Discovering Rural Kent Tour - Canterbury & Kent Downs
Available all year round
*Subject to accommodation checks
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Stepping back in time, you will set off from the cathedral city of Canterbury, from where the walk winds its way through the tranquil Elham Valley, and up on to the chalk downlands in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Follow age-old flint and chalk tracks, then through the ancient Kings Wood to the village of Chilham with its fine Tudor houses.
On your final day return through apple orchards, and an iron age fort before arriving back at Canterbury for more sightseeing in this historic city. Walking distances are between 8 and 13 miles per day, or 5.5 and 8 miles per day (with additional night option). Moderate - some hill walking
This itinerary includes: accommodation in B&Bs, inns and hotels with breakfasts, daily luggage transfer, fully marked up maps and guidebooks with walk essentials hamper and tracker support. A Walk Awhile tracker will meet walkers on arrival evening to talk through the walk and provide the walk essentials hamper.
Support and advice is available by phone from your tracker throughout the duration of your walk. After breakfast each day, your luggage will be transported to your next accommodation stop. There is an optional debrief meeting at the end of your holiday.
Walk Awhile accommodates walkers at inns and pubs with accommodation, hotels and B&Bs. There are historic pubs along the route, to enjoy.
Flights arrive/leave from Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow Airport, with good links to St. Pancras International rail station.
Dover Ferry Port in Kent connects to Calais by cross channel Ferry, from where trains can be taken to Canterbury.
Canterbury is on main train lines from St Pancras International.
Eurostar from Lille, Paris and Brussels to St. Pancras, and Ashford. National Express Coach Services run regularly from London Victoria to Canterbury.
Enquire now for availability
Arrival in the ancient city of Canterbury. You will be met by a Walk Awhile representative at your accommodation close to the city centre and the cathedral, to go through the route, guidebooks and maps. A hamper of literature about the route will be left with you, to be transported with your luggage daily.
Day 2 Canterbury to Elham*
Following breakfast and luggage transfer, walk from Canterbury, following the footsteps of the Pilgrims, and crossing Watling Street at Bridge (with connections to Ian Fleming) in to the beautiful Elham valley. There will be time to detour to the Elham valley vineyard, and sample local wine or a cream tea. Accommodation is in a 15th Century Inn, which claims historic connections to the English Civil Wars. (13.5 miles)
*Alternative additional overnight stay in Barham (8 miles from Canterbury). Continue 5.5 miles to Elham on following day
The day’s walk explores the most rural aspects of the Kent Downs, walking through undulating chalk grassland, sheep and cattle farming country, and catching views of the English Channel in the distance. At the end of your days walk you will be met by taxi, at a village inn, and taken to Wye for your overnight stay. Accommodation is in the country village of Wye, with a choice of restaurants (8 miles)
After breakfast you will be taken by taxi back to the start of today’s walk, and then continue along the chalk down ridge, with the option of exploring the Crundale Downs and its hidden valleys. This is a very peaceful place which leaves the walker with the impression that this small piece of Kent has been cut off from the modern world. Much of the walk is along ancient flint and chalk tracks and by-ways. Accommodation will be in Wye. (7 miles with optional 3 , 6 or 9 mile detour)
Walk along the North Downs Way through Kings Wood , one of the largest woodlands in Kent, with a mix of sweet chestnut, beech and conifer trees, where you will see bluebells in the spring, and may see deer. You can follow a path through the Godmersham estate, where Jane Austen often kept house for her brother, and which is reputed to be the inspiration for Mansfield Park. Your accommodation will be in the picturesque village of Chilham, with its many fine medieval buildings and square (6.5 miles)
Follow the Pilgrims Way/North Downs Way to Canterbury, passing the iron age fort where Julius Caesar defeated the British tribes in 54 BC before returning to Rome. You will walk through some of Kent’s finest orchards, visiting Harbledown, outside Canterbury, and you can visit the Black Princes well, where Henry 11 commenced his penitent walk for his part in the death of Thomas Beckett, (alternative option of Stour Valley route from Chilham) Your accommodation will be in the City of Canterbury (8 miles)
Extend your stay
per person per night
*Based on 2 people sharing. £29 single occupancy supplement
Departure day. You will be able to meet your Walk Awhile representative again for a debrief if you wish.