Walk 47: Shoreham, Pluto & Otford
4.7 Miles (2.25 Hours)
Map: Explorer 147 (Start at grid
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
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.
This walk is well endowed with places
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.
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.
can read a fuller description of the model here:
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.
Our book of Ten
Favourite Walks in the Kent Countryside has routes for ten more
walks like this one.
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
If you find that the directions and map
for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to firstname.lastname@example.org.