A rural route (avoiding habitation) around the Stour Valley. Starting through King's Wood and a little of the North Downs Way heading north, crossing the valley and picking up some of the Stour Valley Walk heading south before crossing the river again and heading back into the woods.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park at the King's Wood car park. There were no charges or signs saying that it was locked overnight so we didn't have to worry about being back by a certain time.
(D/A) Take any route you like through the woods to pick up the North Downs Way. There are more paths through the woods than marked on the map so a compass is useful to check you are heading the right way.
(1) There is a fence at the edge of the woods which the North Downs Way follows. Once you hit that follow it roughly northeast. Ignore the first footpath to the right, a little further on the path takes a sharp right. Follow it down the hill to an unclassified road.
(2) Join the road again heading northeast. Look for a footpath sign amongst the short row of houses on the right.
(3) Take the path down to the river to find the footbridge. There is a bridge suitable for tractors and a five bar gate, but the footbridge is a little further on to the right. Cross the river and emerge onto the main road. Cross the road and turn right (north) towards the farm entrance.
(4) The path runs through the farm, under the railway and on up a short track before bearing left and heading up the hill towards the woods. Turn right along the edge of the woods and you are now on the Stour Valley Walk. The path pops into and out of the woods before emerging above Woodsdale Farm.
(5) Head down the field and onto the road. The path actually goes through the farm and picks up an old byway, but you can equally just get on the farm road. Turn right on the road and through the remaining part of the hamlet. Where the lanes cross there is a style on the corner which takes you diagonally up across the field. Here we found a couple of tree trunks which made a good spot for lunch. Then follow the waymarkers for the Stour Valley Walk, through to an unclassified road.
(6) Turn left when you hit the road and follow the waymarkers to the next corner. The path then crosses several fields before coming out on another road. At that road, it turns left and then almost immediately right along a brook and the ends of some gardens and along the edge of the hill to another road.
(7) You join the road at a corner. Turn right and follow the road through the houses. There is a footpath you can take up through the woods on the left but we chose to stick to the steep road up the hill with a sharp left turn at the top. Ignore the footpath that leaves from this corner and continue along the road to a stile on the right.
(8) Cross this style and head for the corner of the wood diagonally to your left, through the very corner of the wood and then across the field to pick up the road again. Turn right and walk along the road, veering right at the junction and coming out at a T junction. Turn to the right here for a few meters looking for a path on your left.
(9) Head across the field to the footbridge on the river and then on in a straight picking up the track that runs alongside the house. There is a level crossing over the railway. Turn left at the road and follow it to come out on the main road.
(10) Cross the road and follow the path up the hill. Ignore the path to the left and continue up. You will eventually encounter the fence for King's Wood, and follow that until you find the gate to enter the wood. We did a bit of a crazy loop here and you could follow any path through the wood back to the car park. The light was fading so we made a bit of a crazy loop before deciding to head more directly for the road. To do this turn left on entering the wood, and then follow the path across an open field and back into the woods before emerging on the road.
(11) As it was getting dark we chose to return along the road to the car park. Take care here as this road does carry a fair bit of traffic. The car park entrance will be on your right. (D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 182m - King's Wood car park
1 : km 4.53 - alt. 127m - Edge of the woods
2 : km 5.86 - alt. 61m - Road
3 : km 6.96 - alt. 36m - Path to the river
4 : km 8.06 - alt. 28m - Ashford Road
5 : km 10.1 - alt. 93m - Field
6 : km 11.71 - alt. 43m - Eggarton Lane
7 : km 13.54 - alt. 70m - Road
8 : km 14.54 - alt. 90m - Style
9 : km 15.94 - alt. 43m - Olantigh Road
10 : km 17.04 - alt. 49m - Canterbury Road
11 : km 21.07 - alt. 168m - White Hill
D/A : km 21.82 - alt. 181m - King's Wood car park
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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