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This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Sunday New Year's Eve Walk – A Canter from Canterbury to Sturry (or back to Canterbury)

SWC 121 – A Pub Canter from Canterbury to Sturry (with possible extension back to Canterbury) t=swc.121

Distance:  11.4 Miles or 18.3 km for those more metrically minded (or 14 miles/22.5 km with the extension)

Difficulty:  2 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:09 AM Margate train from London St. Pancras (9:16 from Stratford International), arriving at Canterbury at 10:08. Return trains from Sturry are at 39 minutes past the hour until 19:39 then at 37 minutes past until 21:37 and from Canterbury West at 25 minutes past the hour until 22:25. Buy a day return to Sturry.

Some of us experimented with the original Bekesbourne circular on a Wednesday walk last spring to find that a Canterbury circular route works well and has a number options to cater for differing length (as well as quite a few pubs offering refreshment). In fact, the experiment was so successful that the walk author amended the instructions…..and they are ready for a debut…..I thought that it would make a nice New Years’ Eve outing because it has a number of pubs en route – allowing for plenty of festive cheer and warm-up lubrication prior to your evening entertainment. I posted a slightly earlier start to allow some time for pub stops and/or to give those wanting a longer walk back to Canterbury a reasonable chance of getting back there before dark. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

You will be spoiled for choice on this walk for lunch pubs.  The recommended options are the Rose Inn in Wickhambreaux (01227 721 763) – 6.9 miles/ 11.1 km into the walk; the Duke William (01227 721 308) in Ickham (requiring a short diversion) – 6.8 miles/11.0 km into the walk or the Red Lion in Stodmarsh – serving food until 3:30pm (01227 721 339) – 8.3 miles/13.8 km into the walk. Please do call ahead with numbers….

Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had at the Fordwich Arms pleasantly located overlooking the Stour River – but make sure you time your departure accordingly to reach Sturry in time for the train (allow 10-15 minutes or so)….Canterbury also has a number of options for post walk libations (slightly off the walk route – the Parrot is a very pleasant pub).

Happy New Year! 


Walker said...

Be sure to use the pdf directions

Of the three lunch pubs, the Duke William is the largest. The Rose is medium sized, quite popular, but a charming place. The Red Lion in Stodmarsh is small and charming: definitely ring to check they have space before relying on eating there, however.

In Fordwich, given that it is winter and you are unlikely to be spending time in the Fordwich Arms' charming riverside garden, the nearby George and Dragon is a better choice for tea: when last I looked it did puddings in the afternoon, while the Fordwich Arms only does hot drinks: it is also a cosy place.

Fordwich/Sturry makes a good place to finish. If you want to complete the walk to Canterbury and the light is fading, the cycle path route mentioned in italics is perfectly doable in the dark, I would say

Karen said...

n=5 w=grey-but-dry-in-morning-turning-to-persistent-rain-after-lunch

5 off the train at Canterbury West for one final walk in 2017. We set out in dry but gloomy conditions and made our way out of Canterbury through some pretty uninspiring residential areas. Once out of the city, the path was clear and easy to follow, large arable fields on either side, but happily, we were walking on tarmac rather than trudging through mud.

Tables at the Rose Inn in Wickhambreaux were all reserved save one small table. Three of us managed to squeeze around that and one other was accommodated at the bar, with the one picnicker joining for a drink. It is a very pretty little pub, the food was good, and the staff friendly and accommodating.

It was raining as we left the pub and it continued to rain all the way to Sturry. Paths were clear and well-marked, but conditions muddy and slippy. We passed through a farm with what seemed like endless lines of polytunnels, bare of both plastic and plants at this time of year, and on through an apple orchard. The afternoon has some lovely sections through woodland. Two, and possibly a third, finished at Sturry, with the other two continuing on for a Canterbury finish. The rain eased off and we were soon in the outskirts of the city. The return into Canterbury was better than the outward route, through more woods, and eventually along the River Stour with the Cathedral. We could have easily made the 15:25 train, but opted to take tea at Patisserie Valerie (where they'd run out of all cakes except fruit tarts).

A not too strenuous walk, with pretty villages and buildings along the way. Might make an interesting day out in summer/early autumn when all the various crops and fruits could be seen.