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The Downs and the dear Darent Valley

Otford, Shoreham, Eynsford - what images do these names conjour up for you? Almost undoubtedly none whatsoever. To me, though, they speak of halcyon days of youth: of paddling and spying kingfishers by the River Darent; of admiring the Tudor grandeur of Lullingstone Castle and the (then) mysterious Roman ruins nearby; of yomping up the Downs, cross stiles, woods and meadows; of waiting bored outside pubs while my dad had a pint inside. Time to revisit these storied scenes for our next walk, incorporating many of above activities. Except, of course, that now we're old enough to go into the pubs. This will be an attractive hike of
9-10 miles (15-16 km). The first half will be a little up hill and down dale as we assail the North Downs from Otford towards our lunch stop at the Fox and Hounds in Romney Street (from where, despite its isolated bucolic splendour, on a fine day you can see Canary Wharf). The latter stages will be gently undulating as we mosey via Shoreham along the delightful Darent to our ultimate goal of Eynsford. Lovely.

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  • Vincent

    A very nice walk in the countryside with a magnificent grey sky and a delightfully crisp air. The food at the pub was well worth the wait. Maybe we should have tried more desserts though.

    January 30, 2011

  • joanna

    rich-i'm so so sorry- i went out for what was meant to be a few drinks on friday night but ended up pretty steaming-was in bed ill all of yesterday,serves me right but i'm so sorry i didn't let you know i couldn't make it.hope it was a fantastic day for all of you. x

    January 30, 2011

  • Maja

    Thanks Rich, another great walk! Good pace this time, especially towards the end when we had to run to catch the train.

    January 29, 2011

  • Rich

    Apologies for the (wrong) map and lack of a pretty picture - Meetup has introduced a "sleek new redesign" which apparently incorporates these features and which I can't change. The meeting point is still as stated, in Victoria station next to the Nero Express on the way to platform 11.

    January 27, 2011

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