We rolled up at The George, parked, apologised and threatened to return for a lunch, spoke to a local who suggested some walks and doddered off. The first encounter was with a local man and his cat. He told us about the village and his liking of it, named the cat for us – Daisy – and told us of the area around the village. He was a nice man and the cat was pretty.
From where we stood chatting below us was the slope of the hill on which Egerton perches offering views of the farmlands and downs of Kent. Immediately below was the recreation ground, Community Hall, car park and sports field busy with the last few moments of a MacMillan Coffee morning.
The George stands on one corner of the centre of the village where roads lead to Charing in one direction, Smarden and Headcorn in another and to Pluckley. Opposite the pub is the street leading to the community centre and on the through road across the road is the primary school. The church that dominates the skyline is a on the southern side of the hill where there is a small village green and a village store. The village seems to be a centre where many footpaths meet offering a range of circular walks a couple of which we devised for ourselves using a simple but accurate map. Follow the dotted lines and look for the named farms and buildings.
We strolled down the road admiring the mixture of buildings and the bright gardens that gives Egerton its character, including a petrol station and repair garage sporting well maintained pump equipment.
This was a pre-prandial stroll to explore some of the footpaths around the village, of which there are many, and we had a pleasant walk of an hour or more ending at the school and of course for a lunch at the pub. The views are magnificent and I can understand that this area is popular with walkers. The Greensand Way passes through, and nearby is the Stour Valley Walk. And oddly, although you are not far from the M20, the regular railway and HS1 there is little evidence of unless you take pains to look.
Lunch was a light and enjoyable experience with a good choice from the menu at normal prices. The light meals were just right and the beer was good. A nice place to stop in fact.
The next leg was to head from the pub to the church and walk through the churchyard and follow the path through the orchards, where there is an information board telling the walker about the farm and its management. Unpicked plums on the trees that serve to attract insects in the spring for pollination were dangling ready to fall off and rot, so we had a few as a dessert and followed the path to Egerton House.
From there we waddled along roads turning left past Holly Farm walking the road past Baker’s Farm to the T junction, turned left looking for a footpath on the left that would take us back to the village.
On the way there were a number of footpaths that we could have taken – in fact we were spoiled for choice, and on any future visit we can explore other paths to take us to the south rather than the north, crossing the small rivers and streams and climbing back up to the village, or even completely circumnavigating it on a combination of pathways, bridleways and roads.
Egerton is a lovely village set in a beautiful part of the weald with the North Downs close by and the wonderful rolling farmlands that is so typical of Kent. In all a pleasant walk or two. Casually so that we could enjoy it, at times cool with the threat of rain, and later warm Autumn sunshine, the walk was just the ticket for a pleasant afternoon.