Riverside in the morning

Wateringbury Circular walk

02-Oct-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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East Farleigh riverside

Wateringbury Circular walk

02-Oct-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Riverside in the afternoon

Wateringbury Circular walk

02-Oct-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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The view from near Tutsham Hall

Wateringbury Circular walk

02-Oct-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Riverside in the morning

Wateringbury Circular walk

02-Oct-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk336

Riverside in the morning

Wateringbury Circular walk

02-Oct-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Teston Bridge

Wateringbury Circular walk

02-Oct-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk336

Wateringbury Circular walk

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.

Updated: Fri, 15-Jan-21

Date # Post
Sat, 15-Aug-20 17

Saturday walk - Wateringbury Circular - Meandering along the Medway

Length: 14.7km (8.7 miles), with extensions to 17.3km (10.7 miles) or 20km (12.4 miles)

10.10 train from Charing Cross (10.13 Waterloo East, 10.19 London Bridge) to Paddock Wood, arriving 10.58, changing there (same platform) for the (Strood-bound) 11.11 to Wateringbury, arriving 11.22.

If you just miss the above, get the 10.15 from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East, 10.24 London Bridge) to Tonbridge, arriving 10.58, and hoof it across the footbridge to get the 11.04 to Wateringbury. T=3.336

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, for a map of the route click here.

*** CONTACT TRACING: be prepared to share your name and contact details with those you walk with. Bring a pen and paper for this purpose. ***

This is not the longest of walks, but I am assuming that the stride-out crowd have all gone to the Peak District. In their absence, we can linger over this pretty outing, which includes tranquil riverside walks, low hills, ancient bridges, quaint villages and quite a scattering of pubs (see the home page for this walk for full details. I do not intend to trawl through their websites to find out all their Covid policies: we will see how we go on the day.)

If you want a longer walk, a “preamble” extends the walk to 17.3km (10.7 miles) and might be useful as a way to split up the group into parties of six - ie if one group does this and another doesn’t. There is also a possible extension to Yalding at the end: without the preamble this makes a walk of 16.8km (10.4 miles) and with it, a walk of 20km (12.4 miles) Finally, to have a drink in Yalding village at the end of the extension would add another 2km. So you should be able to find a walk length to suit you.

Trains back from Wateringbury are at 36 past, changing at Tonbridge
It is a tribute to the hardiness of SWC walkers that 17 turned up on this walk despite rain in the morning. A signal failure at Charing Cross also led to the cancellation of the 10.10, but not, thankfully, the 10.15, meaning we still made the connection at Tonbridge.

We split rapidly into smaller groups. My little threesome took social distancing a stage further by staying on the riverside too long, thus ending up doing part of the afternoon route in reverse. We decided to continue around the loop in this direction, and ate in the Victory in East Farleigh, risking the garden even though the skies were still gloomy. But the rain did hold off from then on. The menu seemed to be pretty much whatever they happened to have in the cupboard. Sandwiches were suggested, then chips, then baked potatoes with beans and cheese, so two of us plumped for that.

The other walkers seem to have split between sandwiching on West Farleigh Green and eating at the Good Intent (a well meaning sort of place...): we Victorians saw them pass on the road as we were finishing our lunch (over which we had dawdled). One walker got the train home at East Farleigh. We had tea at the Good Intent.

This was a very pleasant late summer walk. The riverbanks were awash with purple loosestrife, water mint, Himalayan balsam and common fleabane, and there were plums and blackberries to eat from the hedgerows. Some apple scrumping also went on.

Back in Wateringbury I think plenty got to the cafe in the boatyard for tea by the river. Three of us, who were just too late for this, went briefly to the rather basic Railway Inn, which nevertheless produced tea in china pots. Two of us then walked on to Yalding, where we met two others who had done likewise. Coming into London Bridge at 7.45pm the sky was getting dark. Autumn is coming...
Sun, 15-Mar-20 6

Sunday walk: Scenic views in the Medway valley

Wateringbury Circular with Nettlestead loop
Length: 17.3km (10.7 miles) Toughness: 3/10

Both today's walks were posted last month, but were scuppered by Storm Dennis, so we're giving them another chance today.

