On the escarpment after lunch

Chilham Circular walk

22-Nov-17 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk138 banner walkicon

CIMG2499

Mill on the Great Stour

14-Apr-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk138, swcwalks

CIMG2500

Great Stour at Chilham

14-Apr-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk138, swcwalks

CIMG2502

Chilham Castle from Julliberrie Downs

14-Apr-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk138, swcwalks

CIMG2503

Move along now!

14-Apr-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk138, swcwalks

CIMG2510

White blob fungus

14-Apr-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk138, swcwalks

CIMG2511

Eggringe Wood

14-Apr-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk138, swcwalks

Chilham Circular walk

A climb into the Kentish Downs and a descent to two historic houses.

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sun, 30-Sep-18

Sunday walk: Kentish downland

Chilham Circular

Length: 15.4km (9.6 miles) Toughness: 5 out of 10

09:10 Ramsgate train from Charing Cross arriving Chilham at 10:44; or
09:37 Folkestone Central train from St Pancras International, changing at Ashford International (dep 10:32) on to the above train from Charing Cross.

Return trains are at xx:48, changing at Ashford International for St Pancras. If you can decide in advance which return train to get, the cheapest fare is to buy separate Advance tickets for the outward and return journeys. With a rail card, the total round trip cost is £18 from St Pancras and £14.10 from Charing Cross.

The walk climbs through downland, fields and woods in the morning, with panoramic views from a downland escarpment after lunch, before descending to pass two historic houses.

The only possible lunch pub for this walk is the award-winning gourmet pub The Compasses Inn (01227 700300) in Sole Street, four miles from the start. Past reports suggest that portions may be on the small side and service may be slow. It is essential to book in advance, not just on the day. This could be a good day to take a packed lunch; picnic spots are suggested in the walk directions.

You will need to download the Walk Directions.

T=swc.138
Wed, 22-Nov-17 12

Wednesday Walk: Chilham Circular - a climb into the Kentish Downs and a descent to two historic houses

SWC 138 - Chilham Circular

Length: 15.6 km (9.7 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

Either
London St Pancras: 10-08 hrs Margate service
Arrive Ashford International: 10-46 hrs
Leave Ashford International: 11-05 hrs Canterbury West service
Arrive Chilham: 11-17 hrs

Or
London Charing Cross: 09-40 hrs Dover Priory service
Arrive Ashford International: 11-00 hrs
Leave Ashford International: 11-05 hrs Canterbury West service, as above
Arrive Chilham: 11-17 hrs

Return: 14 mins past the hour, changing at Ashford International for St Pancras or Victoria

Today's walk takes us into the Kentish Downs, with the River Stour as our water feature for the day. The start shares the Book 1 Walk, Chilham to Canterbury before we join the Stour Valley Way , with a fine view of Chilham Castle below us.
Lunch is at the gourmet Compasses Inn, in Sole Street, Crundale. The food is pricey but usually excellent: a bit of a treat. The chef has won several awards in recent years. I have booked a table for four for 1 pm: I will 'phone actual numbers from Chilham station. But best bring a sandwich (NOT for eating on the pub's premises) just in case the pub cannot accommodate more of us: it will if it can but its owners have forewarned they tend to get booked up on Wednesday lunchtime.
After lunch (we need to be away circa 2-15 pm) we wend our way through woodland and through Godmersham Park back to Chilham, for tea at Shelly's Tea Room or a tincture at the White Horse pub.
Suitably refreshed at walk end, we have a short walk in the dark from Chilham Village to Chilham railway station for our train home.
T=swc.138
Walk Directions here: L=swc.138
Enjoyed this walk today some lovely views and woods
Kevin
12 on this walk, on a lovely sunny and breezy day. The wind rustling the remaining leaves sounded like the sea or a waterfall. There was a bit of autumn colour but it was going fast, I would say. Some beech leaves, lots of yellow field maple and hazel on the ground. Splashes of pink and gold and yellow in the hedgerows. It was also really very mild, much milder than it ought to be in mid November. And much drier underfoot: I finished with almost no mud on my boots.

The morning was a gentle climb up grassy hillsides into remote wooded territory, with some backward views. Five of us were granted the favour of lunch at the much garlanded pub, which despite having been thoroughly snooty about taking our booking (asking for a deposit yet) was not at all full (only two other diners I could see). We all agreed that being chosen best pub for food in the country plus their entry in the Guide Michelin has perhaps encouraged them to get a bit above their station.

