Hot off the press – this is our planned route for the first few days from Big Ben to Brussels. We would love it if you want to come and join us for part of our walk. Details of the second leg from Dunkerque to Brussels coming soon, when our wonderfully efficient route-planner Jane manages to get hold of some better maps for Belgium.
Note from Jane: “I have assessed the times over the first two days on a walking speed of about 3 to 3.5 miles per hour ALL TIMES ARE APPROXIMATE (that also applies to mileages!)”
Note from me: VERY IMPORTANT! We are exploring a number of options for crossing the Channel. At the moment we are planning to take the ferry, but if a zero-carbon option becomes available we will leap at the chance. So ALL PLANS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT SHORT NOTICE! Please do check the website for updates before you set out to join us. Any changes will be posted here as soon as we know about them.
We can’t offer to arrange accommodation and food for everybody, alas – it would be logistically impossible to organize this for an unknown number of people – so you’ll need to be self-sufficient. But you WILL have the opportunity to be interviewed for our documentary, and be a part of a historic adventure!
Day 1 Friday 20th November 2009
About 14 miles (5 from Big Ben to Limehouse Basin, 2.5 to the Foot Tunnel, 5 to Eltham, 2 to Sunridge Park)
10.00 am Big Ben London – meet with the media
10.30 start walk – head East along the Thames Path on the Northern side of the river
12.30 Limehouse Basin
1.15 Northern entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel
1.30 Southern entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel then walk south through Greenwich Park, Blackheath, cross the A2 and turn to the east along Shooters Hill until turning south into Kidbrooke Grove. Take first east into Westbrook Road and continue until the T junction with Rochester Way. Turn south down Rochester Way and continue along, over the A2 until Bridbook Road. Turn down Bridbrook Road (south/south/west) and continue under the A2 and into Eltham Green Road (south). Continue southward until the A210, Eltham Road, cross the road, and cross Westhorne Avenue, turn eastward to the major roundabout and pick up Middle Park Avenue. Continue down Middle Park Avenue until the junction with Eltham Palace Road, turn east, continue until Eltham Palace and the grounds are in front of you and pick up St John’s Walk.
3.00 Pick up St John’s Walk at Eltham Palace and follow to Mottingham, picking up the Green Chain Walk.
At Elmstead Wood leave the Green Chain Walk and walk through to Sunridge Park and the Sunridge Park Hotel
Day 1 Accommodation: Sunridge Park Hotel
Day 2 Saturday 21st November
Approximately 16 miles (10 to Eynsford and then 6 to South Street)
8.30 start from Sunridge Park Hotel – walk north/east to pick up the Green Chain Walk at the edge of Elmstead Wood. Walk through Chislehurst west to Chislehurst Common.
9.15 Chislehurst Common then through the edge of Park Wood and into St Paul’s Cray. Cross the River Cray at Brooks Way, and pick up the footpath that joins to Chapmans Lane between Cray Valley Golf Club and Pauls Cray Hill Park which links to Hockenden.
From Hockenden take the eastern bridlepath and then footpath across the fields along the side of Bourne Wood crossing the railway by the footbridge and continuing until picking up the back road into Crockenhill
11.30 Centre of Crockenhill, follow the Church Road southwards and then turn east down Harvest Way and pick up the footpath at the end of the road and continue until the M25, turn south east and follow the footpath along until the subway under the motorway, continue along the path the other side, connecting up to a track that takes you through Hulberry Farm and then pick up the Darent Valley Path, traverse the railway line and into Eynesford.
12.30 Eynsford Pub: The Malt Shovel Inn
1.00 From Eynsford to in a northerly direction along the A225 until a small turning to the right signposted Prior Lane, take that and pick up the bridleway across the fields, pick up Donkey Lane, cross the A20 and continue on the footpath to Gabrielspring Wood. Turn left towards the M20 and follow the path to the footbridge across the motorway. Once over the motorway take the path straight ahead to the wood, entering the wood and then turning right after a short distance. This track follows down to Speedgate Farm and the road. Turn right at the road, continue straight across at the cross roads with Oak Racing Kennels to your left, picking up a path at the edge of the kennels to the left. Follow that to the embankment of the M20 and in front there should be a junction with one road going under the motorway and another going away in front of you, Brands Hatch Road. Follow the road along, taking the left hand branch and crossing straight over at the cross roads towards Ash. At the T juncion to New Ash Green take the footpath straight ahead, joining a road again as you go past Ash Place Farm to pick up a bridleway to White Ash Wood. Half way through the wood take the right hand path going east, cross the road picking up the path on the opposite side which takes you south eastward past another wood, picking up a track and into Ridley. In Ridley turn left on the road and then right at the junction along Bunkers Hill towards South Street. Continue along this road for about half a mile going straight across at the cross roads until you come into South Street.
Day 2 Accommodation: Beechfield B&B, South Street
Day 3 Sunday 22nd November
Approximately 14.5 miles (About 5.5 to Medway Bridge, then 9 miles to Thurnham)
9.00am start from South Street. Follow Heron Hill eastward until just after the end of the village where there is a confusion of footpaths and bridlepaths. Where the land bends to the left take the footpath to the south, then after a very short distance there should be a branch that goes south easterly over a field towards Harvel. Take this and go into Harvel Village, turn left at the road then right at the cross roads and continue out of the village, past a road to the left and shortly after this there should be a track/footpath to the left which goes to Little Delmar Farm. Take this track and at Little Delmar Farm you pick up the Wealdway. Cross the road and continue southward on the Wealdway, through Lie Wood, Luson Wood and to Lockyers Hill where you pick up the road. At the triangle road junction take the footpath to the east, and continue eastward through a wood, at this junction you should meet up with the North Downs Way which is coming up from the south.
About 2.00pm passing through Kits Coty and briefly resting at Kits Coty Brassier on the Old Chatham Road.
Day 3 Accommodation: Black Horse Inn, Pilgrims Way, Thurnham
Day 4 Monday 23rd November
About 18 miles
8.30am start from the Black Horse, going North to pick up the North Downs Way again.
North Downs Way via Hollingbourne, Harrietsham, Charing (possibly stopping here for a brief rest), Dunn Street, Boughton Lees to Wye.
Day 4 Accommodation: Wye (Wife Of Bath Inn or Kings Head)
Day 5 Tuesday 24th November
Longest day: just over 20 miles
8.30am start, prompt!! Wye to Etchinghill, past the Channel Tunnel Terminal, Folkestone, Capel-le Ferne and into Dover.
Day 5 Accommodation: Dover with ferry crossing on the morning of Day 6 (Wednesday)