Yalding Town sign

Yalding Town sign

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

book3 yalding swcwalks walk150

Boughton Monchelsea church

Boughton Monchelsea church

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

church boughton book3 monchelsea swcwalks walk150

Buttercup Goat Sanctuary

Buttercup Goat Sanctuary

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

buttercup goat sanctuary book3 swcwalks walk150

Canola

Canola

Yalding to Sutton Valence

25-Apr-15 • quitenearmike on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk150

Stone bridge Yalding

Stone bridge Yalding

14-May-16 • lindsay_randle on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk150

Woodpile and old oast house

Woodpile and old oast house

14-May-16 • lindsay_randle on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk150

Old oast houses

Old oast houses

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

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.

Date # Post
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

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

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

Return

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

OR
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
T=swc.150

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.
jfk
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]