The food itself was nice enough. We all had the skate, which we embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. With a set price for two courses it was not that expensive, but as usual in these gourmet places portions could have been larger. Is there something inherent in good food that means you only get a small dollop of mashed potato? I was the only person who remarked on this, however.

After lunch....ah, what felicity! Lovely golden light, lovely wind, lovely escarpment views. We got to Godmersham as the sun dipped below the hill and watched some poor sheep being forced to swim the Stour to get to new pasture. A nice walk along the lane in the gathering gloom into Chilham and a cosy tea at Shelly's when we got there. Then down in the dark, with a beautiful crescent moon hanging over Chilham Castle, to get the 5.14 train. (Some also got an earlier train, I guess, and some got lifts in cars).
Many thanks to Marcus for another great day.
Sun, 19-Jun-16 4

The lovely Kentish Downs

Download walk 138 Chilham circular
Length 15.6km (9.6m); toughness 5/10- some climbs in the morning.
Trains:
You could catch the early 09.12 train from London Victoria (09.29 Bromley South) arriving at Chilham at 10.44 but the later option from London St Pancras International at 09.42 (Stratford International 09.48) arriving at Ashford International at 10.19 to then pick up the above Victoria train from Platform 5 at 10.32 may be your preferred option. However you will pay a small premium for the HS1 train but is well worth it in my view.
This is a lovely walk in the Kentish Downs which visits two historic houses. Just after lunch you visit the beautiful estate of Godersham Park which was often visited by Jane Austen whose brother owned the property.
Your only lunch pub option is the Compasses Inn (01227 700300) in Sole Street and they insist on advance booking irrespective of numbers so you MUST ring ahead when you arrive at Chilham station.

Further information about the walk can be found here. Click on the download walk pdf tab at the top of the page for full walk instructions.
I heard that the 9.12 train from Victoria was cancelled!. Did anyone manage to do this walk?
Yes four of us made it despite the train problems. A very pretty walk, although being Father's Day there was no chance of getting to eat in the lunchtime pub so we we ate in Chilham in The Woolpack at the end. Chilham very picturesque and well worth the visit. We managed to follow the instructions without going too far wrong. Lovely day.
4 lovely day
Wed, 27-Apr-16 5

Midweek day walk Chilham Circular

Chilham Circular

A climb into the Kentish Downs and a descent to two historic houses

Book 3* Walk 138 *Online only

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 5 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:08 am train from London St. Pancras International (10:15 am from Stratford International) to Chilham change at Ashford (platforms 5 to 6)
If you live near Bromley South Station, you may catch the direct 9:38 am train there and rendezvous with the Pancrastians as they board at Ashford

Meeting point : Chilham Station at 11:15

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Chilham

Brief Description

Back to Kent this week with this scenic walk on the Kentish Downs.
The only Lunch time Pub stop is the lovely family run Compasses Inn. I would suggest someone phones from before setting out from Chilham to check all is well for a lunchtime meal.

You may find full details of this walk here and a printable PDF here

Suggested Lunch stop

The Compasses Inn at Crundale t: 01227 700 300

Suggested Tea stops

Shelley's Tea Room t: 01227 730 303 (Open to 4:00 pm on weekdays)
The White Horse t: 01227 730 355 (Might be closed)

The Woolpack Inn t: 01227 730 351

I'd suggest you allow 15 minutes to get from the tea stop to the station.

Map

OS Explorer : 137

Return train times

Trains return from Chilham at 14 minutes past the hour. Change at Ashford for the High Speed train to Stratford and St. Pancras International ( Total journey time 1 hour 9 minutes ) or stay on the train to go to London Victoria ( Total journey time 1 hour 53 minutes)
anyone planning to go on this walk? jfk
Me! Just booked my ticket sc
Lovely. Hope to see you then.jfk
Sorry but journey time for me would be 3 hours each way so will walk with Kingston ramblers today

5 sunshine and light showers

Just five of us plus Dotti on the main walk, with a sixth doing a variation of the walk and meeting us, briefly, at the lunchtime pub.
It was a typical April day of sunshine interspersed with light showers, but never heavy. The walk took us through some delightful countryside with lovely views all day in this quiet, unspoilt part of Kent, with good displays of bluebells in the woods and lots of Spring flowers.
Arriving at the Compasses Inn we received a frosty, unfriendly reception initially you should have booked but the staff warmed to us as we sweet talked and smiled our way into the (empty) restaurant where three of us were served an excellent lunch.
Having said hello to jfk who had set off from Wye, the five of us plus dog then embarked on the afternoon leg of the walk, equally nice with more lovely views. After some gentle hills and some quiet country lanes the route took us through Godmersham Park and into the picturesque and historic village of Chilham, where tea at Shellys is de rigueur and highly recommended (but at weekends and Bank Holidays methinks it must be very,very busy).
Our small group had a lovely day's walking and we enjoyed good banter, kind weather, excellent travel, glorious views, bluebells and even water features, thanks to the River Stour.
Not too bad a day, then.

