Kent Ramblers: Walk 109




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Path Problems

Keston & Leaves Green

Distance:          5.0 miles (2 Hour 30 minutes) or 3.8 miles with shortcut

OS Map:           Explorer 147 (Start at grid reference TQ419639)

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Park in Westerham Road car park – the main car park at Keston Ponds.

Leave car park by climbing steps at top end and continue more or less straight forward (with slight kink left and immediately right where unavoidable) to junction of Heathfield Road and Westerham Road.  Carefully cross to island and then to bus shelter.  Follow Westerham Road in southerly direction past several large houses.  Just past The Poplars take footpath on right down steps which may be slippery if wet.  Follow path down to Jackass Lane and go straight across into Blackness Lane.

Take first turn on right, along track leading past several farm buildings and houses.  After last house, at gate, take path to right of gate enclosed between high trees.  Follow track – initially level, then climbing, descending and undulating.  After entering woods ignore stile and footpath on right then one on left (although you could take this as short cut to Ashmore Farm).  Carry on through wood and emerge along ridge between fences.  After passing house on left, take footpath on left downhill.  Go along bottom of field then take stile into short strip of woodland.  Continue downhill to valley bottom.  Over stile bear left to upper left corner of field and over another stile then uphill along left hand edge of field.  At top, climb  two sets of steps and bear left into Ashmore Lane (here just a track).  Turn right uphill.

When, just past High House Farm, Ashmore Lane bends left, take the rougher track that goes straight ahead.  Continue, ignoring a right fork, until you reach main road at Leaves Green.

Cross road, turn left to bus stop then bear right across green and turn left along a lane in front of a row of flint cottages (old Cudham Workhouse).  Continue beyond last house in lane and, when lane bends left to join the main road, bear right to find gate and gap in hedge.  Go through and bear left across very large field uphill to corner of woodland.  Here cross track and bear very slightly to right and pass under power lines to right of pair of pylons.  The path is sometimes marked with sticks.  At far side go through hedge and between fence and hedge to road near Holwood Farm.

Cross road and turn right downhill.  At corner just before Jack Frost’s Pet and Country Store, turn left.  There are two footpaths, both waymarked “Farnborough Circular Walk”.  Take path on left between fences and hedges, after a short dip leading uphill towards woods.  Cross drive leading to Holwood House, formerly a centre for seismographic research but now converted to luxury apartments.  Pass stone seat on right commemorating William Wilberforce, the anti-slavery pioneer.  Note Wilberforce Oak on left.  Continue to Westerham Road.

Cross road back into Keston Common.  Turn immediately right along valley bottom back to car park.

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

Points of Interest

Cudham Workhouse

This was one of the first workhouses to be purpose-built in response to Sir Edward Knatchbull’s Act of 1722-23 which sought to act as a deterrent by making the workhouse the only relief available to the poor.  Poor people not desperate enough to accept the harsh regime were to be “put out of the Parish Books” and not entitled to relief in that or any other parish.  According to a Parliamentary survey in 1776-88, Cudham workhouse could accommodate 35 people.

The Wilberforce Oak

Beneath an old oak in the grounds of Holwood, the home of William Pitt, William Wilberforce decided to seek the abolition of slavery.  The original oak died around the turn of the century (the sorry remains can be seen below the path) and a replacement has been planted closer to the path.

Keston Common …

… is the scene of an ecological disaster in H G Wells’ book The Food of the Gods.  A local doctor  experiments secretly in a nearby cottage with an alkaloid that promotes exceptional growth.  Some of the alkaloid escapes into the ponds where it is eaten by tadpoles and works its way up the food chain.  Soon the Common is overrun with giant plants and animals.  The tale is apparently an unconvincing allegory for the contrast between large and small units in local government – Wells preferring the large.

Public Transport

The following buses pass the roundabout at the junction of Westerham Road and Heathfield Road passed near the beginning of the walk (from where you follow Westerham Road southwards…):

Bus 146 from Bromley North and Bromley South on its way to Downe.  The service is hourly every day.

Bus 246 from Bromley North and Bromley South to Biggin Hill and Westerham.  The service is half-hourly from Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sunday.

Bus R2 from Orpington High Street or station (half-hourly, not Sundays).

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 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.

Guide to the Wealdway

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

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

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