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West Kent Walking Group

We are the West Kent Walking Group. We open the way for everyone in our local community to enjoy the pleasures of walking.

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking
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Overview

Join us for a linear walk of 12.5 miles from Tonbridge to Sevenoaks via the  perfectly preserved medieval moated manor house, Ightham Mote.

We start the walk at 9.30am outside Tonbdrige railway station (B2260 side) and end at Sevenoaks railway station where you can get the train back to Tonbridge (c. 10 minutes journey) or pick up your car if you catch the train to Tonbridge at the start of the walk.  (Parking at Sevenoaks: £3.50 all day, info here: https://www.apcoa.co.uk/parking-in/sevenoaks/sevenoaks-station-car-park-b/)

From Tonbridge station we head up towards the castle and then hit the paths behind the back of Tonbridge School playing fields (prone to flooding! Be warned...!)

From there we bunny hop from farm to farm until we reach the village of Shipbourne which lies at the foot of the wooded Sevenoaks Greensand Ridge. Shipbourne comes from the Anglian word 'scēp' meaning a 'sheep' with the Old English 'burna' for a 'stream'; therefore, a 'sheep stream'.  In more recent years Shipbourne has been associated with horses more than sheep as the home of horse trainer Peter Cazalet (1907 – 1973), trainer for  Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother. And another horsey link - we'll be walking through the Fairlawne Estate, a 1,000 acre landed-estate which stretches from Shipbourne into neighbouring Plaxtol -  which was formerly owned by the Saudi Arabian horse-breeder, Prince Khalid Abdullah. (who knew!)

From Shipbourne we gradually ascend to Ightham Mote where we'll stop for a short lunch break (National Trust cafe at the house or bring your own) and loos! What hasn't already been said about Ightham Mote? It never fails to impress...Plenty of history here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/kent/ightham-mote/the-history-and-owners-of-ightham-mote

After lunch we walk along the North Downs escarpment with great views down over the Weald. The last part of our walk takes us through another National Trust property - Knole Park. Deer, deer and more deer. If you catch Nigel in the right mood he will give you chapter and verse about rutting and dominant males... A highlight not to be missed!

Finally through Sevenoaks town with plenty of shops, cafes etc, if you want to finish there and enjoy a well deserved cuppa. Or join us to continue for another half mile or so to Sevenoaks station where you can get a train back to Tonbridge or onward to London or collect your car. We look forward to seeing you!

Dogs welcome but must be on a lead in Knole Park.

Sunday, 10 December 2023
Start time:
9:30 am
Estimated finish time:
4:00 pm
Difficulty:
Moderate
Distance:
20.1km / 12.5mi
Ascent:
N/A
Type:
linear

Some steep ascents.

If there has been alot of rain, expect mud and potentially flooded areas, particularly at the start of the walk. Alternative routes have been checked!

Features

  • Refreshments available (Pub/cafe)
  • Toilets available
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Car parking available
  • Dog friendly

Starting point

Grid reference:
TQ 58792 45981
Nearest postcode:
TN9 2BB
what3words:
payer.star.slowly
Start time:
9:30 am

Meet outside the front of Tonbridge station.

Finishing point

Grid reference:
TQ 52272 55328
Nearest postcode:
TN13 1DP
what3words:
blast.dash.swim
Estimated finish time:
4:00 pm

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking