Otford to Wrotham
From Otford the path quickly climbs up back onto the top of the downs through Rowdow Wood, offering lovely views to the south. Soon the path goes above the village of Kemsing then descends from the downs for the last mile and a half into the pretty village of Wrotham.
Getting to the Start
Otford is easily reached by road. Exit the M25 at junction 5 and join the M25 on a spur road to the south (signed for Sevenoaks and A21). As the A21 starts turn left onto the A25 signed for Sevenoaks. Continue on the A25 through the northern fringes of Sevenoaks. At the junction (Bat and Ball) turn left onto the A225 (signed for Otford) and at the next roundabout go straight on onto the dual-carriageway across the M26 that comes into Otford. There is either on-street parking or a car park at the station (very close to the North Downs Way), although a small fee is charged at the station car park.
By public transport, Otford has a station with trains every 30 minutes Monday - Saturday and hourly on Sundays from London Victoria and Maidstone. The journey from London Victoria to Otford takes around 35 minutes. All trains to Otford are operated by South Eastern Trains.
Otford is a lovely village with a surprisingly rural feel given its' proximity to London.
|Otford High Street
|The Green, Otford
The North Downs Way passes along Otford High Street. At the village green continue straight on, past the pond into Station Road. Continue on Station Road as it goes over the railway line and then take the first right (Pilgrims Way). Almost immediately, look out for the sign pointing you onto the path up to the left where the path rapidly begins to climb back onto the top of the downs.
|Otford from the North Downs Way
From the top of the downs you have excellent views to the south, although the motorway below is a little intrusive. Soon the path emerges to a road (Birchin Cross Road) which you follow briefly before turning off to the right passing through a field with trees to your right, emerging on a lane opposite Shorehill Farm where you turn right. Soon as the lane turns you come to a junction of paths - the correct one to take being straight on keeping the trees immediately to your right. Soon the path turns to the left following the line of trees and when you come to another junction of paths, continue straight on towards Otford Manor.
As you pass the house on the left a path to the right descends into the village of Kemsing. If you choose to explore the village remember that you'll face a steep climb back onto the downs!
|Kemsing from the North Downs Way
|Kemsing from the North Downs Way
As you come towards the trees the path turns to the left then soon to the left again back towards the house before turning sharply to the right and passing through Fab's Wood. At times the woods are thin to the left and as you get to the end of the woods, by the grounds of Kester on the right there is a path into the village of Cotman's Ash, which has a pub. To the right you enjoy fantastic views to the south.
|View near Cotman's Ash
|View near Cotman's Ash
Soon the path emerges onto a lane by Cotman's Ash. Here turn left along the lane and look out for the turning down the track on the right by some buildings, as the North Downs Way now follows this track beside the trees and into a meadow, before passing through more trees at Summeryards Woods.
|View near Summeryards Woods
As you emerge from the woods the path turns a little to the left emerging onto a track up to Drane Farm. Continue straight on across the track as the trees of Birches Woods start to your right. The path begins to turn to the right and you emerge onto Old Terry's Lodge Road.
|View from the path before it descends
|The North Downs near Birches Wood
|The path down from the North Downs
Cross the road and take the path that descends off the chalk ridge of the downs towards the road junction where you turn left (Pilgrims Way) following the track straight ahead. Soon you come to the junction with Exedown Road where you continue straight on. You pass a path on the right that will take you to New House Farm, but continue straight ahead with the motorway to your left.
|View from the path near Wrotham
This track becomes a road (Pilgrims Way) as you arrive in the village of Wrotham. Continue along the road until you get to the junction with London Road. Here the path continue straight on, but the centre of the village is to the right and is worth seeing.
From Wrotham there is an hourly (Mon - Sat) bus service (Arriva service 308/306) from Wrotham square to Borough Green (Rail Station), Sevenoaks, Meopham, Gravesend, Swanscombe and Bluewater. To get back to Otford it is best to catch this bus to Borough Green rail station from where South Eastern Trains operate trains every 30 minutes (Mon - Sat) to Otford and on to London Victoria (and also to Maidstone East). On Sundays there is no bus service so you will need to walk to Borough Green station by taking Bull Lane from Wrotham High Street then taking the path to the right crossing the by-pass and the M26 motorway where you then follow the path to the right into Borough Green. On Sundays there is an hourly train service from Borough Green station to Maidstone East, Ashford International, Otford and London Victoria, operated by South Eastern Trains.
The following web sites provide information on the area.
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