Toughness: 3/10 10:12
Ramsgate train from Victoria
(Bromley South 10:30, Orpington 10:37) arriving at Sevenoaks
the usual service from Charing Cross to Sevenoaks is not operating today due to engineering works]
You have three options for the return journey: a fast service (33 mins) to Victoria at xx:18 and xx:48; a slower service (56 mins) to Victoria at xx:27 and xx:57, stopping at several additional stations; and a slow Thameslink service (64 mins) to Blackfriars at xx:00 and xx:30, calling at numerous stations in south-east London.
This is a repeat of the walk that was done last New Year’s Day and has four points to recommend it: the short train journey allows a latish start after your midnight celebrations; a National Trust café is available if the lunch pubs are very busy; it avoids strike-hit Southern rail services; and it’s a delightful walk that is deservedly popular at any time of the year.
The walk starts and finishes through Knole Park (NT) and follows leafy tracks and fields to Ightham Mote (NT) before retuning along the Greensand Way with fine views out to the south. If lunching at The Padwell, there’s a nice alternative route afterwards along a ridge, rejoining the main route close to Ightham Mote. The directions for this variant are no longer included in the main walk directions, but copies will be available for anyone intending to lunch at The Padwell.
On the outward leg of the walk we’ll probably stop briefly to toast the New Year with a traditional glass of bubbly.
The recommended lunch pubs are the The Padwell
(01732 761532) or the more upmarket The Snail
(01732 810233), both at Stone Street about 4 miles into the walk. Since both involve a detour and are likely to be very busy, it’s essential to phone them when setting out from Sevenoaks in case they’re fully booked. In that eventuality you can resort to the large self-service café at Ightham Mote, about 5 miles into the walk.
At teatime you’ll find that the renovated and expanded Brewhouse Café
has finally reopened and has a unique display of eighteenth century servants portraits. It closes at 4:00pm, after which you’ll need to go to one of the cafés in the centre of Sevenoaks
You will need to download the Walk Directions