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 path 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.
(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.