Author Topic: Completely covering Kent  (Read 19752 times)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #120 on: 14:41:48, 28/06/20 »
This weekend's walk with my wife was a woods and farmland stroll straight from home. We're extremely fortunate in having a swathe of woodland (the Blean) covering much of the area between us and Canterbury to the south, so we can cross some farmland to get to the woods, do some woods walking, then return across more farmland.  :)

The farm track that leads to the woods...



There are still lots of orchids around, but most have been straggly this year. These two are in good shape though:



A lovely farmland footpath that I've only used once before. The first photo shows my wife sanitising after touching the gate.  :angel:



A very freshly mown field (mowing was in progress!) and some friendly, inquisitive cattle:



Some of the different woods we went through. We passed through Clowes Wood, Victory Wood, Tong Wood, Ellenden Wood and Coombe Wood.



A thoroughly enjoyable 11 miles and home in plenty of time before lunch!  :)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #121 on: 14:33:17, 06/07/20 »
Studying the map yesterday, I noticed there were a couple of miles' worth of footpaths near Boughton-under-Blean that I'd not walked yet. So the aim of my morning walk from home today was to check them out.  :)



After about 7 miles, I left my familiar route and followed the new paths. And very pleasant they were indeed.



Nearing Boughton-under-Blean, I arrived at a hop field. I love seeing hops!



I took several photos...



The other side of the hop field, complete with oast houses:



The walk was a little over 16 miles in one of my favourite areas. Lovely!  :)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #122 on: 15:07:20, 13/07/20 »
This morning, I did a walk that I planned a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't particularly keen on doing. The problem is that, unlike almost every other person in Kent, I'm still reluctant to use my car and I don't want to drive far when I do.

However, now that the lockdown has eased, I'm trying to get back on track with my aim of walking in every part of Kent and there was an unappealing part of Thanet I still had to do. So I filled up my car with petrol for the first time in about six months and drove to a small car park about 20 minutes away to begin the walk.



It's not that this part of Thanet isn't pleasant enough, but that there are very few footpaths and my route had to include a lot of road walking.

The walk started well enough - with paths across fields of peas and corn:



Many of the roads were like this though. Lots of traffic meant that I had to walk on high verges and field edges for several miles.



In the right-hand photo, the verge is about 6ft above the road, but I couldn't continue any further on the verge and had to take my chances on the busy road below and a blind bend:



Having had enough of facing traffic, I started to choose fields and hope I could get through the hedges and back onto the road later...



It wasn't all like that though - only the first six miles or so. Most of the second half of the walk was on quiet lanes and bridleways like this one:



Another reason for being unenthusiastic about this route was that I had to use a byway that would take me past a farm where a small dog ran out and bit my ankle a couple of years ago. I'm pleased to report that this time there was no sign of the little darling.

BTW, I've noticed that facemasks are becoming a popular choice for things to throw out of a car window.

I added a pleasing number of miles to my Kent walks map, but I certainly wouldn't recommend this area to anyone. Despite being quite rural, much of Thanet is not very walker-friendly!

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #123 on: 15:26:26, 15/07/20 »
For my walk this morning, I did what I often do - I looked for an area that I'd not walked yet and worked out a walk to do there.  :)

There was an empty space on my Kent Walks Map to the south of Teynham, which is a village between Faversham and Sittingbourne on the A2. I knew I could park in Teynham and it's only a 25 minute drive away, so that's what I did. The plan was to do a loop using only country lanes, trying to avoid using any I'd walked before. As it turned out, the walk was a little over 13 miles and at least 12 miles of it was new to me. A bit more of Kent has been covered!  :)



This really is an idyllic part of Kent. Most of the countryside is covered in orchards, with the occasional vineyard or cereal crop. I saw one field with sheep and no cattle at all, but lots of horses.



I love seeing old houses, especially thatched cottages, and there are plenty to admire here:



This more modern house is quite appealing...



...but I think this one has more potential:



I'd noticed a farm on the map called Bumpit Farm. Sadly, although I walked past it, I didn't see a sign for me to photograph.  :(

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #124 on: 17:11:20, 24/07/20 »
I planned today's walk before the lockdown and put it on hold until it was okay to drive a moderate distance to exercise. My wife is still working from home and was allowed to spread her summer holiday over several weeks in the form of long weekends, so we were able to do a walk together today.  :)

We parked at Trosley Country Park near Vigo Village. The area is very wooded and the North Downs Way passes through the country park. I planned the 16 mile route to fill a big gap on my Kent Walks Map in the area south of Dartford and Gravesend. I wasn't sure what to expect and I was surprised to discover how delightful this part of Kent is.



This is Stanstead War Memorial. Apparently, the memorial is a replacement for the original, sculpted in 1923 by Alois Stroebl and cast in Budapest, that was stolen and never recovered.



St Mary's Church, Stanstead:



A very unusual and striking church in Hartley: St Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church:



We passed a great many very nice houses, but only one had WW2 fighter on the lawn...


WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #125 on: 14:18:46, 26/07/20 »
This morning, my wife and I went for our third run-walk together. Again, we did at least 6.2 miles because that's 10km which is a standard running distance.   :)

We parked at Chilham and followed the North Downs Way (marked in blue) for a couple of miles. Then we crossed the Godmersham Estate to meet the Stour Valley Walk (right - not marked), which we followed for most of the way back to Chilham.



I ought to make it clear that, while I do a run-walk, my wife runs without stopping - including the long, steep climb up to Kings Wood just before we left the NDW, which I walked! The reward was a very long downhill section across the Godmersham Estate with its wonderful views...





The Chilham area is extremely picturesque, but the mill on the Great Stour is exceptionally photogenic.  :)




Lazar

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #126 on: 16:54:37, 26/07/20 »
Hi we are heading to Kent for 5 days of walking in September, we are getting the train and thinking of getting off at Selling and walking into Canterbury where we are staying. Could you recommend a walk of about 10 miles on our first day to from Selling to Canterbury. Thanks

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #127 on: 18:15:22, 26/07/20 »
Hi we are heading to Kent for 5 days of walking in September, we are getting the train and thinking of getting off at Selling and walking into Canterbury where we are staying. Could you recommend a walk of about 10 miles on our first day to from Selling to Canterbury. Thanks

Now that's the kind of request I like!  O0

I've just worked out what I think is the perfect route from Selling Station to the centre of Canterbury. I'll give it as a description, but I can put it on OS Maps for download if that makes things easier.

From Selling Station, join the start of a well-waymarked path called the Big Blean Walk. The start of the BBW is on Fox Lane about 150m SE of the station. If you want to see Selling (which is very nice!) you can take Selling Road from the station to Fox Lane and the BBW starts just past the bridge. Alternatively, there's an unofficial path on the north side of the railway that goes directly there.

Follow the BBW as far as Selling Tunnel. You'll know you're there when the railway tracks disappear! Take a sharp right onto a footpath that goes south through a farm and past a few houses (Upper Ensign). At the road, turn left towards Old Wives Lees.

The North Downs Way goes through Old Wives Lees and you'll join it at the centre of the village where five roads meet. You'll follow the wonderful NDW eastwards...

This is one of my favourite stretches of the NDW - I love it! The best bits are during the last couple of miles before you leave it just before reaching a bridge over the A2 near Harbledown. At Chartham Hatch you might see reindeer in a wood opposite a playground; then you'll go through No Man's Orchard and Bigbury Camp.

Turn right onto Faulkners Lane just after you've passed Bigbury Camp. After about 100m, turn left onto Tonford Lane and follow the lane all the way down to the Great Stour. Here you'll join the Stour Valley Walk which runs alongside the river all the way to Canterbury. You'll arrive by Westgate Gardens (which is the best way to arrive!) and then it's only a short walk to the city centre.

The walk is a little over 9 miles.  :)

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #128 on: 19:07:09, 26/07/20 »
Hey, that looks good. I'm due to visit an elderly cousin who's in St. Johns 'Hospital?' in Canterbury around September and one of her sons lives in Chilham. I'll keep that description myself thank you, I've looked at it on my OS map and I may do it myself. My first thought was to get to Ashford and then walk to Canterbury from there. I always like something to look forward to and its great to have a choice of routes.

I notice that around Chartham Hatch the map is marked with some orchards, do they still exist? So many of the orchards which I remember around Maidstone as a youngster have been cut down for other uses. My mother used to pick cherries (her favourite job and time of the year) on a farm at East Farleigh, the trees at that time were about 80-100 years old, now all gone!

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #129 on: 19:51:25, 26/07/20 »
Hey, that looks good. I'm due to visit an elderly cousin who's in St. Johns 'Hospital?' in Canterbury around September and one of her sons lives in Chilham. I'll keep that description myself thank you, I've looked at it on my OS map and I may do it myself. My first thought was to get to Ashford and then walk to Canterbury from there. I always like something to look forward to and its great to have a choice of routes.

I notice that around Chartham Hatch the map is marked with some orchards, do they still exist? So many of the orchards which I remember around Maidstone as a youngster have been cut down for other uses. My mother used to pick cherries (her favourite job and time of the year) on a farm at East Farleigh, the trees at that time were about 80-100 years old, now all gone!

There are a great many orchards along the route I've described - everything from vast ones stretching off into the distance to the ancient one I mentioned called No Man's Orchard, which is well worth seeing.  :)

I've walked from Ashford to Whitstable via Canterbury on four occasions. My wife used to work in Ashford and she'd drop me off so as I could walk home. All of the routes were different and I'd be happy to suggest possibilities.  :)

SteamyTea

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #130 on: 19:58:27, 26/07/20 »
I have forgotten how nice it is around Chillham.
Had to sing in St. Mary's church before they dropped.
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Lazar

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #131 on: 16:41:32, 28/07/20 »
Thanks for the route much appreciated will be using it.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #132 on: 18:29:27, 31/07/20 »
This morning, my wife and I met up with our daughter and two grandsons for a safari walk.  :)

Port Lympne is a large safari park near Hythe in Kent with its southern edge lying along the Royal Military Canal. Two public right of way footpaths cross the park making it easy to go animal-spotting for free!

