Monday, 2 January 2012

Farningham Road to Otford – (Kent) – 02/01/12 – 9 Miles – IVC

There was a double figure turn out for this bank holiday walk to see in the new year. Thus whilst there was a slight chill in the air, there was no wind to exacerbate it, and it was a very bright day. That said I can’t ever recall doing a walk before, where the Sun was so irritatingly low and in your eyes, the entire day.

Anyway the first half found us walking along the Darent valley path, in the process of which we crossed a set of footbridges over the River Darent, confirming to me that I had done this walk with IVC before. As we headed off towards Eynsford we spotted Eynsford castle (pictured) to our left, which apparently dates back to 1088 (them Normans built things to last).

After crossing the Ford going into Eynsford we stopped for a pub lunch. I had the malt burger (local delicacy) and chips, which seemed a tad underdone, as well as a pint of local cider.

The second half found us following the crowded path beside the River Darent. Before long Lullingstone Roman Villa (which apparently is all enclosed within the visitor centre), but which was shut for the Bank Holiday. A little further on and we came across Lullingstone Castle and its restored 16th century gatehouse. From there on it was a case of glooping along in the mud (with the crowds having thinned out) alongside the river. A couple of the group dropped out at Shoreham, but the rest of us continued on to Otford. There we saw the local church covered in various types of cladding. However in a sign of the times a notice read: ‘if you see workman on our roof between 6pm and 8am, phone the police as they are probably stealing it’.

So overall a good walk, save for the Sun constantly in ones eyes, given that we always heading South. I can’t tell you the exact distance as the pound shop batteries in the GPS, gave up in the pub but our leader assured us it was around nine miles.

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