Winter walks and cosy pubs, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Downe

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I’m updating this post (6.1.16) rather than write a new one, hence the discrepancy between the date and what I’m writing. Christmas has gone, sadly, and the temperature has plunged to normal January levels. There’s been plenty of rain (though nothing to moan about considering the horrendous situation in Cumbria, Yorkshire and parts of Lancashire) and some of the routes on this site are now a bit quagmirish – nothing to daunt those who are used to Glastonbury down the years though! The arrival of fresher conditions will add a bit of winter ambience to the walks and improve the light – it’s been so heavy and grey this past month – and make that open fire in the pub at the end even more welcome. So, get those boots on and start living up to your new year’s resolutions and walking off all that cheese, roast potatoes and booze-induced torpor…

Most of these walks are accessible from Peckham, Dulwich, Lewisham, Brockley within 45 minutes by train or car. The train from Blackfriars to Sevenoaks is very useful for several (click for Peckham Rye live departuresNunhead, Beckenham Hill, Beckenham Junction (change at Swanley or Bromley South if leaving from Beckenham Junction). The Downe walk involves a bus from Bromley (146) or, from Orpington stationthe R8 bus or 10-minute cab ride).

Of the routes on this site, the least affected by mud are usually the Shoreham circular, Shoreham/Otford circular, Shoreham to Eynsford and Downe Circular. You’ll still need boots, but the woodland walks at One Tree Hill and Ide Hill are true squelchathons come December, although they remain great to do if you have the right footwear (and attitude!). Also excellent are Knole Park (Sevenoaks station nearest rail) and Lullingstone Country park (where you can do a variety of walks arriving at and leaving from Eynsford station, but can also explore on the Shoreham to Eynsford walk). The latter two are great for huge skies and spectacular late afternoon sunlight. Just take a look at winter sun shining on Knole House (pictured). Shoreham is lucky to have four excellent pubs, each of which is welcoming and serves decent food. None are snooty and formal. They are Ye Olde George and The Crown, the King’s Arms and the Two Brewers. I usually stop by the George (by the church), mainly because it’s closest to the station. For the Ide Hill walk on this site, the Cock Inn is splendidly positioned right at the end of the walk and is a really nice little pub. The best pubs for the One Tree Hill walks are the White Rock Inn (Underriver) and the  Chasers Inn (Shipbourne). In Downe there are two pubs: the Queen’s Head and the George and Dragon; they are close to each other so poke your head in and see which one you like best.
• Pubs in Shoreham – West Kent Camra crawl
Rainfall radar live

Download Walk 1: Downe circular (near Bromley, 2.6 miles) View on your phone/PC
Download Walk 2: Shoreham circular (3.5 miles) View
Download Walk 3: Shoreham to Eynsford (4.2 miles) View
Download Walk 4: Ide Hill circular (3 miles) View
Download Walk 5: Otford circular via Romney St (5.5 miles) View
Download Walk 6: One Tree Hill circular (near Sevenoaks, 5.5 miles) View
Download Walk 7: One Tree Hill figure of eight (near Sevenoaks, 5 miles) View
Download Walk 8: Shoreham/Otford circular (5 miles) View 

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