Yalding Town sign

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

book3 yalding swcwalks walk150

Boughton Monchelsea church

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

church boughton book3 monchelsea swcwalks walk150

Buttercup Goat Sanctuary

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

buttercup goat sanctuary book3 swcwalks walk150


Yalding to Sutton Valence

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk150

Old oast houses

14-May-16 • lindsay_randle on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk150

Blossom on fruit tree

14-May-16 • lindsay_randle on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk150

Fruit trees in blossom Kent


14-May-16 • lindsay_randle on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk150

Greensand Way 8 : Yalding to Sutton Valence walk

Greensand Way Stage 8 - fine views from a gentle ridge and excellent pubs en-route


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: Thu, 17-Jan-19

Date # Post
Sun, 22-Apr-18 26

Sunday Walk: Sunday Spring Saunter through Orchards from Yalding to Harrietsham

SWC Walk 150: Greensand Way – Yalding to Harrietsham along the Greensand Way T=SWC.150

Distance: 15.1 miles or 24.3 km for those more metrically minded (with option to shorten to 9.5 miles/15.3 km by ending in Sutton Valence and catching a bus to Headcorn)

Difficulty: 3 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:40 AM Paddock Wood train from London Charing Cross (stopping at Waterloo East at 9:43 and London Bridge at 9:50), arriving at Yalding at 10:49 (with a change at Paddock Wood – arriving 10:33 and departing 10:41). Return trains from Harrietsham are at 03 (direct to Victoria) and 52 (via Ashford to St. P) past the hour until 22:03 and 21:52 (respectively). If planning on the shorter version to Sutton Valence, you will need to take an Arriva bus 12 towards Tenterden (9 minutes) from Sutton Valence to Headcorn (buses at 31 past the hour until 17:31). Trains depart Headcorn at 35 and 55 past the hour until 21:35. Please note that there is a bus replacement service for the first part of the journey with a change onto a train either at Paddock Wood or Ashford. Buy a day return to Yalding if walking to Harrietsham (you should then buy a single from Harrietsham to Maidstone) or a day return to Headcorn if walking to Sutton Valence.

This walk largely follows the Greensand Ridge with fine views to the south and has recently been extended to offer an ending in Harrietsham. I recall doing the original version once in February and it did not involve significant mud at that time – so, hopefully, notwithstanding the dire conditions this spring, footing should be pretty firm…. Additionally, the route passes through many orchards, so, with any luck, given the warmer temperatures this week, perhaps there may be some blossom on display……You can find more information about the walk and the instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is The Bull in Linton (01622 743 612) about 5.5 miles into the walk. They serve food all afternoon and have great views from the terrace (weather permitting).

Sutton Valence has several pubs from which to choose for afternoon or post walk refreshies (depending on your choice of walk length). In Harrietsham, the Roebuck Inn is apparently 4 minutes from the train station. In Headcorn, the George and Dragon is always a pleasant place for a drink and/or a bite to eat before the train (or bus in this case).

Enjoy the walk!
Hi. Could you clarify, please, if there is a rail replacement bus on the way to Yalding? Thanks for scheduling this walk.
No. The bus replacement is only for the return from Headcorn, if you should chose not to walk to Harrietsham. There is no bus replacement on the way to Yalding
Thank you very much, Walker.

On another gloriously sunny day, a glorious turnout of at least 26 on this walk (“at least” because we had some “pop ups” joining us after we left the station: I have only counted those I definitely know about). To put this tally in context, this has only twice been exceeded on a Sunday walk since I started keeping records in September 2011. So well done to Stargazer for a stellar performance.

Well done too to Mr Greensand for giving us a wonderful walk along his Way. This is a beautiful slice of Kent at any time with its regular “villages perchés” and ancient churches, with its fine escarpment views and apple orchards, but add in a whole treescape of fresh green leaves, lots of verge flowers and butterflies, fields of yellow oilseed and shy patches of bluebells, plus, yes, quite a bit of apple blossom even if it was not yet full out, and this was a constant delight for the senses.

The same might be said about lunch in the garden of the Bull pub, with its jaw dropping view of the plains below (the herds of wildebeest, the elegant giraffes...). Not being a Sunday regular, I was entranced by the carvery and the all you can load onto your plate veg. A man could get used to this.....

