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1011060014

Autumn colours in Warehorne

06-Nov-10 • Sean O'Neill

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Vineyard, Appledore Heath

24-Oct-10 • Sean O'Neill

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Royal Military Canal south of Hamstreet

13-Jul-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Ancient hornbeam in Park Wood

17-Apr-14 • Sean O'Neill

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St Mary's Church, Kenardington

19-Aug-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Woolpack Inn

Woolpack Inn

Ham Street to Appledore walk

19-Mar-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Miss Mollet's High Class Tea Room

Miss Mollet's High Class Tea Room

Ham Street to Appledore walk

19-Mar-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Ham Street to Appledore walk

A walk full of historical interest in the low hills around Romney Marsh

Ham Street to Appledore
Length

Main Walk: 18¼ km (11.3 miles). Four hours 15 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours 30 minutes.

Short Circular Walk, from Appledore: 13¾ km (8.5 miles). Three hours 10 minutes walking time.

Long Circular Walk, from Ham Street: 23½ km (14.6 miles). Five hours 30 minutes walking time.

OS Map

Explorer 125. Ham Street, map reference TR001337, is in Kent, 8 km S of Ashford.

Toughness

3 out of 10 (2 for the Short Walk, 4 for the Long Walk).

Features

From the station a path takes you across a field and straight into Ham Street Woods, a National Nature Reserve noted for its nightingales in spring. As you climb through this ancient oak wood you are following the route of two long-distance paths: the Greensand Way and the Saxon Shore Way, although the sea receded long ago and is now 10 km away.

This part of the country was one of the first to be accurately mapped by triangulation, with one end of the all-important baseline being in a field next to Ruckinge church. French cartographers had begun a major survey of their own country and in 1783 (despite a history of rivalry with Britain) proposed a collaboration to improve global navigation, an initiative which led to the establishment of the Ordnance Survey in 1791.

After passing through Ruckinge, once a haunt of smugglers, the walk begins a long and rather featureless stretch alongside the Royal Military Canal, hastily constructed in the early 19thC to protect England from a threatened Napoleonic invasion. As William Cobbett was fond of pointing out, the emperor whose armies had crossed the Rhine and the Danube was hardly likely to be deterred by this innocuous waterway; the invasion never came and the project was soon being condemned as an extravagant military folly. In the ditches alongside the canal you might come across some more resolute invaders, such as the green marsh frog (originally from Hungary) or even one of its predators, the mink.

The walk eventually leaves the canal for a lunchtime stop in Warehorne's village pub. It continues through gently rolling pastures, a wood noted for its bluebells and Gusbourne Vineyard. After passing the unusual 14thC Horne's Place Chapel – which can be visited by prior arrangement (01304-211067) – you climb a small ancient mound whose ‘pew with a view’ looks out across Romney Marsh. The panoramic view should persuade you that this was indeed a coastline in Roman and Saxon times, with Appledore continuing to be an important port until great storms in the 13thC changed the course of the River Rother. You will shortly be able to choose between an excellent tearoom and a fine pub in this classic English village, with its broad street of elegant medieval houses. Afterwards you still have a fair amount of walking across flat farmland to reach the station, more than 2 km from the village.

Walk Options

You can choose a shorter walk by starting at Appledore station and taking a direct route across Romney Marsh to Warehorne. This is also worth considering if you miss one of the hourly trains and make a late start, as you should get to the lunchtime pub at about the same time as anyone doing the Main Walk.

Conversely, you can extend the Main Walk after tea by completing a circuit back to Ham Street station. Much of this longer ending is on a broad grassy path alongside one of the most attractive stretches of the canal, owned here by the National Trust.

If you want to finish the walk after lunch in Warehorne you can use the directions in §10 to head for Ham Street station, just 2 km away.

Transport

Ham Street and Appledore are adjacent stations on the Ashford–Hastings line, which has an hourly service. From London, it is quicker to travel via Ashford. The fastest route is on the High Speed Train from St Pancras, taking about 1 hour. You can also travel from Charing Cross or Victoria, taking just over 1½ hours.

