Oxe eye daisies in late May

Oxe eye daisies in late May

28-May-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk17

View during morning

View during morning

28-May-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk17

View during Morning 2

View during Morning 2

28-May-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk17

Pushing up the daisies in Luddesdown churchyard

Pushing up the daisies in Luddesdown churchyard

28-May-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk17

View near Luddesdown

View near Luddesdown

28-May-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk17

Snow on the Wealdway

Snow on the Wealdway

Somewhere between Snodland and Sole Street D.Allen VIVITAR 5199mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book2 walk17 swcwalks wealdway

Book 2, Walk 17, Sole Street Circular 1

Book 2, Walk 17, Sole Street Circular 1

Leaving Harvel, 20 Jan '07

20-Jan-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

street sole book2 walk17 swcwalks tocw217

Snodland to Sole Street walk

The North Downs, hilly with views after lunch, and tranquil Luddesdown for tea.

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.

From Sole Street to Rochester at xx:25 and then with high speed train to London St Pancras You can pick and mix as you wish, but the high speed train has special fares. With a day return you commit yourself to that mode of transport. Also, I do not know if a day return from Charing Cross will be accepted on the return to Victoria.

This is a pleasant walk through winter woods on the North Downs and open fields, passing a historic church and ending at the very cosy pub, the Cock Inn, for tea which usually has a fire going in the winter.

You are best advised to choose between high speed or non high speed before buying your ticket, as the high speed trains imposed a ban last year, for some reason, on people upgrading non high speed tickets on the train.

If going from Charing Cross, unless you get to the station at the very last minute get the 9.11 from Charing Cross to Ramsgate (9.20 London Bridge): this gets to Paddock Wood at 10.00 and you then change (same platform) for the train to Snodland at 10.11. If you go on the 9.15 from Charing Cross you have a six minute connection at Tonbridge which involves crossing from one side of the station to the other: not impossible, but the 9.11 is much more comfortable and only four minutes earlier.

As for whether a Charing Cross outward ticket would be accepted back from Sole Street: it always has been. Slightly grey area as it is two competing Victorian lines that don't actually meet, but it is all Southeastern and they have never objected yet in the history of this walk.
6 walkers on the walk in initially pleasant then deteriorating to windy drizzle conditions. In the morning the route led through a field which today was home to a herd of black cattle among them majestic, beautiful bulls reminiscent of bisons. Since the ground behind the stile leading into the field looked quite muddy we decided to detour a bit and rejoin the official path after the field. The detour led past a quaint little church, unfortunately closed, and a large patch of early snowdrops both of which made this detour quite interesting. Lunch at the quiet Amazon & Tiger was by consensus very good. We continued on through more woodland paths along a ridge until the route opened up with expanding views across rolling hills and valleys. The church at Luddesdown was oddly enough also closed. Is there a problem with theft from churches in this part of the country ? Before reaching the cosy Cock Inn another field with livestock, this time horses, had to be crossed. After having evaded the bulls it was surprising to be attacked by a horse which initially was just curious and docile but suddenly reared on his hind legs and made other threatening gestures towards our group. Fortunately, everybody made it safely over the stile out of the field and into the warmth of the pub. For some reason there was a push to move on to the Railway Inn next to Sole Street station. After another quick drink there everyone took the 17:00 train to Victoria and two of the party decided to see the light show at Canary Wharf.

This is a lovely walk which in my opinion is slightly underappreciated (at least the version starting in Snodland) maybe due to the somehwat awkward outbound journey when coming from South London. It is, however, well worth the effort. As the route follows ridges most of the time, the mud (currently the most fashionable topic) was not a large problem and often easily avoided by detouring into the woods.
Date # Post
Thu, 22-Feb-18

Evening walk - Sole Street Circular

CW2 17a - Sole Street Circular
Length: 13.5km (8.4 miles)

Catch the 17:26 train from London Blackfriars, arrives Sole Street 18:16.
Alternatively travel from Victoria, changing at Bromley South to pick up the 17:48 to Sole Street.
Return trains: 22:31, 23:47

Will stop for a drink / meal at the Amazon & Tiger* half way into the walk at Harvel.