09:40 Dover Priory train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 09:49, Orpington 10:06), changing at Paddock Wood (arr 10:32; dep 10:40) to arrive at Wateringbury at 10:51.

Return trains to Charing Cross, changing at Paddock Wood or Tonbridge, are at xx:08 (journey time 76 mins). You can also return to St Pancras International, changing at Strood, with trains at xx:51 (journey time 79 mins), but fares are significantly more expensive.

If you decide in advance what time you will return, the cheapest fare is an Advance ticket each way for a total of £12.50 (£8.30 with railcard). Otherwise buy an off-peak day return for £16.30 (£10.75 with railcard).

This new walk in an attractive part of the Medway valley had a couple of successful outings last year, but this will be the first time we’ve tried out the ‘preamble’ of a 2-mile extension to Nettlestead at the start of the walk. We then follow the figure-of-eight main route which switches sides as it meanders downstream to East Farleigh and back again, with short excursions into low hills on either side. Several mediaeval bridges and churches are passed on the way, though the churches will probably have a service in progress or be locked.

The recommended lunch pub is the Good Intent (01622-812426) at Farleigh Green, reached almost 5 miles into the walk. Phone ahead to reserve a table.

If energy and daylight permit, you could conclude the walk on returning to Wateringbury with a further 1.7 mile extension upstream to Yalding.

You will need to download the Walk Directions

T=swc.336.x
6 on the Scenic Views in Medway valley walk. sunny intervals. Lovely walk along the river, and lunch in the Good Intent pub. We omitted the Nettlestead extension as worried about rain.
We also had teaand cakes at The Oast farm really charming and friendly set up mainly outdoors, with farm animals and plenty of hand sanitiser.
May be the last walk for sometime for me, but all the more to look forward to when we do walk again. Keep well.
Sat, 28-Sep-19 15

Saturday Walk – Orchards and medieval bridges in the Medway valley

Extra Walk 336 – Wateringbury Circular
Length: 14 km (8.7 miles), with longer options (†‡). Toughness: 3/10

10:03 Ramsgate train from Victoria (Bromley South 10:29), changing at Paddock Wood (arr 10:58, dep 11:11) and arriving Wateringbury at 11:22. Buy a return to Wateringbury.

† You could also travel (more expensively) on the 09:25 High Speed train from St Pancras, changing at Strood (arr 09:59, dep 10:04: be quick!) to arrive at Wateringbury 46 minutes earlier at 10:36. That will give you just enough time to do the walk's 3½ km ‘preamble’ (a loop via Nettlestead) and meet the main group off the other train.

Trains back from Wateringbury are hourly at xx:36 and go to Tonbridge, where you change for stations to Victoria or Charing Cross. With a High Speed ticket you'd have the option of travelling in the other direction at xx:22, changing at Strood for St Pancras.

A few new walks in this attractive part of the Medway valley had their débuts in early spring when the apple blossom was just coming out, so here's a chance to see the resulting crop. This particular walk had its first outing on a Sunday in March, but as it was Mothers Day both of the possible lunch pubs were full and we didn't get much of a chance to try them.

If you want an early lunch stop you should reach the Good Intent in Farleigh Green by 12:30pm; about 25 minutes later the Bull Inn in East Farleigh is closer to the walk's midway point. Both are next to village greens or churchyards for those bringing sandwiches. At the end of the walk you can get tea'n'cake at the Ramblers Rest Café, just across the river from Wateringbury station.

‡ If the cake has revived you the optional post-walk extension is an extra 3 km alongside the river to the next station (Yalding; trains to Tonbridge at xx:40).

You'll need to bring the directions from the Wateringbury Circular walk page. T=swc.336
15 walkers on a sunny and cloudy day. A lovely walk with great views and lots of longhorn cattle 'posing' they are so aware of the cameras it truly is amazing.
12 used the Bull Inn for lunch and most seemed pleased with the fayre. However the one order of scampi and chips 'in a basket' was amusing for the youngsters 'in a basket?' and shocking for the olds who remember baskets NOT being plastic.
The man who pinches chips was there pinching chips and he complained that it was mentioned in walk reports.
Nuff said?
After lunch eggs potatoes and sweetcorn were bought from an honesty box and apples and pears were scrumped and chomped.
Two young newbies from the Baltic states walked with us and at the end when asked if they would be walking with us again said 'Maybe'
Nuff nuff said?
I think they were actually Highland cattle, rather than Longhorns! Anyway, 2 sandwich eaters led the way after lunch, enjoying pleasant, if unspectacular, views of the Medway Valley, arriving at Wateringbury in good time for tea and (the last two slices) of coffee and walnut cake at the Ramblers' Rest, a small cafe in the Medway Wharf Marina. The rest of the group caught us up in time to demolish the remaining cakes before a five minute stroll to the station and the 16:36 to Victoria.
Sun, 31-Mar-19 10

