Rambling: Keston – Downe 8km hike

This is a lovely route from Keston to Holwood Farm and then on to the village of Downe. Having found the end of the footpath on a previous walk, we set off in the middle of last week’s snowfall, quite a break from the mundanities of lockdown and home-schooling.

The walk skirts around the grounds of Holwood House and eventually crosses its grand driveway near the main gates. Sadly, there’s no direct view of the main house from the footpath, although another range of houses is visible and is also quite impressive. Also at the edge of Holwood Estate are the remains of an oak tree attributed to William Wilberforce, the scene of a discussion he held in 1788 with Mr Pitt (the Prime Minister), the conclusion of which was to set about the abolishment of the slave trade in the United Kingdom.

On arrival at Downe, we were delighted to find that The Queen’s Head pub has converted one of its private dining rooms into a shop selling teas/coffees as well as general produce. They opened it in November due to the pub itself closing under lockdown rules and it’s proving very popular with hikers and cyclists.

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