Kent Ramblers: Walk 6



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Path Problems

Chislehurst and Willett Memorial

Distance: 3.5 Miles (1hr 40m)

OS Map: Explorer 162 (Start at grid reference TQ439706)

Click map to enlarge and click again to enlarge further

Park in Pay and Display (Hornbrook House) car park in Chislehurst High Street (free on Sundays) or take a bus to the High Street and find the car park at the southern end.

Turn right out of car park (but glance left to admire Prickend Pond and its population of waterfowl) and go uphill to turn right along Prince Imperial Road past the Methodist church.  Beyond houses, take path through trees on right running parallel to road.  Cross Wilderness Road twice, second time looking left to note memorial to Prince Imperial (A).  Soon Camden Place is on right.

On reaching gate to Camden Place, note across road The Cedars bearing blue plaque commemorating home of William Willett, inventor of British Summer Time.  Bear left, crossing road carefully to Watt’s Lane.  On the junction between Watt’s Lane and Bromley Road is Hangman’s Corner (B) – a small stone bears faint inscription stating that there was once a gibbet hereabouts.  Follow Watt’s Lane past cricket ground, some houses and field until church comes into view on left and you reach cross roads.  Cross diagonally to path on far side that leads you towards church and to old cockpit (C), circular hollow still recognisable nearly 190 years after cock fighting was made illegal in 1834.

Turn right toward Tiger’s Head pub, cross road and go down Hawkwood Lane to left of pub.  Pass St Mary’s church on right (D).  Continue past entrance to Coopers School and down to entrance to Hawkwood house.  Bear left, now along Botany Bay Lane, and take first path on left.  Follow rightmost of two parallel tracks and continue to Flushers Pond.  Follow path round to left across duck boards and round to right uphill to meet broader path.  Go straight across with wood on left and open field on right.  At corner of field, turn right until you are alongside clump of trees in field on right (first of two).

Take clear path on left to Willett Memorial Sundial (E).  Keep straight on out of clearing and soon turn left on broad path (there are blue and white waymarks on trees), keeping left until you reach an information board.  Having looked at board, turn round and retrace steps for a few metres then turn left onto broad path.  Continue, passing London Loop waymarks, to main road.

Cross road carefully and go left along path in woods running parallel to road – there are two and the one further from the road is preferable, although all will eventually bring you onto Royal Parade.  Carry on to crossroads near war memorial and cross Bromley Lane.  Turn right and after just a few metres take broad path on left into woods.  On reaching Heathfield Lane, turn right along it for a short distance then cross it to path on far side.  This will bring you out opposite car park.

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

Points of Interest

The Prince Imperial

The Prince Imperial, known as Louis, was the son of Napoleon III (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) and his wife Eugenie who were exiled in Britain and lived at Camden Place.  Louis was killed in Southern Africa fighting for the British against the Zulus in 1879 at the age of 23.  His body was returned to England and a hundred thousand people attended his funeral procession in Chislehurst.  Although he was originally buried in a specially built addition to St Mary’s church, his body was later removed to Farnborough in Hampshire.

William Willett

Willett was a successful builder who lived in Chislehurst and championed the idea of putting the clocks forward in summer to make better use of long daylight hours and save fuel for lighting and heating.  By the time the concept was implemented in 1916, initially as an emergency wartime measure, Willett had already died.  He is celebrated by a sundial in Petts Wood woods (above), by a street in Petts Wood village and by the Daylight Inn near Petts Wood station.

Public Transport

Chislehurst High Street is served by many bus routes from many places including Orpington.

Please report any problems with this walk to

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Map contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2023.  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.