Eynsford - Shoreham - River Darent - Eynsford

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This walk was originally compiled by Alan and Janet Love, sadly both are no longer with us. Alison Gilbert has kindly offered to take them over. Alison and Walkingworld would like all these excellent walks to remain as a continuing tribute to Alan and Janet.

This must rate as one of the most scenic walks in Kent, starting in the picturesque village of Eynsford which lies on the River Darent and as its name suggests has a ford, which the village has grown up around and which is still in use today.

Eynsford has won the Best Kept Village award and the South East in Bloom competition five times. Eynsford hosts the remains of one of the earliest Norman stonework defences in the country and the remains of the fascinating Eynsford Castle.

We walk along the most scenic of tracks above the equally attractive village of Shoreham and descend to reach its streets. Beside the river here is Samuel Palmer's former house. Palmer was a 19th Century artist who found inspiration in the local idyllic rural scenes.

We follow the River Darent for most of the way back to Eynsford, passing or visiting The Hop Shop, a farm shop in a lovely setting beside the river. Next comes Lullingstone Park Visitors' Centre, with up to 460 acres of magnificent countryside to explore as well as an excellent cafeteria.

Next en route is Lullingstone Castle with its fine state rooms, family portraits and armour, together with beautiful grounds and lake. This is also the site for the World Garden of Plants. Some 600 yards further on we come to Lullingstone Roman Villa, recognised as one of the most exciting archaelogical finds of the century and run by English Heritage.

All these attractions are right on the route of our walk and you pass from one to the other. Finally we come to Eagle Heights Bird of Prey Centre which is a little way up a drive on the left just after the Roman Villa site. They also have meerkats, otters and reptiles, so plenty of variety.

After completing this walk, especially on a hot day, what better than to dip you aching feet in the refreshing waters of the Darent, which you are positively invited to do on a small plaque sited on the bank.

England - South England - Kent - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Museum, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Stately Home, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
18/02/2017 - Claire Edwards

Gorgeous, very easy, walk. It's a good one for dog owners - I didn't come across any livestock and there was very little walking on road. The route follows a shallow river for a stretch, which my dog loved. The instructions were good but I always find that I need to consult the OS map on my phone (with the GPX file from this site) when I do these walks. At the end, after passing Lullington, rather than return to Eynsford on the road we turned left on a footpath and joined the path that the route takes on the way out, going back over the railway line. It added a welcome hill and meant the dog could stay off lead. Adding that bit made it 13km in total.

26/08/2012 - GARY HALL

One of our favourite areas, just found this particular walk on Walkingworld with the Shoreham leg which we have never done until now. Pubs in Shoreham for the obligatory watering stop and an aircraft museum. 2012 Season: The Museum and Tearoom is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.) every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday until the end of October 2012. Please check back to their website to learn of any up-and-coming events. Beautiful tea stop at Lullingston Country Park with food if needed, altogether an enjoyable walk of varied terrain. Directions accurate.

07/01/2011 - Pina Hayes

This is one of my favourite walks. Alan Love has well depicted this. The directions are easy to follow. It is a spectacular walk at times; when the wind plays in the trees you can easily imagine Romans thundering down on their horses.

21/11/2010 - Sid Marks

What a fantastic walk this is; really enjoyed it. Excellent walk instructions. At waymark 7, there is now a defined path to the right of the horse chesnut tree, so you won't go far wrong here. At waymark 8, as long as you follow the line of the golf course on your left, clubhouse on the right, through the woods until you reach the metalled road you will be fine. Stopped at the Kings Arms at waymark 20. Lovely food, now serve until 4.30 on a Sunday. Also made the walk 8 miles,around 3hrs 30 mins

03/08/2009 - Stephanie Ellers

A lovely walk, but a few unclear directions: Step 7: Cross over the field diagonally over to the right of the three chestnut trees in the middle, then there is another, rather old one even further to the right, with two paths to the right of it; take the one on the left to stay just within the wood, with the golf course on your right. Step 8: There are actually a few forks following each other: a 5- or 6-way one, just keep ahead here. I don't know which one of the many blue bridleway markers this description refers to. Otherwise, a great walk with lots to see: butterflies & lavender (in July), Lullingstone Castle, Eynsford & Shoreham, the river... Once you have reached Shoreham, the return bit is a piece of cake!

03/08/2009 - Daniel Siddle

Just got back from doing this walk on 27th Aug, bank holiday Monday. Nice sunny day and lovely walk. The scenery was fantastic, especially on the way out. A couple of bits a little overgrown but it meant the blackberries were well within reach! The walk back from Shoreham is a bit of a trudge once you hit the road sections so it might be a good idea to do it in reverse. We stopped at the Two Brewers on the way which was fine but the Kings Arms looked nicer. At the end of the walk we stopped in The Plough. We were going to eat but decided that after an 8mile walk we wanted more hearty food so we headed to The Castle Hotel and weren't disappointed. All in all, a fantastic day well spent with friends.

31/05/2009 - Simon Ellis

This is a really wonderful walk and the instructions are all very clear except Point 8. At Point 8 you actually come to three paths. Where these instructions say "Keep left and ahead" (a bit confusing) you actually need to take the first path (sharp left). Apart from that a gorgeous walk with stunning views and very tranquil.

06/08/2008 - Shaun Willis

Did this walk for the 2nd time on the 3rd August. Great walk. Best bit is around Shoreham, especially the views over the valley. Mind you the river section is brilliant too and the lavender fields are gorgeous and the hops. Well you get the general idea. All in all a great walk.

13/07/2008 - Monica Huddie

What a fantastic walk - much recommended. Like the authors we did this walk in mid-July so were lucky enough to see the lavender in full bloom. The best thing about this walk is the variety of scenery and different twists and turns.

02/07/2006 - trish peacock

A great walk and well documented. The Ford at Eynsford is very welcoming at the end of the walk, especially to the feet ;-). only one small downside and it is a very small downside. There are a couple of stretches that are a little overgrown with stinging nettles but we managed to get through without getting stung, although very carefully. Recommend the walk especially on a clear day for the views.

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