insideKENT Magazine Issue 60 - March 2017 - Page 48

DAYSOUT HOPPING THROUGH TOWN AND VILLAGE BEGINNING IN THE HEART OF PADDOCK WOOD, ONCE THE CENTRE OF THE HOP GROWING INDUSTRY, YOU’LL HAVE A CHANCE TO EXPLORE AN INTERESTING RANGE OF LOCAL SHOPS BEFORE HEADING OUT THROUGH ORCHARDS, WOODLAND AND OPEN COUNTRYSIDE. YOU’LL SEE SEVERAL OAST HOUSES, A REMINDER OF THE THOUSANDS OF HOP PICKERS THAT CAME TO PADDOCK WOOD FROM LONDON DURING THE 19TH CENTURY. Your walk begins at the station which was opened in May 1842. The station was the making of Paddock Wood which was just a sizeable village prior to the station opening. In just over 50 years, Paddock Wood became a small town with the influx of hop pickers adding to the population. Many people came from London to Paddock Wood for their annual hop picking holiday, a tradition for city dwellers during the 19th century. From the station, follow Commercial road up through the town, passing the Church of St Andrews on your left with its large rose window. Constructed in 1860, the church was destroyed by a bomb in 1940. The church you see today was reconstructed using ragstone from the original church. At the end of Commercial Road, bear left. Shortly, turn right into Badsell Road. Just after passing Mascall’s Park cross the road and take the footpath on your left. If you fancy a small detour, continue along Badsell Road until you reach the nature reserve at Foal Hurst Wood. There is also a community Orchard – you may see some early flowering blossom there if you’re lucky! 48