Bluebells on the Greensand Ridge

19-Apr-14 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Through the tunnel

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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across a field

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Inside the batcave

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Daffodils near Westerham

Sevenoaks to Westerham

27-Mar-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Deer, deer

Knole Park, Sevenoaks to Westerham

30-Apr-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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Trees, Knole Park

Knole Park, Sevenoaks to Westerham

30-Apr-16 • moontiger on Flickr

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Sevenoaks to Westerham walk

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

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sat, 14-Apr-18 20

Saturday Walk Bluebell bliss from Sevenoaks to Oxted (or Westerham)

SWC Walk 20 and 68 Combo – Sevenoaks to Oxted (or Westerham) T=SWC.20

Distance: 17.3 Miles or 27.8 km for those more metrically minded for route to Oxted
11.7 Miles or 18.8 km for the route to Westerham

Difficulty: 6 out of 10
Train: Take the 9:10 AM Ramsgate train from London Charing Cross (stopping at Waterloo East at 9:13 and London Bridge at 9:20), arriving at Sevenoaks at 9:43. For those who struggle in the morning, if you miss this train, there are loads more to Sevenoaks, including one at 9:30 AM….so hop aboard and catch us at lunch or before…..
Return trains from Oxted are at 19, 24 and 54 past the hour until 22:19 (for anyone traveling to north London – interestingly you can change onto a Thameslink train at East Croydon). For those finishing in Westerham, catch bus 246 at the stop in the Village Green to Bromley South (buses are at 22 and 52 past the hour until 17:52; then, at 22 past the hour until 20:22) for frequent train service back to London. Buy a day return to Sevenoaks.
An old bluebell favorite along the Greensand ridge with a new twist to continue into Oxted. The walk leaves Sevenoaks via Knole Park and climbs up onto the Greensand Ridge which should hopefully be awash with bluebells almost all the way to Westerham. You can finish the walk in Westerham by taking a bus to Bromley South. However, as a new twist, I though it would be fun to continue on to Oxted by reversing the morning instructions of SWC 63 which will bring you through some more nice woodland with the potential for further botanical delights. Whether you opt to finish in Westerham or Oxted, you can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions for SWC 20 and for SWC 63. If carrying on to Oxted, in addition to the instructions, you should also bring a copy of the map printed from the OS tab on the SWC 63 introduction page to aid in route finding.
The recommended lunch spot is the Cock Inn at Ide Hill (01732 750310), 8 miles into the walk. The Tudor Tea Rooms and the Grasshopper on the Green offer afternoon refreshments before the final leg into Oxted where the Oxted Inn near the station awaits for a final tipple.
Enjoy the Walk!
hello! What time do we meet at Charing X station? And where? Thanks 07399848118
You don't Christine, you meet at the destination station as you get off the train. I believe people going on the walk will typically be somewhere in the middle of the train. Further details are on the website though I'm not sure which section.
There is a brief guide for new members at the top of this page (under the "This week's walks" heading) which explains where to meet and includes a link ("guide for new members that explains all") to more detailed guidance for new members.

Bluebells will probably not be in flower yet but you last week there were wood anemones in this area
Sun at last, sun at last....hot sun at that. Sleeves were rolled up, sun cream applied, broad brimmed hats left at home in the cupboard were thought of lovingly. Can one warm blue sky day (a bit of cloud in the afternoon) wipe away the memory of six grey winter months? Reader, yes it can. Such is the miracle of the human brain.

Fifteen got off the train, but others kept popping up like pixies in a fairy tale, so I am saying 20 in all. Awash with bluebells the walk was definitely not just a very few, with lots of stalks about to open but there were lots of celandines and primroses, and some wood anemones and wood sorrel. Scarcely a hint of new foliage on the trees, however, which is unheard of for mid April. And where were the butterflies? Three brimstones and that was it. What are they waiting for? A man waving a red flag?

The sunny weather obviously having caught the Great British Public on the hop, the Cock Inn was not at all busy and we had a nice lunch outside. Then all was rush rush. Rush past Emmetts Garden with its tea shack, no time to stop. Rush on to Westerham, where I had barely parked my bum in a nice al fresco seat to have my tea, before the urgency of leaving was impressed upon me. On through the woods to Oxted, on which section the mud present in places all day went into overdrive. Not so much a walk as a rehearsal for a bog snorkelling contest. (Again, very untypical for mid April.) But lovely birdsong layers of competing blackbirds, nuthatches, chaffinches the sound of spring.

And ah, just think. There will be days and days and days like this..... Or will I wake up tomorrow and find it is still a snowy day in February and all this was a dream?

