As restrictions ease, we are now running walks with a strict limit of 6 people. Check the walk details for how to book.

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Words of Wisdom?

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
Thomas Jefferson

Visit Westerham

Click to visit www.visitwesterham.org.uk

This walk starts on The Green, at Westerham (click here for directions) and goes to Chartwell via The Coach Road, Roman Camp and Windmill Bank, returning via Hosey Common.  Some of the walk is on designated Public Rights of Way, some is on Registered Common Land and some is on permissive paths on the Squerryes Estate.  The permissive paths cannot be guaranteed to be open, although they usually are.  The walk has one steep hill up and one down on the way to Chartwell.  The return route has a steep hill up near the start but is then generally downhill.  Before doing this walk, remember to check the Chartwell website for opening times (see Related Items)From 10 March 2012, the restaurant and shop at Chartwell are open seven days a week for most of the year even when the house is closed.

  • Cross the A25 to the south side, turn right and walk through to the Market Square.  Go through the arch of the Kings Arms hotel and walk down into the car park.  Turn right into the enclosed footpath (SR348).  When you reach the road at the end (Lodge Lane) turn right, then left, across it and up the steps continuing between the houses.  Pass Rose Cottage on your right and walk through Back Meadow, down the hill past the entrance to Redwoods until you reach another road (Mill Lane).
  • Turn left and walk to the end, bearing right then left past Park Cottage.  Ignore the path to your right which goes uphill.  Cross the stile in front of you and continue straight ahead with the lakes on your left.  Cross the first stile (this is where the other, shorter, walk to Chartwell turns left) and continue ahead along a stony track in a winding valley with woods and a stream (the infant River Darent) to your left and a grassy hill to your right.
  • Eventually the track runs to a gate in the fence to your left.  Cross a stile in the left hand fence just before the gate, turn right and pick up the track again beyond the gate.  Follow it for about 150 yards to a T-junction.  Turn left onto a footpath (SR356), cross the stile just ahead of you and continue ahead with woods on your right and a field to the left sloping down to a stream.  After two or three hundred yards the path goes under some low hanging branches forming a canopy and then bears away from the trees, running to a stile in the fence ahead of you.
  • Cross the stile and turn left.  Follow the track (bridleway SR358) with a fence on your left and a hillside (Crockham Hill Common) on your right.  This path can be very muddy in wet weather.  Shortly after you pass a disused tennis court in the property to your left, there will be two short sections of wooden handrail to the left of the path followed shortly after by a tree growing in the centre of the path.  Level with this tree a path leads off diagonally up the bank to your right and then runs parallel with the path you are on before dropping down to rejoin it farther on.  This path is a lot less muddy than the main track.
  • Continue past a footpath leading off to the left (SR364) then one leading off to the right (SR359), pass April Cottage on your right and walk up the drive of April Cottage to the road (B2026).  Directly across the road is a driveway leading to Windmill Bank Cottage.  Enter a bridle path (SR367) just to the right of the driveway and follow it steeply uphill.  At the top of the hill you will find the fence of Windmill Bank Cottage on your right.  Follow it for a few yards and then enter the footpath (SR365) on your left.
  • Follow this as it crosses the driveway to the house and continues ahead.  Ignore the footpath (SR368) to your right and then another (SR399) to your left.  Walk past the next path off to the right (not a Right of Way) and follow the path steeply downhill till you reach some rustic steps leading down to a road (Mapleton Road).  The entrance to Chartwell is just across the road.  Enter the gate, turn right and walk downhill through the car park to the restaurant.
  • To return to the town (starting from the terrace in front of the shop) go down the steps towards the house entrance.  Turn left and then immediately right, to follow the lower of the three car park lanes.  When the road bears uphill to the left go through the gate straight ahead into the overflow car park.  Walk diagonally across it to a gate in the far fence.  Once through this gate you are in the picnic field.  Bear left uphill to a gate in the left hand side of the field with a seat to the right of it.
  • Go through the gate and turn right.  Where the path divides, take the left hand fork.  Climb steeply uphill for about one hundred yards, after which the path bears right and levels out.  Continue for about 150 yards to a gate and stile to your left.  Cross this onto the road (Hosey Common Lane).  Turn left and follow the road to a bridleway (SR375) leading off to the right.
  • Enter this path a walk ahead for about 100 yards to a path leading off to the left.  This is not a Public Right of Way but don't worry; this woodland has all been "right to roam" for nearly 80 years.  Turn left into this path and follow it (it is a bit muddy in places).  When you come to a path (SR382) crossing from left to right continue straight ahead and gently downhill.  When you enter a more open area follow the path as it bears gently to the left until you reach a path (SR381) which comes from the right and then bears away ahead of you past a waymark post.  Follow SR381 until you emerge into a parking area in front of some school buildings which have been converted into houses.
  • Walk straight ahead across the parking area to the road (B2026, Hosey Hill) and walk downhill towards the town centre.  About 200 yards down the hill, cross the road and enter a footpath (SR349) running off to the left.  Continue along this path until it emerges through a squeeze stile into a field.  From this point three paths radiate.  One runs across the field towards three oak trees (SR349), one runs off to the right along the fence (SR352) and a third runs out at an angle between the other two (SR351).  Follow this path to a stile in a fence at the top of a slope.

  • Cross the stile and follow the path downhill until it reaches a kissing gate in the fence at the bottom (the kissing gate will not be visible until you are fairly close to it).  Go through the kissing gate into the enclosed path and follow it back to Westerham Green.