Greensand Way & Knole House, Kent Sunday 3rd September (Leader: Chris Emberson)
The coach will drop us off at Ide Hill where we will join the Greensand Way for a 6 ¼ mile morning walk to Knole House. The first part of the route is through woods along the Greensand ridge with occasional views over the Weald of Kent. The path then descends through a mix of fields and woods towards Sevenoaks Weald village which is just off the Way where there will be a brief mid-morning stop. From here the route is a steady climb back up to and along the ridge before crossing the A225 (care needed here) at Riverhill and reaching the southern entrance to Knole Park. Once in the park we should expect to see groups of wild deer before reaching Knole House which is our lunch stop. Here there is a Picnic area and the Brewhouse Café which serves Hot & Cold Food & Drinks. There are also several pubs in Sevenoaks High Street, but will entail a total walk of 1 mile.
The afternoon’s option to the scheduled 5 mile circular walk will allow a visit to Knole House (NT Card or fee) and/or the Deer Park for a short self-guided walk within Knole Park & Sevenoaks.
The afternoon’s circular walk will start from Knole House and will encompass Fawke Common, One Tree Hill and Godden Green. At the end of the walk there should be time to visit the Brewhouse Café for drinks etc. before joining the coach for the return home. Knole House was built and extended by the Archbishops of Canterbury after 1456 from an even older manor house. Later it became a royal possession during the Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII hunted here and Elizabeth I visited. From 1603 it became the Sackville Family house to the present day. The National Trust acquired the house in 1946. Parts of the house are still used by the Sackville family. Knole was the haunting, magnetic inspiration for the Virginia Woolf novel 'Orlando', written for Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, as a 'biography' of the house and its family.
Knole Park covers an area of 1000 acres and is home to some 350 wild deer. NB. do not pet, feed or approach the deer as they can be dangerous.