Elham Valley Way
The Elham Valley Way is a long distance footpath from Hythe on the Kent coast to Canterbury. This 22.5 mile route will give you the opportunity of enjoying a valley walk through the Kent Downs as well as striking panoramic views from the chalk hills. The Elham Valley is the setting for the major part of this walk which will take you through some of the most enchanting countryside the garden county has to offer. From the seaside bustle of the south coast to the glories of the gracious city of Canterbury, the Elham Valley Way meanders through ancient woodlands, secret byways and charming, unspoilt villages. Much of the walk runs through the Kent Downs AONB and the Elham Valley is acknowledged to be one of Kent's most precious natural assets. The Elham Valley has thankfully escaped the pressures of modern development and a sense of ordinary village life remains. This area of Kent contains something of interest for everyone and for an enjoyable walk this appealing area can scarcely be bettered, no matter what season of the year you step out.
From Hythe the route passes through Newington, Peene, Etchinghill, Lyminge, Elham, Barham, Kingston, Bishopsbourne, Bridge, Patrixboune and finishes at Canterbury Cathedral. On it's journey the walk passes through a diverse landscape of downland, woodlands, orchards, parkland and farmland and is suitable for family groups and casual walkers as well as the seasoned rambler. The route is well signposted and the whole walk or sections of it can be undertaken using public transport.
The guide published by Kent CC is superbly produced in full colour with excellent mapping, clear route directions and all the background and practical information you could wish for. The OS based mapping and directions are even printed on laminated paper to help protect the guide if you have to refer to it whilst out walking in rain. An introductory chapter on the Elham Valley has sections on the Chalk Downland, Landscape, Winterbournes, Ancient Woodlands, Orchards, Archaeology and History. In addition there are six circular walks. Unfortunately this guide is now out of print, but may be available second hand or from libraries in Kent.
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