Just to add 10 walkers (about half) continued on into Oxted an advance party of 3 plus a further group of 7...

From the advance party one walker went straight for the train at Oxted (at around 5.30). Two others (having stopped for a pick me up at The Grasshopper at Westerham) finished the day with a couple of swift drinks at the Oxted Inn before catching the 18.24 to London.

After a short break in Westerham, the later group arrived in Oxted about 18:00 and went straight to the train station.

Sat, 16-Sep-17 24

Sevenoaks to Westerham - hills, views and woodland on the Greensand Way

SWC walk 20 - Sevenoaks to Westerham
Length: 18.8km (11.7 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10: quite hilly in places

9.30 train from Charing Cross (9.33 Waterloo East, 9.38 London Bridge, 9.56 Orpington) to Sevenoaks, arriving 10.05

Buy a day return to Sevenoaks.

For walk directions click here, for GPX file click here.

Thoughts turn at this time of year to walks one would like to do before things get too muddy. This one is a interesting and varied walk along the Greensand escarpment, descending it, ascending it, enjoying some fine views, then passing through woods and wooded valleys to the charming town of Westerham. Hopefully it will not be too slippery and gloopy yet and there may be some early hints of autumn tints.

For lunch you have to choose between a relatively early stop at the very charming Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald 4.9 miles into the walk - it is quite a small place and a short diversion off the walk route, so it is probably worth ringing to check it can accommodate you - or the Cock Inn in Ide Hill after 8.6 miles: that makes the Cock Inn quite a stretch distance-wise but I have chosen a relatively early train to give you plenty of time to get there. The walk directions say it serves till 3pm, but I have not been able to check this. It has had a revamp since it was described in the walk directions as "rough and ready"..

For tea the prime choice is Emmetts Garden, the National Trust site, open till 5pm, which has a tea shack with outside tables. If this is too soon after lunch at Ide Hill, Westerham also has oodles of tea places, not to mention several characterful pubs.

To get home from Westerham there are two options

- The 401 bus to Sevenoaks railway station at 09 minutes past the hour until 18.09. This takes 26 minutes and trains from Sevenoaks are then very frequent (every ten minutes) and take half an hour or so

- The 246 bus from Westerham to Bromley South: this takes 43 minutes (calling Hayes station after 30 minutes) and it is then 16 minutes (at best) by train to Victoria (again, very frequent). A return to Sevenoaks is valid for travel back from Bromley South. This bus goes at 22 and 52 past the hour until 18.22, then 19.22, 20.22, 21.12, 22.12, 23.12. T=3.20
A very nice walk with good views, no rain to speak of and the pub lunch at Ide Hill was very good
8 of us hopped on the 401 bus just after 4pm that arrived as we did at Westerham and thus we left without having any tea or cake much to the chagrin of one couple i know that this is considered disgraceful by some but sorry some of us do have other things to do of an evening even if it is just to chill at home.
Home at 18.00
Mr Atetoo Muchatlunch
24 on this walk, plus two more who turned up for lunch. The weather was quite sunny but showery later. About 10 visited the earlier pub, the Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald. I think some just had drinks but at least six of us ate, four of us out on the sunny patio. I think this pub normally expects lunchers to book, but it coped with our influx calmly enough.

We could not wait to get to Emmetts Garden for tea: instead we succumbed at the Ide Hill community shop, which had a nice selection of cakes and did tea in pots. A couple of us then had tea in a remarkably empty Emmetts Garden too.

