DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
974 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

An earlier comment lamented at how this trail is incorrectly classified as a moderate difficulty trail, and how it was too difficult for kids and for adults who aren't properly fit. More than 3 hours of walking later, I agree and disagree.

When I started out, I looked at the less than 300m elevation and quietly sniggered at our lamenting friend - 270m over 8.9km is usually child's play.
Having walked up and down from the 3rd floor of my Victorian flat in London to pick up deliveroo several times a day, I was convinced this would be a walk in the park.

And as I walked from Otford to the starting point by a serene afternoon cricket game and a slightly smelly stable, the ground was as flat as some folks think the world is and life looked good.

But the 270m elevation happend all at once, after you're past the first straight. At one point it was so steep that steps were built in. I dragged myself up the slope, each step making me wince while also watched grey-haired veterans make an easy job of it.

The view, however, is worth it - gentle rolling hills follow, walking through farms and meadows which are a riot of flowers in spring (I visited in June). There are woods too, and lovely, dark and deep - on a sunny day, the contrasts between the open and closed sections of the trail are immensely enjoyable.

Having born and raised in India where to be alone is a luxury, it was also a pleasant surprise to find strangers friendly and keen to stop for a chat - back home, we'd do our best to pretend the other didn't exist.

Is this an easy trail for a 110kg 6 foot man who is 31 years old? No, but the juice was worth the squeeze.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.