Escarpment view

Yalding to Sevenoaks walk

24-Apr-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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apple orchard

Yalding to Sevenoaks

25-Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Yalding to Sevenoaks

25-Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Yellow view

Yalding to Sevenoaks

25-Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk41


Yalding to Sevenoaks

25-Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Tree in rapefield

Yalding to Sevenoaks

25-Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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High hedge

Yalding to Sevenoaks

25-Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk41

Greensand Way 7 : Yalding to Sevenoaks walk


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, 26-Feb-21

Date # Post
Sat, 28-Apr-18 28

Saturday walk - Yalding to Sevenoaks - Bluebells, apple blossom, oilseed, lots of pubs and tea stops

Length: 21km (13 miles) - (for shorter option see ** below)
Toughness: 4 out of 10 (gently undulating)

Catch the 9.10 (Ramsgate-bound) train from Charing Cross (9.13 Waterloo East, 9.20 London Bridge) to Paddock Wood, arriving 10.00, changing there (same platform) for the 10.11 to Yalding, arriving 10.19.

If you just miss the above, catch the 9.15 Hastings-bound train from Charing Cross (9.18 Waterloo East, 9.24 London Bridge) to Tonbridge, arriving 9.58, and pick up the Yalding train there, departing 10.04.

Buy a day return to Yalding.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here. The route is entirely on the Greensand Way, apart from a couple of minor deviations for scenic reasons.

A slight change from my original plan to post the Sevenoaks Circular: given that bluebells, apple blossom and oilseed rape all look likely to be at their best weekend, I could not resist this fine walk, which combines all three of them (and which has not had an SWC outing for two years). The bluebell woods are scattered throughout the walk, some large, some small, so that by the end you will be completely blasé at the sight of them.

Refreshment opportunities are also abundant. There are three lunch pubs, the first one (the Swan) quite gourmet, the second (the Kentish Rifleman) a good straightforward pub serving food to 2pm, and the last, the Chaser Inn in Shipbourne a glorious and capacious place which nevertheless can be quite booked up: on the plus side they serve food all afternoon (as far as I am aware: sadly they have let a whizzy design company loose on their website, so this information is impossible to find there) so it may be a good idea to arrive after the main lunch rush.

For tea, there are the National Trust tea rooms at Ightham Mote and Knole House, and in between is one of the loveliest stretches of path on God's earth at this time of year - butterflies, spring flowers, views. "Heaven must be something like this", to quote the Lake District guide writer AJ Wainwright (though he was talking about rather different scenery...)

Trains back from Sevenoaks are very frequent - every 10 minutes or so. T=3.41

** SHORTER OPTION If 13 miles sounds too much, there are buses (route 222) from Shipbourne at 14.24, 17.24 and 18.41 to Tonbridge railway station and 16.15 and 18.12 to Borough Green railway station. Your Yalding return would be valid from either station. Doing this you would miss the lovely last bit of the walk, however. You could also use this bus to do a late start to the walk (there are several morning buses) going to either Shipbourne or Dunks Green (for the Kentish Rifleman).
A few of us are doing a late start 10:15 from Charing Cross.
Thanks, I will join you on the later train
On the National Rail enquiries website there is no Ramsgate train leaving from Charing X tomorrow and for Yalding the options are the Hastings train mentioned, changing at Tonbridge or on the high speed line from St Pancras changing at Strood. I wonder if the train times have changed since the walk was posted.
MG: If you ask for times of trains from London to Tonbridge you'll see that the 09:10 Ramsgate train is running, as posted. If you specify Yalding as the destination the site will only show you the 09:15 Hastings train because (according to its rules) you can make the 6 minute connection at Tonbridge. But I agree with Walker's post as there's less risk of missing the connection as well as an easier (same platform) interchange.
Thanks, Sean. As you say. And there is a 9.10 to Ramsgate: I just checked.
Hi Everyone
Where is the meeting point at Charing Cross?
how many intending to take later train please?
Vicky: the meeting point is on arrival at Yalding, where the group will be very obvious (not least because no one else ever gets off there), though in practice we should be pretty obvious while waiting for the connection at Paddock Wood.

Earlier than that, if you walk down the train you may find a group of us, yabbering away.

