While there’s a lot of nice walking routes that are accessible by public transport, ones that you can get to on just one train are rather scarce from my station. In previous years, I’ve walked most of the sections of the Green Chain Route in Greater London, so with those out of the way, I’ve started to look further afield, on areas between the Blackfriars and Sevenoaks Thameslink/Southeastern Train Line, which runs from central London south-east out towards Kent.
So far I’ve been to three different areas along the Blackfriars-Sevenoaks line and am hoping to get to explore more especially next spring, when the paths are drier, there’s a little more sun and the trees have leaves again.
Shoreham to Otford Walk
Shoreham to Otford – or vice versa – is perfect for a bit of meandering. Not far from London, but it does give you the feeling of being in the countryside. It has hills, cottages and lots of dogs. You can also make a stop at the Hop Farm year-round for some fresh produce and cute little gifts. In summer, you’ll find a famous lavender field here and in autumn you can pick apples in a special orchard. Speaking of fruit, there’s also lots of blackberry bushes along the way. You can also visit the historic Lullingstone Castle & Gardens, the even older Lullingstone Roman Villa and gaze in awe at the rather incredible Eynsford Viaduct.
Trainstop: Shoreham or Otford
A Walk Around Petts Wood and Hawkwood
You can’t go wrong with taking a stroll through the varied landscape of Petts Wood and Hawkwood, with heather, farmland and woodland all on offer. And the best thing is that all of this can be found just in Zone 5! In late summer you can enjoy the heather in bloom, while later in autumn you return to see the colours change. And most importantly, in October and November, you’ll find chestnuts, lots of chestnuts! What’s nice is that it’s not too busy, so you can get a bit lost!
Trainstop: St. Mary Cray or Bickley (or Petts Wood on another line)
Nunhead Cemetery Walk
Take a wander through one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries in London with its impressive church ruins and hidden walking paths and trails. You can keep it to a walk around the cemetery, but can also go a bit further checking out nearby Camberwell Old Cemetery, or instead by joining the Green Chain Walk route to Crystal Palace Park via The Horniman Museum and Gardens, which is one of my all-time favourite routes on that major walking network.