The only bus route in the area is Stagecoach 11, which runs every 1–1½ hours (not Sundays or evenings) between Ashford and Lydd via Hamstreet, with just one or two of these services also going through the villages of Ruckinge and Appledore.

If driving, there are free car parks in Ham Street and Appledore villages. A small parking area at Ham Street station is shown as free for rail users.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 09:40 from St Pancras to Ham Street, changing at Ashford International. If travelling on a slower train from Charing Cross or Victoria, leave half an hour earlier. If you are doing the Short Circular Walk, leave an hour later than these times.

Train Times

Lunch

The suggested lunchtime stop is the Woolpack Inn (01233-732900) in Warehorne (after 9 km on the Main Walk or 4½ km on the Short Circular Walk), which reopened in May 2015 after being closed for 1½ years. This attractive pub is open all day and serves excellent home-cooked food made from local ingredients.

Unless you make a detour (with the aid of the map) to the World's Wonder (01233-732431) on the B2067 at Kenardington, the only alternative is 7 km further on in Appledore, where the Black Lion (01233-758206) also serves excellent food.

An earlier pub passed on the Main Walk at Ruckinge (the Blue Anchor) closed in 2015 and looks unlikely to reopen.

Tea

There is no refreshment place near Appledore station (the Railway Hotel closed in 2013) but there are two nice places in the village. As well as the Black Lion (see above), Appledore offers “the quintessential English tea time experience” at the delightfully-named Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room (01233-758555), open to 5pm (4pm weekdays in winter), but closed on Mondays and the Tuesday following a Bank Holiday. You need to allow at least half an hour to reach the station, 2¼ km away.

If you finish in Hamstreet, the Dukes Head pub (01233-732210) has a beer garden. Just down the road from the pub, McColl's convenience store is open until 10pm, 7 days a week. The station is a five-minute walk from the centre of the village.

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: TN26 2DU Directions then return to your car by train:

Finish: TN26 2DF Directions then travel to the start by train:

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Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jun-17

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Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

Ham Street to Appledore

Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).

Walk Map: Ham Street to Appledore Walk Map

Walk Options

Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.

  1. Main Walk (18¼ km)
  1. Short Circular Walk, from Appledore (13¾ km)
  2. Long Circular Walk, from Ham Street (23½ km)

Walk Directions

Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.

For the Short Circular Walk from Appledore, start at §4.

  1. Ham Street Station to Gill Farm (1¾ km)
  2. Take the Greensand Way east from the station, which joins the Saxon Shore Way at the entrance to Ham Street Woods. Follow the route of these two waymarked paths to climb gently through the wood, heading north-east. At Gill Farm turn right onto a track, heading east.

    Arriving from Ashford, go back to the end of the platform opposite the station building. Instead of crossing the tracks, veer right down an enclosed footpath through a new housing development, joining the Greensand Way1. At the end go over a stile and continue along the right-hand edge of a field. At the next corner go over two more stiles and turn left through a small parking area into Ham Street Woods NNR, joining a second long-distance path, the Saxon Shore Way2.

    There are many paths through this ancient oak wood. The most direct route (described below) simply follows the two waymarked long-distance paths to leave the wood 1 km to the north-east, but with the aid of a map or a compass you could take any convenient route to this point.

    For the suggested route, fork left just inside the wood and then in 100m fork right. You are now heading NE and continue to follow a broad path in this direction, climbing gently along the side of a wooded valley with a stream down to your right. After 800m the path levels out and bends to the right. In 100m you come to a wooden fieldgate at the boundary of the Nature Reserve.

    Leave the wood through a side gate to head NE on a broad path. In 150m you reach a T-junction and turn left onto a byway. In 175m this leads into Gill Lane at a bend, with the buildings of Gill Farm up ahead; the Greensand Way continues along the lane but you turn right, staying on the Saxon Shore Way.

  3. Gill Farm to Ruckinge (2¼ km)
  4. Continue past Horton Green on the Saxon Shore Way, then leave it by turning right onto a footpath heading south and then south-east down a valley. Go through Turves Farm into the village of Ruckinge. Turn right onto the B2067, passing the Blue Anchor.

