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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Why walk near Wye?

Book 1 Walk 53/SWC 138 Combo with extended option via Bodsham t=1.53

Distance:  11 Miles/17.7km for the classic combo or 14 miles/22.5 km for the extended route via Bodsham

Difficulty:  6 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:34 AM train from London St. Pancras (9:40 from Stratford International), changing at Ashford (arriving 10:11; departing 10:35) arriving at Wye at 10:41. Return trains from Chilham at 13 minutes past the hour. Buy a day return to Chilham. 

This route is a classic combo of two walks, creating a linear route from Wye to Chilham. For the standard route, you follow the instruction from Book 1 Walk 53 from Wye up onto the dramatic North Downs escarpment with fine views; then across the downs to the Compasses Inn in Sole Street where you switch to the picturesque afternoon route from SWC 138 to the charming village of Chilham. 

The extended option via Bodsham requires a map-led route (which will be added to the GPX file on line) that some Sunday walkers explored last year and found very enjoyable. The extended route diverts from the classic one along the escarpment in the morning, continuing along the NDW for a spell before turning off the escarpment and passing by two alternate pubs, the Bowl Inn in Hastingleigh and the Timber Batts Pub and Forge in Bodsham, a truly quirky experience and definitely worth at least a drinks stop…..This route eventually also leads you to the Compasses Inn where you can pick up the afternoon instruction for SWC 138. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions/route here and here.

Traditionally, lunch on this route has been at the Compasses Inn, but it has become rather upmarket in recent years requiring carefully timed bookings and proving difficult for walking groups…So, the extended route provides two additional pubs (referenced above) which serve more basic fare and have a more flexible attitude towards life…..

In Chilham, tea and other post walk afternoon refreshments can be had at Shelly’s Tea Room or the White Horse.

Enjoy the walk!


Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, the extended map-led route via Bodsham is the light-blue dashed line on the map for the Wye Circular -- Book 1 Walk 53.

Stargazer said...

16 off the appointed train with one early starter and one late starter (having transport problems en route to St. P) made for n=18 on this rural delight...To my surprise, all but one (perhaps by accident) opted for the longer map-led route and most seemed to have no problem following the map or a line on a device....The early starter who we met at the pub took notes for the longer route -- so, hopefully, this well-received off-piste option will become official in due course...The Timber Batts did not disappoint -- about half of the group enjoyed lunch surrounded by a myriad of curiosities...and the sandwichers also enjoyed their drinks with a good look around the premises....After lunch some had a brief tour of the neighboring forge before setting across (small) hills and vales to the Compasses Inn and a return to the written word...We lost two to tea at the Compasses (and an alternate mode of transport) and the rest carried on at different speeds in a couple of small groups in the lovely afternoon/evening misty light, arriving in Chilham at dusk under a clearing sky with a bright moon...Post walk bevvies were split by the group between the two pubs -- most caught the 18:13...Of the 5 that lingered, two opted for a moonlight extension along the Stour Valley Walk to Chartham which proved very enjoyable and atmospheric along a clear path at the edge of some woods with good bright moonlight with the others presumably catching the 19:13...In addition to the eclectic collection at the pub, exotic spottings en route included a rhea (large ostrich-like bird) and lamas...slightly less exotic, but in great abundance, were vast displays of snow drops.
Conditions for the day ranging from w=heavy-mist-to-hazy-sunshine-and-finally-a-moonlit-sky.

Marcus said...

Directions for the Hastingleigh-Bodsham- Waltham "loop" now added to the on-line written Directions.