Day 6: Dartford to Knockholt

Oyster Loop Day 6 of 8, a circuit of London for hybrid bikes using Oyster stations.

Ancient Trackways

In olden times, Kent was quite hard to travel through, except along key route ways and this day uses two of them. The first part of the day follows the old Roman Road east from Dartford to the Medway along the back of the Downs, before cutting down the scarp slope to pick up the Pilgrims Way – the old route between Canterbury and Winchester. This was designed for easier travel – neither on the clay, nor the flints and hence is an excellent off-road traverse.

  • Total Distance: 55.1km
  • Total Ascent: 639m
  • Highest Point: 162m
  • Lowest Point: 2m
Medway valley

Uses Sustrans 1 and 177 to leave Dartford before cutting down to the Pilgrims Way, an off- and on-road traverse of the North Downs to Otford. Here it ascends the Darent Valley to reach Shoreham and Knockholt.

Takes the Sustrans routes 1 and 177 out of Dartford parallel to the A2. Whilst always in audio range of the road, the tarmaced bridleways stay above it. It then cuts down the Downs via a quiet side valley across to the Medway. There is a short stretch (about 1km) on A228, before picking up the Pilgrims Way for a 25km exhilarating traverse along the North Downs scarp slope.

This is a mixture of quiet roads, forest tracks and occasional single track to reach Wrotham and then Otford. The singletrack has overhanging vegetation in summer but otherwise is a good surface. Butterflies and wild flowers abound. There are pubs in Wrotham and Otford as well as tea shops in the latter.

The Route then turns up the Darent valley to reach Shoreham along little used bridleways with more pubs and tea shops. Finally it heads up to the top of the Downs to reach the station at Knockholt.

Day 6 route on Viewranger

UPDATE: I had been holding back my detailed information on the Oyster Wheel Days until I had the opportunity to re-ride them and check them for accuracy. However due to Coronavirus “shielding”, I will be unable to ride them for some months. I have therefore decided to publish the draft copies in case others get the chance to use them before me. The route card is a simple table of directions and distances, where the description is a book chapter with the same directions, but also detailed maps and a commentary on the route and places of interest.

I would be happy to take any comments on these documents.

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