Blossom, Bluebells & Bucolic Beauty
17 people attending
8 places left
Starting out on this circular route from Neames Forstal, a tiny hamlet surrounded by orchards, we will make our way along lanes to Perry Wood and a steep climb uphill to The Mount. Here there is a wooden viewing platform that offers superb views over the trees to the surrounding North Downs.
Making our way through orchards, the cute clapboard cottages of Shottenden village, and across rolling farmland we will approach King's Wood, an extensive coppiced woodland. Coppicing provides the perfect environment for bluebells that thrive in this wood. We we stop for lunch at the top of Soakham Downs where there are fine views of the village of Wye in the Stour valley below.
After lunch we will walk along the periphery of King's Wood, with a distant view of Canterbury Cathedral some 8 miles away. Following the quiet lane of Mountain Street downhill, and past Chilham Castle, we will arrive in the exceptionally handsome village of Chilham, where we are booked in to Shelly’s Tea Rooms for afternoon tea.
The final leg from back to Selling is almost entirely through orchards that at this time of year are likely to be full of blossom. On our way back to Selling station we will pass by the White Lion pub where, time permitting, we can stop for a drink whilst waiting for our train home.
This is a new route that approaches Chilham from a different direction to a walk I lead from Wye in May 2018.
Image credits: Fields in the distance, Shelly’s Tea Rooms, Chilham, Oast House, Sun coming through the trees at Kings Wood by Andrew Bowden; all licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0; Other pictures are public domain or taken by event leader.
What to bring
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
You will need a packed lunch, and plenty of water and snacks to see you through the day. We will stop for a picnic lunch at a suitably scenic spot; for your own comfort you may wish to bring something to sit on.