Wonderful wild woodland walk in Westerham
PUBLISHED: 14:11 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:11 18 November 2019
The Westerham Walk travels closely with the famous Greensand Way trail, taking you through superb woods and hidden valleys, to Churchill's house at Chartwell and striking views out to the Weald of Kent
Location: Westerham (TN16 1RJ)
Distance: 5 Miles (8.05km)
Time: Allow 2 Hours
OS Explorer Map: 147
Terrain: Mostly wooded areas and paths, through fields and muddy areas. Some roads and flat surfaces in some places.
Parking: Parking available behind St Mary's church in Quebec Avenue car park or Quebec House car park. Pay and display at Westerham Town car park. Parking can be available on roadside, park safely and sensibly.
Refreshments & facilities: Cafes and pubs can be found at Westerham Green as well as a National Trust café at Chartwell.
Public Transport: For local bus and train service in the Kent area contact Traveline tel: 08706082608, www.traveline.org.uk
The Westerham Walk travels closely with the famous Greensand Way trail, taking you through superb woods and hidden valleys, to Churchill's house at Chartwell and striking views out to the Weald of Kent. Take this journey to discover Westerham's historic houses and farms while exploring the rolling fields and woodland which makes this walk interesting and exciting whether you are with the whole family or taking some relaxation time by yourself.
Leave the hustle and bustle of the busy town behind as you enjoy an escape to the country on this circular, 5-mile walk around the historic, countryside town of Westerham. The small market town centre, with many hidden cafes and local shops and businesses, is an ideal place to start and finish this wild woodland walk.
The walk begins with a hillside climb, following the wonderful Greensand Way, over pastures and arable land, giving excellent views over the rolling hills and woodland of the beautiful quaint town, as well as giving you a glimpse of the historic houses and farmland. The walk soon travels into mixed, semi-mature woodland, renowned for its blooming bluebells in the spring, summer blooms of rhododendrons and the sweet chestnuts of the autumn.
Over the rolling hills and woodland, notice Squerryes Park and its famous 17th century manor house and gardens. The woodland which surrounds the stately manor includes plantations and evidence of coppicing. As you travel on, you will be met by Goodley Stock, where an Iron Age hill fort can be seen through the abundance of trees which guard the manor.
At Kent Hatch, take the adjoining route to the main route of Greensand Way where you will explore the immersive forest of Crockhamhill Common. Here, older beech trees can be discovered amid the younger yew, maple, birch and chestnut, with the odd holly branch to add a seasonal touch to the colder, winter walking days. Along these winding paths, the River Darent can be visible above Westerham which adds to the diversity of habitats found in these woods.
Continuing steeply downhill and turning right past April Cottage, you will explore the woodland area of Mariners Hill, which surrounds and is protected by the National Trust property of Chartwell, once the beloved home of Winston Churchill. As you explore the magical woodland be sure to look out for the trees' exposed roots which have made that particular part of the trail, a favourite destination for locals and dogs walkers to enjoy this tranquil Kentish countryside all year round.
As you travel through more mixed woodland, the trail leads past Churchill's former home, Chartwell. Here you will then follow the Greensand Way towards French Street, and embarks upon the beech, maple and hornbeam trees of Hosey Common. Hosey Common is home to the old sandstone and ragstone mines which are closed to the public as they have inhabited various colonies of bats which have made home there over the years. The trail then trails off into Tower Woods, with its more formal planting of pine.
As this trail nears to an end, the land slopes down and the path leads into more open pastures with amazing views of the Westerham area and over the valleys of the scenic town and North Downs. Past this stunning viewpoint, open grassland will lead to easier walking as the land drops away towards the town and River Darent.
Once returning to the idyllic, quaint town, why not treat yourself and try some locally produced, Kentish beer. Westerham is home to a brewery which was establish in 2004, made possible by the local town's hard water which has made the town previous famous for the method of brewing and has helped to revive the reputation of the traditional Kentish real beer.
If you've enjoyed connecting with the landscape on this walk, you can check out more options where you can connect, protect or enhance the local environment by taking part in the Kent Year of Green Action, visit www.explorekent.org.