Sevenoaks to Westerham walk

Knole Park, then west along the Greensand Way with spectacular views of the Kent Weald.

Bluebells on the Greensand Ridge

Bluebells on the Greensand Ridge

19-Apr-14 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Westerham warriors General Woolfe guards the green at Westerham; also the pub, the cafe, and Churchill's statue. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

Westerham warriors

General Woolfe guards the green at Westerham; also the pub, the cafe, and Churchill's statue. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

16-Jun-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Through the tunnel Sevenoaks to Westerham

Through the tunnel

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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across a field Sevenoaks to Westerham

across a field

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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big tree Sevenoaks to Westerham

big tree

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Heading for French Street Sevenoaks to Westerham

Heading for French Street

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Inside the batcave Sevenoaks to Westerham

Inside the batcave

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk20 swcwalks 5569221700


Length

18.6km (11.6 miles)

With detour to lunch pub in Sevenoaks Weald: 19.6km (12.2 miles)

Toughness

6 out of 10: quite hilly in places

Maps

OS Explorer 147, OS Landranger 188

Walk notes

The first mile of this walk is on suburban streets in Sevenoaks and then there is a two mile stroll across the deer park of Knole House. A slightly awkward section follows, crossing a busy A road, and then along a bridleway with noise from a nearby dual carriageway, though with fine escarpment views too.

Then the traffic noise ceases and you find yourself in a beautiful area of undulating fields and farms that is as lovely as anywhere in England. One of the two possible lunch pubs is in the village of Sevenoaks Weald, at the start of this section. The route then climbs in stages up onto the Greensand Ridge, with increasingly fine views to the south and a number of fine bluebell woods in late April to early May.

Once on the ridge you are plunged into woods that in late April and early May are awash with bluebells - this is one of the best places in the South East to see them. You end up at the picturesque hill top village of Ide Hill, where the second of the lunch pubs is situated.

After this the route turns north-west, passing through the National Trust's Emmetts Gardens on a public footpath that also runs right past its tea room. The final section of the walk is in the woodlands of The Chart, before a fine descent down a hill into the village of Westerham which has plenty of tea possibilities and London Transport buses back to London.

Transport

There are several trains an hour from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge to Sevenoaks, taking 30-35 minutes from Charing Cross, 22 minutes from London Bridge. Which you take depends on where you aim to have lunch. It is 12.8km (8 miles) to the Cock Inn in Ide Hill, and so if you intend to eat there get a train not much later than 9.30am. If aiming to eat in The Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald, you could potentially get a train as late as 10.30am.

At the end of the walk, Westerham is not on the railway, but it is served by a London Transport bus, the 246, which runs at least hourly till midnight seven days a week (twice an hour until 6pm Monday to Saturday). You can use Oyster cards and contactless payment on this bus, and will be charged just the normal single London bus fare for the whole journey. LT travelcards are also accepted. The bus takes 43 minutes to get to Bromley South station, from where there are frequent (20 minutes) trains to Victoria. A day return to Sevenoaks is valid on this service, as Bromley South is on the Blackfriars-Otford route to Sevenoaks.

You can also get off the 246 bus at Hayes station (31 minutes from Westerham), from where there are trains every fifteen minutes to London Bridge and Cannon Street or Charing Cross, taking 38 minutes, but your Sevenoaks return will not be valid for this.

There is also a 401 bus from Westerham to Sevenoaks station Mondays to Saturdays, taking 23 minutes, but currently (May 2022) the last bus is at 2.30pm.

Lunch and Tea

The Brewhouse Cafe at National Trust-owned Knole Park is a possible coffee stop 2.7km/1.7 miles into the walk.

The Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald (01732 463330),7.8km (4.8 miles) into the walk and requiring a 1km diversion off the main walk route, is a pleasant and comfortable pub, which offers a high quality twist on the conventional pub menu. It is not a large place, however, and its website currently (May 2022) asks all people requiring food to book in advance. Food is served 12-2.30pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12-4pm on Sunday.

The Cock Inn in Ide Hill (01732 750310), 12.8km (8 miles) into the walk, is a characterful, popular and reasonably capacious pub with a good food menu, served from 12-3pm and 5-8pm Monday to Saturday and 12-4pm Sunday. The pub is open all afternoon daily for drinks. It has some outside tables, looking out onto the village green.

Ide Hill has a Community Shop at the place indicated in paragraph 68 of the directions. which serves hot drinks, soup and other snacks, and has a couple of outside tables when the weather is fine. It is open until 4.30pm Monday to Saturday, but only to midday on Sunday.

The tea room at National-Trust run Emmetts Garden, 14.7km (9.1 miles) into the walk, is a possible early tea stop or late lunch stop (it serves soup and sandwiches). It is open until 4.30pm from March to October, and until 4pm in November and early December - see www.nationaltrust.org.uk for details

In Westerham the Tudor Rose Tearooms are only open until 3.45pm Monday to Friday and 4.30pm weekends, but on the left-hand edge of the green there is a Costa Coffee, open till 6pm Monday to Friday and 5pm Saturday to Sunday. Between the two is the Grasshopper on the Green pub, while other pubs are to the left of it, in the village centre.

For picnics there are some fine spots in paragraphs 43 (at the top of the field) and 53 of the walk directions. The green at Ide Hill is also very pretty

Credits Completely rewritten in 2013 from an original walk © A J Kennedy 2007
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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

May-22 Peter

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Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk