West Kent – Penshurst and Chiddingstone – 3rd September, 2023.

A group of 15 West Kent members met in Penshurst for this month's walk. Heading toward the small, quaint village of Chiddingstone along tracks, across fields, and lanes. On the outskirts of Chiddingstone, we managed a glimpse of the castle from a distance before continuing to reach the village itself with its partly timbered buildings.  Continuing out of the village, we briefly visited the Chiding Stone, where the group photo was taken.  The Chiding Stone is said to have been used, at various times, as a druid altar, an Anglo-Saxon boundary marker and a place of punishment or chiding.

After lunch, we made our return toward Penshurst through pleasant Kentish countryside showing the early stages of autumn. By now the weather was becoming hot and humid, so plenty of refreshment stops enroute!

Soon we had sight of Penshurst Place, the ancestral home of the Sidney family, and the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney. The current owner, Philip Sidney, 2nd Viscount De L'Isle, continues his family's stewardship of Penshurst Place.

Proceeding through the churchyard at Penshurst, we were soon back in the village, where some of us ended the walk with a welcome drink in garden of The Leicester Arms.

A lovely walk with lots of wonderful views and history.  Many thanks to all those that joined us and made the day so enjoyable. Thanks especially to Mark Tomkins who led the walk.

Colin Turner

West Kent Co-ordinator.



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