Want to do something festive? Have fun? get some exercise and have Christmas dinner with a great bunch of people ???!!!! Time for the Rugged Tracks Christmas Dinner, lets have some fun on the last Saturday of the Christmas holidays !
This is an easy 10 mile hike straight out into the Kent countryside, accessible on oystercards! This area is one of the South East's most beautiful spots, this hike starts in the furthest reach of travel card zone 6 and proceeds deep into the beautiful Kent countryside. Cuckoo wood which we pass through is known for it's ancient woodland and gemlike wildflowers, In summer months Orchids, Violets and Primroses spot the earth like natural gemstones. We've also seen it with pristine white snow like an arctic wilderness.
We visit the outside of the house of Charles Darwin's House (Downe House) and take lunch at the Queens Head - a historic pub, and Darwin's local where he perused his theory's after returning from the Voyage of the Beagle in 1836!
It's in this village Darwin developed his (then scandalous!) theory of natural selection, and furthered his theory after five years sailing, he continued studying the huge range of species in this local area. In particular he looked at the orchids and their pollinators, the area is now being proposed as a world heritage site.
We pass then through ancient woodland, the villages of Downe and Cudham back through Foxberry Wood, and as always to a lovely pub to finish for a well earned beer stop and on this occasion a giant Christmas Feast YUMMMMMMM!
This pub does THE most AMAZING FOOD and seeing as we've just done a nice big hike it is the most guilt free festive feast you will get this side of the north pole! It's an amazing gastropub with a log fire, proper christmas indulgence!!!
You can see the photos and reviews of the last time we did this Christmas hike here: http://www.meetup.com/RuggedTracks/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=12327402 and here http://www.meetup.com/RuggedTracks/events/88505662/
Cost: The hike costs just £5.00
Meeting Point 1: Charring Cross Overland Station, at the Cornish Pasty Stall (of course). Have with you an Oystercard with enough money on it to get to zone 6 and back. 9.50am
Meeting point 2: Outside Orpington Station, (no waiting for latecomers at meeting point 2). 10.40 am.
Meeting Point 3: Outside The Queens Head Pub, 73 High Street, Green Street Green, Orpington, BR6 6BQ. (No waiting for latecomers at meeting point 3). 11.00am.
Distance: 10 miles
Walking Time: 3.25 hrs (excluding lunch break)
Difficulty: 7/10 Moderate, some hills. If it has been raining, expect mud!
NB: If the ground is really wet the mud can be quite bad on this route in which case the hike can be bad.If I find the ground is to wet nearer the time I will change this route to an Epping Forest route, with equally good pubs!
Travel card zone: Cheslfield, Zone 6.
Note 1: Darwins House is a modest sized Victorian villa, we will stop to have a look at the outside, we will not be going inside. If you want to visit it by yourself you can do this during the one hour lunchbreak, (there is an entry charge google English Heritage Downe House Entry).
Note 2: Whilst this is a Christmas dinner it is non exclusive, there will be no religion involved, just lot's of food. All faiths and beliefs are welcome, (except maybe satanists and climate sceptics, those I'd have a problem with.)
Note 3: I very much encourage the wearing of reindeer antlers on this hike.
Things to bring:
Water! - At least 1 litre
Money for pub
Sandwiches for lunch/munchies.
Wear layers and walking shoes/boots or the nearest thing you have
Worried about coming on your own? More on walking pace, and questions about distance, footwear, weather, return train times or safety? Refer to our frequently asked questions here:
If I can do anything to make this walk more accessible please get in touch by sending me a text message or voicemail.
Train Travel: On our walks we ask people to group into as many group 3 groups as possible, you will have to travel back with the group. Read more here: http://www.meetup.com/RuggedTracks/messages/boards/thread/17073472
There are tube closures in London every weekend. Plan your journey here:
N.B: You will be required to fill in a next of kin form, if you don't want to do this I am unable to take you on the event. Please bring next of kin contact details.
You must be able to at least run 100 meters for a bus to join one of our hikes.
Always check the group website for live updates to meeting point and directions before leaving for an event!
We are always looking for new organisers!
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