Walk completed August 16, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 9, 2014 -- Day 55, Dunton Green to Dartford, 12 miles

Today’s walk continued on the Darent Valley Path through Otford, Shoreham, Eynford, Farningham and Horton Kirby. Despite yesterday’s heavy rain, most of the trail was reasonably dry without the knee high wet grass I’ve come to expect. The DVP was well marked, which was important today because my very old map doesn’t delineate the route, but only shows footpaths. I generally connected the ones that I thought would be the DVP, with only a few errors, but the way markings cured those mistakes.

Bridleway north of Otford
River Darent near Shoreham

Farmland near Eynsford

Train viaduct near Eynsford
The sun broke through the clouds, creating another beautiful day for walking.


A beautiful Saturday should bring out the walkers, and it wasn’t long before I met Kevin and Alison. A little farther on, I met Paul and his group of five other walkers (and two dogs) from Oxted/Limpsfield, near Westerham. We had a nice chat, but unfortunately I forgot to take their picture. Surprisingly, all the others I met on the trail were picnickers or local dog walkers – but no serious walkers.

Alison and Kevin
As hinted by its name, the Darent Valley Path generally follows the River Darent until it empties into the tidal Thames at Dartford. The route passes by Lullingstone Castle. I passed by at 11:15, but the castle doesn’t open until noon, so I didn’t stop. I probably wouldn’t have stopped anyway, because the structure looks more like a folly than a real castle. (Follies were typically built by wealthy persons in the 1700s and 1800s to resemble coveted structures, but don’t have any real historical importance other than the folly itself.)

Lullingstone Castle

River Darent near Horton Kirby

After 10½ miles, the DVP dumped me out on the busy A225 at the town of Sutton at Hone, a suburb of Dartford. Rather than pound pavement for the next 3 miles, I took a bus to the Dartford Railway Station, and then walked another 1½ miles to my hotel.
I can see the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, which spans the Thames, from my hotel room. Unfortunately, it is open only to vehicles -- not walkers -- so I can't hike to the top for a picture. That will have to come later.

QE II Bridge from my room

© 2014 Ken Klug

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for more beautiful pics! Love the one of the river flowing by the chairs on the side, with pretty flowers alongside!
    You are very close to the bridge, have fun!