Experience Samuel Palmer’s landscape and let him take you on a tour of his Darent Valley in his own words.
One of Britain’s most talented artists, Samuel Palmer immortalised the beautiful landscape of the Darent Valley nearly 200 years ago. Walk in his footsteps, experiencing the landscape through the eyes and ears of one of our best painters on this self-guided audio visual trail. Enjoy chalk slopes with woodland tops, the tranquil meandering River Darent, magnificent ancient trees in Lullingstone Park and breath-taking views across Shoreham village and its surrounding countryside. Connect with the best of English art in the beautiful landscape that inspired it.
- Learning about Samuel Palmer’s life and work in Shoreham, his quirkiness and often eccentric ways!
- Stunning views across and along the Darent Valley
- Tranquillity of the River Darent and its riverside path; the Darent Valley Path
- Ancient and majestic trees over 500 years old at Lullingstone Country Park
- An easy-to-follow audio visual guide with written directions as well as on the ground waymarking with 12 numbered stop points
- Under an hour’s train ride from London to Shoreham station near the start of the Trail
Listen to a taster of the audio guide below
- The circular Samuel Palmer Trail is 5.3 miles (8.5km) and takes approximately between 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on walking pace
- The route is along public rights of way and mainly unsurfaced paths which can be uneven in places
- There are some steep climbs and descents where the trail goes between the valley floor and sides
- There are two sections of road walking, one stile and three instances of steps
- Whilst the trail is not fully accessible, an alternative shorter route of 1.7 miles (2.8km) on hard surfaced paths with step-free access around Shoreham village, is available and takes in 6 of the 12 audio stop points
- The audio visual guide can also be enjoyed at home for those unable to experience the trail in person
- Audio-only files and an online gallery with images referred to in the audio files are available on the project pages of this website
- A Samuel Palmer Trail leaflet to accompany the audio guide is also available (printed and digital)
How to get here
The Samuel Palmer Trail starts at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Shoreham. The best way to travel is by train to Shoreham station, just 400 metres from the start of the Trail. What3Words ///dots.farm.roses
How to download the audio visual trail guide
The Samuel Palmer Trail audio visual guide is available on the Darent Valley Trails app on the App Store and Google Play, free of charge. Please download the app before arriving to Shoreham due to limited mobile signal and wifi access.
App Store – scan the QR code or click the hyperlink
Google Play – scan the QR code or click the hyperlink
Further guidance on how to download the Darent Valley Trails app is provided in the video below
Once you have downloaded the app, we recommend that you select and download the Samuel Palmer Trail to your smart device so you can use it offline during your walk in case of a weak mobile signal. There will be other trails available on the app in due course to further explore the Darent Valley.
We recommended that you to listen to the introductory audio on the train on the way to Shoreham (or at home) before setting off to set the scene for the walk.
The Samuel Palmer Trail and leaflet have been devised by Victoria Bathurst and Sarah Newman. Audio script written by Victoria Bathurst.
“I was first introduced to the works of Palmer as an art student at Camberwell. I was drawn to their dreamy, intensely poetic quality, their jewel like luminous colours and glimmering light effects. Later I made a pilgrimage to Shoreham, and was delighted to discover that despite 200 years having passed there was still much about the valley to enchant. I wanted to share my discoveries and introduce others to the wonderful paintings Palmer made while he was here so I began to devise a walk which would take in as many places as I could identify in his paintings and give a sense of the landscape which so inspired him.” Victoria Bathurst, co-creator of the Samuel Palmer Trail.
Watch and listen to interviews with co-creator of the Samuel Palmer Trail Victoria Threlfall. Victoria was interviewed on BBC One South East Today, On The Map, 28th September 2022 and The Dominic King Show, BBC Radio Kent, 31st August 2022.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the Samuel Palmer Trail once you have walked it. Please share your thoughts with us here