Route: Molash to/from Chilham (4 ¾ miles)
This is the longest and possibly most challenging part of the whole circuit due to varied terrain and frequent changes between fields, paths, tracks & lanes. All the most wobbly stiles have now been replaced by wicket gates, obviating the need for the previous alternative road route
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). Chilham church to the lane near Shottenden.
A footpath down from Chilham churchyard briefly joins a lane before cutting through trees to the busy A252 road.. Crossing this carefully to a path soon entering a large orchard, it turns left along a row of poplars to a concreted fruit farmyard, and exiting by the smaller of the main gates of the house. Care is needed crossing the minor road to enter the large orchard opposite, continuing along the wide grassy strip before turning uphill at the end. Neither the orchard nor the field entered through a gap in the wire at the top are public rights of way but the owners kindly allow us access. Follow along the top of the field & descend the far side to avoid newly sown crops until red arrows lead to a gap in the wire to turn 180 degrees up a muddy track This becomes ang a bluebell bordered flint track, & later turning into a clay track deeply rutted by three wheel vehicles, and eventually becomes a tarmac lane past Matthew Farm near Shottenden (not on the route) before crossing to a footpath.
(Start here to follow ‘Clockwise’ arrows). Molash church to the lane near Shottenden.
Behind Molash church, after a paddock (with two stiles) the route crosses an expanse of arable farmland high above which skylarks may be heard. Cross a minor road, climb a stile & keep left along a hedge before cutting diagonally up sloping pasture, leveling out to cross a farm drive, & continuing to reach some trees. Turning right along a paddock, to a succession of wicket gates & stile near a very old house,passing through an old orchard, a copse,& a sown field. Turning left in an old orchard, the route joins Wytherling Court Lane before continuing straight ahead on a track. This later gradually becomes a very narrow path along field edges till it meets a tarmac lane within sight of Shottenden before turning off right for Chilham.