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The Samuel Palmer trail is a circular walk around the village of Shoreham and its surrounding landscape in the heart of the delightful Darent Valley.
Walk in the footsteps of British artist Samuel Palmer in the company of the artist himself! He will accompany you on your walk via the audio guide, telling you all about his time in Shoreham and the paintings he made here, inspired by the beautiful Darent Valley.
This self-paced activity is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors, appreciate the landscape, and learn about some of the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the Darent Valley. Download the Darent Valley Trail app and set off on this self-guided walk. Wonder at chalk slopes with woodland tops, ancient trees towering over Lullingstone Park and awe inspiring views across Shoreham Village.
Step by step guide
From Shoreham station, make your way down to the village. Turn right out of the station and walk down Station Road, passing the golf course on your left. Follow the road around to your right and you will see the church in the corner opposite the pub. There is no pavement from the station to the village so please take extra care when walking along the road edge.
From the church, turn right and walk down Church Street. Shortly after the pub on the corner, you will find Ivy Cottage on your right
Continue down Church Street until you reach the bridge over the River Darent. Pause before the bridge at the junction with Darenth Way
Turn right along Darenth Way (do not cross the bridge), following the Darent Valley Path. Walk towards a large white house (Water House) with a plaque on the left-hand side of the wall.
Follow the small lane to the left of Water House and pause at the green.
Follow the path along the River Darent until you come to a small bridge after about 300 metres. Cross this and follow the path uphill, pausing at the junction with a footpath to your right. (*A shortcut back to the start of the trail is available here by walking up Mill Lane then turning left onto High Street then left onto Church Street).
Continue along the Darent Valley Path by taking the footpath alongside the river. Follow this for just over 1km (0.6 miles) across three fields, until you get to a wooden bench at the top of a hill.
Keep following the footpath for about 300 metres until you come to a hop field with hop poles/supports in the foreground and lavender fields behind.
Take care crossing the road and go up the steps. Turn right and follow the path alongside the fields until you reach Lullingstone Country Park. Toilets and refreshments are available here (during opening hours).
.Follow the footpath around to your left then uphill along the waymarked path to the top of the meadow. Take a break at the top of the hill to enjoy the view.
Continue on the path at the top left of the meadow through the woods (black markers). Dip down and cross an area with a meadow to your right and old railings to your left. Keep heading straight up the hill. Look out for ancient oaks on your right after about 20 metres.
Before getting to some agricultural buildings, take a sharp left turn along a path through a hazel grove. Follow this path until you come to a stile by a road (Redmans Lane).
Take extra care when walking along the road and walk on the right hand side. Turn right after the stile along the road then after approximately 125 metres, take the first turning on your left down a driveway. Follow this and it will take you along a narrow path by a fence, soon opening up onto a field. Continue straight ahead with the hedge to your right and soon the path begins to go downhill.
4.Pause on the hill and enjoy the amazing views over the Darent Valley, before taking the downhill path to join Cockerhurst Lane.
5. Turn left onto Cockerhurst Lane and continue downhill. Take extra care when walking along the road. After 350 metres at the T junction with Castle Farm Road, turn right uphill and follow the road which soon becomes Shacklands Road. Continue uphill for a further 100 metres then take the footpath to your left.
Continue along this path for about 15 minutes until you get to a gap in the hedge just above the Shoreham Cross (a chalk memorial etched into the hillside).
7. From the Cross, take the diagonal path down the hill to your right, then turn left at the metal gate, through kissing gate then down the path between the hedgerows. When you emerge on to the High Street, turn right then turn left onto Church Street to return to the church or the station.