We parked in a small car park right by the canal at West Hythe. Then we followed the canal to the furthest footpath and headed up the steep hill to Lympne. Just before we reached Lympne, we turned onto the Saxon Shore Way which took us along the high ridge. Finally, we took the other path back down to the canal and on to the car park.



The Royal Military Canal is quite beautiful and there's an excellent 28 mile trail all the way alongside it which I did in three circular walks a couple of years ago. This photo has the boys browsing the information board...



This is a fantastic viewpoint from beside the canal. Looking up the hillside, we can see both Lympne Castle at the top and the remains of a Roman fort halfway up the hill. The path that we returned on passes close to the fort...



It's very much a matter of pot luck as to what animals might be seen on this route. In the past I've seen giraffes and rhinos, but they weren't in sight today. We did see red lechwe, Przewalski's horses, bison and various antelope-like animals though.





Walking along the top path our way was partially blocked by some horses' heads!



The view over Romney Marsh from the Saxon Shore Way. The nuclear power stations at Dungeness can just be made out in the distance:



As we came down the hill we passed an enclosure where African painted dogs were enjoying the shade (at the time we thought they were hyenas - they were very big!). The temperature reached 35C today so even they were staying out of the sun.



This was only a short walk at about 3.5 miles, but perfect in today's heat and the kids really enjoyed the adventure!  :)

Edit: I almost forgot to mention... today I finished the month with more than 8,000,000 steps recorded over the last 12 months. That's a daily average of nearly 22,000 steps.  :)
« Last Edit: 19:04:20, 31/07/20 by WhitstableDave »

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #133 on: 17:21:40, 03/08/20 »
Our walk this morning was in the area between Alkham, near Dover, and Denton, a village between Folkestone and Canterbury.

The area is extremely walker-friendly, with footpaths and by-ways criss-crossing all over the place. But it's also very hilly. This part of the Kent Downs is like a giant sheet of corrugated iron, with many ridges and valleys creating lots of ascents and descents.

We parked in Alkham, from where we've done a couple of walks previously, and headed towards Denton (near Wootton on the map) to explore some new places and fill a gap on my Kent Walks map.  :)



Somewhere between Alkham and Swingfield:



We're just about to descend a steep hill to the road below:



We met a lot of sheep on the way. This lot were very friendly:



The Church of St Peter at Swingfield, with a very impressive tower:



I like farm machinery...  :)



Heading across fields towards St John's Commandery, a flint-walled 13th century chapel and hall of a 'Commandery' of Knights Hospitallers:





More sheep:



It wasn't all wide open spaces though and some of the footpaths were rarely used:



Alkham nestles in a valley and returning there always provides some wonderful views:



About a quarter of a mile to go:



This was a brilliant walk in a fantastic area. We'll be back!

One more thing... it's been a while since I posted my Kent Walks map, so here's the current state of play as of today:


WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #134 on: 16:53:04, 08/08/20 »
It was forecast to be very hot again today, so for our walk I planned a route that would be mostly in the shade.

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, Kent has the greatest area of ancient woodland in England and we're extremely lucky to live close to The Blean, one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in Kent.  :) 

Setting off from home, we did a 14.25 mile-long 'wood crawl', taking in Ellenden Wood, Victory Wood, Blean Wood, Claypits Wood, High Wood, Bossenden Wood, North Bishopden Wood, and finally our local - Clowes Wood. There were some unshaded stretches between some of the woods, but we were mostly in among the trees!  :)



Across a meadow and up a hill with excellent views behind towards Whitstable, we're about to enter The Blean:



Me on a path through the woods:



This is Clay Hill. It's in Victory Woods, which is in the process of being re-established - hence the lack of trees here. More of The Blean can be seen in the distance:



A couple of hundred yards further on and we're heading down a steep path through a lovely beech wood - my favourite variety:



Here we're in a large wood called Bossenden Wood and following the Big Blean Walk for a while. The stream is bone dry:





Heading into 'our' woods - Clowes Wood:



In Clowes Wood, within the space of about 200 yards, there are no fewer than five totally unnecessary footbridges. The path they're on runs parallel to a more popular gravel track about 20 yards away, so the 'five bridges path' is rarely used. And they don't even cross water for 99% of the year - only very shallow ditches. I can think of much better ways for the council to spend money on public footpaths!



Having a drink at the top of the hill where the tarmacked cycle track goes down and out of the woods. I was very annoyed when the track was tarmacked a couple of years ago - I thought it was pointless and, being very steep, dangerous for cyclists in icy conditions.



Leaving the woods - and we're almost home!  :)



Edit: I almost forgot to mention... no navigational aids of any kind were used in the following of this route.  ;)
« Last Edit: 17:15:41, 08/08/20 by WhitstableDave »