After a garden tea in the King’s Arms in Sutton Valence, a clear majority of the group, I think, went on to do the extension. Scenically more of the same, with more fine views and an encounter with a truly mountainous yew. Alas, the Pepper Box pub is closed on Sunday evenings but some of us sampled the Rutland in Harrietsham. A smart place with nice seating areas and efficient service, and if we were rather different from their usual clientele, they concealed their surprise at that very well.

One minor correction, it was the Roebuck Inn in Harrietsham...

How about some consistency? Last Thursday's walk report called it 5 walkers on that walk when in fact there were 7, but the reporter doesn't count the ones that only did small parts of the route. In total contrast, this walk report counts the 20 people on the platform (the number as told by several usually reliable people that were there), adds all of the 3 4 walkers that had driven to the lunch pub, some of whom are said to have then walked parts of the route near the lunch pub, and pumps it up to "at least 26"...
Scuse me, but I COUNTED the number of people on the platform at Yalding TWICE and WROTE THE NUMBER DOWN and there were 23. The "several usually reliable people" were chatting to their friends when I did this.

I can only speak for the walks I am on, but on those I am the only person who deliberately and specifically counts those present and as anyone who knows me can attest I usually repeat the count two or three times to be sure. Then I put pen to paper and record it.

I said "at least" 26 because I did NOT count those who drove to the lunch pub, only three people who joined us fairly early on during the walk and who I definitely knew went on to walk the rest of it, or at least a significant bit of it.

I take the latter part of the count quite seriously. Joining the walk party for lunch is not enough, but doing the morning walk and then taking a short cut or a bus back to London for an evening event or somesuch is. The question is, did the person turn up with the intention of doing a reasonable portion of the walk. Fyi, back in January we had a long discussion on the way back from the Portsmouth to Hayling Island walk about whether a walker who we recognised at the station but who walked off without joining the group was on the walk or had just happened to be at the station on the same day as us doing his own thing. I argued the latter case but was overruled by everyone else in the group and so added him, reluctantly, to the count.

Whoever you are, I look forward on some future walk to you joining me in the count at the start of the walk and discussing any additions with you. The more data the better. But on this walk there were "at least 26" and I would happily swear to the same in court (where, incidentally notes taken at the time have strong weight in evidence over hearsay).
Wed, 21-Sep-16 10

Wednesday Walk: SWC 150 - Yalding to Sutton Vallance

An easy ridge walk in the Kent apple orchards, with fine views throughout

SWC 150: Yalding to Sutton Vallance

Length: 15.1 km (9,4 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

London Charing Cross: 10-10 am (Ramsgate train). (Waterloo East 10-13; London Bridge 10-19)
Arrive Paddock Wood 11-00 am
Change to Strood train (same platform)
Leave Paddock Wood 11-11 am
Arrive Yalding: 11-19 am

Charing Cross: 10-00 am (Royal Tunbridge Wells service) Change at Tonbridge, over bridge and onto Strood train. Plenty of connection time.

Charing Cross: 10-15 am (Hastings service) as the connection at Tonbridge is only 5 minutes.


No 12 Bus from Sutton Vallance to Headcorn: 16-16; 16-39; 17-16; 18-16. Journey time 10 to 11. mins.

Club together for a taxi to Headcorn (see Directions for cab number)

Headcorn railway station; to Charing Cross: 16-45; 17-18; 17-45; 18-16

Railway ticket: buy a day return to Yalding, plus a single from Headcorn to Paddock Wood.

This is one of the few walks in the SWC repertoir that I haven't tried yet, so I will keep this next bit to a minimum - as you can do what I'm currently doing - reading the Directions.

The walk is entirely on the Greensand Way as you pass through a number of apple orchards and up onto the Greensand Ridge.

Lunch pub, the Bull Inn, some 5.5 miles into the walk, in the village of Linton, is sited on the edge of an escarpment and has a garden and terrace with fine views.

Tea can be taken at one of three pubs in Sutton Vallance, including the Clothworkers Arms, or at a pub in Headcorn - all detailed in the Directions.

There's a bit of faffing about with buses (or taxis) at walk end to get to the return journey railway station, but I am assured it is worth it for what should be an enjoyable walk which is not too demanding. Let's hope for nice weather.

Walk Directions here

Next Week: Wednesday 28 September: SWC 216: Kelvedon Circular. An adventure in Essex.

