Saturday, 27 January 2018

27/01/18 - London Countryway - Stage 2 - Sole Street to Borough Green

Distance - 11 Miles
Start - Sole Street
Finish - Borough Green
Geocaches - 16
Pubs - 2
Previous Stages - Stage 1

Stage 2 on the London Countryway, with most of the walking on good paths in the Kentish Downs along the Weald Way.

Alight at lonely Sole Street, and straight into the Countryside to meet the beasts of Kent.

Kentish Countryside
Kentish Countryside
Beast of Kent
Beasts of Kent

One of the advantages of the London Countryway sharing more established Long Distance Paths is the high count of Geocaches.  Most are micro film pots but very occasionally, you get a Cache Owner with a deep imagination and the daring to execute something that would perplex the average Muggle who happened to stumble on their work.

Caching at its finest
Cache of the Day
Although fine walking, there's really not much to photo through the trees until our path crosses the North Downs Way above Coldrum Long Barrow.  Even then, woodland obscures the view until we've dropped to the valley floor.

Coldbrum Longbarrow
Unlike the Barrows in the Cotswolds, this one is fenced off
Coldbrum Longbarrow
The views from the top of the Long Barrow

The rest of the way to civilisation is mud, quarries, geocaches and motorways, crossing under the M20 near where it merges with the M26.

Last of the Scenery
Into the confused villages of Platt, Wrotham and Borough Green to try and unravel the mystery of where one ends and the other begins, with a choice needs to be made for where to dine.

A choice I get hopelessly wrong.

Blue Anchor, Grange Road, Platt, Timothy Taylor Landlord

This could be winner of finest Greene King Pub in the land.  It's quirky, full of nick nacks, has a fine hand written menu of home made delights and has Timothy Taylor Landlord, as a relief from their eponymous IPA.  Friendly land lady, who's only stipulation for service is the leaving of muddy boots outside.  Which is where I leave mine, in the hope my Meindls don't get nicked and leave me with a problem to complete the last mile.

Blue Anchor, Platts
A lovely Greene King
Blue Anchor, Platts
View from a bar stool - I went left, even if the glass suggest right

I really should have settled in for my post walk meal, but its slightly too early and there's distance to go.  I'll see what culinary delights await at the pub over the road from the Station.

Blue Anchor, Platts
Facilities Jokes
Black Horse, 76 Maidstone Road, Borough Green, Doom Bar

The rain is hammering, so I am in full waterproofs when I burst through the door of a boozer which I initially mistook for being closed.

Its not, there are three punters, perched on the end of the bar listening to heavy 70s and 80s rock.  I'm not sure if its the drop in conversation as they spy me, the one light bulb out of three working in the overhead lamp or the single real ale on that makes me question the outside proclamation of "Your Friendly Local Pub".

Black Horse, Borough Green
Friendly Local
To be fair, the landlady is lovely in a Queen Vic Babs kind of way, but I can see from the empty nuts wrappers on the bar, that my chance of home cooked food disappeared when I left the Anchor.

It's a sit at the bar, deep contemplation of whether you are meant to be able to see through Doom Bar and a nod along to Deep Purple in the home of making friends. 

Impossible to spread this out for 90 minutes, I make a dash for a train that my reservation does not necessarily cover and hope for lack of diligence from Southern Rail Ticket inspectors.

Black Horse, Borough Green
33% as welcoming as it should be.


  1. That sand quarry's a nightmare - ruined a pair of trail shoes in there on the Wealdway!

  2. Route finding is a bit tricky too - my OS Maps never keep up with the changes that quarries place on the ground. Had a lot of mishaps in the midlands too...