Walk completed August 16, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8, 2014 -- Day 54, Sundridge to Dunton Green, 5 miles

Today was an easy day – only five miles – made easier by yesterday’s trail reconnaissance. The distance between Shaw Lodge near Sundridge and Dartford (my next stop) is about 17 miles. Not wanting to walk that far with a very heavy pack (5 pounds heavier than its normal weight due to the addition of the duffel and extra maps I can no longer forward to myself), I tried to find accommodation to cut the distance down. The only place I could find was in Dunton Green, only 5 miles from Shaw Lodge, but it reduces tomorrow’s distance to a more manageable 12 miles.

A steady rain was falling during breakfast, so I deferred by departure until about 10:00, by which time the rain had stopped. Because I was familiar with the trail, I moved along quickly, arriving at Dunton Green in under 2½ hours. My timing couldn’t have been better, because later in the day the rain fell harder than I have seen on this trip. By then, I was sitting in my hotel room.

Footpath near Dyrhill

Early on today's walk, I came across an interesting little  plant I've seen occasionally alongside the trials. It reminds me of the snow plants we see in the Sierra in early spring. Fiona, the hostess at Shaw Lodge, had lent me a plant identification book, but it dealt mostly with garden plants, and I couldn't find this one in it. If anybody can identify the plant, please let me know.
Mystery plant

Farmhouse at Dryhill

Near the village of Chipstead, the footpath passed by a lake on whose southern boundary lies the town of Riverhead. That suggests to me that the lake may be the source of the River Darent, although my map shows a little creek running through Brasted (where I had pizza yesterday) before it flows to the river. I’m not sure whether the start of the creek is the source of the River Darent or the lake is the source. Regardless, I’ve been to both, so can claim being at the source.

Source of the River Darent?

Tomorrow will be my final trail walking day, as I follow the Darent Valley Path (and the River Darent) to Dartford. After tomorrow, the walking will be mostly through London and its suburbs, although the towpaths will resume alongside the Thames, as I get closer to Staines.

© 2014 Ken Klug


  1. Hi Ken, i'm enjoying reading about you enjoying the trail.
    Your plant is a member of the Arum family (Arum maculatum) and has many common names including Lords and ladies.
    It's worth looking up as it looks quite different at it's early and mid stage before reaching the stage in your photo. carry on enjoying .
    Cheers J.P.

    1. Thanks, JP. I knew that somebody out there would recognize the plant. I don't know if it also grows in North America, but I've never seen it in southwest America. Lady Ann sent me a link with info on the plant, which is apparently slightly poisonous:


  2. What a pretty poison! Please bring some of the rain with you, we sure could use some.
    Hopefully by tomorrow the sun will be our for you to finish your journey.
    Happy trail, cowboy!