On the walk comments page there's mention of an alternative to finish at Maidstone. You'll need a map though.
Would anyone be interested in finishing at Maidstone?
10 on this classic Indian Summer day. The walk is primarily along the Greensand (glauconite) Way just to the south of it's big brother the North Downs Way. Walkers were treated to great views of the Weald/Medway Valley to the south and endless orchards of ripened apples nestling on the southern slopes. A huge field of pumpkins provided an interlude, ripened and ready for Halloween I guess. Lunch was at the Bull at Linton with more stunning views from the rear garden and (I think) very reasonable food. Onward to Boughton Monchelsea church and Buttercups Goat Sanctuary after lunch, passing workers picking apples in the later orchards. Some ventured on to do the Harrietsham extension whilst the less intrepid caught buses to Headcorn Station. A great pre equinox outing on a Golden (dare I say) Autumn day
Sat, 14-May-16 14

Saturday Second Walk - Apple blossom special

SWC Walk 150 - Yalding to Sutton Valence
Length: 15.1km (9.4 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

10.10 train from Charing Cross (10.13 Waterloo East) to Paddock Wood, arriving 10.58, changing there (same platform) for the 11.11 to Yalding, arriving 11.19.

If you just miss the above train you can catch the 10.10 from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East) to Tonbridge, arriving 10.57, crossing from platform 6 to platform 1 for the 11.04 train to Yalding, arriving 11.19 as above.

Buy a day return to Headcorn.

For walk directions click here.

This walk had an outing in early February in a howling gale, but it is at this time of year that it is at its best. In particular it passes through a whole series of commercial apple orchards, which should hopefully be in full blossom at present. (Last Sunday the ones near Borough Green were about two thirds out).

Otherwise you get a gentle ridge walk (a bit of climbing in the morning, but otherwise largely flat) with fine views throughout. There is one lunch pub, The Bull in Linton, but it has always accommodated us without trouble before. It serves food all afternoon and has a large outside terrace with a magnificent escarpment view. Whether it is a good idea to give them a courtesy call in advance I do not know: we did this in February and the result was that they put us alltogether and insisted on taking orders at the table, which slowed things down quite a bit. Arriving in dribs and drabs and ordering at the bar would probably be quicker.

In the afternoon you pass several ancient churches before ending in the pretty village of Sutton Valence, though its prettiest bit is not obvious from the main road (see walk directions). Of the three pubs here, we found the King's Arms the most amenable in February, while the Clothworkers' Arms was a 1970s timewarp (I am told it has a fine terrace view, however). The Queen's Arms has a well-hidden garden (ask the bar staff). If a bus is imminent (see next paragraph) another idea is to go to Headcorn, where the George & Dragon in the village centre is a wonderful pub, which sometimes does cakes. It is also a great place for dinner, if you can get a table.

To get home from Sutton Valence, catch the no 12 bus from outside the King's Arms at 15.41, 16.58, 18.05, 18.53, 20.16 or 21.46. This goes all the way to Headcorn station (the stop after the George and Dragon in the centre of Headcorn), taking 9-10 minutes.

Trains back from Headcorn are at 18 and 48 past till 22.48

Just to report back on the route from Sutton Valence into Maidstone, this was much nicer than I expected and mainly along footpaths and into Maidstone Park. The route took me past the impressive building of SV School, through bluebells and pine woods, orchards and strawberry feilds, through to Otham and past Stone Acre national trust then along a footpath to Mote Park in Maidstone. I think this leg would make a nice addition to this walk. I forgot to record the route on my GPS but I think it was about 7KM.
The long walkers must all have been in West Sussex as of the 14 starters only Daisy Roots was tempted to extend this walk (with what sounds like a nice route into Maidstone). The main walk is a scenic stretch of the Greensand Way with more variety than you might expect: not just apple, pear and plum orchards but wildflower meadows, a deer park, goat sanctuary and interesting churches. A cold and overcast morning had brightened up enough by 1.30pm for the pub lunchers to enjoy the views from the Bull Inn's terrace, with efficient bar service and good food. Some of the picnickers who carried on almost made the 3.40 bus and shared a taxi, but most caught the 5pm after refreshment in the King's Head: an unprepossessing exterior but another friendly welcome and tea served in pots.
I'll do a GPX/KML file of the route that I took and put it on the website.
I managed to make this walk an hour after everyone else.It is a lovely walk once you climb up beyond Yalding. However at the time I was passing the orchards the farmer was spraying insecticides. Something to bear in mind.
Sat, 06-Feb-16 19

Saturday Third Walk

SWC Walk 150: Greensand Way – Yalding to Sutton Valence along the Greensand Ridge

