VView across the Stour Valley
Route: Chilham to/from Godmersham (2 ½ miles)
This is both the shortest & easiest leg of the whole circuit, much of it along extremely quiet country roads, nearly all level and no stiles. So it is an ideal choice for the less able or those with children, and it is also the one we recommend walking both ways to be able to finish where a car was left. Whether starting from either end the route begins along the high walls of the two great estates of Chilham Castle or Godmersham Park, (both worth looking up beforehand on their websites as well as the Godmersham Heritage Centre open close to the church).
N.B These notes just give an outline of the route for which the way is specially marked out by large dayglow red arrows whose direction varies between clockwise & anticlockwise as shown in each year’s publicity. The following two descriptions starting from opposite ends finish at a single defined point, continuing from which it should not be difficult to read sentences in reverse order
(Start here to follow ‘Anti-Clockwise’ arrows). Godmersham church to Estate boundaries.
The Godmersham park wall swings towards the iron gates, but before entering the smaller you may like to look over the walls of the 1698 bridge over the beautiful River Stour. Please ensure dogs are on a lead as you pass through a sheep field & follow the footpath turning left to become a track between paddocks likely to contain thoroughbred horses. At a junction of tracks enjoy the fine view of the mansion built in 1732 and later owned by Jane Austen’s brother (details of her visits at the Heritage centre near the church). Turning right towards Chilham the paddocks become fields by a wood, before a swing gate marks the end of the Estate. Continue briefly alongside banks of an old track to the Chilham Castle Estate boundary.
Chilham Castle (from church tower)
(Start here to follow ‘Clockwise’ arrows). Chilham church to Estate boundaries.
Chilham Castle (from church tower)
There is a good view across Chilham Square (once all owned by the Castle plus six farms) of the Jacobean mansion (built 1616) before descending the short hill past the school (built 1861). At the bottom the Elephant House was built for these to move timber on the Estate which is now a venue for British Equestrian Society eventing trials After the wall bends right there is a chance to view over a lake the terraces topped by the mansion (the medieval castle keep is hidden behind) The road passes the hamlet of Mountain Street with two 15th century houses, Monkton Manor & Heron Manor, After views of Julieberry Down across the Stour Valley on the left is the lower section of the equestrian cross- country course reaching to the Castle Estate boundary.
"Clockwise" Gallery of photos taken during the 2017 Walk.
(Taken in fine drizzle soon after the walk started in the reverse direction to the previous year.)
"Anti-clockwise" Gallery of photos taken during the 2016 Walk.
Hover over image for description. Click image to enlarge, also to view subsequent or prior photos.
(These were taken after the walk had ended and the light on an already cloudy day was fading.)
Viewed from River Stour
Viewed from churchyard
Alongside garden wall of Godmersham Park
Main Gates to mansion (footpath gate on right).
Unusually late for time of year.
Car parking area for local walks, North Downs Way
Recently created water feature for BES equestrian cross country course..
Note carved wooden crocodile in water!
Daffodils on bank of Chilham Park estate opposite Heron Manor.