    Head E on a concrete track going past a few houses, and in 150m keep right at a junction. The track leads into a narrow grass path between a hedge and a fence, which comes out into a field. Turn left and follow the field edge round to the left, later passing a stile on the left. At the field corner go over a stile and along another field edge to reach a lane.

    Turn left briefly onto the lane. In 50m turn right through a metal kissing gate in the hedge to go diagonally across a small field, heading NE. In the corner go through another gate by a tree into a much larger field and turn half-right across the field, leaving the Saxon Shore Way (which heads for the far corner). If there is no clear path, head slightly to the right of the midpoint on the right-hand field edge, where there is a low stile in the hedge.

    Go over this slightly awkward stile and cross a ditch on a plank into a field dotted with trees. Turn right to head S along its edge and keep ahead past some metal fieldgates into the next field. Go along its right-hand edge to the next corner, then over a stile into a wood. Follow the path through the wood, ignoring a stile on the right leading into a field. The woodland path emerges in the top corner of a long, gently curving valley and you keep ahead alongside a line of trees. There is a wood across the valley to your left and later there are views of Romney Marsh ahead.

    In 500m go past some wooden fieldgates and keep ahead towards Turves Farm, now heading SE. Go through a gate onto a wide track between farm buildings; this later merges with the driveway to the farm house. At the bottom of the driveway turn right onto the B2067 into the village of Ruckinge, passing a (probably closed) pub on your left, the Blue Anchor.

  5. Ruckinge to Warehorne (5 km)
  6. Briefly head west along the B2067 to the village church. Go through the churchyard, cross the bridge over the canal and turn right onto the Royal Military Canal Path. Follow the track alongside the canal for 3¾ km, crossing back to the north side at the A2070 bridge. Leave the canal at the next bridge, turning right onto a lane towards Warehorne church. After going over a level crossing keep ahead on a path through a field and the churchyard to reach the Woolpack Inn.

    You could turn left down Marsh Road for a short cut to the canal, but for the suggested route continue along the B2067 past Ransley Green3 to St Mary Magdalene church4. Turn left into the churchyard and pass to the left of the church. Leave the churchyard and continue along the left-hand edge of a field5 to return to Marsh Road.

    Turn right onto the road and cross the bridge over the Royal Military Canal6. On the other side turn right to join the broad track running alongside it, the start of a long (and rather featureless) stretch of the walk. In 2½ km you cross a minor road at Ham Street Bridge and continue on the same bank, but 450m later at the bridge carrying the busier A2070, cross over the canal to continue on the other bank (as indicated by the footpath signs). In a further 800m you finally come to the end of this stretch when you reach a minor road (Arrowhead Lane) and turn right onto it.

    [•] Head N along Arrowhead Lane, in 300m going over a level crossing. In a further 50m, where the lane bends right, veer left into the driveway to Shepherd's Cottage to find a narrow path in its hedge continuing in the same direction. This soon comes out into a large field and you keep ahead up a gentle slope to reach St Matthew's church7.

    Pass to the left of the church and go down a slope. At the bottom go over a stile and leave the churchyard through its main gate. Just off to the left on the other side of the lane is the suggested lunchtime stop, the Woolpack Inn.

    Continue the directions at §5.

  7. Appledore Station to Warehorne (4½ km)
  8. Head west along the B2080 for 700m and then take a footpath heading north-east alongside Blackman's Arm for 2 km to a lane. Turn left to cross over the Royal Military Canal, then turn right to head north-east again on its left-hand bank. At a right-hand bend veer left onto a footpath which goes across a large field into Warehorne.

    Arriving from Ashford, head for the exit near the back of the train and go along a tarmac path opposite the other platform to reach the B2080. Turn left over the level crossing, passing the exit from the other platform and a small parking area. Continue along this road for 700m, heading W and taking great care as there is only a narrow grass verge.

    At a left-hand bend, turn right off the road to go down a track, signposted as a public footpath. Go across a concrete bridge into the open pasture of Romney Marsh, with a wide drainage channel called Blackman's Arm on your left. You will now be following the course of this channel for nearly 2 km towards the brick tower of Warehorne church in the distance (as described in more detail below).

    Initially you are heading N but the path gradually curves to the right. In 400m you go through a metal fieldgate and the channel temporarily swings off to the left; the right of way continues straight ahead towards a similar gate 200m away, but there is a shallow ditch in the middle of the field and you may prefer to stay on the bank as it curves round to the same point.

    You pass through several more fieldgates as you continue alongside the channel. In 600m it zig-zags left and right, then straightens out and heads NE for 500m. Finally, with the channel about to turn sharply right a little way ahead, turn left to cross over it on a grassy track, with an Environment Agency notice on a gate on your left. Keep ahead, with reeds on your right, then in 125m turn right through some gates and sheepfolds to come out onto a narrow lane.

    Turn left onto the lane for a short distance, soon crossing a bridge over the Royal Military Canal. On the far side turn right through a wooden kissing gate to go along a wide grassy bank, with the canal on your right.

    After curving left and right there is a 750m-long straight stretch, then the canal bends right and you can see a railway bridge 250m ahead. Turn left at this bend (opposite a footpath post) onto a footbridge partly concealed in the hedge. This takes you over a ditch into a potentially very muddy area churned up by cattle, in between two fields.

    It is 500m longer, but if the ground here is impossibly muddy the alternative is to continue alongside the canal for a further 500m and turn left onto Arrowhead Lane; then either follow this lane all the way into Warehorne or take the route past the church described at [•] in §3.

    For the direct route, make your way into the right-hand field and bear left uphill across the grass, heading NE towards Warehorne church. You might have to negotiate some temporary low fences in this large field. Go through a metal fieldgate and across a smaller field to a stile in the hedge ahead, which takes you into the churchyard.

  9. Warehorne to Sly Corner (3 km)
  10. Head west on the lane but before it curves right, veer left at a farm track to take the signposted Saxon Shore Way across two fields. At the end of the second field, turn left and head south-west for 1 km, crossing Horsemarsh Sewer and climbing gently to Kenardington church. Leave the churchyard at its top left-hand corner and keep right to reach a lane. Take the footpath opposite (just off to the left) into a very large field. Veer to the right of the Saxon Shore Way to leave the field at Sly Corner.

    Turn right out of the pub to head W on the lane. In 150m, shortly before it curves right, turn left into a lane leading to a farm, but in 25m go through a kissing gate on the right with a signpost for the Saxon Shore Way. Go straight across the field and through another kissing gate in the hedge on the far side. Continue gently downhill across a much larger field, still heading W.

    On the far side go through another kissing gate and turn half-left into another large field. You are heading for Kenardington church, visible 1 km away, but you need to aim slightly to its left to find a chain of footbridges across Horsemarsh Sewer and two flanking ditches, which run through the centre of this low valley.

    On the other side of these waterways keep ahead across a small field and go through a kissing gate to the right of a metal fieldgate. Continue up the left-hand side of the next field to reach the unusual St Mary's church8 (some way from its village), which is worth visiting.

    With the church door behind you, head half-right to leave the churchyard through a gate in the corner. Turn right, follow the field edge around two corners (turning left and then right) and go through a kissing gate onto a lane. Turn left and then almost immediately right to go through another kissing gate into a very large field.

    You will eventually be leaving this field slightly off to the right (and it used to be possible to take a short cut in that direction), but the right of way is to head slightly left at first towards the edge of the field. Continue alongside the hedge on your left, then keep ahead across the open field where it turns left. In 200m you come to a another corner of the field with a footpath marker post and turn three-quarters right.

    Aim for the leftmost of a few isolated large trees 250m ahead, about 50m in from a projecting piece of woodland on the left. Go past the tree and continue in the same direction. As you go over a slight rise a house comes into view which you should be heading directly towards (not the house near the left-hand field corner). Go over a stile in the hedge to emerge on a minor road at Sly Corner, opposite a lane marked “Unsuitable for motor vehicles”.

  11. Sly Corner to Horne's Place (2 km)
  12. Head briefly along the narrow lane opposite, then turn left into Great Heron Wood. Follow the footpath through this wood, initially heading west and then south-west, into Park Wood. Continue on the public footpath along the side of Gusbourne Vineyard, or on a permissive path just inside this wood. To stay on the right of way you need to find the footpath past Oakhouse Farm and turn left there to come out onto a lane near Horne's Place, but this route is difficult to follow and a simpler (though unofficial) alternative is to continue past the vineyard onto a track across a field which comes out opposite the house's driveway.