Distance: 9.4 miles (with option to extend by 5.2 miles by walking on to Harrietsham)
Difficulty: 3 out of 10
Train: Take the 10:15 AM Hastings train from London Charing Cross (stopping at Waterloo East at 10:18 and Orpington at 10:39), arriving at Yalding at 11:19 (with a change at Tonbridge – arriving 10:57 and departing 11:04). If not planning on doing the extension, you will need to take a bus (9 minutes) from Sutton Valence to Headcorn (buses at 16:58; 18:05; 18:53; 20:16; and 21:46). Trains depart Headcorn at 18 and 48 past the hour until 22:48. If carrying on to Harrietsham, the trains are at 55 past the hour until 20:55; then at 21:49. Buy a day return to Headcorn for the standard walk and to Yalding if walking to Harrietsham (you will then need to buy a single from Harrietsham to Maidstone).
This walk largely follows the Greensand Ridge with nice views to the south. Sadly, the weather forecast continues to be a bit suspect for a nice long outing along the South Downs – so, the thought was that this stretch of the Greensand Ridge may provide a pleasant alternative which is not too muddy once up on the ridge. In the afternoon, the route passes a number of pretty old churches – which may well have nice displays of Snowdrops at this time of year. Sutton Valence is a charming hilltop village which is well worth exploring. If you decide to carry on to Harrietsham, please bring a print out of the OS map, as it does not appear there are any written instructions – the route is drawn on the map and looks fairly straight forward. You can find more information about the walk and the instructions here.
The recommended lunch spot is The Bull in Linton (01622 743 612) about 5.5 miles into the walk. They serve food all afternoon. Sutton Valence has several pubs from which to choose for post walk refreshies and the George and Dragon in Headcorn is a pleasant place for a drink and/or a bite to eat before the train. Harrietsham also apparently has a pub near the train station.
Enjoy the walk!

With train arriving to Yalding at 11.19 am, do you think it is doable to walk the extended version, so circa 15 miles before the sunset? I would be interested in completing longer walk as long as I don’t have to use torches… Thanks, Bozena
Sunset is at 16:56 so you'd have about 6 hours of daylight before you'd need to use a torch. If you have a one hour lunch stop you'd need to keep up a fairly brisk pace of around 3mph for the whole walk, including hill climbs, stopping to work out the directions, etc. Not impossible, but too much for me!
As the walk instructions advise, I would strongly counsel getting the 10.10 train from Charing Cross, (10.13 Waterloo East) and changing at Paddock Wood (arrive 10.58, depart 11.11 both trains from the same platform). This saves you having to hare across the footbridge to make the connection at Tonbridge.

Only if you miss the 10.10 is it worth getting the 10.15.
Wonderful walk with almost no mud
Judas Slip
19 on this walk. I confess that I had wondered whether it was a good idea to do a walk along an escarpment on a day of strong wind but no rain but in fact the wind never proved particularly troubling, and for considerable sections there were lines of trees to give us shelter. Otherwise, lovely views to the south and dry paths underfoot a very pleasant winter walk. Several walkers suggested we do it again in autumn when we could scrump apples from the copious orchards (criminal activity that of course I could not possibly endorse).

Lunch was once again slow in coming. Having been warned of our coming, the Bull in Linton wrapped itself in knots, insisting on taking orders at the table not the bar which added about 20 minutes to the proceedings and then taking a long time to produce the food for some of the diners. On the plus side they were friendly and the food was worth waiting for, and we still finished the walk in daylight, so what the hey?

A comprehensive tour of the three pubs in Sutton Valence found that the Kings Arms was the best of the bunch. One senses that tea orders are not something they are used to, but they produced nice pots of the stuff. Some of us also tried the Clothworkers Arms and found possibly the last traditional boozer in the south east sport on the TV, a pool table and darts board occupying most of the floor space, and no hot drinks. The outside terrace looked like it would be nice in summer, though, with a magnificent view. The Queen's Arm was full of sports fans, though has done tea in the past.

Four of us eventually decamped to the much more congenial George and Dragon in Headcorn for a lovely dinner.
PS As far as I know, no one carried on to Harrietsham, but if anyone did, please post a report.
Sat, 25-Apr-15 17 Yalding to Sutton Valence [Headcorn]
Sun, 22-Sep-13 4 Yalding to Sutton Valence [Headcorn]
Sat, 25-May-13 18 Yalding to Sutton Valence [Headcorn]
Sat, 09-Jun-12 Yalding to Sutton Valence [Headcorn]