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)
Clockwise Eastwell Manor towards Challock
"Clockwise" Gallery of photos taken during the 2017 Walk.
Hover over an image for its title. Click image to enlarge, also click right or left to view the other photos.
By now the weather was dry but still cloudy, which was perfect for walking across the open fields between Boughton Lees & Challock church (famous for its millennial wall paintings).
"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.
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.
Path through copse from Challock church to field.
Route through sown crops uphill to join farm track by wood at summit.
View from summit of track over North Downs.
View towards Ashford (this was road from Faversham till Eastwell estate's block caused Challock to move).
Track curving rpund wood to pass large tree clump & piled surfacing material.
View of agricultural lime kilns.in chalk slope behind.
Start of big unplanted field; best walked in company to avoid boredom!
View back after crossing huge field; company also useful to help over stile!.
Public footpath heads up grass field (no right of way over private drive at foot).
Footpath passing lightning -struck chestnut tree; (was in blossom for 2012 Walk)
Footpath crosses private Eastwell Manor drive into another field (often sheep)
Footpath exits field beside St Christopher's, Boughton Aluph. (Toilet available).
Objective is to cross over very busy A251 to walk on pavement east of Green. (A steward may advise).
Made it safely! Others still waiting safe opportunity at St Christopher's.
Walkers crossing link road between A28 & A251 from corner of green to Pilgrims way opposite. (Note sign)
Route enters quiet stretch of road along Pilgrims Way (also North Downs Way).
Turning off road onto path (still Pilgrims Way and the North Downs Way)
Nearing Boughton Aluph church, path along newly sown wheat.
Boughton Aluph church, helpers cars under east windows. (Ample parking in field just before church)
Walkers checking their cards in on their arrival (before buying their home made refreshments).