Walks & Treks - The North Downs

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Walks & Treks - The North Downs

Kent • 2 nights • Half Board • Easy to Medium • NEW

With views ready to take your breath away, the North Downs is not only an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty rich in woodland and grasslands, but also offers a journey through history and cultural heritage. Join our brand new walking weekend exploring and soaking up parts of the delightful Pilgrim's and North Downs Way.

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About this holiday

The North Downs Way National Trail stretches through Surrey Hills from Farnham through to Dover covering a distance of 153 miles. Our shorter but just as scenic section on Saturday takes us from the hotels doorstep following the Great Stour River out of Ashford along the Stour Valley Way. The water meanders through farms and parks to the beautiful little town of Wye where we then head west along the North Downs Way to the village of Boughton Lees for lunch at the Flying Horse Pub (own cost). Our trail then follows tracks of Ancient Pilgrims’ along the North Downs Way to Chilham, visiting Pilgrims’ Porch at Boughton Aluph Church, before heading up the old drovers trail into King Wood and on through the grounds of Godmersham Park. It is here where Jane Austen got the inspiration for Mansfield Park and her brother once lived. We finish in the medieval village of Chilham, one of the most beautiful villages in the county. Its’ square is surrounded by medieval timber framed buildings and its south flank faces the entrance to Chilham Castle. We visit the locations used in the Powell and Pressburgher film A Canterbury Tale while today, it is often used as a location for filming and recently featured as the main setting for the BBC’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.

On Sunday, we head back to Chilham and strike out onto the Pilgrim's Way. Hear tales of Hilaire Belloc’s and Julia Cartwrights routes to Canterbury as we ascend to Old Wives’ Lees through countryside evocative of the Garden of England passing oast houses through orchards and woods to Nickel Farm. A stop will be made at Badgers Farm and Cidery for us to purchase provisions for picnic lunch stop (own cost) on the walk. Its then on through No Man’s Orchard to Bigbury Camp, an iron-age hill fort where it is suggested Caesar defeated the British/Belgic tribes in 54BC. Our last couple of miles takes us through Harbledown passing St Nicholas’s Chapel and the Black Princes Well and then onto the final stretch into Canterbury. See the lead vault in the church of St Dunstan’s of Sir Thomas More whose head was thrown down from London Bridge to his daughter before finishing late afternoon through the city walls and the medieval West Gate through which pilgrims would have passed when the gate was constructed in 1490.

Our accommodation

Holiday Inn Ashford Central


Converted from a 17th century barn and complete with period features our hotels is nestled in the Kent countryside is just a mile from Ashford town centre and on the doorstep of the North Downs. The hotel is located off Junction 9 of the M20. Ashford International rail station is less than 2 miles away. Complimentary car parking is available.

Facilities include

Modern facilities here include a bar and restaurant.

Rooms include

The rooms all offer flat screen TV, air-conditioning,tea/coffee-making facilities and hairdryer.


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Date Duration Holiday Notes Age group Price
20 Apr 18 2 nights The North Downs All Ages From £305
08 Jun 18 2 nights The North Downs Guaranteed Departure All Ages From £299

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