SWC walk 235 - Tonbridge to Penshurst
Length: 18km (11.2 miles) - with shorter option (15.3km/9.5 miles) and a longer one (21km/13 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10 9.45
train from Charing Cross
(9.48 Waterloo East
, 9.53 London Bridge
) to Tonbridge, arriving 10.28
Buy a day return to Penshurst
For walk directions
I have the most delightful memories of the last time this walk had an outing in March 2016. My impressions may have been skewed by the fact that it was the first sunny spring day we had that year, but I recall a gentle walk which took unfamiliar routes through well-loved territory and with plenty of places to refresh the stomach as well as the soul.
Those many walkers who did the Cowden to Hever walk in mid June might like to note that there is a small bit of overlap between that walk and this in the afternoon: but lots is different. The morning particular takes you on an interesting route along the River Medway though the Haysden Country Park. Lunch
is at the Leicester Arms
in Penshurst, where you could also visit nearby Penshurst Place
if you want. The pub is popular but has a history of accommodating us with reasonable efficiency. The walk directions mention a possible later lunch stop
in Hill Hoath but this may not be serving food: you would need to check before relying on it.
there is the well-loved Tulip Tree
tea room in Chiddingstone mid afternoon, and the adjacent pub
has also now reopened. At the end of the walk, the Little Brown Jug
with its large garden is a walker favourite and is conveniently only a few staggers from the station.
The walk directions also have an afternoon short cut
to Penshurst (the 15.3km/9.5 mile
option) and a longer ending to Edenbridge
(21km/13 miles), though there is warning of "poorly maintained paths" on the latter. Trains back from Penshurst
go direct to Victoria
(far side of the footbridge) via East Croydon at 27
past until 20.27
: then at 21.21
with a change in Redhill.
Just a few minutes slower, and so worth it if trains this way are more convenient to you, is the 31
past (until at least 21.31
) in the other direction (this side of the footbridge) to Tonbridge, where you change (arrive 39, depart 49) for trains to London Bridge
and Charing Cross. If doing the longer option to Edenbridge Town trains go at 09 past to London Bridge via East Croydon. A return to Penshurst is valid on this route too. T=3.235