Sunday 20 June 2021

Words of Wisdom?

The future ain’t what it used to be.
Yogi Berra (American baseball coach)

Visit Westerham

Click to visit www.visitwesterham.org.uk

This walk starts from outside the Castle Inn, Chiddingstone (click here for directions) and goes to Penshurst and back.  A significant part of it is on tarmac roads, although these are not busy with traffic.  There is one part of the return journey which is on a fairly busy public road with no footway (B2176).  There is a gentle hill down on the way to Penshurst and another up on the way back.

  •  Start by walking away from the Castle Inn in an easterly direction (with the Church behind you and to your left).  Pass the small green on the right with a seat on it and enter the gravel path to the right just beyond.  Continue until this path emerges into a field.  Follow the path generally downhill and to the right until you reach a stile in the right hand hedge.
  • Cross this stile and take the path to the left.  The path meanders gently through the woods, passing through a kissing gate and continuing until it reaches a road.  Warning for dog owners.  Just before the road there is what looks like a green lawn off to the right.  It isn't!  Actually, it's a pond covered with green algae.
  • Exit onto the road, turn right and, after about thirty yards, enter a field on your left.  On the far side of the field you will see two gates.  The path leads to the left hand of the two.  Once through the gate you will find yourself on a tarmac road.  Turn left and follow it to some farm buildings.  There is a sign on a tree to the right asking dog-owners to keep their dogs on the lead here.  Once past the farm, continue straight ahead along a rough track which runs level and then starts to go gently downhill.  On the way down the hill you will see some poly-tunnels to your right.
  • At the bottom of the hill the track emerges onto another tarmac road.  Turn left and follow it until it reaches a main road.  This is the B2176, which runs north out of Penshurst.  Turn right onto it and walk the two hundred yards or so into Penshurst.  The Leicester Arms and the Quaintways tearooms are opposite the junction.
  • For the return journey, turn right out of the pub or tearoom and walk towards the entrance to Penshurst Place.  Turn left up the steps which lead through an arch and into the churchyard.  Walk round to the left of the church and leave the churchyard via a squeeze stile.  Then walk ahead and bear gently to your right to a metal kissing gate leading onto an estate road.  Turn left onto the estate road and walk ahead until you reach the B2176 along which you entered Penshurst.
  • Turn right and follow the road out of Penshurst (be careful, it is a busy road).  Continue up the hill for about four hundred yards then turn left up a flight of steps just after a house on the left.  At the top of the steps enter a field, turn left and follow the left hand field boundary past a dutch barn.  Continue ahead downhill, this time on the right hand field boundary, until you come to a path to your right.  Follow this to the bottom and you will come to a river and a footbridge.  Cross the bridge.
  • Once across the bridge, look to your right and you will see a gate in the left hand side of the field a few hundred yards away.  You cannot walk directly to the gate as there is a ditch running across the field.  Instead, walk towards three trees you will see in the middle of the field to your right some distance away (There is a waymark post directly in line with them).  When you reach the ditch, cross it and walk directly to the gate in the left hand boundary of the field.
  • Pass through the gate (being careful to close it behind you) or climb the stile.  Turn right and follow the right hand field boundary through several fields until the boundary curves left in front of you.  At this point you will see some houses at the top of the hill ahead and to your left.  Pass through a gate in the right hand field boundary and continue ahead for a couple of hundred yards with the woods on your right until the path drops to a road.
  • Exit onto the road, turn right, walk ahead for about twenty yards and enter a field on the other side of the road.  Once in the field, look ahead and you will see a belt of trees extending out into the field from the left hand side of the field about three hundred yards away.  The path goes just to the right of these trees and continues to the far side of the field.  Cross a stile at this point and walk through a narrow strip of trees to enter another field.
  • Walk straight ahead across the field to a stile.  This is the stile you crossed near the beginning of the walk.  Do not cross the stile (unless you want to go back to Penshurst) but turn right and follow the path uphill across the field to the top of the hill where you will enter the enclosed path that leads you back to Chiddingstone.