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A Hundred Oasts and Two Castles - A Brewers Delight.

A Hundred Oasts and Two Castles

(A Brewers Delight).

Join us for a walk through history, a gentle portrait of the Garden of England.
The oast houses, with their white tipped conical roofs, are a visual delight and in between them meadows of great variety that gives you a feeling for the open spaces.

The walk begins in Leigh, near Tonbridge, Kent passing through Chiddingstone and on the way, we will pass Chiddingstone Castle and the majestic Penshurst Place before returning to Leigh.

One of the most familiar sights to travelers in southeast England is the distinctive conical or pyramid-shaped oast house. These oast houses are a reminder of Britain's once thriving brewing industry.

An oast house is a freestanding kiln for drying hops, "ale" is brewed without hops, "beer" is brewed with hops added.

There are usually 3 rooms in an oast; the kiln (oven), the drying room, and the cooling room. Kilns were fired by wood until the 17th century, then by charcoal, and more recently by oil. The hops were dried in the drying room usually located just above the kiln, then dragged into the cooling room, before being pressed or baled into packets for transport to the breweries.

The distinctive conical roof of the oast is necessary to create a good draught for the fire. The odd projections at the peak of the roof are cowls which can be pivoted to create just the right airflow for the kiln fire to draw properly. About 1830 the cowls were made redundant by the introduction of electric fans.

Level: East to Moderate (3/10)

Length: 11 miles (17.7km)

Duration: 7hrs plus lunch

Start/End: Leigh Station

Drivers: Leigh Station Postcode: TN11 8RU.

Walks & Mileage Chart:

Lunch: The Castle Inn - Chiddingstone.

I will provide a menu for you to pre-order your lunch

Meeting Time: 8.00am

Train departs from London Bridge at 08.45 and
arrives at Leigh Station at 09.43am.

Returning from Leigh at 17.23 and
arrives at London Bridge at 18.25

Meet: on the main concourse (near Marks & Spencer leading to
platforms 8-16). Please see link below:

RAIL TRAVEL: Advanced Groupsaver4 - £29.80 (£4.75 x 4 People).
I will arrange Groupsaver4 tickets as each group of 4 people arrive.
Please arrive early (between 7.45 - 8.00am) to save disappointment.

See Groupsave options:

Please check the planned engineering works when planning your journey:

Cost: £7.50 per person (NBH costs and organiser's fee). To be paid to the organiser at the start of the hike.


NOTE: Please remember to change your RSVP if you are no longer able to make the event. No shows are recorded and may affect your RSVP status for future events. After three “no shows” you may be moved to the waiting list for events that are full.

Things to bring:
Water and snacks
Walking shoes / Boots
Waterproof clothing (Jacket and trousers)
Suitable clothing for walking
Warm tops (layers)
Money (Pub lunch and drinks)
Camera (optional)


Natural Born Hikers operate within:
The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

For more information:

Look at the following site for the simplified explanation


IMPORTANT NOTE: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in.

We recommend that everyone participating in outdoor activities obtain appropriate insurance. The BMC offer excellent policies for all outdoor enthusiasts at very competitive rates:

Join or login to comment.


    Good. The weather was okay on the outward journey but there was a deluge on the way back so I was glad I had done some photography already.The group of people were fairly relaxed and cheerful mostly.The length and difficulty of the walk was about right for me anyway.Scenery quite nice with the Oast Houses ,Castles and bluebells

    May 13, 2013

  • Nafiisah

    Great hike in a lovely place. Thanks for organising Michael and for carrying me across the flood!

    May 12, 2013

  • Dave

    What a great way to spend a Saturday! Great fun with a lovely, relaxed group of people. Thanks for all of your efforts in planning and organizing these events Michael. Great spot for lunch and a nice touch with the flooded tunnel at the end ;-)

    May 12, 2013

  • Drummond

    Thanks v much Michael, enjoyed it, dire weather was fun too

    May 12, 2013

  • Valeria

    Great hike with great people. Thank you Michael!

    May 12, 2013

  • Amr H.

    Thanks a lot Michael! A great hike and looking forward to the next one!

    May 12, 2013

  • Caza

    Thanks for a fab hike Michael!

    May 12, 2013

18 went

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