Darent Days 1 – Summary
Saturday 7th May 10:45am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at the 246 bus stop, The Green, Westerham (GR TQ447540). 8.0 miles continuously undulating circular walk visiting the Crockham House, Limpsﬁeld and Squerryes Court sources (205m ascents). Moderate slopes, some deep mud and stiles. Picnic lunch stop at Cronklands (NT). Early finish options: return by road from Cronklands (5.1 miles) or from the Limpsfield source (7.1 miles).
Saturday 14th May 10:45am EnBro Public Walk
Repeat of walk on 7th May.
If you prefer a paper copy of the walk as included in the information pack then download and print the pdf and map images below.
Meet: 10.45am at The Green, Westerham (Ordnance Survey map reference TQ447540)
Access: 246 bus Saturday service Bromley North station 09.28 09.56 Bromley South station 09.33 10.01 Hayes (Kent) station 09.42 10.12 Westerham, The Green 10.10 10.40
London Travelcards and Freedom Passes valid for whole of 246 route.
Note: No rail station at Westerham. Nearest: Oxted (thence 594 or 595 bus), Sevenoaks (thence 401 bus).
Maps: Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 scale Explorer Sheet 147; 1:50 000 scale Landranger Sheets 187 and 188.
Outline route: River Darent – Crockham House (principal source) – Crockhamhill Common – High Chart – Cronklands (NT) – Limpsfield source – Clacket Lane stream – Moorhouse Bank (NT) – Squerryes Court (source) – Westerham (8.0 miles).
Early finish options: Return by road from Cronklands (5.1 miles) or from the Limpsfield source (7.1 miles).
Late start option: By road to Cronklands, then via Limpsfield source, etc. to finish (5.7 miles).
Ascents: 205m Descents: 205m.
Terrain: Mainly woodland, with moderate slopes, 6 stiles, some deep mud, some short sections of busy road. Water resistant footwear and walking pole recommended.
Detailed route description: From the bus stop head west for 100m, passing the Wolfe statue, to the ‘King’s Arms’. (For toilets, go right down Fuller Hill at the junction ahead. Also Domesday mural along lane to left.) Turn S down the driveway to the pub car park, where turn right along a footpath, which crosses a lane. After 400m you reach the former mill pond at TQ444536, where the main and western headwaters meet.
Turn left to cross the outlet stream and follow the main inlet stream southward, passing ‘Park Lodge’ on the right. At the Greensand Way (GSW) marker post, fork left to enter a permissive footpath which follows the main headwater gently uphill, keeping the river on your left. (This path may be closed for clay pigeon shooting – use the GSW, turning left after 800m onto the public footpath below.)
After 1km, at the end of two ponds, cross a stile on the left and continue SW along the track for a further 50m. Turn left on a public footpath which crosses another stile and continues southward uphill with the river below and to the left and woodland with an ancient hill fort alongside right.
After 500m, at the corner of the grounds of Crockham House, cross a stile and continue ahead with the boundary fence on the left. The path becomes very boggy near the springs which are the main source of the Darent, at TQ448519, 190m/525ft above sea level.
Continue SE then S along the edge of Crockhamhill Common until you meet the Greensand Way just before Hosey Common Road. Turn sharp right to follow the GSW which goes steeply uphill to ‘The Warren’. Past the front of the house, the GSW is the left-most path. This goes downhill for 600m to a major signpost, where you bear right, slightly west of north. After a further 250m, avoid the Westerham branch of the GSW which turns off to the right, but go ahead on a small path which emerges on Goodley Stock Road.
Turn right along the road for 250m, then fork left onto a bridleway between houses with extensive gardens. At the end, you cross the border from Kent into Surrey. Where the GSW goes left, fork right (NW) downhill along the Tandridge Border Path (the waymarker is fallen) for 400m to a path junction at TQ433524, where there is a logged area being replanted. Fork right between some young birch trees onto an indistict footpath bearing 340°. After 100m, at a junction of forestry tracks, take the downhill track ahead for 10m, where it bends left, with another track turning right. Take a small path ahead between trees, which descends for 100m to a sunken crossing track. Waymarkers here indicate a 10m jog to the left and a path uphill between trees. This continues for 250m, indistinct in places, to reach Moorhouse Road at TQ432529.
(For an early finish, turn right along the road, and right again on reaching the A25 to Westerham, 5.1 miles.)
Cross the road into the car park at Cronklands, with Moorhouse Bank (NT) on the right (picnic lunch stop, 3.5 miles). Follow the boundary going WSW for 100m and then WNW for 50m downhill to a bridle path. Turn left and go through a small wood. You emerge into a meadow (where the course of a Roman road crosses), with a stream on the right. This is the westernmost headwater, which runs down to the mill pond seen earlier.
Continue upstream, following the right edge of another wood, and crossing the Vanguard Way. At a 5-way junction of paths, TQ421528, take the left fork SW through another small wood. Exit the wood through a gate on the right and take the footpath NW with a hedgerow alongside on the right.
At a gap in the hedgerow, wheel right across the shallow valley. The Limpsfield source of the Darent surfaces beside a field maple in the hedgerow opposite at TQ416529, over 140m/470ft above sea level. Follow the bridleway 600m downstream, returning to the 5-way junction, and re-enter the wood, bearing right to follow its left margin.
(To omit the Clacket Lane stream and Sqerryes Court, continue along the bridleway 1200m to Moorhouse Lane and turn left to reach the A25 to Westerham, 7.1 miles.)
After 300m, turn left onto the Vanguard Way, cross the stream and head uphill for 500m to reach Westerham Road (A25). Cross the main road with care and continue uphill along a minor road for 200m. Pass the drive to ‘Thriftwood’ and turn right 60m beyond onto a footpath which follows the left-hand edge of a wood.
Waymarkers are missing from this area. On emerging into a field, the right of way goes diagonally SE across the field, but because it is cropped over, it is better to follow round the left-hand edge of the field to its far side, where a stream (descending from Clackets Lane M25 services) runs alongside, audible but not visible under a hedgerow. Exit at the SE corner of the field on a small path which crosses the stream and emerges into a layby (the former A25).
Turn left along the A25 past ‘the Grasshopper Inn’, then cross the road and go S into Moorhouse Road. Here you cross the confluence of the Limpsfield and Clackets Lane streams. Where the road bears right, keep straight ahead up a track to regain the road. Continue S along the road for 200m, then turn left opposite the car park onto a pebble surfaced track. After 300m, turn right over a stile and walk parallel to the left hand edge of the wood for 100m to meet a crossing path near the bottom of the slope. Here a waymarker points sharply back left to a stile hidden among the trees. Cross this into a green field.
Follow the FP downhill along the left side of the field, crossing another stile, to come to ‘Lodges Wood Oast’ on the far side of a ditch on the left. (Note the inscription on the end wall.) 20m further on a footbridge hidden in the hedge gives access to an estate road. Turn right to meet Goodley Stock Road after 120m.
Turn left. The lake in the grounds is just visible over the hedge on the right as you walk downhill. Continue alongside a stream fed by the lake to Westerham Road. Cross to the footway and turn right for 350m. Where the road turns left, cross it again and turn right to reach the mill pond again. Follow its exit stream over a footbridge and NE for 330m, then turn left (N) through a kissing gate into Water Lane. Cross the river again by the remains of a mill to reach the start point after 150m.
Return: 246 bus Saturday service Westerham, The Green 15.52 16.22 16.52 17.22 Hayes (Kent) station 16.21 16.51 17.21 17.51 Bromley South station 16.33 17.03 17.32 18.03