Greensand Way

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Date of travel

April, 2021

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Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

Not being able to continue our walking on the South West Coast Path at the moment and with restrictions being lifted slightly, we decided an Easter walk in Kent would be a good day out. I went with my son and my grandson, Andre, aged 15. (My son and I were excited about a nice 10 mile walk, my grandson rather less so! In fact I have to say he would have happily stayed at home but he has spent so much time inside lately that he was pressganged into it!)

We caught a train from Victoria to Borough Green station. On arrival we turned right out of the station and headed down Borough Green’s main road. After 250m we came to a busy intersection where we crossed over and headed up Quarry Hill Road. We then headed down Thong Lane towards the village of Basted, we were walking alongside a stream which was very pleasant. The stream became a small weir at the village of Basted. Although the houses here were very opulent and impressive, they were mainly composed of large fake olde-worlde dwellings that reminded me of something from the Stepfords Wives! We passed right through the village and climbed Plough Hill. We then left the road and followed a public footpath behind the pub. We crossed a large field and then turned right onto a lane that lead us through apple orchards (no fruit visible at this time of year). At the next junction we turned left onto Bewley Lane. We then turned right onto the busy A227 (watch out for cars here) and then almost immediately onto Back Lane which leads to Igtham Common. There are a couple of pubs along this route, The Harrow Inn being one of them and this is recommended in the guide book for “hearty, well presented food”. Unfortunately this wasn’t open due to the lockdown but we had come prepared with a picnic lunch. We then came to the pretty picturesque village of Ivy Hatch. This lane leads down between high banks and there were lots of lovely daffodils as well as the last few bluebells that had flowered a few weeks previously. We then passed Igtham Mote. This is an English Manor House with a bluff stone tower and half timbered Tudor walls set prettily in a square moat. The inside of the house is supposed to be quite a warren of small scale and intimate rooms. (Somewhere to visit once lockdown is over?)

When we reached a high ridge with fantastic views south to the High Weald, we stopped for a picnic lunch and to admire the view. We were very lucky in that the weather was perfect for walking. Not too hot but pleasant.

The path then led us through some beech woods and I have to admit we got a little lost here as the signs for the Greensand Way seemed to disappear, we did however finally come out on the right road, we were just a little further down it than we had planned! We found the path again opposite Rooks Hill Cottage. We then passed through a field which is used for horse trials (no horses today but lots of jumps were evident). As we left the field we crossed over the road and entered through the metal gates into Knole Park.

Knole Park is a hundred acre park created for the archbishops of Canterbury to hunt in. The house was built as an archbishops palace in 1456-80 but was taken over by Henry VIII! We followed along the wall of the house right through the park and saw the house briefly (which will go on our list of places to visit once lockdown is over). The park supposedly has a herd of fallow and sika deer but we only saw one! We passed the bricked ice house and followed the path to the twin gatehouses, turned right and we were in Sevenoaks. A rather long walk through the town led us to the station and we headed back to London.

This was a 15.5 km walk and we had passed through narrow country lanes, through orchards and across fields. The highlight was the view from the ridge but the whole walk was a pleasant day out. Well worth a recommendation (and even the grandson did not complain too much!)


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