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View from Soakham Down

  Route: Godmersham to/from Boughton Aluph (3 miles)

This route involves an ascent & descent of the Downs & briefly enters the Kings Wood, making it an interesting walk with at one point a fine view over the Kentish Weald around Ashford.

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

Two rather high stiles are encountered across the road from Boughton Aluph church, after which it is easy walking across arable fields to a small thicketed zig-zag path.  Crossing a road with care to a concrete track which leads past Soakham Farm, it becomes a grassy path zig-zagging along a field border, then up between bushy banks.  Before entering the metal gate to ascend a very steep narrow path to the forested summit of Soakham Down, it is worth viewing the patchwork of fields around Wye & more distant Ashford from the bank top.

(Start here to follow ‘Anti-Clockwise’ arrows).  Boughton Aluph church to Soakham Down.​

Soakham Farm

(Start here to follow ‘Clockwise’ arrows).  Godmersham church to top of Soakham Down

Straight ahead from Godmersham church a farm gate opens onto a track climbing to the left, then right above a timber yard.  This private track carries on up Godmersham Downs until views open up right over the valley.  Continuing up there is a specially opened metal gate in the high mesh fence keeping the forest’s deer from the estate’s land.   Beyond a lesser path bears down right past a felled area before levelling out & fairly soon turning left onto the rather rough North Downs Way identified by its acorn logo on marker posts winding to the top of Soakham Down descent.

    "Clockwise" Gallery of photos taken during the 2017 Walk.

By now it was merely overcast, with ideal walking conditions with only a little mud underfoot.  The  spacious refreshment area of Boughton Aluph church thronged with hungry walkers. 
      Hover over image for description.  Click image to enlarge, also to view subsequent or prior photos.

"Anti-clockwise" Gallery of photos taken during the 2016 Walk.

The morning had some drizzle but most of the day was merely damp with cooling breezes, ideal walking conditions apart from some mud & puddles necessitating proper walking footgear.  The refreshments on sale at each church were welcomed and everybody seemed to enjoy the walk.
      Hover over image for description.  Click image to enlarge, also to view subsequent or prior photos.
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