    Cross the road carefully and continue along the narrow lane opposite. In 100m, at the start of Great Heron Wood on your left, turn left onto a grassy track by a public footpath marker. In 25m fork right onto a winding woodland path which you will now be following for nearly 1 km, initially heading W and then SW (as described in more detail below).

    In 225m you cross over a wider track, with the continuation of the footpath slightly to the right. After a similar distance the path goes past a new black metal gate. In 150m you pass a footpath post which does not clearly indicate which fork to take at the Y-junction just up ahead: the right-hand fork is correct although the two paths do merge again later.

    In 200m, veer right and left at path junctions to continue in the same direction. There is a short boardwalk in the next section which leads to another path junction. Follow the path slightly to the right but then fork left at the next junction, ignoring a green arrow indicating the other path; you are now in the open-access Park Wood. In 100m there is a metal gate on the left with a footpath arrow indicating that the right of way continues outside the wood.

    For the next 300m you can either follow the right of way outside Park Wood (soon with a large vineyard on your left), or take a parallel path just inside the wood, alongside an ancient hornbeam hedge boundary.

    For the remainder of this section the right of way is poorly marked and difficult to follow. It is described in §5a but in practice many walkers take the direct route in §5b (saving about 250m). However, this unofficial route might be fenced off in future and in any case you will probably have to negotiate a locked fieldgate at the end.

    1. Main route
    2. After walking outside Park Wood for 300m you need to locate an inconspicuous gap in the trees where the public footpath enters an adjacent patch of woodland (from inside Park Wood you would need to veer left where the main path curves off to the right in the next corner; a small gap leads into the adjacent wood and back to the public footpath).

      Follow an indistinct path through this small patch of woodland, initially heading away from the vineyard but soon curving left to go alongside a line of old hornbeam trees marking another ancient field boundary. Just before coming back to the edge of the wood and the vineyard, turn right past an old stile onto a narrow path through an abandoned orchard, heading SW. In 100m go over a stile into a field and follow the enclosed path around its edge.

      After zig-zagging right and left to go around a small pit, continue over another stile and pass to the left of a house and then its front garden. Briefly join its driveway but in 35m turn left across a plank bridge over a ditch. Go over a stile in the hedge onto a potentially overgrown grassy track, heading E. In 250m this comes out onto a lane and you turn left briefly onto it. In 30m turn right into the driveway to Horne's Place, signposted as a public footpath.

    3. Direct route
    4. For the alternative route simply continue along the edge of the vineyard (but if you were on the path inside Park Wood you would need to veer left as described above to leave it). In the corner of the vineyard go through a wide gap in the trees and continue on a broad track bearing left across a field. On the far side make your way past a metal fieldgate and out to a lane. Cross over and continue along the driveway opposite, signposted as a public footpath.

  13. Horne's Place to Appledore (2 km)
  14. Go along the driveway past Horne's Place and then a lake. At the end of the lake, turn left to climb a grassy track to the top of a slope. Turn right onto a small ancient mound (with a fine view) and now follow the Saxon Shore Way south-west across fields, eventually cutting across a playing field to reach Appledore's main street, the B2080. Turn left along this road into the village with its tearoom, pub and church.

    Go along the driveway, passing the picturesque Horne's Place on your left. The medieval Horne's Place Chapel9 is just to its right; the (locked) gate leading to it has an English Heritage information panel. At the end of the driveway, go through a gate to continue S on a broad grassy track between a fence and a hedge. At the end of the lake on your left, follow the track round to the left and up a tree-lined slope. At the top make your way onto a prominent mound just off to the right.

    If there are crops in the field you will have to follow the track round to the left up to a line of trees, then turn sharp right (almost doubling back) onto the public footpath leading to the mound.

    At the top of the mound there is a wooden bench with the appropriate injunction to “Take a pew, enjoy the view”, as you gaze out over the wide expanse of Romney Marsh. To resume the walk, keep ahead on a well-defined path (the Saxon Shore Way again) down the field, heading SW. At the bottom go through a kissing gate and continue near the left-hand edge of a small field to the far corner. Cross a footbridge over a stream and then turn half-left to go diagonally up the next field. At the top of the slope bear left and go along the field edge to a tarmac lane.