If you have not done already, read this page about how our walks work, because they are a bit different from other groups
I'm taking the later train as well.

People are free to take the 10.10/10/15 train if they like, of course, but just to point out that the 9.10 train was not chosen without careful thought. The first pub you come to, the Swan, is from memory quite posh and booked up. The Kentish Rifleman is a more traditional pub but is 6 miles into the walk and stops serving food at 2pm. If you are starting at 11.19 (ie taking the 10am train), then you need to walk at a fairly smart pace to be sure of getting there in time. The 9.10 was chosen because it allows for an easier pace and/or to linger looking at bluebell woods.

True the Chaser provides a backstop, providing it still serves food all afternoon, which I have not been able to check, and faut de mieux there is Ightham Mote and its tea room as a late lunch option.

For the record, some will DEFINITELY be getting the 9am train.

Enjoy the walk whichever train you get. Pity the weather forecast is not as springlike as last weekend....

I've eaten at both The Chaser Inn and The Swan in the last year and I'm happy to recommend both. We had called from the station to book a table.
My compliments on Walker choosing an early train it was ideal for lunch at The Chaser which is just over half way though the walk and changing at Paddock walk was easy with none of the concerns of changing at Tonbridge
I will leave others to do the walk report
14 on the official train, 2 who drove and 9 (?) on a train an hour later. 4 or 5 of the latter lunched at the first pub, the Swan, with the intention, I am told, of doing the first half of the walk and taking the bus from Shipbourne. One of this party cleverly caught a bus from Sevenoaks and caught the main group at West Peckham. Three or four more caught up with us at tea at Ightham Mote. 25 in all.

The weather was grey and slightly drizzly but at least it did not rain. The bluebells were out throughout the walk but seemed a bit weedy for reasons I could not fathom. There was apple blossom and oilseed rape and the swallows were sitting on the same telephone wire they were on when we did this walk two years ago (in similar weather, alas). Two of us were inexpressibly delighted to hear a turtle dove at one point. (I can’t tell you what a BIG DEAL this is: this once common harbinger of spring has declined 93% since 1994).

Those who lunched at the Swan probably made a wise choice. The Kentish Rifleman was in headless chicken mode and some of us abandoned hope of eating there right away. Others waited ages even to order drinks and made the same choice. Ten of us eventually ended up in the heroically busy Chaser Inn, which could not accommodate us till 2pm. A fabulous pub and if you are a red meat eater the menu is great and well portioned. The vegan sandwich was a bit of mushroom between bread with some wilting lettuce, however, and my potato rosti was a starter at a main course price: to give you some idea, I tripled its size by adding a “side” of vegetables. Why the idea persists in pub kitchens that vegetarians are not hungry, I do not know.

All if this was a big incentive to stop for tea at Ightham Mote a mile later, which seven or eight of us did. After this the turtle dove and a big wild garlic wood in full flower. Five of us later had a drink in Sevenoaks and then a very nice Indian meal. So weather apart, a grand day out.
Thanks Peter and the rest sorry can't remember all your names. The walk after lunch was fantastic and I enjoyed the hills especially around Rooks hill plenty of bluebells and fields and fields of wild garlic to sample a few. Many thanks to Andrew and Dave for the afternoon company and leading the way to Sevenoaks via the secret door and avoid the heavy traffic. Great day out but I think it appears more than 13 miles perhaps 14 miles.

Total late start 12 people. No drizzle or rain at all for later risers. Two immediately said they wanted to walk alone. One caught a bus from Tonbridge to catch the early start. We stopped at Swan for lunch (4 for food + 3 for drinks) having booked a table at the station. Two other disappeared at lunch. Fantastic food and well worth a visit and money. They even accommodated us for swopping a part of one dish for another all worked to perfection. Some took 4:14 bus at Shipbourne. Two decided to have tea and cake at Chaser Inn another pub deserves a mention one tried signature dessert which came with three regular sized desserts on one plate (best to order this for sharing in future) before catching 5:24 bus. Thanks walker for posting this walk with bus and late option. It took me back to the memory lane where we had a relaxed walk starting an hour later of the nature walk....
28 then
Sat, 23-Apr-16 23

Saturday Second Walk - Bluebell Blockbuster (and maybe apple blossom)

SWC Walk 41 - Yalding to Sevenoaks
Length: 21km (13 miles) but see Shortening the walk below
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.10 train from Charing Cross (9.13 Waterloo East) to Paddock Wood, arrive 9.58, changing there (same platform) for the 10.11 to Yalding, arrive 10.19

If you just miss the above, the 9.15 from Charing Cross (9.18 Waterloo East) connects with the Yalding train at Tonbridge (arrive 9.57, depart 10.04)

Buy a day return to Yalding.

