Paleolithic rock shelter.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The rendezvous point for this weeks walk was the Lullingstone Country Park. The start of the walk was delayed a while in order to admire the new Skoda of the most senior of the group. Taking the exit from the car park onto the path beside the River Darent the views of the slowly flowing water are spectacular. The river leads onto the reservoir at Lullingstone Castle. Taking a small detour through the castle entrance, which is the only remains of the original castle, we were greeted by the owner of the Castle, the amiable Sarah Hart Dyke. Following a discussion with her of the progress of the Castle since the television series , ‘Save Lullingtsone Castle’, we visited the small parish church of St Bodolphs . There are some interesting tombs belonging to both the Dykes and the Harts. Retracing our steps we continued along the Darent Valley Path beside the World Garden of Plants where we could hear Tom Hart Dyke working in the garden. Tom was captured by Colombians in 2000 whilst searching for plants . The World Garden of Plants now houses the National Collection of Eucalyptus trees.

The path turns into a road which leads to Lullingstone Roman Villa. One of the party who had not visited before took the opportunity to view the ruins of the villa including the floor mosaics. The path leads up the hill with some very clear views of the whole valley and the red brick viaduct at Eynesford. The variable weather over the last month has resulted in the path becoming overgrown. At the top of the rise we continued straight up the hill rather than take the Darent Valley Walk towards Eagle Heights. At the top of the hill the path leads across a field to the golf course. Continuing along the Lullingstone loop we were overtaken by a very large group of ramblers making their way to the cafe at the Country Park.

Taking the Lullingston loop route we passed through several areas of woodland. In one of the wooded areas, Upper Beechen, we stopped at the customary log for lunch.
Taking the bridleway out of the woodland we arrived at Redmans Lane where one of our number undertook a scientific experiment to see how far a golf ball can roll down a hill in a straight line a surprising long way. At the bottom of the hill we came to Castle Farm Road and taking this road towards Shoreham we cut left across a field to rejoin Darent Valley Path. A large amount of farm land here is given over to cultivation of lavender and some of the fields were just coming into flower. The path returns directly to the Country Park passing in front of the Farm Shop. Upon arrival at the Country Park it was felt that a cup of tea was in order in the cafe where we found the group of ramblers we had met earlier engrossed in their lunch.

There were four walkers and the walk was approximately five miles long.
 Start Of The Walk
 Riverside Walk

 Lullingstone Castle
 Parish Church

 Inside Parish Church

 Following by JC

 Our Leader For The Day

General View By RY 

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