The Greensand Way is a 110 mile route that follows a sandstone ridge through Surrey and Kent, roughly parallel to the North Downs Way a short distance to the North and the Sussex Border Path to the South. We’ll be starting in deepest Kent at the easternmost end of the High Weald and heading West, taking in Leith Hill and other high points as we come towards the finish in Haslemere. As well as the hills, woods, fields, pubs and villages there are apparently many impressive country parks and mansions along the way.
This is the second longest of the four routes in the Joined-Up Hiking portfolio, and over the whole distance it’s probably the hilliest.
Section 1 – 10.5 miles
The end time given for this event is the approximate time of arrival at Ashford International Station at the end of the hike.
Please read the Three Golden Rules of Joined Up Hiking.
Are you OK with those? All right, then you may continue...
As we’re in deep midwinter we start with a relatively short 10.5 mile hike with a pub stop for lunch. We’ll be getting a fast train and then a local train almost to the South-East coast to the starting point of the Greensand Way. Most of the walk is flat but the rail fare is quite steep even with a group discount so make sure you can manage the total cost of the day including lunch in the pub.
From the small village railway station we’re very soon up into the Ham Street woods nature reserve. After that it’s mainly farmland until we turn off the Greensand Way and head into Ashford along the meandering Stour. We’ll keep to a good medium fast pace, allowing for the mud, which there is sure to be plenty of.
Photo © Copyright David Anstiss
There is a £1 charge payable to the organizer on the day.
Some general recommendations and tips.
Photo © Copyright John Baker
Full Itinerary with Estimated Timings
Meet Up: Arrive between 9:10 and 9:25 at St Pancras Station, by the ticket office. I will be wearing the floppy hat and moustache for recognition. Get into groups of 4 for buying tickets.
Note: if you have not been to St Pancras before the national rail ticket office is a long, long way inside. Just keep going on ground level until you get to it.
The ticket offices:
We will meet around here, opposite the ticket offices:
Buy Ticket: Off-peak day return to return to Ham Street. £33.30 for one adult down to £16.65 each in a group of 4.
Outward Travel: 9:42 a.m. train from St Pancras International platform 12 to Ashford International platform 6, arriving at 10:20.
Change at Ashford to platform 1 for the 10:33 train to Ham Street, arriving at 10:41 a.m.
If it’s more convenient you could board the train at Stratford International at 9:48 or Ebbsfleet International at 10:00 a.m. You would need to arrange a group of 3 or 4 with others travelling from that station to get the discount.
Meet for Start of Hike: From 10:40 to 10:50 a.m. at Ham Street railway station.
Part 1: 4.8 miles. Maximum 1 hour 45 minutes
Lunch Stop: We’ll have a booking for lunch in a pub and stay an hour or so. The menu is cheap and cheerful (£4 - £9) rather than haute cuisine.
Part 2: 5.7 miles. 2 hours 5 minutes.
End of Hike: Arrive at Ashford International by 16: 00.
Return Travel: 16:13 to St Pancras International. Journey time 38 minutes.