26th June 2010

Knockholt Chev'g House Chev'g Village Coolings Homewards Thank You Read Me

What you will see here

Gail led an excellent walk (11 to 11.5 miles) - nice company, nice scenery and a good dose of interesting history. This was a circular walk starting in Knockholt and taking parts of Chevening and Chelsfield and also including a visit to the well known Coolings Garden Centre.

The gardens at "Coolings" were quite expansive, displaying many of the features that are a prequisite of the cultured living that I'm sure many of the locals enjoy.

It's amazing what you can see within the area of an All-Zones Travel Card! The weather was fine and I felt that some of the experiences should be held pictorially - so these are some of the pictures I took. Since the emphasis was on the walking and not photography, please make allowances for the technical and artistic imperfections!


Knockholt and the neighbouring Knockholt Pound - as Gail related - go back to at least Saxon times. However, while the buildings in Knockholt are mainly of Victorian or later vintage, the way into the village leads past the "Manor House" in whose well kept grounds we espied a pleasant looking "temple".

The view through the garden gate.

Chevening House & Park

At the southern extremity of our walk we had good views into the distance. A splendid "eye-catcher" was Chevening House with its well-documented links to Royalty and the Government.

Chevening House - built for the Stanhope family in the 17th Century by Inigo Jones - nestles picturesquely in rolling parkland, as any self-respecting English country seat should do.

Well tended parkland speaks of a gracious past and an august present.

Chevening "Village"

Chevening Village is actually more of a hamlet but - as you might expect - has close geographical and social links with its famous neighbour - Chevening House.

In a larger geographical context, Chevening Village is a "port of call" on the Pilgrim's Way.

The church has mediaeval origins and is well worth a visit.

The houses in the hamlet are more recent but abound with well kept English country gardens.

A wedding was in progress, otherwise I would have explored in greater detail the interesting monuments - including hatchments and memorials to the Stanhope family - which the church contains. The wedding car was a classic Bentley that would not have looked out of place in an Agatha Christie film set in the Fifties.

Coolings Garden Centre

Coolings Garden Centre provided a nice tea stop on our way back. Arthur Cooling founded the centre in 1912 (in Chislehurst) and would be pleased to know - if he were alive today - that the centre has received accolades for the presentation of its horticultural wares.

Well tended borders invite the visitors - and there were many - to develop their gardening plans and, of course, to acquire the essentials at Coolings.

The gardens were quite expansive, displaying many of the features that are a prequisite of the cultured living that I'm sure many of the locals enjoy.

There were arches, trees, lawns, borders and a sprinkling of benches from which to absorb a relaxed view of the harmonious whole.

There was a riot of floral colour that was designed not to get too riotous.

A Summer exhibition of flower arranging by the locals showed what could be done on the artistic front.

Homewards we go

And so we wended our way back over a large sunny golf course - so that's what some of the locals get up to in their leisure hours (!!) - to the end of our walk ...

... but not before we spotted a sign with a stern warning.

Thank You

Many Thanks to Gail for leading this walk and to all who came to support it. A great time was had by all! We all look forward to more of the same - or at least very similar.