Seasonal Saunter Around Shoreham, Kent (38671)
A 9.25 mile linear walk across rolling Kent countryside with fine views, and just a short hop from London.
With journey time of less than three-quarters of an hour from Central London, some of you may still get to have a lie-in and have a walk in the country.
Our starting point at Knockholt is within the M25, which we will pass around and under before making our way through coppiced woodland and along sunken lanes into open countryside, and our first steep ascent to Meenfield Wood.
Emerging from the wood we will pause for a moment at Shoreham Cross to enjoy the superb views of the Darent Valley below, the pretty village of Shoreham, and on a clear day, the Low Weald beyond.
We will stop for a short break in Shoreham where there will be a choice between a drink in the pub, or a mug of tea from the diminutive Old Bakery Tearoom. The village was once home to the artist Samuel Palmer, whose house we will pass as we wend our way through.
Our route out of the village is all uphill, with another very steep, stepped climb up and out of the Darent Valley. Shortly after this we will stop for lunch at Eastdown, another picturesque valley.
The afternoon will be characterised by dense woodland, punctuated briefly with far reaching views over Kemsing Down, before joining the North Downs Way and our descent into Otford, where we should arrive just before sunset.
Those that wish to catch the train back to London can do so as we pass the station, otherwise we will walk into village for a drink at the pub.
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots that are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking Trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet. From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.
Waterproof Over-Trousers: essential in any significant rainfall. Breathable ones are best.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather. You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.
Hat: essential both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Gloves: essential in frosty weather.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.
Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.
Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!
Food & Drink
You will need a packed lunch, and plenty of water and snacks to see you through the day. We will stop for a picnic lunch at a suitably scenic spot; for your own comfort you may wish to bring something to sit on.
Meeting & Times
All photos taken by event leader
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