Immerse yourself in the life, work and inspiration of Samuel Palmer on an audio-guided journey through Shoreham and surrounding areas.
One of Britain’s most talented artists, Samuel Palmer immortalised the beautiful landscape of the Darent Valley and its precious river nearly 200 years ago Follow in his footsteps and find your connection with the land that inspired Palmer so many years ago.
The trail takes you from the church in Shoreham past houses and features familiar to Samuel Palmer along the Darent Valley as far as Lullingstone Country Park. The path then returns in a circle along the high side of the valley. As you walk you will hear about Palmers life and experience stunning and varied views. Palmer’s works are referred to by number during the audio trail.
This self-paced activity is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors, appreciate the landscape and learn about some of the rich cultural and artists heritage of the Darent Valley. With the climate and natural world changing rapidly because of human activity, reconnecting with landscapes has never been more important; art can be an excellent way to explore and connect with the place you love.
This walk and an accompanying leaflet are devised by Victoria Bathurst and Sarah Newman, with the support of the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme. Audio script written by Victoria Bathurst.
Using the trail…
We recommended that you to listen to the introductory audio on the train on the way to Shoreham (or at home) before setting off on the trail to set the scene for the walk.
Some sections along the Samuel Palmer Trail, particularly in the valley bottom, Shoreham village and along some of the River Darent, may have a weak mobile signal (depending on your network provider). The app has been designed to work offline but tracking your live position on the map may be interrupted in areas of no signal. However, you can still view the map offline at all times. Written directions to each stop are provided in the app and waymarks on the route will aid navigation.
Follow the link to ‘Projects’ for more detailed information on Samuel Palmer Trail content and imagery, or take the trail at home: https://darent-valley.org.uk/projects/inspiring/in-search-of-the-bright-cloud-a-samuel-palmer-trail/
The walk starts and ends at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Shoreham, Kent.
The Samuel Palmer Trail is easily accessible by train. There are direct services to Shoreham from London Charing Cross, Blackfriars and Sevenoaks stations. It is a 400 metre (5-10 minute) walk from the station to the church where the trail begins.
Shoreham is also accessible by bus from Sevenoaks and Swanley.
If you have to arrive by car, please use the Shoreham village car park in Filston Lane but please be aware there are limited spaces.
The Trail’s distance is 5.3 miles/8.5km and 1.7 miles/2.8km for the shortcut option.
The Trail takes approximately 2.5-3 hours to complete. There is an option to reduce the walk to 45 mins-1 hour by taking a shortcut after stop point 6.
On the full route there are steps at three locations on the Trail: (1) five steps (upwards) at stop point 8, (20 four steps (downwards) at stop point 12 and (3) two large steps (downwards) on the way down from Shoreham Cross. There are two sections of road walking between points 10 and 11 and between points 11 and and 12 and one road to cross after stop point 8; please take extra care. There is one stile at Redmans Lane after stop point 10.
There are several climbs and descents (some steep as the walk passes between the top and bottom of the valley.
It is possible to do a shorter circular route of the trail around stop pints 1-6. It is mainly around the village of Shoreham with a small section alongside the River Darent along the Darent Valley Path. There are no steps on the shortcut route but there is one ascent and some uneven terrain near stop point 6. The shortened version may be preferable for those with particular access requirements or those who would prefer a less strenuous or short walk ( you can always listen to the audio for stop points 7-12 at home afterwards).
There are toilets available at Lullingstone Country Park and Shoreham Village Hall.
Refreshments are available at the pubs and tea rooms in Shoreham Village and also at Lullingstone Country Park.
Download the Samuel Palmer Trail…
The audio-visual guide that accompanies the trail, spoken in the voice of Samuel Palmer, is free of charge on the Darent Valley Trails app. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.
Scan the bar code below to download the app on an iPhone, alternatively follow this link
Scan the bar code below to download the app on an Android phone, alternatively follow this link