Saturday, 12 May 2018

12/05/18 - London Countryway Stage 4 - Sevenoaks to Oxted

Distance - 14.8 Miles
Start - Sevenoaks
Finish - Oxted
Geocaches - 17
Pubs - 3 (all GBG ticks)
Previous Stages - Stage 1Stage 2, Stage 3


Stage 4 of the London Countryway and I make my first border crossing - from Kent into Surrey.  The walk is getting into its stride now and although the terrain is quite similar today, the walking is superb.

It could be described as a walk of two halves.

The first section sees me escape Sevenoaks through a series of alleyways and private roads to be delivered into Mill Bank Woodlands.  Fine Forest rides and some perfect Geocaches to hunt for, not too difficult and high in volume.

Mill Bank Woods
Got some logging to do, but not this much
For the second part of the walk, I pick up the Greensands Way and follow to today's destination, Oxted.  It follows the high ridge of the Sevenoaks Weald, through National Trust owned land of Ide and Toy Hill and offers never ending views to the South Downs Way.  There are a lot of photos, but they are all similar and usually containing Bough Beech Reservoir.

Sevenoaks Weald Views
First of he days views to South Downs Way
Bough Beach Reservoir
Bough Beech Reservoir

There's a myriad paths, that makes some routefinding difficult.  As well as following the original guide to the LDN Countryway, I have a couple of blog resources available.  Des De Moor stopped for lunch at this picnic table back in 2009.   Its still there, even if I was lunchless.

Ide Hill
National Trust Land, providing good paths
Route Finding Issues
Occasionally, too many paths 
Picnic Set in the Weald
Deep in the Woods Picnic Stopping Point

Pub wise, it's could be a marathon over the 14 miles.   First met is Ide Hill's Cock Inn.  Despite missing the opportunity to ask a bemused local how far the Cock Inn is, I decide to delay gratification.  This is nothing to do with it being a Greene King, but the fact that time is precious.

Running out of water means that I cannot ignore the Carpenters Arms at Limpsfield Chart.  A gastro pub in the truest sense of the word, with an extension built on to squeeze in extra tables.  Its also a Westerham Brewery house - not one I am aware off but LocALE from Kent.  The 1965 was in superb condition and the staff called me Sir, even if I was in a damp raincoat.  I was quite content.  Even more content when I get home, check the bible and determine I've accidently gained another tick.

Carpenters, Limpsfield Chart
Gastro, Gastro, Gastro
1965 at the Carpenters
With decent Westerham Ales

I forget to ask for a water refill, but there is nothing to fear.  Old Oxted is about another hours walk and in a High street that can't be more than 150 metres long - there are four pubs.  Old Bell is handsome, the George Inn looked closed down and the Wheatsheaf looked estate.  I have taken a 1 mile detour to get a Good Beer Guide Tick at the Crown Inn.

The Crown, Old Oxted
Note the Entrance Sign - It's on the first floor
Four real ales on and I played safe by taking an average London Pride to a nice Chesterfield sofa in a different room to where the diners and their screaming kids were.  Really nothing much to write home about but it was infinitely superior to my final GBG tick of the day in new Oxted.

Positioned strategically next to the Station is the Oxted Inn.  It's appearance matches its near industrial estate address of Units 1-4, Hoskins Walk.

In a long list of crimes against landlord-ery that I won't bore you with here, the beer was terrible.  My first request of an Oakham JHB died a third into pouring.  The replacement Windsor and Eton Windsor Knott was hazy and lifeless.

There's a reason for this - in a packed pub of people, many of whom have obviously been here since 9am, I am the only person drinking a real ale.  Everyone else is on lager, with the exception of one bar hanging dandy on the sauvignon blanc.

When I am king, I am banning JDW from future Good Beer Guides.

Oxted Inn, New Oxted
Mama told me not to come.  Good Beer Guide insisted.

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