For walk directions click here.

There are bluebell woods throughout this gentle Kentish walk, and if they are not fully out by now they damned well ought to be. You also pass through a varied "Garden of England" landscape, including one or two cute villages, the occasional stately home and some apple orchards (which may be in blossom by now, but don't hold me to it: apple blossom is fickle in its timing).

Perhaps best of all in the light of recent pub debacles, this walk has THREE possible lunch pubs, each one a cracker. (They surely can't ALL be "fully booked".) The early train (in case you were thinking of moaning) is chosen to give you a reasonable choice of them, the latter two being 6 miles and 7.4 miles into the walk respectively.

Tea options include Ightham Mote early in the afternoon or rushing on to Knole Park (which only has a kiosk at present). But it is a shame to rush the part of this walk between these two National Trust properties, as it is a lovely stretch, with fine views, interesting wildflowers and - if the weather is sunny - lots of butterflies (eg orange tips - photo)

Backstop tea options are in Sevenoaks, from where trains back to London are too frequent to detail.

SHORTENING THE WALK: There is a bus, the 222, from the third lunch pub in Shipbourne (11.9km/7.4 miles into the walk) to Tonbridge station at 12.24, 14.24 and 17.24. In the opposite direction this goes to Borough Green station at 13.12, 16.15 and 18.12. Journey time is 15 minutes either way, and your Yalding return ticket would be valid from both stations. You miss some bluebell woods and fine scenery in the afternoon, but the morning half also makes a very nice walk.
Should be a wonderful display of bluebells on this walk. I walked from Sevenoaks to Westerham last Sunday (17 Aprils) and bluebells were out on Stubbs Hill, Ide Hill and other woods you pass through. Also, plenty of primroses and wood anemones but wild garlic (which you often see in flower at the same time as bluebells) still in bud.
What a lovely day really enjoyed it
n=about 20 sunny spells. The ground was dry underfoot and there were some spectacular bluebell and wild garlic displays in the afternoon. 2 took the bus from Shipbourne and the rest did the full walk. A lovely walk, though a bit too long for me.
23 to be precise. some sun but often grey and freezing. On the plus side I did hear a turtle dove at one point (80% decline in population in the last 50 years), the first time I have ever heard one

Sun, 02-Aug-15 6

Sunday walk 1 – Yalding to Sevenoaks

Yalding to Sevenoaks SWC Walk 41, switching to Book 1 walk 36
Length 13 miles, 20.9 km.
Difficulty 5/10

The published walk follows the Greensand Way all the way through orchards and woods, passing Ightham Mote and crossing Knole Park.
Nothing to stop you doing the main version, but here's a suggestion. After Ightham Mote, switch to the ending of the Borough Green to Sevenoaks walk. This will take you through the lavender fields near Stone Street where the orchards were. The lavender could already have been harvested so don’t get too excited.
Take the 09:10 Ramsgate train from Charing Cross to Paddock Wood and wait on the platform for the 10:21 Maidstone West Train (arr. 10:01 dep 10:21)
If you miss the 9:10 or its just too plain early, take the 09:25 Hastings train from Charing Cross, sit at the front of the train (but not the driver's seat) and dash across the footbridge at Tonbridge to platform 1 for the same Maidstone West train (arr. 10:10 platform 3, dep 10:14 platform 1). This is the officially advertised connection but it's a bit tight. Note that the 9:25 does not go via Paddock Wood. Either way you get to Yalding for 10:29.
Several trains an hour back from Sevenoaks. The fastest are at xx:00 and xx:30.
Get a return to Yalding.
Lunch etc.
The earliest pub, perhaps a little too early, is the Swan in West Peckham 01622 812271, 3.4 miles into the walk. It is ‘festooned with plaudits’. Lunch here (served from 12) would leave you with a long afternoon but there are convenient refreshment stops to break your journey. Pudding perhaps? Then tea?
The recommended stop, the Kentish Rifleman in Dunks Green 01732 810727 is 6 miles into the walk . It serves food till 3.
The Chaser Inn in Shipbourne is a little further than the Rifleman.
Further still, the National Trust Restaurant at Ightham Mote is open till 5
After Ightham, if you are on the lavender route, it’s also possible to divert to the the Padwell 01732 761532 for a quick snifter.
Nearer the end, at Knole House there's a kiosk and seating area open till 5 (the Brewhouse tea-room is closed at present) and there are numerous tea places (eg Caffe Nero) and pubs (eg the Black Boy) in Sevenoaks.
Main Walk,
Alternative ending (from Ightham Mote)
6 I am told...
Sat, 16-May-15 20