As we approached Westerham through the woods it got distinctly gloomy a foretaste of winter walks to come, though in this case it was an approaching shower. In Westerham the group choice was mysteriously to miss the 18.09 Sevenoaks bus, instead rush to a pub for an over hasty drink, then rush for the 18.22 to Hayes and Bromley South. We met two other walkers on that.
As Walker points out the weather had become somewhat autumnal but nevertheless fairly rain free up to 4pm.
In a senior and slightly contrary moment and with an over familiarity of Knole park in mind, I decided to explore a shorter more northerly route (about 8Km) to Ide Hill initially up Granville Road (with grand houses and leafy gardens) then through pleasant byways and snickets to Kippington.
Two other walkers (you know who I mean!) had the same idea and swiftly passed me en route.
Crossing the A21 (AKA Sevenoaks bypass) was easy via a country lane underpass, and after a small diversion to check out The Woodman (Large dining area and gardens in Bessels Green Road), I rejoined the Greensand Way about 2Km before Ide hill meeting other SWC walkers who were eating at the Cock Inn.
Not a great choice of cakes in Emmetts gardens so on to Westerham to the Tudor Rose Tearooms with those delicious home made cakes and the dulcet tones of a country rock singer emanating from the festival on the green opposite.
That's interesting Mike, as it cuts 3.6 miles off the walk in the morning and makes the walk just under 10 miles for those prefer a bit shorter distance given the walk is quite hilly. I also note that the combined turn out on this walk and Ashurst, both about 12 miles, is 3:1 against the grand march in Salisbury.
Thanks, Anonymous, for that brilliant piece of analysis, only the sharpest brains could have done the complicated maths, I'm sure. So, some walks have higher attendances than others, and sometimes two walks' attendances added together are significantly higher than a third walks' attendance? That's groundbreaking stuff, it really is. How can we get you more involved in the shaping of this clearly underperforming walking club? It needs people like you, more than ever!
Just a shame you weren't on the much derided Salisbury walk yesterday (it has a teeny weeny 11 mile option, as you as an avid follower of the blog will have noticed, surely that's within your limited capabilities?), it would have been great to discuss all your wonderful ideas in detail.
I've got just a couple of questions, one is a little bit of a conundrum, really: if you want to ban all postings of walks with an avg attendance of 11 (as the Salisbury walk has) or lower, then what do we do with the near 50% of Book 1 and Book 2 walks that have avg attendances of 11 or less? Never post them again either? But what will your fellow Traditionalists say to all that? Or shall we just post your personal top 52 in eternal weekly rotation?
Sat, 30-Apr-16 14

Saturday Third Walk - Bluebells and beautiful views

SWC Walk 20 - Sevenoaks to Westerham
Length: 18.8km (11.7 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10

9.40 train from Charing Cross (9.43 Waterloo East) to Sevenoaks, arriving 10.11

You can also get the 9.33 from Cannon Street (9.37 London Bridge, 9.43 New Cross, 9.56 Orpington) to Sevenoaks, arriving 10.05 - in which case you are on your word of honour to wait for the 10.11 train to arrive before starting your walk.

Buy a day return to Sevenoaks.

For walk directions, click here.

This walk starts with a walk across Knole Park - very familiar terrain to many of you - and then plunges below the Greensand escarpment into pretty hilly territory with some nice views. There are a series of excellent bluebell woods in the middle section of the walk. The last section is a wooded walk to Westerham.

For lunch there is a choice between a very nice but rather small Windmill pub in Sevenoaks Weald just off the walk route 7.9km/4.9 miles into the walk. I would definitely give them a tinkle to make sure they have space before making the diversion. The alternative, a hefty 13.9km (8.6 miles) into the walk is the Cock Inn in Ide Hill. Service here can be rather gruff but it serves decent food. Last time I looked this was until 3pm but don't quote me.

Your emergency lunch alternatives are the very nice Community Shop in Ide Hill which does soups and sandwiches and the National Trust-run tea room in Emmetts Garden, 14.7km (9.1 miles) into the walk, which otherwise is the recommended tea stop - open till 5pm. Last but not least, Westerham is bristling with pubs, tea rooms, and a Costa Coffee open till 6pm last time I looked.

To get back from Westerham you need to get a bus and there are two choices:

- You can get the 401 at 13 past (last bus 18.13) from Westerham Green to Sevenoaks station, which takes 22 minutes. There are fast and frequent trains to London from here, taking 20 minutes.

- Alternatively the 246 goes at 22 and 52 past from Westerham Green to Bromley South station until 18.22, then 19.22, 20.22, 21.12, 22.12, 23.12, taking 43 minutes (also calls at Hayes station 13 minutes earlier). This bus used to be a London Transport service and so Oyster could be used and the bus fare was the standard Oyster bus fare (also zone four to six travelcards), but I am not sure if that is still true. Your Sevenoaks return IS valid for return from Bromley South to Victoria, however (very frequent trains, 20 minutes), as the station is on the route to Sevenoaks via Otford.


And to complete the hat trick there were also 14 on this walk. Good sunny spells, with a few drops of rain on a couple of occasions, so light and short lived that we hardly had time to decide whether it was worth digging out our waterproofs before it stopped.

All of us, I think, decided to press on to the second pub, the Cock Inn at Ide Hill, two thirds of the way into the walk. Arriving unannounced at 1.00 we found all of the tables inside were taken, and that the pub was not taking any further orders for food served at the outside tables for half an hour until the kitchen dealt with it's backlog. Most of us made do with a drink and packet of crisps outside before pressing on to the NT café at Emmetts Gardens for a late lunch there, but four lucky members of our group, who had chosen to have there drinks inside, managed to grab a table that was being vacated and were able to order food.