At the end of walk there is the choice of The Cock Inn, Henley Street with ~20 min walk to the station, or The Railway Inn, next door.

*Note whatspub says they serve food 19:00 - 21:00 on Thursdays. Answerphone message when phoning, so unable to confirm. Bring emergency food if apprehensive. T=2.17.a
Sat, 27-Jan-18 6

Snodland to Sole Street

t=2.17

Length: 13km (8m)
Toughness: 5 / 10
Transport: There are several options: Outbound:High speed train from London St Pancras at 9:55 arriving in Snodland at 10:45 via a change at Strood Train from London Charing Cross at 9:15 arriving in Snodland at 10:45 via a change at Tonbridge Train from London Victoria at 9:22 arriving in Snodland at 10:45 via a change at Maidstone: Walk from Maidstone East to Maidstone Barracks (5mins) Return:From Sole Street direct to London Victoria at the hour

Sat, 18-Nov-17 10

Saturday Walk - Sole Street Circular

Sole Street Circular, Book 2 Walk 17a
8.4 miles/13.5 km
Toughness 5 out of 10

A short walk in the North Downs area of North Kent, a mixture of woodlands and open landscapes. This is a variation on the original Snodland to Sole Street walk (option a - alternative start from Sole Street in the instructions).

Trains: 9:34 from London Victoria to Dover Priory, arriving at Sole Street at 10:25. (09:58 Bromley South). If you just miss the 9:34 there's a 9:37 train direct to Bromley South that should get you there a few minutes before the 9:34. Return trains xx00

Lunch: Amazon & Tiger, Harvel, 01474 814705. Serves reasonably priced food til 2:30pm and real ales all day.

Tea: The Cock Inn at Henley Street (allow 15 mins to walk to the station and take a torch if planning a long stay...), or next to Sole Street station is The Railway Inn .

Click here for full details about this walk

T=2.17.a
10 or 12 walkers, just the right size fr us to stay together. The weather was dry initially with drizzle from about noon. I love this walk. It has a nice "away from it all" feel, despite it's closeness to London and there were some vibrant copper and yellows almost lighting up the woods in place of the sunshine. There was the usual warm welcome at The Amazon and Tiger and we escaped the afternoon drizzle for a cosy stop at the Cock Inn before heading to the station in time for the 16:00 train.
Beautiful walk and the Amazon and Tiger had a vegan option on the menu
Sun, 05-Feb-17 13

Sunday Walk 1 – the North Downs

Book 2 Walk 17a – Sole Street Circular
Length: 13.5 km (8.4 miles). Toughness: 5/10

10:45 Sole Street train from Victoria (Bromley South 11:02), arriving Sole Street at 11:21.

Because of engineering works further out trains on this line are turning round at Sole Street this Sunday, which works to your advantage as trains back are half-hourly at 02 (slower) & 32 minutes past.

The circular version of this walk avoids the awkward train journey and rather industrial start from Snodland, and in not much more than half an hour you'll be walking along the gently rolling hills and wooded valleys of the North Downs. Halfway round in Harvel you can get a pub lunch at the Amazon & Tiger pub, which has a large dining area but will cope better with a group if you call them in advance. The original tea stop for this walk was the Cock Inn in Henley Street, but the Railway Hotel (right next to the station) is a more convenient refreshment option while waiting for a train.

