urban75 walk club: Otford circular walk via Shoreham, Kent
Report by urban75 editor, Feb 2005
Part two - On to Shoreham and then back to Otford.
On the way to Shoreham
Suitably refreshed and 'loosened up' after a satisfying sojourn in the warmth of the Fox and Hounds, we headed out in a rain storm for the second half of our walk.
This hill was incredibly slippery. Those with proper walking boots stood at the bottom cruelly chortling at the less fortunate stumbling and falling down the hill.
Through the rain
The rain started to belt down at this point, but with minds focussed on the pub a few miles ahead, team spirit didn't flag.
Through the ploughed fields
The walk took us through a field full of thick, gloopy, boot-clinging mud. You'll note that some people were soooooooooo well prepared that they smugly brought wellies. The bastards.
Group shot 2
A brief pause to take another, slightly more bedraggled team photo before continuing the thigh-challenging trudge across the muddy field.
Crossing the field
We decided that this field looked like a Siberian turnip farm. Possibly..
Cows, Dunstall Farm
The walk took us straight through Dunstall Farm. I don't think the farmer was too impressed by the scruffy horde of herberts stumbling past his barns...
Some people got very muddy. Very muddy indeed.
After walking through the pretty Dunstall Woods and down White Hill, we arrived by Shoreham Station.
Some facts! Shoreham is the remote village chosen by the painter Samuel Palmer as a refuge from London's pollution. William Blake paid him a visit there in 1826.
The name is probably derived from the Saxon for 'estate at the foot of a steep slope', and the village is recorded in the Domesday Book.
The local industry was pagemaking, but the last mill closed back in 1925.
Cross on the hill, Shoreham
A short way out of Shoreham I spotted this weird cross marked into the grass on a hillside. It looked a bit too 'Wicker Man' for me so I hastened my step smartly.
Pickmoss, High Street
Otford sports some fine ancient buildings - this one faces the High Street (I would have taken more pictures, but by this time it was bucketing down).
More facts! People have lived in the area for at least three thousand years, with the village being centred around the the church, founded between 1050 and 1080.
End of the journey, The Crown
We sheltered from the rain in this fine pub - The Crown on the High Street in Otford.
A traditional 16th century village inn sporting a real fire, they served up one of the best real ales I've ever tasted: Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter (4%). Glorious stuff!