Extra Walk 238 – Tunbridge Wells to Hildenborough
Length: 17.7 km (11 miles), with shorter options. Toughness: 2/10 (I'd have said 4/10) 10:03
Tunbridge Wells train from Cannon Street
(London Bridge 10:07, New Cross 10:13, Orpington 10:26), arriving Tunbridge Wells
. Buy a day return to Tunbridge Wells.
Trains back from Hildenborough go to London Bridge and Cannon Street at 06 & 36 minutes past the hour.
This new walk was posted as a last-minute Sunday replacement for another Tunbridge Wells walk back in January. I don't think the weather was great and the group opted for a shorter ending in Tonbridge, so this will be the full walk's début. The start is essentially the same as the ending of Book 1 Walk 15 in reverse, after which it continues on a northerly route via Bidborough and Haysden Country Park to Hildenborough and its out-of-the-way station on the Sevenoaks-Tonbridge line.
Lunch is at a newly-renovated gastro-pub in Bidborough, the Kentish Hare
, which you should reach before 1pm. Halfway through the afternoon you go through Haysden Country Park where you could switch to one of the shorter endings in Tonbridge or Leigh.
If you continue to Hildenborough be sure not to miss the suggested tea place: Café 1809
“one eight oh nine” was opened by Dame Kelly Holmes last year and looks very appealing. Note that the station is a mile out of the village, so unless you can run as fast as Ms Holmes you'd better allow 20-25 minutes to get there from the café.
You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 238