Sunday 20 June 2021

Words of Wisdom?

Black Beauty - he's a dark horse.
Tim Vine

Visit Westerham

Click to visit www.visitwesterham.org.uk

This walk is from The Green at Leigh, at its junction with Green View Avenue (click here for directions), to Penshurst via Ensfield Bridge and returning via Penshurst Park.  We usually stop for refreshment in Penshurst at either The Leicester Arms or the Quaintways tearooms.  There is one gentle hill up and one down, in each direction.  A small part of the walk is on roads.  If the cricket season is in progress, it is advisable to park in Green View Avenue, to avoid damage to your car from cricket balls.  Park so as not to inconvenience the residents.

  • Walk up Green View Avenue away from the Green and, at the end, continue ahead along the track which leads under the railway bridge and enters the field beyond by a metal kissing gate.  Once through the gate, walk ahead straight across the large field beyond.  There is sometimes livestock in this field.
  • Once across the field, cross the bridge over the River Medway.  Follow the path round to the left and then immediately right, to cross a broad ditch on a wide plank bridge without railings.  Turn right and follow this track until you reach a road.  This part of the walk is also part of the Tonbridge-Penshurst cycleway, so watch out for cyclists.  Turn right onto the road, cross the road bridge (this is Ensfield Bridge) back over the river and immediately go through the squeeze stile to your left.  Walk along the river bank (there will be no cyclists here).

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  • When you reach a large tree on your left with a waymark arrow on a board, pointing over to the right, turn right and walk across the field to a wood and metal bridge, with a squeeze stile at each end, across a marshy ditch.  Once across the bridge, walk straight ahead up the hill past a post set in the ground to mark the route.  At the top of the hill there is a house to your left.  Cross the squeeze stile (there is a dog door next to it) onto the concrete road beyond and turn left (you are now back on the cycleway).  Follow the concrete road gently uphill to its end and pass through a squeeze stile.  From the top of the hill here you will have a very good view of Penshurst Place, below and to your right.

  • Bear gently to your left and downhill into the corner of the field.  Pass through another squeeze stile and walk ahead until you come to yet another squeeze stile on your left.  Once through this, turn right onto a private road and follow it past Penshurst Place and through an arched gatehouse onto a public road (B2176).  Turn right and walk about 150 yards into the centre of Penshurst.  The Leicester Arms and the Quaintways tearooms are on the left.
  • For the return journey, walk back towards the arched gatehouse you passed through earlier but turn left up the steps before it which lead through an arch and into the churchyard.  Walk round to the left of the church and leave the churchyard via a kissing gate.  Then walk ahead and bear gently to your right to a metal kissing gate leading onto an estate road.  Cross the road and go through another kissing gate beyond.  Walk ahead along an avenue of saplings but then follow the beaten track as it bears right between two of them and across a field.  Follow the track across the field, to the left of some oak trees and to another kissing gate.
  • Go through this gate and turn right to follow the path which roughly keeps to the line of the fence.  Pass through a stile or gate into another field and continue ahead.  Carry on in the same direction and then, just before you reach the end, bear left at a finger post uphill along another avenue of trees.  Pass through another squeeze stile on the way up the hill and, at the top of the hill (by a fingerpost) turn right.  Walk ahead along a broad avenue between the trees until you reach a gate and a stile leading out into another field.
  • This field has woods on the right and a wire fence over to the left.  Head leftward across the field and, when you reach the wire fence, bear right and follow it.  The path eventually becomes a wide enclosed path, with the wire fence on your left and a wooden fence on your right.  Follow this, crossing a stile on the way, and continue downhill until it reaches a road.
  • Turn left and follow the road downhill, back into Leigh.  Take care; there is no footway.  Once in Leigh, you will reach a T-junction with the B2027.  Turn right and follow this road back to the Green.