You'll need to print the directions from this pdf document, or bring the 2011 edition of Book 2 (earlier editions didn't include the Circular option). T=2.17.a
13 or so plus Max the dog, who was fine. Weather was dry mild cloudy. A very pleasant and probably under rated walk with plenty of views. Lunch at the Amazon and Tiger went down well as did the champagne (thank you, C). A few stopped at the Cock Inn and again at The Railway Hotel and were treated to free Sunday afternoon bar snacks of roast potatoes and Yorkshire pud. on Sunday Walk 1 – the North Downs
Sat, 13-Feb-16 15

Saturday Second Walk - Kentish Downland

Book 2 Walk 17 - Snodland to Sole Street
Length: 13.1km (8.1 miles) - Possible extension to 18.7km (11.6 miles): see end of post.
Toughness: 5 out of 10: some hill climbs, none too strenuous

9.55 Southeastern high speed train from St Pancras to Strood, arrive 10.27, connecting there (quick zip down into the subway and across to the other side) to the 10.34 to Snodland, arriving 10.45.

Alternatively for non-high speed types, three options:

a) Least complicated: 9.09 Charing Cross (9.12 Waterloo East, 9.27 Lewisham) to Strood, arriving 10.19 to connect with the 10.34 to Snodland, as above

b) Prettier route: 9.10 Charing Cross (9.13 Waterloo East) to Paddock Wood, arriving 9.58, changing there (wait on the same platform) for the 10.11 direct to Snodland, arriving 10.45 (not the same train as the one the high speeders get - this one comes from the opposite direction).

c) "Oh blast, I missed the train!": 9.15 from Charing Cross (9.18 Waterloo East, 9.39 Orpington) to Tonbridge, arriving 9.57 - sit in the front of the train so you can quickly cross the footbridge for the 10.04 from Tonbridge direct to Snodland, arriving 10.45.

Best ticket: probably a day return to Rochester. This covers you for London to Strood and Sole Street to Victoria. That only leaves the short hop from Strood to Snodland if you come out via Strood on the high speed train or option a) above. This is not problem on route b) or c) as by these routes Snodland is definitely on the way to Rochester: but these options might be seen by a very literal minded ticket inspector as a somewhat unconventional way to get from London to Rochester.

For the main walk directions bring book two or click here. If you plan to do the extension see ** below

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We have a lot of walks in this lovely area of downland south of the Medway towns, but the original book walk - or rather, its morning route, which is the bit not in other versions - has been neglected. Our resident statistician in fact tells me it has not had an SWC outing since January 2013.

This is a pity, as it is a perfectly nice walk. True, it starts out in the somewhat downbeat surroundings of Snodland itself, but it makes a decisive beeline for the downs and then goes over various hills and dales before it gets to the familiar lunch pub, the unpretentious Amazons and Tigers at Harvel.

The afternoon of the walk following a long ridge down to Luddesdown will probably be familiar to many. The Cock Inn just beyond this is a lovely pub to finish in, but seems to veer between doing tea cheerfully or not. The alternative is the Railway Inn which is also very nice and handily situated right next to Sole Street station.

Though mud is fairly inevitable at this time of year, this route is - at least for long sections - on chalk downland, so cross fingers it will not be too gloopy.

PS If you you want to stay in the Cock Inn after dark, you can: to get to the station afterwards, turn left out of the pub, stay on the road for 1km until you come to Sole Street village and a T-junction with a main road: turn left on this to find the station in 500 metres on the right. All of this is perfectly walkable in the dark.

