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This Week's Walks - Archive

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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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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Wednesday Walk: Chilham Circular - a climb into the Kentish Downs and a descent to two historic houses

SWC 138 - Chilham Circular

Length: 15.6 km  (9.7 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

London St Pancras: 10-08 hrs    Margate service
Arrive Ashford International: 10-46 hrs
Leave Ashford International: 11-05 hrs   Canterbury West service
Arrive Chilham:  11-17 hrs

London Charing Cross: 09-40 hrs     Dover Priory service
Arrive Ashford International: 11-00 hrs
Leave Ashford International:  11-05 hrs     Canterbury West service, as above
Arrive Chilham:  11-17 hrs

Return:  14 mins past the hour, changing at Ashford International for St Pancras or Victoria

Today's walk takes us into the Kentish Downs, with the River Stour as our water feature for the day. The start shares the Book 1 Walk, Chilham to Canterbury before we join the Stour Valley Way , with a fine view of Chilham Castle below us.
Lunch is at the gourmet Compasses Inn, in Sole Street, Crundale. The food is pricey but  usually excellent: a bit of a treat. The chef has won several awards in recent years. I have booked a table for four for 1 pm: I will 'phone actual numbers from Chilham station. But best bring a sandwich (NOT for eating on the pub's premises) just in case the pub cannot accommodate more of us: it will if it can but its owners have forewarned they tend to get booked up on Wednesday lunchtime. 
After lunch (we need to be away circa 2-15 pm) we wend our way through woodland and through Godmersham Park back to Chilham, for tea at Shelly's Tea Room or a tincture at the White Horse pub.
Suitably refreshed at walk end, we have a short walk in the dark from Chilham Village to Chilham railway station for our train home.
Walk Directions here: L=swc.138


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this walk today some lovely views and woods

Walker said...

n=12 on this walk, on a lovely w=sunny-and-breezy day. The wind rustling the remaining leaves sounded like the sea or a waterfall. There was a bit of autumn colour but it was going fast, I would say. Some beech leaves, lots of yellow field maple and hazel on the ground. Splashes of pink and gold and yellow in the hedgerows. It was also really very mild, much milder than it ought to be in mid November. And much drier underfoot: I finished with almost no mud on my boots.

The morning was a gentle climb up grassy hillsides into remote wooded territory, with some backward views. Five of us were granted the favour of lunch at the much-garlanded pub, which despite having been thoroughly snooty about taking our booking (asking for a deposit yet) was not at all full (only two other diners I could see). We all agreed that being chosen best pub for food in the country plus their entry in the Guide Michelin has perhaps encouraged them to get a bit above their station.

The food itself was nice enough. We all had the skate, which we embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. With a set price for two courses it was not that expensive, but as usual in these gourmet places portions could have been larger. Is there something inherent in good food that means you only get a small dollop of mashed potato? I was the only person who remarked on this, however.

After lunch....ah, what felicity! Lovely golden light, lovely wind, lovely escarpment views. We got to Godmersham as the sun dipped below the hill and watched some poor sheep being forced to swim the Stour to get to new pasture. A nice walk along the lane in the gathering gloom into Chilham and a cosy tea at Shelly's when we got there. Then down in the dark, with a beautiful crescent moon hanging over Chilham Castle, to get the 5.14 train. (Some also got an earlier train, I guess, and some got lifts in cars).

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Marcus for another great day.