Greensand Way 7 : Yalding to Sevenoaks walk

Kent Orchards, then follows the Greensand Way to Igtham Mote (NT), One Tree Hill, Knole House and deer park (NT)

Escarpment view Yalding to Sevenoaks walk
Escarpment view

Yalding to Sevenoaks walk

Apr-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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apple orchard Yalding to Sevenoaks
apple orchard

Yalding to Sevenoaks

Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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bluebells Yalding to Sevenoaks

Yalding to Sevenoaks

Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Yellow view Yalding to Sevenoaks
Yellow view

Yalding to Sevenoaks

Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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rapefield Yalding to Sevenoaks

Yalding to Sevenoaks

Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Tree in rapefield Yalding to Sevenoaks
Tree in rapefield

Yalding to Sevenoaks

Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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High hedge Yalding to Sevenoaks
High hedge

Yalding to Sevenoaks

Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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21.2 km (13.2 miles)


4 out of 10. Undulating throughout, with mainly gentle hill climbs.

OS Map

Landranger 188, Explorer 147 & 148


This walk follows the Greensand Way all the way from Yalding to Sevenoaks. The route is fairly well waymarked, and so you may find that for whole sections you can dispense with these directions altogether. Note that some signposts can get overgrown by vegetation in summer, however, and at whatever time of year, the waymarking disappears for crucial sections.

In late April and early May the walk passes a series of bluebell woods, and also a couple of commercial apple orchards near Hill Hoath which blossom around the same time. Otherwise for the first half of the walk you follow the Greensand Way across undulating Kent farmland. There are no less than three lunch pubs on this section.

Later the way becomes hillier and the Greensand Way climbs up to the lovely moated manor house of Ightham Mote (pronounced “Eye-tam”), a National Trust property whose tea room can be accessed without paying the entrance fee. From there you embark on a particularly lovely section of the Greensand Way, which climbs slowly up the escarpment. The final stretch is across the grounds of Knole House, another fine National Trust property with a tea room.

Greensand, incidentally, is a type of sandstone, that runs in a ridge south of the North Downs and north of the Weald. Some of the greensand rocks actually do have a greenish tinge, though others are a more predictable brownish red. The soil produced is particularly suitable for growing fruit, which is why this part of Kent was a traditional area for growing apples and hops (for making beer), though none of the latter are in evidence now.


Yalding is on the Medway Valley line. Trains for this branch start from Paddock Wood, which is reached by Ashford-bound trains from Charing Cross and London Bridge. The Yalding train leaves from the adjacent platform to the London-originating trains. Since the outward route passes through Sevenoaks, a day return to Yalding covers your return journey too. .

Get the first train after 9am from Charing Cross if you want to get to the Kentish Rifleman in time for lunch. If lunching at the Swan, a train an hour later would be fine, though you would then have most of the walk (15.5km or 9.6 miles) to do after lunch: there are plenty of further refreshment stops en route to sustain you, however.

A bus - the 222 - serves the Chaser Inn in Shipbourne on Monday to Fridays only. There are five departures a day to Tonbridge and four in the opposite direction to Borough Green station, which is on the Maidstone to Victoria line.


There are three excellent pubs in the central section of this walk, with the last of them conveniently serving food all afternoon.

The Swan in West Peckham (01622 812 271),, 5.7km (3.5 miles) into the walk, is beautifully situated on a village green, with some outside tables in summer, and serves quality pub food, as well as having its own home-brewed beer. Food is served 12-2pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12-3pm on Sundays. It is open for drinks from 11am-3pm and from 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and all afternoon to 6pm on Sunday.

The Kentish Rifleman in Dunks Green (01732 810 727), 9.9km (6.1 miles) into the walk is a charming and characterful old pub with a menu of simple favourites given a new twist. It has both cosy inside rooms and a pleasant garden (see which has photos). It serves food from 12pm to 2pm Monday to Thursday, to 2.30pm Friday, 3pm Saturday and 4.15pm Sundays. The bar is open all afternoon and evening daily.

Should either of the above options fail you, it is only 2.1km (1.3 miles) further on from the Kentish Rifleman to the Chaser Inn in Shipbourne (01732 810 360), (which is thus 12km/7.5 miles from the start of the walk). This is also a very pleasant option for lunch - a large and elegant pub which has the advantage on sunny but cold days of having a covered internal courtyard, as well as some outside tables overlooking the church. The menu is inventive too, and - best of all for our purposes - it serves food all afternoon, every day, until 9.30 pm Monday to Saturday and 8pm on Sundays. It might also make a good tea stop, but it is worth noting that Ightham Mote and its National Trust tea room (see below) is only 1.5km (0.9 mile) further on at this point.


Though is is too close to The Chaser Inn (and maybe even The Kentish Rifleman), the self-service restaurant at the National Trust-run Ightham Mote (13.5km/8.4 miles into the walk) is a wonderful place to stop for tea, not just for its nice cakes, but because you then will not have to rush the next section of the walk, which is worth lingering over. The restaurant is open daily till 5pm (4pm from November to early February).

Otherwise, it is 5.6km (3.5 miles) further on from Ightham Mote to the Brewhouse Cafe, the National Trust tea room at Knole House, which is thus 19.1km (11.9 miles) into the walk. It is open till 5pm daily (4pm from November to early February).

Later options in Sevenoaks include Gail's Bakery (a cafe) open until 6.30pm Monday to Saturday and 6pm on Sunday, and pubs such as the Chequers and the Restoration.

Greensand Way

This walk is one of 11 stages of the Greensand Way - a regional long distance path in the Southeast of England

  • Surrey Council have several leaflets of the Surrey (west) part of the route with OS mapping and directions (but not accomodation or public transport information) available from their website
  • Kent Council also have leaflets of the Surrey section, but not, oddly, of the Kent section [Aug-23]
  • The original guidebook to the walk is long out of print and hard to get. It did have OS mapping (with the contours removed!). In any case, the route has had many small changes in the meantime.
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Start ME18 6HN Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish TN13 1DP Map Directions Travel to the start:


National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Traveline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Apr-24 Peter

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Walk Directions

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