Kent Ramblers: Walk of the Month

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July: Otford Mount

Distance:   4.5 or 3 Miles (2h 15m or 1h 30m)

OS Map:   Explorer 147 (Start at grid reference TQ525594)

Click map to enlarge and click again to enlarge further

Park in the public car park in Otford – the entrance is opposite The Bull public house in the High Street.  Alternatively, arrive by train and start the walk from the station.  At weekends it is also possible to park near the junction of Bubblestone Road and Well Road but from Monday to Friday there are parking restrictions that differ from street to street.

Turn left out of car park into High Street and take first lane on left.  Soon after last building on right go up concrete steps on right, through gate and along left hand side of field.  Cross railway and follow path between high fences to road.

Cross road and turn left along it.  Initially you have to walk in road, so be very careful.  After 140 metres take footpath on right, steeply uphill through a couple of gates to seat with panoramic views across Kent.

Take uphill path to right of seat and follow waymarks through wood and along top of meadow passing stile and seat to small metal gate on left.  Through gate, climb diagonally right across field to another metal gate and take track through woods to Rowdow Lane.

Turn right along lane until just before The Granary at Paine’s Farm on left.

 If you want to reduce length of walk to three miles, continue along road until you come to footpath on right that takes you into field with trig point in middle to rejoin main route.  But you will be missing the finest part of the walk.

For longer route, take the footpath through gate on left just before The Granary.  Initially walk between fences but on entering open field go straight ahead to lowest point of field and enter wood.  When path emerges from wood you are in a beautifully peaceful valley designated as a conservation area.  Continue straight ahead across valley and steeply up other side.  At top, go through short wood into field.  Cross field diagonally to meet road just past house hidden behind tall conifers.  Don’t go onto road but turn right uphill on another path taking you to highest point of field.  Go past a short section of wood into open valley where colours in autumn are magnificent.  Bear left to bottom of valley and into wood.

Follow path through wood to Birchin Cross Road.  Turn left and take first path on right (joining the North Downs Way) across a couple of fields then along path beside wood, at end of fence on right turning sharp right back to Birchin Cross Road.  Turn left and at road junction cross grassy island to gate and enter field with trig point in middle – this is where long and short routes meet up.

Make for bottom left hand corner and take track, still North Downs Way, downhill to road.  (About half way down, marked as Tumulus on the map, is a bronze age burial site – one of many in the area, although most have been ploughed level and are visible only from the air as circular patterns in the crops.)

Cross road and go through gate into old chalk pit.  Go down steps to bottom, follow right hand edge and leave by track on right about half way along.  When this meets metalled path, turn left and follow it to Tudor Road.  Turn right and very soon take path on right between houses.  Follow this across railway and then take left hand fork.  Emerge into Well Road and turn right.  At a T-junction, turn right and at first corner take footpath on right.  Follow this path, noting Richard Russell’s stone plaque on wall on left, and also remains of Archbishop’s palace – tower at far end of building on left.  On entering churchyard, bear left past church to emerge by duck pond, allegedly only duck pond in the country to be listed building.

Cross to High Street, noting on numbers 20-24 opposite sundial commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth I.  This building was erected in the late 1700s as the workhouse and later divided into three cottages.   Continue on left hand side to Zebra crossing.  Cross here and return to car park.

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Points of Interest

Archbishop's Palace

One of the residences of the Archbishop of Canterbury from the ninth century until Henry VIII forced Archbishop Cranmer to relinquish it to the Crown.  In the early sixteenth century Archbishop Warham extended the Palace to rival Hampton Court in size and splendour.  Now only part of the gate house remains.

Richard Russell Plaque

This plaque was removed to its present location from a tower on Otford Mount that was erected by Russell in 1874 for the purpose of watching fox hunting and steeple chasing.


Public Transport

The walk passes close to Otford station where there are trains from London and Sevenoaks.


In addition to the walking routes on our web site we have published three popular walking guides:

Guide to Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk and other walks in the area

Guide to the Kent Coast Path: Part 1, Camber to Ramsgate

Guide to Three River Valley Walks in West Kent: Darent Valley Path, Eden Valley Walk and Medway Valley Walk


Please report any problems with this walk to info@kentramblers.org.uk.


Ramblers' volunteers in Kent work tirelessly to ensure that our paths are as well protected and maintained as possible.  Of course we also organise led walks but most of our members are independent walkers who simply want to support our footpath work.  Please join us and become a supporter too.  You need us and we really need you.


Map contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2022.  Some paths on map are based on data provided by Kent County Council but do not constitute legal evidence of the line of a right of way