15 mile Eden Valley walk perfect for nature lovers
PUBLISHED: 09:37 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:45 02 May 2017
This walk takes you through a rural paradise of meadows, woodland and riverside deep in the Eden Valley
Location: Edenbridge, TN8 5AR
Distance: 15 miles (24.14 km) Linear
Time: 7 hours
OS Explorer Maps: 147
Terrain: Easy terrain but can be muddy in places
Public Transport: For public transport directions to Edenbridge from your home address, please visit kentconnected.org. Edenbridge railway station is 1 mile north of the town centre
Parking: There is free parking in the town
Refreshments & facilities: Ye Old Crown Inn and the Minstrel Café are both in Edenbridge
This walk takes you through a rural paradise of meadows, woodland and riverside deep in the Eden Valley. You’ll pass some of Kent’s most beautiful treasures, Penshurst Place and Hever Castle. You’ll pass through pretty Kentish towns and villages – all rich in mediaeval heritage. You might see late spring lambs and an abundance of flowers and birdlife in the hedgerows. Your walk will take you along meandering riverbanks and tranquil country lanes. Take your time and make the most of exploring this beautiful area, you can complete the walk in a day or even make a special weekend of it and stay overnight in a local camp site or bed & breakfast.
You’ll see the valley in its post winter glory as it contrasts with the lush green leaves of spring, masses of bluebells, primroses and those all-important lambs!
Setting off from Edenbridge High Street, which contains a delightful collection of Tudor buildings combined with traditional Kentish weather boarded buildings, a distinctive bridge and 13th century church with pretty stained glass windows.
Leaving the village make your way to the Church. Follow the church wall and turn left at the first set of iron gates and proceed through a cemetery. At the end turn right, go through a kissing gate and out of the cul de sac. Turn right then immediately left to cross over the railway. Pass through kissing gate and bear right over into the field, you’ll have a small pond on your left. Take a right onto footpath SR608; you’re now walking through a delightful plethora of fresh green pastures, rolling countryside and ponds. Take in the fantastic views that unfold before you as you stride into the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB.)
Turn right onto footpath SR559 at the corner of a field before you reach a stile. You’ll cross a field passing a derelict barn before crossing the peaceful River Eden passing Delaware Farm on your right. Continue following the track and country lane to Hever Road.
Cross the road and continue across a railway line over fields and then right under a railway arch. Listen to the sound of bird song, the spring breeze rustling the grass around you and think of yesteryear when steam trains would pass along this very line.
Take a right along the lane at the entrance to Lydens Farm. You’ll shortly enter woodland. Look out for spring flowers that adorn the floor of the woodland as you make your way through, offering welcome shade from the open landscape. Continue following a network of delightful pathways.
Shortly you’ll pass through Hever; it’s worth taking a peep inside the church of St Peter, with its interesting spire. Inside is the tomb of Sir Thomas Bullen, father of Anne Boleyn. Right next door is the entrance to Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn which has beautiful rose gardens. There is also a nice pub in Hever which will provide a welcome place for a drink or refuel.
From here you’ll continue through a large wood known as Park Wood, the woodland follows an interesting route which include ladder steps going through the woodland.
You’ll pass through Hill Hoath where you’ll notice some half-timbered houses known as Withers, following Hill Hoath, you’ll continue on the Eden Valley Walk to Penshurst, one of Kent’s most beautiful gems. Home of Penshurst Place, one of England oldest family homes set in beautiful gardens. Nearby the delightful church of St John the Baptist can be accessed via the very pretty 15th century Leicester Square named after Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester of Penshurst Place who also owned London’s famous Leicester Square.
If you have time to spare after exploring Penshurst, you can stop off for a meal at the Leicester Arms pub or delightful café in the village – there is always a good reason for a slice of cake!
After Penshurst you’ll join the cycle route Penshurst to Tonbridge, so do take care and look out for cyclists using this route too. You’ll have some views of the magnificent roof of Penshurst Place as you pass by the visitors’ gate. You’ll also pass some ponds where you might spot a heron if you’re lucky!
You’ll start to head uphill as you make your way towards the village of Leigh. Look back for some excellent views of Penshurst Place. You may even spot some lambs grazing in the nearby fields. Carrying onwards following the way marker signed straight ahead towards Tonbridge.
You’ll be in for a further historical treat when you reach the end point of Tonbridge where you’ll find Tonbridge Castle, one of the finest motte and bailey castles in England. Why not visit the 13th century gatehouse set in glorious grounds next to the River Medway. Tonbridge church is also great to visit with links to Jane Austen – several of her family members are buried in the churchyard.
So explore this gorgeous corner of Kent and unwind in this beautiful landscape.
For other walks in Kent including our bluebell walks in Kent, please visit the Explore Kent website www.explorekent.org. Follow @explorekent on Twitter and Facebook and share your experiences with us!