Halstead seemed a fitting place to continue my recent ticking foray into Kent and South East London.
After all, it was a man called Halstead who made my York-London journey possible, courtesy of a Grand Central 'friends and family' ticket. Despite it stating 'standard class only', a kind lady dragged me into First Class and plied me with shortbread and coffee. I might not get a knighthood for services to pubs, but coffee and shortbread ain't a bad runner up prize.
Your quintessential Kentish village pub, dappled in sunlight, draped in ivy, soon came into view shortly after noon. I'd walked from Knockholt station. It was half peaceful woodland dirt-track, half pavementless road. A bloke inconveniently stopped his car suddenly in my path, dragged something heavy out his boot, and started digging a hole in the verge. He didn't look pleased to see me. Wonder what he was up to?
Ideally, I'd have ticked off the other pubs on this train line stop by stop. But annoyingly, even on a Sunday, one of them closes mid afternoon so I thought I'd best get this done first so I wasn't in danger of missing out.
Time to get myself back south whilst I still had a modicum of discipline.
Chelsfield station was a long walk from the required pub, and when I saw a closed road my heart sank. But amazing what wonders a roadside urination can do for clarity of thought, and I soon realised it was easy enough to step around the 'keep out' signs which are probably just to stop vehicles.
Paranoia still reigned though when two men start walking towards me. 'They better not be road working jobsworth bastards' I mutter under my breath, and thankfully they weren't. And even better, they stepped into a field and helped me realise there is a short cut towards the village!
|Not jobsworth road workers Chelsfield bound|
And after a bit more jiggery-pokery through the churchyard, and across a busy road junction, the pub came into view.
At the far end of the road, I manage to catch a bus to a weirdly named place called Mottingham, which is a similar distance walk to my Premier Inn than from New Eltham station - there's even a Costcutter so I can pop in for late snacks n water, bonus!