Knole Park and surrounding area

A lovely first walk of the new year yesterday, to Knole Park and surrounding woodland. As we haven’t done a long walk in almost two months, thought we should ease ourselves back into it with 8 miles over fairly flat ground. The house and park are only a mile or so walk from Sevenoaks station so pretty easy to get to. Knole big treeA big tree near the house. The weather stayed dry but cloudy so photos are a bit dark. The house is closed out of season and I only took a photo of it from distance:Knole houseTo be honest, I wasn’t really that interested in looking at the house, I just loved the setting and the approach to it, especially at this time of the year when it all looks a bit bleak. Now owned by the National Trust, it is apparently the biggest house in England with 365 rooms. According to the National Trust website, it has some great tapestries, should have just knocked on the door and said ‘We’ve come to see the tapestries’ in my best Harrison-Ford-does-bad-Scottish-accent. We walked down the length of the deer park, spotted some deer, too far away for a decent photo. Beloved kept complaining that there simply weren’t enough deer in the deer park but we did spot a few more in the distance later on. We walked back up towards the house via Chestnut Walk, which had lots and lots of fabulously gnarly chestnut trees: Knole gnarly treeThis side of the park was much more visually interesting and I can imagine it being lovely in early summer. We then continued towards One Tree Hill and up towards Godden Green to Bucks Head pub for a pint, at least we thought that’s what we were doing that but took a wrong path somewhere along the way and ended up in an entirely different bit of woodland. A bit silly really as I worked out our route and printed a map but never really thought to check the compass to make sure we were going in the right direction. There were quite a few marked paths on my map, most of which weren’t really marked on the ground and some seemed to have been completely closed off by local farmers too. Pub being our main goal, we decided to get out of the woodland and follow the road instead and were rewarded a few minutes later by a good pint of Kentish ale, the name of which I immediately forgot. We headed back via Godden Wood and Knole golf club, which was rather wonderfully rugged (more deer spots here), then back to Sevenoaks station and train home.

Another photo taken from Chestnut Walk earlier in the day:Knole deer parkPaths through Knole Park were mostly mud-free and there were quite a few walkers about, mainly families and kids with scooters. The nearby Fawke Common and Godden Wood were completely empty though, probably because all the paths were very muddy – our new walking boots coped wonderfully. Very excited about these although they’re in a complete state now and will take ages to clean…

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