THE BEST DAY walk near London: Sevenoaks, Knole & Ightham Mote

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Looking for a day walk / hike near London? Look no further! Read this post about the best circular day walk near London starting and finishing in Sevenoaks and passing through 2 amazing National Trust Estates.

In this post, I’ll share the route and photos from our incredible and scenic walk near London: 9-Mile Sevenoaks circular walk. This is by far my absolute favourite circular walk in South-East England as it is pretty incredible. The route passes through a stunning town (Sevenoaks), two National Trust Estates & Parks: Knole Park and Ithgham Mote Estate, countless forests, plains, hills and even a lavender field! And if that’s not enough, you’ll be able to see a lot of friendly deer. Are you convinced yet?

If you’re new to this blog, hey, my name is Liza. I’m a young professional with a 9-5 job and a strong passion for photography, videography and travel. Together with my partner Pepe, we’ve been exploring the UK (and the world) from London. We mainly focus on day trips and weekend trips, and we love nature and cute villages. To access our latest London and UK content, click here!

In this post, you can expect to find the following:

Sevenoaks, Knole & Ightham Mote circular walk: how hard it is? Useful information

To start with, I wanted to tell you a bit more about the walk itself. Who is it for? How hard is it? 

I would say this walk is for someone is a good physical shape, as first of all, it’s rather a long walk, and secondly, some parts (very few) of the route include slippery and steep hikes. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes and preferably, long pants, as you’ll be walking through the woods for quite a bit of time. We completed this walk in about 5 hours (slightly less), however, you can do it even faster if you don’t stop for lunch! Our walk was a 9-Mile circular walk, and the length is fixed – you can’t make it shorter (but you can make it a bit longer if you wish). 

How to get to Sevenoaks from London?

If you’re wondering how to get to Sevenoaks, it’s actually pretty easy! You can easily get there by train or by car. The trains run very often (as Sevenoaks is a great commuter hub in Kent), so don’t worry if you come a bit late and miss your original train. The journey by train takes just 30-50 minutes from Charing Cross / Blackfriars and costs £13.50 for an off-peak return ticket. If you have any railcards like Two Together, that would be even cheaper (up to 30%). 

If you decide to come to Sevenoaks by car just like us, it’s also pretty easy. You might need to pass the famous Dart crossing, and for that, you need to pay. You can do it online (return journey costs £5 for the car). Don’t forget to pay, as you might face a hefty fine of over £100 if you don’t pay on time!

The route of the 9-Mile Sevenoaks, Knole & Ingham Mote circular walk

Now let’s talk about the route.

We were following this route (click here).

It was updating our location every now and then to ensure we stay on the route and made our walking experience very easy and enjoyable, so I definitely recommend it! We adjusted the route just a little bit – we wanted to spend more time in the heart of the Sevenoaks village, so we did a small circle around the town. 

The most scenic circular walk near London: Sevenoaks, Knole & Ightham Mote – the highlights

Alright, now you have the route and the directions, so let’s talk about the things you’ll actually see during this walk.

Things to see in Sevenoaks:

So the start (and the end) point of this 9-Mile circular walk was the lovely commuter town in Kent called Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks is a lovely place with a charming and ancient town centre and a lot of pretty streets. As I mentioned before, we just did a circle around the town to get to know it a bit better and here are some of the most beautiful buildings and streets we saw in Sevenoaks:

National Trust – Knole Deer Park and Estate on our circular walk

The next stop of our circular walk was the Knole Deer Park and Estate (managed by National Trust). The entrance to the park is free, however, you need to pay if you want to enter the stunning house. We went on this fantastic circular walk at the end of June, so all of the museums were still closed, so we didn’t have a chance to visit it anyway. 

Knole Deer Park is fantastic! It reminded me of Richmond Park in London, where we also spotted a lot of deer, however, Knole Park had way more deer than Richmond, and somehow they were not so shy! We’ve seen families sitting on the grass and picnicking, and suddenly, deer were approaching them and asking for food. However, please note that it’s not allowed to touch or feed the deer. It’s also not allowed to come close to them, as they are unpredictable wild animals. However, you can’t do much if the deer approaches you apart from taking some nice photos and enjoying the moment. 

The last bit of our walk was also through another side of Knole Deer Park, and at sunset, it was even more impressive. By that time, 95% of people have left, and we had this stunning park all for ourselves. 

One Tree Hill by National Trust

The next area that this 9-mile circular walk in South-East England has crossed was One Tree Hill. This area had a lot of forests and stunning views over the beautiful county Kent. We also walked past a lot of cute sheep before entering another National Trust landmark. 

Ightham Mote

The next place that we visited on our circular day walk near London was Ightham Mote – I really struggled to pronounce the name, and as it seems, many people face the same issue. There are even articles and videos online on how to pronounce “Ightham Mote”! (Spoiler alert – similar to item mote). 

Ightham Mote is a stunning medieval house built in the 14th century. It looks like something straight from the fairytale. It was such a pity that we couldn’t visit the manor, however, we will definitely return another time and visit Ightham Mote. 

Forests, lavender fields and stunning houses

The rest of the route laid through beautiful forests, lavender field and some stunning houses before re-joining Knole Deer part at the end of the route. We didn’t expect the lavender field, so it was a great surprise. Even though lavender wasn’t in full bloom yet, it was still nice to see it! 

Summary of the most scenic circular day walk near London: Sevenoaks, Knole Deer Park and Ightham Mote

Alright, I hope that you liked this post about our experience on this scenic circular walk near London (in Kent) starting and finishing in Sevenoaks and passing through some of the most beautiful National Trust treasures such as Knole Deer Park and Estate, One Tree Hill and Ightham Mote. Don’t forget to bookmark the route, bring comfortable shoes and clothes and bring a camera with you, as you will see some truly stunning views on this day walk!

Some other posts you might enjoy reading:

Chilterns AONB circular walk: Berkhamsted and Ashridge Estate

Day road trip visiting Essex and Suffolk: Colchester, Dedham and Aldeburgh

Day road trip to Cotswolds

Stunning coastal hike in South England: Seaford to Eastbourne via Seven Sisters

Amazing views: circular walk from Dorking to Leith Hill and back visiting a famous wine estate

South of England road trip: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall in 3 days

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