Most of us who had eaten at Emmett's were not ready for tea and cake at Westerham, a mere two miles further on, and chose instead to go directly to either Bromley South or Sevenoaks.

Plenty of bluebells in evidence, though mostly seen at a distance, and just past there prime. A few wood anenomes in flower, and likewise some wild garlic.

A fine, if at times strenuous, walk with little in the way of mud, but plenty of good company.
And to complete the hat trick there were also 14 on this walk. Good sunny spells, with a few drops of rain on a couple of occasions, so light and short lived that we hardly had time to decide whether it was worth digging out our waterproofs before it stopped.

All of us, I think, decided to press on to the second pub, the Cock Inn at Ide Hill, two thirds of the way into the walk. Arriving unannounced at 1.00 we found all of the tables inside were taken, and that the pub was not taking any further orders for food served at the outside tables for half an hour until the kitchen dealt with it's backlog. Most of us made do with a drink and packet of crisps outside before pressing on to the NT café at Emmetts Gardens for a late lunch there, but four lucky members of our group, who had chosen to have there drinks inside, managed to grab a table that was being vacated and were able to order food.

Most of us who had eaten at Emmett's were not ready for tea and cake at Westerham, a mere two miles further on, and chose instead to go directly to either Bromley South or Sevenoaks.

Plenty of bluebells in evidence, though mostly seen at a distance, and just past there prime. A few wood anenomes in flower, and likewise some wild garlic.

A fine, if at times strenuous, walk with little in the way of mud, but plenty of good company.
I'm sure I followed the directions correctly and I went straight through a few woods with carpets of bluebells which were at their best, especially in the Ide Hill area.
Sun, 27-Mar-16 2

Walk 3.20 A lovely ramble in the Sevenoaks Weald and along the Greensand Ridge

Free walk 20 Sevenoaks to Westerham (Bromley South)
Length 18.8km (11.7m);toughness 7/10, quite hilly in places.
Trains: 10.10 London Charing Cross (Waterloo East 10.12), Sevenoaks 10.44.
Return: Catch London Transport bus 246 from Westerham (see walk instructions for details of bus stop location) to Bromley South Station (Zone 5) There are 5 trains an hour from Bromley South Station back to London.
After a short “suburban” section this becomes a beautiful area of undulating fields and farms of quintessentially SE England scenery. There are fine views from the Greensand Ridge.
For more details about the walk and its refreshment options – lunch can be taken at the Windmill (01732 463330) or the Cock Inn (01732 750310) . Various tea options can be found at Westerham Green near your bus stop.

See here for more information about the walk and click here for full, detailed walk instructions.
Did anyone else do this walk? I got an earlier train so was a half hour ahead and thought that the group would catch me up as I'm quite a slow walker, but I didn't see anyone else. It was a bit damp underfoot, and the hailstorm was a little bit trying, but there was also plenty of glorious sunshine at one point at the same time as rain and made the cascade of raindrops glitter as it came down through bright sunlight in the woods. This really is a super walk. Lots of variety, stupendous views and the bluebells are coming along nicely noticeably more out than only two days ago. I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to do it again next week!
PS I saw what appeared to be an albino white deer in a small group of other ordinary brown deer. I've never seen such a thing before has anyone else seen this?
Glad you enjoyed the walk. You do sometimes get albino deer hence all the pubs called The White Hart. I saw one once near Cowden. Could even be the same one...
Just 2 on this walk and we had just left Knole Park when we were got drenched in a torrential hail/wind storm and we staggered to a nearby cafe packed with many families and young children who had escaped there after abandoning their Easter egg hunt. Warmed by a hot drink we slowly dried off but our enthusiasm for continuing the walk had diminished and with the weather outlook uncertain we decided to improvise a route around Knole Park and thence back to Sevenoaks
Sat, 19-Apr-14 22 Sevenoaks to Westerham [Bromley South]
Sat, 26-Oct-13 20 Sevenoaks to Westerham [Bromley South]
Sun, 27-Mar-11 Sevenoaks to Westerham (original version) - replaced
Sun, 21-Feb-10 Sevenoaks to Westerham (original version) - replaced
Sun, 10-May-09 Sevenoaks to Westerham
Sat, 19-Apr-08 Sevenoaks to Westerham
Sat, 16-Jun-07 Sevenoaks to Westerham
Mon, 09-Apr-07 Sevenoaks to Westerham