I cannot stress too much the need to check out pubs for lunch. This Compasses Inn is notorious and well known to Saturday Walkers for its inability to cope with any number of lunches as the kitchen is too small. Even when the pub is empty they make a huge fuss every time and woe betide you turn up early as we did on the Wye circular and they refused to even let us sit down at our booked table. The food IS excellent but you MUST BOOK and at the weekend many years ago when 25 of us turned up, the friendly publican took 4 of in his Rolls Royce to catch the group up on the Crundale Downs as it took so long to feed us and the early lunchers refused to wait. The current owners are not so accommodating. On my alternative walk my Michelin Star pub at Thursley near Witley (Edwin Lutyens village) had not ordered their calor gas in time and had no gas to cook with. Luckily 2 of us had soup and fresh bread which was delicious but we hadn't booked so didn't know of the problems.
Wed, 20-Jan-16 6

Midweek day walk - A Chilly constitutional around Chilham

Chilham Circular

A climb into the Kentish Downs and a descent to two historic houses

Book 3* Walk 138 *Online only

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 3 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:08 am train from London St. Pancras International (10:15 am from Stratford International) to Chilham change at Ashford (platform 5 to 6)

Meeting point : Chilham Station at 11:15

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Chilham

Brief Description

With the slightly longer days, I thought this was a good time to post something a little bit more adventurous. I was also looking for a walk where the mud quotient might be more manageable. We'll see !
The only Lunch time Pub stop is the lovely family run Compasses Inn. As I understand it, there may have been some friction between some walkers and the owners in the past. So a little bit of tact and diplomacy may come in useful for folks to get fed. I would suggest someone phones from Chilham before the group sets out to check all is well for a lunchtime meal.

You may find full details of this walk here and a printable PDF here

It may be prudent to bring a torch to cover all eventualities.

Suggested Lunch stop

The Compasses Inn at Crundale t: 01227 700 300

Suggested Tea stops

Shelley's Tea Room t: 01227 730 303 (Open to 4:00 pm on weekdays)
The White Horse t: 01227 730 355 (Might be closed)

The Woolpack Inn t: 01227 730 351

I'd suggest you allow 15 minutes to get from the tea stop to the station.

Map

OS Explorer : 137

Return train times

Trains return from Chilham at 14 minutes past the hour. Change at Ashford for the High Speed train to Stratford and St. Pancras International ( Total journey time 1 hour 9 minutes ) or stay on the train to go to London Victoria ( Total journey time 1 hour 53 minutes)
For less affluent walkers ie those taking the slow option there seems to be a train which goes in aroundabout way to chilham.
It leaves Waterloo East at 9. 16

jfk
Sorry folks but Even with this faster train its 3 hours each way for me so Im out with the Ramblers if the minus 3 temps and fog have improved. Am still recovering from slipping over in the mud last week and gouging my hand and arm on barbed wire! Miraculously my knees were not affected which is a miracle in itself.
6 plus 1 canine
cold with sunny spells

3 arrived by car, 3 by high speed train. Lovely Winter vistas. winding paths through woods and across fields which were not as muddy as on previous walks due to the colder temperatures having solidified the earth. Some cold mists hanging low on the hills just enhanced the views and the weak sunshine was warming. lovely lunch @ the Compasses Inn, they were awarded Good Food award last year. Impressive Chilham castle, less impressive present occupant. Hot drinks and cake at Shelley's tea room which appeared to be a popular place in the upmarket centre of Chilham. Nice walk in lovely company! thanks to AD

Sat, 31-Jan-15 16 Chilham Circular
Sun, 11-May-14 6 Wye to Chilham
Sun, 02-Mar-14 4 Chilham Circular
Sat, 10-Aug-13 0 Chilham Circular
Sat, 16-Feb-13 23 Chilham Circular
Sun, 30-Sep-12 Wye to Chilham
Sat, 14-Apr-12 Chilham Circular