Trains back from Sole Street go to Victoria exactly on each hour (so 16.00. 17.00 etc). St Pancrasites can take the 25 past in the other direction, to Rochester and connect there, but your ticket would not be valid from Sole Street to Rochester and this only saves you 20 minutes: better to spend them in the pub)
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** EXTENSION It is possible to extend this walk by an extra 5.6km (3.5 miles) using part of SWC Walk 35 Cuxton to Sole Street. This makes a total walk of 18.7km (11.6 miles). The extra route takes you in a loop up to the village of Cobham, where there are two nice pubs - the Leather Bottle and the Darnley Arms (which in December 2014 was doing tea and cakes). Or you can just carry on back to the Cock Inn and join the slower walkers for tea there. To do this option, follow the main walk directions as far as the Cock Inn, then pick up the directions on page 6 of this document at paragraph 55. If you do this, you might be the first SWC walker ever to do this option.
E=MC2 15 drizzle light rain clearing pm chilly.
Excellently written Book 2 walk that attracted 12 off the train, some high speeders, some snail arrivardists, with 3 more joining by lunch at the remarkably unpretentious, inexpensive Amazons and Tigers. We may have had some Amazons on this mostly mud free trail a.m. but surprised Moontiger didn't get his claws damp on this today. We DIDN'T see any cricket going down. Our entertainment came from seeing four going off in the wrong direction near the start but as the walk directions weren't good enough for some they decided to incorporate part of a different walk into proceedings; well, it all helps to massage someone's ego no doubt but no doubt he'll fill you in on their extracurricular activities in due course.
Meanwhile, four of us had tea at the cosy yet quixotic Cock Inn. Btw the road walk finish via Henley and Gold Streets added a few metres but avoided mud which we'd had enough of p.m. Four caught the 1700 train home on the best walk this correspondent has enjoyed since New Year on the mudscale!
Not sure where egos come into it but seven of us elected to do the extension via Cobham as outlined in the walk post. We got rained on for our pains, which seemed a bit unsporting on the part of the weather gods. The Darnley Arms had nice cakes, which only I had, and big tea pots, which I did not get to sample as only one other person had tea (so they supplied it in little cups). We did our own version of a lane walk and got the 6pm train except that train was cancelled and mysteriously replaced with a 6.15.
Mr Tiger managed to get his claws damp, don't you worry about that. But not on this walk
Sat, 21-Nov-15 9

Saturday First Walk - Sole Street Circular (Book 2 17a)

Sole Street Circular, Book 2 Walk 17a
8.4 miles/13.5 km, Toughness 5 out of 10

A short walk in the North Downs area of North Kent, a mixture of woodlands and open landscapes. This is a variation on the original Snodland to Sole Street walk (option a) alternative start from Sole Street in the instructions) - if you have an old copy of the book you may need to download the route.

Trains: 9:34 from London Victoria to Dover Priory, arriving at Sole Street at 10:25. (09:57 Bromley South). If you just miss the 9:34 there's a 9:37 train direct to Bromley South that should get you there a few minutes before the 9:34. Return trains xx00

Lunch: Amazon & Tiger, Harvel, 01474 814705. Serves reasonably priced food til 2:30pm and real ales all day.

Tea: The Cock Inn at Henley Street (allow 15 mins to walk to the station).

Links: Full details about this walk, Walk instructions (pdf)
T=2.17.a
9 got off of the train and it was awful weather cold windy and damp though a couple of people from South London had both seen snow that morning that didn't settle
But we all got on with it and got muddy though thankfully there was no really wet areas so no flooded boots
We had a fair lunch in the Amazon and Tiger and then as predicted by BBC became weather a little sunny.
A welcome rushed tea at the rather crowded Cock Inn and then all 9 of us made it too the 4pm train back
Sat, 29-Mar-14 16 Sole Street Circular
Sat, 18-Jan-14 24 Sole Street Circular
Sun, 27-Oct-13 9 Sole Street Circular
Sat, 19-Jan-13 8 Snodland to Sole Street
Sat, 01-Sep-12 Snodland to Sole Street
Sat, 26-Nov-11 Sole Street Circular
Sun, 07-Nov-10 Sole Street Circular
Sun, 07-Mar-10 Sole Street Circular
Sun, 10-Jan-10 Sole Street Circular
Sat, 31-Jan-09 Sole Street Circular
Sun, 11-Jan-09 Snodland to Sole Street
Sun, 11-Jan-09 Sole Street Circular
Sat, 01-Nov-08 Snodland to Sole Street
Sat, 10-May-08 Snodland to Sole Street
Sun, 23-Mar-08 Snodland to Sole Street
Sun, 03-Feb-08 Snodland to Sole Street
Sat, 20-Oct-07 Snodland to Sole Street
Sun, 20-May-07 Sole Street Circular
Sat, 20-Jan-07 Sole Street Circular
Sat, 02-Dec-06 Snodland to Sole Street