Another great Shoreham circular walk, that can be done as an extension to most of the other Shoreham walks on this site. Allow two hours. There is one steepish 5-10 minute section as you climb back to the Pilots wood path junction above the Filston Rd field (which features so regularly in these walks!). This walk is split evenly between woodland and grass chalk downland, with a nice bit of village thrown in at the end with cafes and pubs.
Distance from SE London: 35 min drive from Sydenham, 40 min from Peckham Rye station on train
Polhill Bank, one of the main highlights of the stroll, is a site of special scientific interest managed by Kent Wildlife Trust. It consists of a steep south-facing area of grass hillside rich in flora and fauna including butterflies, orchids, reptiles and birds such as yellowhammer, kestrel, buzzard and blackcap. The KWT is currently collecting donations for more work at the SSSI.
Much of the initial part of the walk is through Meenfield and Pilots woods on top of the chalk valley-crest west of Shoreham village. Meenfield woods is superb for bluebells in late April. There are great viewpoints over the Darent Valley once Polhill Bank is reached. Later, the walk descends to Shoreham village, passing the Aircraft Museum, Honey Pot cafe, then the King’s Arms pub and taking in the river walk.
Start/End: If in a car, park on the wide verge on Shacklands Rd (Google map here) just before it meets High St. Alternatively, park at Andrews Wood car park off the top end of Shacklands Rd and walk over the footbridge above the M25 and join Meenfield wood path across the valley (you can follow this GPS route) If arriving by train, walk down from the station to the village and join the walk at the war memorial (Google map here), taking the river path past the Water House.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF FOR THIS WALK to print out
For full details of this lovely, quiet walk go to the All Trails/ iFootpath website (direct link) where, once you’ve registered and logged in, you’ll find a GPX map (so you can follow the route in real time) and full details, by me.
I’ve done the walk like this, rather than my usual package, because I wanted to try out the iFootpath app to create the map – which is a nice tool with good presentation – and hope that users of the app in the Kent area will discover my website through it. There is no commercial gain in this for me and iFootpath doesn’t seem to have a lot of walks in the NW Kent area.
If you’ve enjoyed one of the walks on this site and feel it’s enriched your day, feel free to make a small donation here if you wish. It'll encourage me to add more walks, update information and work harder to improve accuracy and quality. Thanks a lot.
Shoreham pubs: We used to go to the 14th-century Ye Olde George opposite the church. This has now become The Samuel Palmer after a big renovation in 2020-22. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks great and has connections with the superb Mount Vineyard, 50 metres further into the village. The Crown is an excellent pub in another superb old building, as is the King’s Arms but sadly this was closed in March 2022 after a fire and is yet to reopen as I write in June.