Sunday Walk – [New] Wateringbury Circular

New Walk – Wateringbury Circular
Length: 13 km (8.1 miles), with optional 3 km extension. Toughness: 2/10

10:40 Dover train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 10:43, London Bridge 10:49, Orpington 11:06, etc), changing at Paddock Wood (arr 11:32, dep 11:40) and arriving Wateringbury at 11:51. Buy a return to Wateringbury.

Trains back from Wateringbury are hourly at xx:08 and go to Tonbridge, where you change for stations to Charing Cross. You could also travel via Maidstone at xx:51 and change at Strood for a High Speed train to St Pancras, but you'd need to pay a supplement for this.

As you'll be losing an hour's sleep with the clock change it seems considerate to pick a leisurely walk with a short morning section, allowing for a late start. The first half-hour of this new Medway Valley walk will be familiar to the large group who turned out for the Yalding Circular walk on New Years Day, but there's only a little overlap after that, with a different lunch pub and tea places.

You should reach the Good Intent in Farleigh Green by 1pm, with the Bull Inn about 25 minutes later as an alternative lunch stop. As it's Mothers Day, however, I suggest packing some emergency provisions in case they're overwhelmed with family groups. There shouldn't be any problem getting tea'n'cake at the Ramblers Rest Café, but give them a call if you think you might get there after 4pm as they'll usually stay open for walking groups.

The café is close to Wateringbury station, but if you've got the energy for another 40-50 minutes of walking you could try one of the walk's two short extensions. One is a loop back to Wateringbury, the other carries on alongside the river to the next station (Yalding; trains at xx:12).

You'll need to bring the written directions (no GPX file) from this temporary Wateringbury Circular walk page. T=swc.336
One of those days ! I missed the train by a minute, so took the next one an hour later and spent all morning valiantly trying to catch up with the group, sadly to no avail, despite marching like a centurion. Possibly because I got lost in the orchard section, the directions there are a bit confusing. It proved nigh on impossible to find a place to stop for sustenance; neither the Good Intent nor the Bull would give me a table, but in the end I found an excellent establishment by going slightly off piste, The Walnut Tree on Forge Lane. Did you find a place to dine ? After that I gave up on finding any other SAturday Walkers so continued along the Medway to Maidstone instead, very pretty . Right now am in a snooker club opposite Maidstone Barracks station, passing the time before my train home, which again I managed to miss by minutes. Better luck next time !
Gabriella
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bad luck Gabriella. Yes there were 9 of us ahead, so that makes 10 altogether on a cold cloudy breezy but dry day The sun did come out later but only to mock us as we boarded the 16:08 home.
The others sped off ahead of me so I didn’t hear the conversation in the Good Intent. I understand they were told it was fully booked, despite it being empty. We suspect they were primed and waiting for a squadron of mothers and their high spending, simpering offspring.
So lunch, for those who had brought their own, was outside with Al Fresco on the green with half pints from the pub. We didn’t stay long, nor did we stop at the later Bull though some looked wistfully at it as we sped past.
We too had a frisson of doubt traversing the orchard but we did have the walk's author with us which helped.
The walk was cleverly planned to not coincide with several flowering seasons – the wood anenomes had either just finished or slept in and the wild garlic although present in profusion in one place, was not flowering. There were some pretty white bushes possibly blackthorn (or maybe cherry plum)and some marsh marigold. At the end we patronised the Ramblers Rest café and sat outside taunting the swans with our provender. Here, one of our number rather let the side down by consuming three portions of cake. I think there was some excuse about not having had any lunch (though this was difficult to hear through all the cake).