Saunter from Sole Street
Sole Street station has a regular train service (http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk for train times) and brings you to the middle of the West Kent countryside. It is possible to take a short walk to Camer Country Park which offers easy walking around more than 40 acres of mature parkland and woods. You can download a linear walk of 1.25 miles here – this is on short grass and a hardened surface.or you can pick up a free copy of the Camer Park Tree Trail leaflet from the Cafeteria.
You can also walk from Sole Street Station to the village of Cobham. Charles Dickens often used to walk from his home at Gads Hill Place to visit Cobham and you can see a unique collection of Dickens memorabilia in the local pub. He used to test out his story telling skills by giving readings from his latest work. The inn features prominently in Pickwick Papers. The 13 th century church has a collection of brasses that are over 600 years old. Close to the church is The New College of Cobham, Cobhambury Road, Cobham, Nr Gravesend DA12 3BG. It was originally built in 1362 as a college for priests. It had a chequered history, including its dissolution in Henry VIII’s time and then lay derelict for 50 years before becoming almshouses. It is still used to provide sheltered accommodation for elderly parishioners. It is possible to have a guided walk around this ancient building – admission is free. It is open daily from 10 – 7 and guided tours are available. Ring 01474 812503 for information.
Owletts, The Street, Cobham, Gravesend DA12 3AP is a family home, administered and maintained by the National Trust. It is open to the public on Thursday and Saturdays from 2 – 5.30 pm with a fee for admission. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-owletts/
The Wealden Way
From Gravesend to Eastbourne the 82 mile long Weald Way passes through three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can join this path just across the railway bridge from Sole Street Station and take the 2 ½ mile walk to the tiny village of Luddesdown set in the depths of the countryside. Luddesdown Court (not open to the public) is reputed to be the oldest continually inhabited house in England. The church, dedicated to St Peter and Paul lies only a few yards from Luddesdown Court. It has some interesting features including some Roman tiles and a wooden ladder dating from 1300, three medieval bells and in the chancel there is a ‘lepers hole’ for people to see the service from the vestry. Luddesdown has an intricate network of public footpaths and bridleways and is popular with ramblers, cyclists and horse riders. Take an Ordnance Survey Explorer 163 map to help you find your way around.