Kent Ramblers Walk 3



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Shoreham Station and Upper Austin Lodge

This walk passes through the delightfully quiet and beautiful Austin Lodge Valley.  However, there are a couple of stiff climbs.

Distance:   4.7 Miles (2 hours)

OS Map:   Explorer 147 (Start at grid reference TQ526615)


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Park in the vicinity of Shoreham station.  There is a lay-by immediately opposite the station or you can park in Station Road.

Proceed down Station Road away from station and take path (Darent Valley Path) on right opposite entrance to Shoreham Place.  Cross bottom of field with wall then hedge on left.  When hedge ends, turn right along far side of hedge to railway, cross with care and continue to road.

Cross road and turn left, keeping as far onto narrow verge as you can.  Very shortly take path through gap in hedge on right leading into field.  Bear left across field making for gap in hedge on far side.  Follow track through wood and out at bottom of a garden.  Cross garden diagonally uphill between fences, cross drive and take path into wood.

Climb steeply through wood.  At T-junction at top turn left.  At far end of wood bear right for a few metres then left into field near middle of one side.  Bear diagonally right across field towards lowest corner and take downhill path just before corner passing curious concrete structure.  Go down steep steps through wood and then between hedges.  At bottom turn left across former golf course and along right hand edge of field.  Cross access drive to former golf course (now Fairways) and continue to Upper Austin Lodge Road.

Turn right then keep left past several houses and farms.  Pass gate advising that there is no through access.  Carry straight on through former golf course.  [You can make a detour to the Pilcher Monument where signed.  The trip there and back adds an extra third of a mile to the walk.]  At post take path on left enclosed between hedges going uphill.  Follow this to Lower Wood.  Bear right along lower edge of Lower Wood, then along tops of several fields.  Just past house on left at stile on left, turn sharp right, noting excellent view including, on a clear day, the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie building and the Cheesegrater building in the City and Canary Wharf in Docklands.

Head downhill to dip then slightly uphill to cross stile onto green lane.  Go straight across and down field to valley bottom.  Take path between hedges, climbing steeply up other side of valley, across downland and into wood.  On far side of wood, bear left across two fields and join green lane, where you bear half right.  Follow the lane into Dunstall Farm.  At far side of farmyard, turn right then sharp left to skirt barn.  Past barn, go straight across field into wood passing another curious concrete structure.  Descend steep steps and follow track bringing you out almost opposite Shoreham station.

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

Guide to the Wealdway

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

Points of Interest

Dunstall Priory

The English home of the playwright Lord Dunsany (1878-1957) who at one time had five plays running simultaneously on Broadway.   The family also had an estate at Dunsany in Ireland.

Pilcher Monument

Opened in 2006, the monument marks the site of pioneering experiments in manned flight undertaken by Percy Pilcher in 1896 and 1897, initially using gliders.  He later designed and built a powered triplane but was killed in a gliding accident in 1899 before he had the opportunity to test it.  Had he lived he might have beaten the Wright Brothers to the first successful powered flight.

Concrete Structures

You will pass two or three of these on the walk.  They are the remains of unusual stiles dating back before, possibly well before, 1964 when they were mentioned in a London Transport book of "Country Walks".

Public Transport

The walk is ideal for travelling by train to Shoreham Station on the route from Victoria to Maidstone or St Pancras and City Thameslink to Sevenoaks.

Fox and Hounds

This pub at Romney Street which you may find marked on your Ordnance Survey map is no longer open.

Austin Lodge Valley

This charming valley, now dry, was probably formed in the white chalk of the North Downs during the most recent glacial period.  There were no glaciers here but the climate was cold enough to freeze any moisture in the chalk, making it impermeable to water so that during periods of surface thaw the water would form a stream that cut the valley into the chalk.  In modern times the chalk is permeable to water so that streams cannot form.  As the chalk gradually dissolved and washed away there were left behind flints which had been suspended within the chalk and clay formed from silt deposited with along with the shells of tiny sea creatures when the chalk was laid down in clear water.  This “clay with flints” forms the relatively thin soil of the valley.

Please report any problems with this walk to

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 2020.  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