Well our last walk was on the hottest day of the year so far! Whilst it was very hot the majority of the walk was through the woods and along the Lords Walk which was quite cool under the trees. We ended the walk back at the church where some of us enjoyed a lovely cream tea at a welcome cup of tea!
NEXT WALK DETAILS
Tuesday 17th September at 10am
This walk will start opposite the Lower Bell on the Old Chatham Road at the bottom of Bluebell Hill and visit the monuments that the first British farming communities built 6,000 years ago. We take a footpath via a lone sarsen stone and Pratling Street to the Countless Stones, a fallen burial chamber (where, if we count the correct number of stones, the devil will appear!) Crossing the Rochester Road, we will pass more sarsen stones and the Tottington Spring to visit the Coffin Stone, another fallen burial chamber on a permissive path through a vineyard. We will cross the Pilgrims Way to make our way up the hill to Kits Coty, an impressive dolmen that was one of the first ancient monuments to be protected by law. Once over the A229 footbridge, we will make our way to Lower Warren Road and strike off towards the White Horse Stone via a Nature Reserve. In the woods we will find a sarsen stone that was used for sharpening stone axes during the Neolithic period 5,000 years ago. Leaving the White Horse Stone (above which, perhaps the Kentish flag was first raised) we cross the Channel Tunnel rail link and take the A229 underpass back to the Lower Bell.
Please meet in the layby on the left of the old Rochester Road (on the A229 slip road to Aylesford) opposite the Lower Bell.
PREVIOUS WALK DETAILS
Sunday 25th August at 1pm:
The Bank Holiday walk will start and end at Mereworth church where the walkers will be able to enjoy a refreshing cream tea. The 5-mile walk will take in Butchers Lane and follow an old coaching road through the woods from North Star Farm to the Lords Walk, a long, straight 18thcentury highway that was originally intended to link Mereworth Castle to London (it only ever reached Comp Farm). From the Lords Walk, with its splendid view of the Medway Gap through the North Downs, we shall walk via Mereworth Lawn, and a valley that in Spring is full of wild daffodils, to New Pound, where there is a breath-taking view of the Medway Gap through the Greensand Ridge. We shall descend the hill past Barons Place Farm and its thatched barn, via Willow Wents, Smarts Well and the Landway footpath to a welcoming cream tea at the church. Friday 2nd August at 2pm:
Leaving from the Moody Mare on Seven Mile Lane, our 3.5-mile walk will take us on pleasant woodland paths through the military training ground and beyond. We shall pass the Keepers’ Cottages buried deep in the woods and see the centuries-old coppicing industry at first hand. Following the ancient Red Path back to the Moody Mare, we shall visit the remains of the Table Beech, and the newly-planted Mark Beech on the boundary between West Peckham and Mereworth. The original Mark Beech tree was the traditional meeting place for parishioners to beat the bounds of the parish during Rogation week. Mereworth Woods are home to nightjars, glow-worms, orchids and many other increasingly rare species, as well as being managed for timber and acting as a vital training resource for our armed forces.
Tuesday 11th June:
Our June walk will be along the Medway valley, part of what Cobbett described in September 1823 as, "The finest seven miles that I have ever seen in England or anywhere else." It will take in the two ancient churches of Barming and West Farleigh, and we will see across to Barham Court where in the 1780s James Ramsey, vicar of Teston, began the campaign for the abolition of the Slave Trade. From Barming church, final resting place of one Robert Earle, curate of Mereworth and rector of Wateringbury, we will walk across the old kettle bridge over the Medway into West Farleigh. From West Farleigh church we will cross the fields to the mediaeval Teston bridge, featured in several war films, visit Teston lock and then walk back to Barming via the idyllic tow path of the Medway, past the remains of West Barming, meeting grazing cattle and seeing a World War 2 bomb crater.
Friday 17th May:
Our 90-minute walk in May will circumnavigate the grounds of Mereworth Castle. Starting from the church we will walk along the A26 to see the castle from a distance, the home of the person who built the church, and the castle drive, down which a very early aeroplane was trialled. From there we go to Pizien Well via the site of a century-old tragedy, and an ancient fertility myth. We will take the long climb from Pizien Well mill to the great triumphal arch on the hill overlooking the Weald. Still keeping to the country lanes, we will continue on to visit the redundant East Peckham church and to enjoy its lovely atmosphere. From there we will cut across the fields overlooking Mereworth via a short length of the A26 at Brewers Hall back to the church.
Tuesday 23rd April:
This will be a circular walk taking us along the Street to join an ancient trackway to Yotes Court and then up the hill to where Swanton Manor once stood. This has commanding views across West Kent. We will then go down to Swanton Pond where there was once a furnace mill, and follow another ancient track past the site of Mereworth’s Roman villa onto the former route of Seven Mile Lane at Libbetts cottages. We will then use the Landway and see the strawberry tunnels that provide the fruit for Wimbledon as we head back to the church.
Q: Where do you meet?
A: See 'walk details' section of the website which will give full details of where to meet.
Q: What time do I need to arrive?
A: We ask that you arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time to allow the walk leaders to brief all walkers on the walk details, any known hazards to be aware of etc.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Please ensure you wear suitable outdoor clothing suited to the weather conditions on the day, good sturdy walking boots or shoes.
Q: Should I bring anything?
A: You should always carry a supply of water to ensure you keep hydrated.
Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: Yes, dogs are welcome to join us however you must ensure they are kept under close control at all times as we may we walking near livestock.
Q: Will the walk always go ahead?
A: Yes, unless the walk leaders believe it too be be too dangerous i.e. gales, torrential rain, risk of lightening etc.