Kent Ramblers

Walk 59

Walk 59: Joyden's Wood

Distance: 2.1 Miles (1 Hour)

OS Map: Explorer 162 (Start at grid TQ507714)

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Park in Summerhouse Drive. [Alternatively, buses 476 from Dartford and Swanley and B15 from Bexley, Bexleyheath and Eltham serve the stop (not Sundays or Bank Holiday Mondays).]

Go down the gravel track into the wood and follow the track round a right hand bend. At a T-junction, with a waymarked post and a seat opposite, turn right. Follow the track downhill with the back gardens of houses on your right. At the bottom, turn left. Walk down the valley until you reach a path on the right up step.  Ascend, ignore first right turn and take second, signposted "VIEWPOINT", to the viewpoint (a seat only) where you admire the view of the tops of trees (but not a lot else). From the viewpoint, with your back to the seat, take the path half-right. After a few metres, at a T-junction, turn right.  On joining a broader path at a T-junction, turn left downhill.

At the valley bottom, turn right and follow the track along the valley until you reach some wooden railings on the left and there is a stream on the other side. Continue until track crosses the stream to join another track - turn left and climb through the woods. At cross-paths, turn right at a waymarked post. Follow this path, marked by blue waymarks, down steps to valley bottom. Turn left along the valley and climb until you see a gate ahead, then take a broad path left some distance before the gate.

On reaching a broad clearing, make for far right hand corner. Take broad track and after a few metres turn right along Faesten Dic walk (but make a detour left to information board first if interested).

Follow Feasten Dic or red waymarks. Bear right at dried up pond the take left turn. Cross broad bridleway, follow section of duckboards and pass pond with seat on right. At another broad bridleway take path opposite and follow edge of wood (golf course on your right) to corner of golf course. Take path on right and follow, keeping right at every junction, until it brings you back to the gate at which you entered the wood. Go through the gate and down the track to Summerhouse Drive.

Faesten Dic

A defensive earthwork built in Saxon times running for about a kilometre through the wood.  “Faesten” means fortress and “dic” means dyke.

Original profile of the ditch


Much of the ground underlying the wood, especially the higher ground, is very pebbly – these are the Blackheath Beds of sand and gravel.  There are also Woolwich Beds of clays and sands and, mainly in the lower parts, Thanet bed of sands.  These are collectively known as the Palaeocene which lies above the chalk of the North Downs and below the London Clay that is found further east.  In places there are hollows in the ground known as deneholes – here people have dug through the sands, gravels and clays to extract the chalk below to make the soils less acid and perhaps also to obtain flints found in the chalk.

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 need you.

If you find that the directions and map for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to



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