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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

Friday, 19 April 2019

Good Friday - Chilham to Canterbury - a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral via the Great Stour River, woods, apple orchards and hop fields

Book 1, Walk 28 - Chilham to Canterbury

Length: 20.1 km (12.5 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

London St Pancras:  10-09 hrs   Margate service
Arrive Ashford International: 10-47 hrs   Change trains
Leave Ashford International: 11-05 hrs  Canterbury West service
Arrive Chilham: 11-17 hrs

London Victoria: 09-25 hrs   Canterbury West service     Bromley South: 09-42 hrs
Arrive Chilham: 11-17 hrs


Canterbury West to St Pancras: 25 mins past the hour direct; 42 mins past the hour, changing at Ashford International

Canterbury East to Victoria: 09 and 47 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Canterbury stations

My fellow walk poster has posted a Pewsey Circular walk for today, so for a change SWC walkers have a choice of walks on Good Friday.

Going back some years now I have sent you off on this Canterbury pilgrimage on Good Friday, although last year we tried Ely Circular, with dubious success. So it's back to Canterbury this year. Evensong in the Cathedral is at 17-30 hrs, which should leave time for tea first in Canterbury. Entrance to the Cathedral for those attending the service is free. Please note due to the various services held on Good Friday the Cathedral is closed today for sight seeing and general visiting.

Back to the walk: starting in Chilham you head for Chartham where you have the option of an early lunch at the Artichoke pub. Otherwise, following the unfortunate closure of the Chapter Arms in Chartham Hatch, your lunch options before you arrive in Canterbury are limited. With the recent closure of the Blean tavern some 9 miles into the walk, you can continue up the road to the Royal Oak pub at Blean Common, but having walked as far as Blean, it is probably best to continue into Canterbury and dine there.

During the morning you enjoy a variety of terrain - woods, farmland, apple orchards, hop fields, plus a  walk beside the Great River Stour. Later, after Blean Woods, you walk through the grounds of the University of Kent, then uphill to the University itself. You pass through the university buildings and come out onto a plateau - with a magnificent view of Canterbury Cathedral  down below. If you are lucky this vista might be enhanced by early bluebells on the grassy slopes above the Cathedral.

Down into the City, for those heading for the West railway station, your recommended tea stop is the Goods Shed. For those venturing deeper into the City, you are spoilt for choice for tea stops - SWC walkers seem to like Cafe Boho.

Saturday Walk option: if, like me, you have church (or maybe family) commitments on Good Friday, for many a year now I have embarked on this walk on the following day - the Saturday - which this year is 20 April.  Travel - as per Good Friday - but an hour earlier, allowing for lunch late into the walk.  St Pancras  9-09 hrs, Margate service, changing at Ashford International and arriving at Chilham 10-17 hrs. If anyone would like to join me I should welcome their company.
Walk Directions here: L=1.28


Marcus said...

I will leave the "walk numbers" and "weather" fields blank, in case a Good Friday walker wishes to post a report on their walk.
My Saturday version of the walk was superb - glorious sunny weather, warm to hot with a cooling breeze. There were lambs in the fields early in the walk. In the woods between the two railway lines before the village of Chartham Hatch, there was one full-on bluebell wood just to the right of the footpath, on the hill slope - a picturesque sea of blue. By contrast, the bluebells in the woods above Canterbury Cathedral were circa 65 % out - they too should be full-on later this week.
The Blean Woods Nature Reserve is a bit of a desert and a blank when it comes to flowers and anything interesting for most of the year - but today there were lots of "wooden M's" particularly in the northern part of the woods, fully open in the sunshine. Likewise, in the woods en route to and just below the University building, there were lots more wood anemones, and patches of bluebells. The feel-good factor all day was enhanced by clumps of primroses and loads of Spring flowers - and butterflies.
The descent from the University to the City down below was as enjoyable as always. The Goods Shed market hall and restaurant next to Canterbury West railway station was busy, but I managed to find a stall to serve me a pint of beer, both refreshing after a warm day's walking - and pure nectar after a period of Lentern abstinence.
I hope the Good Friday walkers had an equally enjoyable day.

Anonymous said...

About 17 or 18 people plus one dog at Chilham. lovely sunny and hot weather, some discombobulation about lack of lunchtime pub with about 3 ? people going to the very early one in walk. one largish group ate sandwiches next to a child's outdoor play area, some reindeers and donkeys came to greet us shortly after behind an adjacent fence...what a treat, may have been an animal sanctuary or someone's private collection.. Nice countryside and orchards with blossom just starting to sprout. woodland walks where bluebells could be seen, although not at their peak yet. At least a couple of train crossings where no-one stopped, looked and listened 😱 unfortunately quite of lot of tarmac walking, tough going in the heat and also proved too much for some walkers who caught buses for the last section; Blean into Canterbury. some walkers went to evensong in the cathedral. Blean woods nature reserve was lovely and quiet with a variety of trees, you could tell it was very old woodland. walk a bit marred by a fair bit of road walking but you can't have everything! good one 😃

Anonymous said...

w=warm-and-sunny n=17