Love where you Live Sevenoaks

DAVID PALMER IS THE FOUNDER OF OAKS BLOKES RUNNING GROUP IN SEVENOAKS. HERE, HE TELLS US WHY HE LOVES WHERE HE LIVES…

Where do you live?
Central Sevenoaks close to Hollybush recreation ground.

How long have you lived there and what made you decide to move there?
My wife and I moved here ten years ago when we got married. We needed a place that could fit our six children but that allowed for commuting in to London and easy access to the rec for both our children and also us, as we both have running groups from outside the Lodge café – Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers and Oak Blokes.

Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?
I tend to run everywhere and have covered all the footpaths in about a ten mile radius of Sevenoaks in every direction. So this is a tough question, as I like to mix it up a lot – but three stand out:

1. Kemsing up the hill to the cross and great views, then a five mile circular route that takes you (this time of year) through six great bluebell woods.
2. The walk from Sevenoaks to Ightham Mote, it’s a circular route with great views across Wealden Kent.
3. Let’s not forget just how fantastic it is to walk around Knole Park with Knole House, with the deer and ever seasonally changing views. We are just spoilt around here for beautiful countryside.

The best place to get a cup of coffee?
Again a really tough question – I take my running group to different post run coffee shops at least once a month. We have tested a lot over the years (at least those that accommodate 25 cars parking near them). Each has different special points – and as we have an egg and bacon sarnie in each – we are not just judging on the coffee. My top three of a constantly refined list are:

1. Teal Café – right up there and only one year old – know their onions on coffee and give you real bread with your bacon sarnie.
2. St Julian’s Club, have given us some great post run eats and you get the great views across the valley (one for the summer especially).
3. Nona Cappuccino central Sevenoaks beating off some strong competition.

Are there any nice views nearby?
I have already mentioned at least three great views – which are as good as any in Kent. But what I really enjoy is finding rarely used footpaths in the middle of nowhere as possible with great views – so sorry, they are staying a secret!

If you’re looking to relax and unwind, where’s your favourite place to go?
In my view you can’t beat going out for an hour’s run, no matter what the weather is like – then I feel I have earned a cup of tea and piece of cake and I love to visit cafes for tea like the Tudor Cafe at Chiddingstone.

Where’s the best place to meet friends and socialise?
Now, it is hard not to get repetitive. I run a ‘gentlemen’s’ running club – that means we chat whilst we run, we stop at the end and drink coffee – talk rubbish, solve the world’s problems and have a good laugh all before 10am on a Saturday morning. I find them the nicest, most eclectic bunch of gents – now friends, I could ever hope to meet. New guys join all the time, so the circle of friends keeps growing and you feel part of the community. So in short, on some muddy track in or around Knole Park …

What do you do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?
Dog walking, running, cycling, eating and drinking – and if we have time, a trip deeper into the countryside of Kent to find an interesting gastro pub, a new walk or new tea room.

Why do you love where you live?
My wife says because she lives here too – and that is a fair answer. I think you can see from above that it is the beauty of Kent that is hard not to fall in love with. It is just full of the most beautiful places to visit and things to see.
It’s only problem – there are too many of us here enjoying it!

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