Saturday First Walk

SWC 3 41 Yalding to 7oaks
21K (13 miles)
5 out of 10

Map of the route here

London Canon St at 10.03 ( London Bridge 10.07 New Cross 10.13 ) arriving Tonbridge at 10.46 and then take the 11.04 from Tonbridge to Yalding
Charing Cross at 10.10 ( Waterloo East 10.13 ) arriving Tonbridge at 10.50 and then take the 11.04 from Tonbridge to Yalding
Arrive Yalding 11.19
(The train websites suggest taking a later train and having only 7 minutes connection time at Tonbridge but experience has shown that this is a bit risky so I have opted for an earlier train into Tonbridge)

There are trains frequent trains out of Sevenoaks returning to Blackfriars or Cannon Street or Charing Cross
Get a day return to Yalding

According to the Comments Section
One of the best walks in SWC collection. Three worthwhile pubs but the first, The Swan in West Peckham, is the one

See the comments section for buses to shorten the walk in the afternoon

The Swan Inn West Peckham ( 01622 812271 ) for lunch - you should arrive here 75 mins after starting off from the station so say just after 12.30
This will leave about 16 Km to walk after lunch but there are a couple of opportunities for tea in the afternoon - or take a later pub for lunch
A small and very popular pub so best phone them to book a table as soon as you leave the station ( or a few days before hand if you can plan that far ahead )

Kentish Rifleman is 9.7 Km (two and a half hours walking so you should arrive around 1.45 pm ) into the walk and finishes serving food at 2.30 pm

Chaser Inn ( 01732 810360 ) at 11.9 Km ( three hours walking) into the walk and it serves food all afternoon apparently

At Igtham Mote or Knole House or Sevenoaks

More info and full walk details available here

Sat 16/5/15 Book 3 Walk 41 Yalding to Sevenoaks 21km/13m 20 walkers or so. Glorious sunshine all day as photos will confirm. The first time I've noticed boats at Yalding as every other time I've walked this route or the Borough Green variant it's rained.
Most enjoyed lunch and/or a drink at the Swan, West Peckham, al fresco (no, he wasn't on the walk) on the village green. Pub grub was served on flat oblong platters which looked, and I'm reliably informed tasted delicious. We pressed on in various groups but as it was such a glorious day in May, gathered for another bash at the local amber liquids at the Kentish Rifleman. It's possible the third pub en route attracted customers. All I know is that I parted company with my by then 6 companions at Ightam Mote. I'm sure they and some others enjoyed tea and tiffin in the sun around 4pm ish. Pressing on to Knole Park where I arrived too late for the (temporary) refreshments kiosk, I settled for tea at the station and the 6.30 slow train home not too tired but asleep before yet another Danish tv drama series wound up a lovely day zzzzzzzzz
Wed, 23-Jul-14 Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sat, 26-Apr-14 25 Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sun, 28-Apr-13 7 Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sun, 17-Jun-12 Yalding to Sevenoaks
Wed, 28-Sep-11 Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sat, 16-Apr-11 Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sat, 29-Aug-09 Greensand Way 7 : Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sat, 25-Apr-09 Greensand Way 7 : Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sun, 22-Jun-08 Greensand Way 7 : Yalding to Sevenoaks
Sat, 26-Apr-08 Greensand Way 7 : Yalding to Sevenoaks