Farningham Flatland

Darent Days 7 – Summary

Farningham Flatland
Saturday 30th July 2016 10:40am EnBro Public Walk

Meet at Eynsford station (GR TQ536649). 7.8 to 8.4 miles linear walk down Darent valley through Farningham, Horton Kirby, Farningham Road (picnic lunch/pub stop), South Darenth, Sutton-at-Hone and Brooklands to Dartford bus stops and rail station. (Early finish option: train back from Farningham Road after 4.1 or 4.3 miles; 4.5 or 4.9 miles from Farningham Road station to end.)

Farningham Flatland
Saturday 6th August 2016 10:40am EnBro Public Walk
Repeat of walk on 30th July.

 

If you prefer a paper copy of the walk as included in the information pack then download and print the pdf  below.

Adobe Acrobat pdf version of detailed route description

The walk uses the Darent Valley Path in a number of areas.  For more information on this path see the Wikipedia entry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darent_Valley_Path

For more information about the Farningham cattle screen see:

http://www.farninghampc.kentparishes.gov.uk/farningham-cattle-screen

MapOmeter map for route Farningham Flatland

http://gb.mapometer.com/walking/route_4271644.html


Farningham Flatland

Meet:  10.40am at Eynsford station (Ordnance Survey map reference TQ536649).

Access:  Saturday rail services:

London Blackfriars 09:12 09:42
Bromley South 09:44 10:14
St Mary Cray 09:51 10:21 (Travelcard boundary)
Swanley 09:55 10:26 (Freedom Pass boundary)
Eynsford 10:00 10:30 (Free car parking with 15 spaces)

Thameslink services normally calling at all stations via Catford.  Engineering work on 6 August means trains run fast from Blackfriars to Bromley South.
Buy a single rail ticket because the return journey is by a different line.

Maps:  Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 scale Explorer Sheets 147 and 162;
1:50 000 scale Landranger 177.

Outline route:  Eynsford station – Eynsford Castle (optional, 0.2 miles) – Farningham – Horton Kirby (toilets) – Farningham Road (picnic/pub lunch stop, 3.7 or 3.9 miles) –
South Darenth – Sutton-at-Hone – Brooklands – Dartford bus stops (7.8 or 8.0 miles) –
Dartford rail station (8.2 or 8.4 miles).

Early finish option:  Farningham Road station (4.1 or 4.3 miles).  (Rail service to Bromley South at 11 mins past each hour).

Late start option:  From Farningham Road station, cross the A225 (Dartford Road) and continue along Station Road to complete the walk at Dartford bus stops (4.5 miles) or rail station (4.9 miles).

Terrain:  Pavement and paved paths till Farningham, then earthen footpaths till the Princes Tunnel / Central Park.  Paths might be muddy near Horton Kirby during the winter or after prolonged rain.  Nearly all level, with two fairly low stiles.

Detailed route description:  From the station entrance turn left and downhill for 700m to the ford and bridge over the Darent.  Nearly 300m along the A225, turn left for an optional visit to the remains of Eynsford Castle (300m return; free admission), then continue a further 900m, partly along the new Millfield footpath parallel to the road.  At a right bend, fork slightly left along Till Avenue.  At the end, continue along a footpath to Farningham High Street.

Turn left, and immediately after crossing the river and the cattle screen, turn right on the Darent Valley Path (DVP) which follows the left bank, then crosses to the right bank at the A20 overpass.  On reaching Franks Lane after 1200m, turn left along it to cross the river, then turn right to follow its left bank for 700m to Horton Kirby (public conveniences).  Continue northwards for 900m, with the river alongside to the right, and fishing lakes to the left most of the way, to Station Road.  (For an early finish, turn left here to Farningham Road station, 4.1 or 4.3 miles).

Otherwise, turn right to cross the river, then turn left along Horton Road.  Lunch stop at ‘The Bridges’ pub (3.7 or 3.9 miles, nice beer, no food, OK to eat own food in garden) or at Heathside Recreational Park (picnic tables).

After 450m, leave the DVP and bear left over the river along Devon Road for 100m, then turn right along a metalled footpath leading NE on a causeway between fishing lakes.  Just beyond the lakes, cross the stream, then take the right fork heading NNE to the A225, where turn right (North).  Continue past the main entrance to St John’s Jerusalem and, just after passing the Sutton-at-Hone library (on the right), turn right (East) for 250m along a footpath.

Cross the Darent and bear left through a gate to an old bridge between watercress beds.  Bear left along a footpath on the causeway between fishing lakes for 600m to Parsonage Lane.  (Be careful crossing the road at this blind corner with fast traffic.)

Continue along a track for 80m, then turn left at the corner of the brick wall for 30m to cross over the stream.  Turn right over a low stile to follow its left bank for nearly 400m before crossing to its right bank just before the M25 bridge, where you rejoin the DVP.  After another 300m, turn left over the stream to the A225, then turn right along Hawley Road past the Shirehall Road bus stop.

Go nearly 400m, under the A2, then, just before a recycling area, turn right over a stile along a footpath to cross the river after 100m.  Turn left and follow its left bank for nearly 200m before crossing to its right bank.  After 900m, turn left along Powder Mill Lane for a few metres, then follow the south bank of Brooklands Lake behind business premises for 150m to a footpath on a causeway heading North, then NW towards the A225.

Go through the Princes Tunnel (opened 2009) under the A225 into Dartford’s Central Park.  Follow the left bank of the Darent then, just after the café, turn right between the bandstand and children’s play area to reach Market Street (conveniences and bus station on left, 7.8 or 8.0 miles).  Continue northwards to High Street, then turn right to its bridge over the Darent.  Turn left along St Saviour’s Walk, between the church and the left bank of the river.  Follow the Darent Valley Path signs to the railway, then turn left to the station (8.2 or 8.4 miles).

Return:  Frequent Southeastern trains services to central London via Sidcup, Lewisham or Greenwich.  Change at Lewisham for West Wickham and Hayes; Nunhead for Bromley South via Catford; Hither Green for Orpington.
Dartford is within the Freedom Pass boundary, but one rail stop outside Travelcard Zone 6.
Travelcards and Freedom Passes are accepted on
bus service 96 from Dartford to Crayford, Bexleyheath, Welling, Plumstead and Woolwich.