Darent Days 2016
This year we will be repeating Ralph Palfrey’s Darent Days walk series first walked in 2006. Unfortunately, Ralph is now unable to lead the walks in person, and they will be led by some of his walking companions.
The ten walks, each 8-10 miles in length, follow as closely as practicable (without needing waders!) the courses of the various waterways of the Darent catchment, which reach the Thames estuary through Dartford Creek. Each walk will be repeated on the following Saturday, allowing the full stage to be covered in two shorter stages if so wished.
We are producing a Darent Days 2016 information pack, which includes route notes, 1:20 000 scale route maps for each of the ten walks, public transport details, etc. Printed copies are available during each walk for £3.00, and the pack can also be downloaded here for free.
See menu listing for individual walks and summary of walks below.
Darent Day 1 – Westerham Westerly
Saturday 7th and 14th 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).
Darent Days 2 – Sundridge Sundries
Saturday 21st and 28th May 10:45am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at the 246 bus stop, The Green, Westerham (GR TQ447540). 9.8 miles circular walk following the Darent downstream through Brasted and Sundridge, crossing sundry tributaries en route, then exploring two headwaters descending from the Greensand hills (275m ascents). Moderate slopes, may be muddy. Picnic lunch stop. (Early finish option: bus back from Sundridge after 3.3 miles; or bus to Sundridge, thence 6.6 miles).
Darent Days 3 – Riverhead Ramble
Saturday 4th and 11th June 10:50am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at Sevenoaks rail station (GR TQ523554). 8.0 miles circular walk following a greensand stream to its source, descending via another stream to Dryhill SSSI (picnic lunch stop), then returning via Riverhead Parkland (225m ascents). (Early finish option: bus back from Dryhill Lane, 5.6 miles).
Darent Days 4 – Chipstead Claypits
Saturday 18th and 25th June 10:50am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at Sevenoaks rail station (GR TQ523554). 6.9 to 9.6 miles linear walk via Bradbourne Park, Sevenoaks wildlife reserve (optional), Chipstead Lake (picnic/pub lunch stop), Darent Valley Path to Rye Lane stream, then Twitton Brook (optional), Otford village and rail station. Mainly level, with one short ascent/descent. (Early finish option: bus to Sevenoaks station from Chipstead after 3.1 or 3.7 miles; or, bus or walk to Chipstead, thence 3.8 or 5.9 miles to Otford.)
Darent Days 5 – Eastern Extent
Saturday 2nd and 9th July 2016 10:45am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at Otford rail station (GR TQ532594). 9.8 miles circular walk from Otford station eastwards to Lower St Clere lake (the easternmost source). Picnic/pub lunch stop at Chequers Inn. Return via the Honeypot Stream, Kemsing station, and Greatness waterrnill and quarry to Otford (Heritage Centre and tea shops). (Early finish option: train back from Kemsing after 4.4 miles; 5.4 miles from Kemsing station to end).
Darent Days 6 – Otford Orifice & Chalk Channel
Saturday 16th and 23rd July 10:45am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at Otford rail station (GR TQ532594). A 6.9 to 7.2 miles linear walk to Shoreham (lunch stop) direct or via Home Farm detour. Then via Lullingstone Visitor Centre (refreshments stop) to Eynsford village and rail station. (Early finish option: train back from Shoreham after 2.7 to 3.0 miles; 4.6 miles from Shoreham station to end).
Darent Days 7 – Farningham Flatland
Saturday 30th July and 6th August 2016 10:40am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at Eynsford station (GR TQ536649). A 7.8 to 8.4 miles linear walk down the 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 ﬁom Farningham Road station to end).
Darent Days 8 – Shuttle Shuffle & Wyncham Stream Wander
Saturdays 13th and 20th August 2016 10:30am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at Glenesk Road bus stop, Bexley Road, Eltham (GR TQ437745). 7.7 to 9.2 miles linear from Glenesk Road bus stop, Bexley Road, Eltham down the Shuttle River from its source in Avery Hill Park via the Wyncham Stream (optional detour) and Bexley to Hall Place (afternoon refreshments/sightseeing stop). Finish at Bexley (bus stops and rail station). (Early finish option: leave or join at various bus stops en route).
Darent Days 9 – Cray Crawl
Saturdays 27th August and 3rd September 2016 10:30am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at Orpington Priory (GR TQ465665). 8.0 to 8.4 miles linear walk following the River Cray downstream from the Priory Gardens source through St Mary Cray, St Paul’s Cray, Foots Cray (lunch stop), Bexley and Hall Place (refreshments/sightseeing stop) to Crayford bus stops and rail station. (Early finish option: leave or join by bus at Foots Cray; or by bus or rail at Bexley).
Darent Days 10 – Confluences Conclusion
Saturdays 10th and 17th September 2016 10:30am EnBro Public Walk
Meet at the entrance to Sainsbury’s Superstore, Crayford (GR TQ515745). 8.5 miles linear walk along the Cray River to Dartford Creek, then following the Darent Valley Path (lunch stop) to the Thames, and back to Dartford. (Short cut option: 3.5 miles without visiting confluence with Thames.) Followed by optional group celebratory meal.