North Kent National Trust Extravaganza

Sevenoaks to Kemsing

9.3 miles / 15 km

HIGHLIGHTS

Knole Park & Deer|  Knole House | Bluebell Woods | North Downs Views |Greensand Way|  Ightham Mote| Oldbury Hill

Knole House

Introduction

A National Trust extravaganza! There are not one but two historical houses on this route – the 15th century Knole, situated in a beautiful deer park and the medieval, moated Ightam Mote. Linking the two estates is the Greensand Way, a long distance trail which passes through the scenic National Trust-owned One Tree Hill and with Scathes Wood has some impressive bluebell woods. Beyond that, more isolated Oldbury Hill Woods are also owned and managed by the National Trust.

Knole House and Ightam Mote have an entry charge unless you are a National Trust member, but the parkland and woods surrounding the estates are free to walk though.

Route details

Starting out in Sevenoaks’ surburban sprawl, the route quickly enters Knole Park  passing through open parkland, and continuing onto the Greensand Way. This route covers woodland sections and some steep drops downhill and uphill so take care. Past Ightham Mote, the route goes through increasingly empty woodland towards Kemsing and out onto road near the end.

Start Sevenoaks station South Eastern Trains
End Kemsing station South Eastern Trains
OS Route  WALKING POST Sevenoaks to Knole
Difficulty Moderate
Length 9.3 miles
Average time 4 – 5 hours
Total ascent 1191 ft

Tower of London to Angel walk

Knole House

Tower of London to Angel walk  Tobacco Dock Pirate ships

Knole Park

Tower of London to Angel walk  Limehouse Basin

Shingle Hill

Tower of London to Angel walk Victoria Park

Bluebells , Greensand Way

Regent's Canal, Commercial Road walk

Ightham Mote

Sharks  Hackney regents canal

Oast houses, Ightham Farm

Along the way

Knole House

Once a medieval archbishop’s palace, Knole became one of the five biggest country houses in the UK. Henry VIII hunted here, Mary I lived here for a while and the Sackville family, who took it on in 1603, have owned it ever since. Their descendants, the Sackville-Wests (relatives of the writer Vita Sackville-West) still live in the house, though the building is now maintained by the National Trust. The park, which is free to enter, covers an impressive 1,000 acres. 

Ightham Mote

Dating back to 1340, Ightham Mote is a medieval moated manor house with a long and chequered history and a number of successive owners. The surrounding estate covers 500 acres and is free to access via public footpaths. There’s also a café, National Trust shop and second-hand bookshop on the site. 

 

Useful info

TRANSPORT

Although Sevenoaks and Kemsing stations are both run by Southeastern, they are on different lines. Sevenoaks is served by London Charing Cross, Waterloo East, London Bridge and Blackfriars (Thameslink service). Kemsing trains run back to London Victoria via Bromley South. 

TOILET OPPORTUNITIES

There are toilets at Knole (opposite the Brewhouse Café) which are accessible without an entry ticket to the house. There’s also one at Ightham Mote, next to the shop. Sevenoaks station also has a public toilet (during staffed hours) but Kemsing does not. 

FOOD & DRINK

Both Knole and Ightham Mote have places to get a drink and a snack. Kemsing hasn’t got many options except for the lovely looking Chequers Inn which is just over half a mile beyond the turn off to Kemsing station, on Watery Lane.