Anti-clockwise between Challock & Eastwell Manor
Route: Boughton Aluph to/from Challock (3 miles)
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
Extreme caution is needed to cross the busy A251 traffic passing St Christophers chapel where the parish holds most services, and between there & Challock there is little shelter from the sun or rain, so be prepared for either!
(Start here to follow ‘Anti-Clockwise’ arrows). Challock church to St Christophers.
From Challock church door a path crosses to a stile under where a diagonal footway may have been made through crops to join a farm track near the summit by a wood; otherwise the farm track must be followed to it along two sides. Beyond the large open fields is a better view than later of the Elizabethan Eastwell Manor as reconstructed in 1928; it’s now a deluxe hotel & spa. In 1589 the owner had the Ashford/Faversham road rerouted to the East and the farm track follows the extinct route) before continuing as a well-trodden right of way cut through crops (possibly shoulder height yellow oilseed rape). At the end are high stiles on either side of a private road, so the path approaches Boughton Lees through sheep fields (dogs on lead please). Heading diagonally up the grass towards a footpath sign on the fence the way follows to another sign diagonally down to cross the private road via the two wicket gates, continuing through the gate beside the brick built St Christopher’s (toilet available).
(Start here to follow ‘Clockwise’ arrows). Boughton Aluph church to St Christophers.
Boughton Aluph church is also some distance from its village which possibly developed near the new road northwards from the main entrance to Eastwell Manor that also cut off Challock village. Luckily the North Downs Way nowadays runs through the car park field to a narrow footpath at the edge of a planted field before being enclosed by hedges before turning right onto a quiet road past attractive cottages on the village outskirts. A busier minor road should be crossed with care to a pavement along houses overlooking the Lees (or village green). After crossing the busy A251, the route enters a sheep field through a wicket gate alongside St Christopher’s (dogs on leads please)