Kent Ramblers Walk 47



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Path Problems

Shoreham, Pluto and Otford

Distance:          4.8 Miles (2.25 Hours)

OS Map:           Explorer 147 (Start at grid reference TQ518615)

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Park in the free public car park in Shoreham – from the High Street, drive south past the end of Church Street on the left and into Filston Lane (effectively a continuation of the High Street) where the car park is on the left.

You could shorten the walk by half a mile and avoid the only climb by walking along Filston Lane to the entrance to Filston Farm.  The road is not a busy one, but great care should be taken nonetheless.

Otherwise, turn right along the main street, pass Church Street on the right and soon reach the Aircraft Museum on your left (open 10am to 5pm every Sunday from May until the end of September).  Immediately past the museum take a track uphill on the left signposted to Halstead and Timberden Bottom.  Climb steadily to a terrace where there are two seats.  Turn left along a broad track, initially along lower edge of woodland.

On entering an open field, turn sharp left down to gate and along track between hedges.  At lane turn right for 250 metres to track leading to Filston Farm and take footpath on far side running parallel to track.  Pass to the left of the large barn then turn sharp right to a large silo on metal legs bearing several waymarks.  Here turn sharp left downhill through two gates past some stables into a lane.  Follow the lane, soon bearing right and becoming quite muddy in wet weather.

Continue to a white concrete post beside the path.  This is Pluto – part of Otford’s largest scale model of the solar system on Earth.  Carry on until you reach a path at a T-junction and turn left to follow a well-defined path that leads over a small bridge and across fields to join the road on the outskirts of Otford.

Turn left along Otford High Street, passing Uranus on the left, and cross at a pedestrian island before the footpath on the left ends.  On reaching the public car park and toilets on the left, cross the road and go through the car park to the recreation ground.  At the far side of the recreation ground is the main part of the solar system model – the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  Jupiter is on the edge of the recreation ground.

Leave the recreation ground at the northeast corner and turn left along a lane.  When the lane turns left, go straight forward through a gate along a path between hedge and fence.  Follow this path through the golf course.  Cross a lane and carry on along the path, round the edge of the cricket field and past the golf course clubhouse to Station Road in Shoreham.  Turn left and take the first footpath on the right.  After a few yards go through a gate on the left into the churchyard.  Go straight through the churchyard, noting the church porch, reputedly carved from a single tree trunk – are you convinced?

On emerging into Church Street go straight forward, across the bridge and up the hill to the High Street.  Turn left along Filston Lane back to the car park.


Points of Interest

Solar System Model

The model, the largest in the world, was created to celebrate the millennium and shows the relative positions of the Sun and planets at midnight on 1 January 2000.  Considerable effort was required to design an accurate layout that gave public access to every planet.  Each planet is on a concrete pillar, drawn to the same scale as the model as a whole.  On this scale, the nearest star would be in Los Angeles.

Tea Shop Crawl

This walk is well endowed with places of refreshment.
Otford has two pubs and a tearoom.

The Clubhouse at Darenth Valley Golf Course welcomes walkers.  It is open most days but is closed 25 and 26 December and 1 January.
Honey Pot Tearoom is normally open 11 to 4 Thursday to Saturday.

There are also four pubs in Shoreham, two of them passed on this walk.

Public Transport

This walk is easily accessible by public transport, passing close to both Shoreham and Otford railway stations where there are regular services from Sevenoaks and Bromley.

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

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