Chilham & the Kent Downs
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After leaving the handsome village of Wye, we’ll join the North Downs Way and make our way uphill towards the Wye Crown. This area is part of the larger Kent Downs, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. After admiring the far-reaching vista from the Crown, we’ll join the Stour Valley Walk and make our way across the Crundale Downs. Our lunch stop here will be accompanied by some beautiful views.
Continuing downhill through Eggringe Wood we’ll cross Julliberrie Downs, from where we'll catch sight of Chilham Castle in the distance. On the approach to Chilham we’ll pass the Old Mill on the banks of the Stour, and then make our way into the picture-perfect village, where we’ll stop for afternoon tea in Shelly's Tea Rooms.
Following Mountain Street (it’s a climb, but not that steep!) out of the village we’ll rejoin the North Downs Way, along a wooded ridge with occasional views of oast houses in the Stour Valley below. This will then lead us downhill to the village of Wye and our finishing point.
The Tickled Trout pub is very close to the station in which we can reward our efforts at the end of the walk. The pub has a large garden beside the Stour, and is an idyllic spot when the weather is warm enough to sit outside.
Image credits: Fields in the distance, Shelly’s Tea Rooms, Chilham, Oast House, Sun coming through the trees at Kings Wood by Andrew Bowden; The Old Mill at Chilham by Smudge 9000 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. We will stop for tea in Chilham mid-afternoon.