For walk directions, maps, height profiles, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.220.a
Swapped with Stargazer...
A unique church, orchards and a country park of historical interest in the Garden of England.
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.
|Sat, ||Saturday Walk - Tonbridge Circular via Tudeley with or without Capel extension (formerly Tonbridge to Hadlow)||5||dry to midday then wet|
|Sun, ||Sunday Walk – Chagall's windows and Hadlow's folly||7||hot|
|Wed, ||Wednesday Walk - The Medway Valley and Chagall's Windows: Tonbridge Circular or to Hadlow||7||sunny|
|Sun, ||Sunday Walk – An unusual church and a tall folly||9||dry and mild|
|Sat, ||Saturday Second Walk - Marc Chagall windows and a multi-tiered Gothic Folly: Tonbridge Circular||10||overcast with bright and damp spells|
|Sat, ||Midsummer meanders in the Medway Valley||21||cloudy but warm|
|Sat, ||Tonbridge to Hadlow||10|
|Sat, ||Tonbridge Circular|
If you would normally travel to Tonbridge via Redhill (eg. from the Croydon area), you probably know that the Redhill-Tonbridge line is out of action for several months because of a landslip at Godstone. The good news is that you can travel via London Bridge on the cheaper "Not via London" ticket while the line is closed. See https://www.southernrailway.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/ for full information about alternative travel arrangements.
...so it did (that was the walk posting I had drafted b4 doing this posting)... correct now. Ta
2 off the train, 2 already on the platform, 1 other on a later train, making use of the through-town-shortcut to catch us: 5
Lots of water, in various convenient or not so convenient ways: as the Medway River (muddy-brown and kind of full), mill streams, channels, backwaters, streams, ditches, drainage channels etc. or as standing water on paths or in underpasses, as impromptu lakes in meadows, or even in overflowing reservoirs (see below) or just as rain.
In reality, only one short bit was impassable: close to the start, the Racecourse Meadows, where an alternative route was easy to find. There was some mud of course, especially in the orchards and on arable fields, but neither deep nor clingy. The rain started at 12.45 and kind of didn't stop, the wind was kind of disappointing if you were expecting the hyped-up 'Storm Dennis' danger. There were some gusts that made trees sway and supplied a bit of an exciting soundtrack, but it was a very far cry from 70 km/h-difficult to stand up in-type storm winds, as some forecasts had it.
A record long time was spent at the "Marc Chagall-Church" in Tudeley to allow for diligent study of the stained glass windows. We then split up into 2 walking the Extension via Capel and 3 not doing that. Us 2 paced past the 1st pub on the extension, the George & Dragon, aiming for the recommended Dovecote Inn, studied the excellent wall paintings at the church in Capel and proceeded to the pub only to there find the Landlady tossing out soggy carpets and wet furniture from it: they had been flooded last Sunday when the previous named storm had passed through and were shut. Nearby Pembury Reservoir had overflowed, apparently...
On to the Poacher & Partridge then (fine views en route into the Medway Valley), where we arrived just in time to take over the table from the 3 others in the group. What a nice pub! Fireplace, busy but fast, good food, plenty of choice, capable and friendly staff.
Later the 2 of us somehow got separated and I walked the Haysden Country Park loop west of Tonbridge by myself. Enjoyable, but will be even more so in decent weather! All in, a good workout and nowhere near as bad (the weather) as forecast. In the end, there had been so much standing water that my boots were exceptionally clean! dry to midday then wet
7 An enjoyable sunny little outing, with a pleasant pub where we met a granddad & grandchild on a day out. Two lingered over lunch. After tea in the garden centre cafe (lovely setting if you are outside), 2 went off to walk to Tonbridge, 3 went round the gardens & then got the bus.
9 _or_10 dry and mild . A very pleasant walk and dry underfoot so it was easy going, even though some of the fields had recently been ploughed. The windows in Tudeley church are wonderful. Those having a pub lunch stopped in Capel and a few of us had tea in Hadlow, some catching the bus from there while others strolled on into late afternoon sunshine.
overcast with bright and damp spells
Plenty of mud as promised, but not enough to cause distress!
10 off the train at Tonbridge. Lovely morning wandering through paths at fields. The stunning stained glass windows at All Saints Tudeley were admired, as were the wall paintings at St Thomas a Becket.
We attempted lunch at the Bell Inn at Golden Green, but the lovely new landlady informed us the chef doesn't start until January. We had a few light refreshments anyway.
The main group caught up with the short-cutters at the lunch pub in Hadlow having done a brief detour to admire Hadlow Tower.
The remainder of the walk followed the river Medway, leading us back to a very nice tea room on the high street in Tonbridge just before sunset.
Another lovely day out.
Finch House Cafe and Bakery (and healthy salads and sandwiches etc.) that was. On the High Street. Really nice place. Also in Orpington, apparently: http://www.finchhouse.co.uk/
anyone participating? I am thinking of joining in from Waterloo
I know several who are going on this walk, don't worry.
Saturday 20 June 2015: 21 on this walk, cloudy but warm with only occasional spots of rain. This lowland walk more than once wandered into Essex-like big flat arable fields territory (though with no electricity pylons) but overall had enough charming corners and points of interest to sustain interest.
In particular we were all enthused about the church with the Marc Chagal stained-glass windows, which is definitely worth seeing. I also reflected that the lush meadows and verges on this walk would have looked wonderful a couple of weeks back when the spring flowers were full out.
The lunch pub, the Dovecote, was excellent too, and coped calmly with us all arriving unexpectedly. The Hadlow Tower kept out of sight till the last minute, but there was a fine view of it as one walked away from the village, for those of us who did the full circular walk.
After tea in Broadview Gardens I would estimate that at least a dozen opted to make the most of the (nearly) longest day by finishing the walk back to Tonbridge. Glimmers of light in the western skies suggested we might get rewarded with a fine summer's evening. Alas, the reverse was true, and it started to rain lustily from around 6.30pm onwards. But still it was satisfying to see the slightly parched ground getting a good solid drink.