    At the lane, turn right through a metal gate and head for the opposite corner of a playing field, where you pass a toilet block. Turn left onto the B2080 to enter the village of Appledore. You pass the Village Stores on your left, then come to Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room on your right, the suggested tea stop. For more substantial fare, continue down the main street; you pass a lane (Old Way) on the left and come to the Black Lion pub beside Ss Peter and Paul church10.

    If you are doing a Circular Walk back to Hamstreet, go to §9.

  15. Appledore to Appledore Station (2¼ km)
  16. Go down the B2080 past the church, cross the bridge over the Royal Military Canal and follow the road round to the left. Before the road makes a sharp right turn, turn right across the field onto a footpath which runs roughly parallel to the B2080 for just over 1 km before rejoining it. Turn right and walk along the road for 550m to reach the Railway Hotel and Appledore station.

    Go down the B2080 and keep ahead at a road junction by the church. In a further 100m you cross a bridge over the Royal Military Canal and follow the road round to the left (there is soon a grassy path just to the right of the road, signposted as a footpath). 350m from the bridge, and about 50m before the B2080 makes a sharp right turn, turn right to go across the first of several large fields, separated by drainage ditches.

    If there are crops in the fields the route for the next 1 km should be obvious. The directions in the next pararaph describe the route in case the right of way has not been marked out, but if you simply head roughly parallel to the B2080 you should be able to spot the footbridges across the field boundaries.

    The footpath crosses a field boundary after 100m and continues in the same direction for a further 400m. Cross a ditch on a footbridge and continue in much the same direction to go across two more footbridges in hedges, each about 250m apart. After this third bridge the path bears slightly left and comes to the hedge in front of the B2080.

    Go through a gap in this hedge and turn right onto the road, taking great care as there is only a narrow grass verge. In just over 500m you reach Appledore station; trains to Ashford leave from Platform 1 on this side of the level crossing. If you are travelling back via Rye and Hastings you would need to go over the crossing before the barriers come down and turn right onto a path to reach Platform 2, 100m back from the road.

  17. Appledore to Warehorne (5½ km)
  18. Either go down the main street past the church and turn left onto the left-hand bank of the canal at the road bridge, or take a short cut along Old Way and then a footpath to meet it a little way along. Continue along the canal bank, crossing a lane after 3½ km. In a further 1 km, at a right-hand bend, veer left onto a footpath which heads north-east across a large field into Warehorne.

    From the village there are several ways of joining the canal: the route below takes you down to the start of the National Trust section at the town bridge. From the tearoom, a slightly shorter route is to turn left off the main street into Old Way and keep ahead on a footpath where the lane veers left to Rawnie Farm; this path meets the canal 400m along from the town bridge and you turn left onto the bank. From the church, you could also go to the back of the main churchyard and take a short link path to another burial ground, then turn left to come out onto Old Way; turn right and continue as above.

    For the suggested route, go down the B2080 and keep ahead at a road junction by the church. In a further 100m you come to the Royal Military Canal. On this side of the bridge, turn left through a gate onto a broad grassy path alongside the canal.

    You could in fact walk along the opposite bank of the canal: there is a public right of way on both sides all the way to Arrowhead Lane (but only one bridge where you can cross over, two-thirds of the way along). The far bank has an uninterrupted view of the waterway and Romney Marsh, but the first 400m is alongside the B2080.

    On either bank, simply continue alongside the canal, initially heading NE but with many twists and turns along the way. In about 3½ km you come to a lane and a bridge across the canal; from this point you need to continue on the left-hand bank.

    It is 500m longer, but if the ground here is impossibly muddy the alternative is to continue alongside the canal for a further 500m and turn left onto Arrowhead Lane; after 600m, where the lane turns left towards Warehorne church, veer right down a driveway just past a house on the right, joining the Saxon Shore Way. Continue the directions at [•] in §10.

    Retrace your morning route past the church. Unless you want to make a second visit to the Woolpack Inn, turn right onto the lane.

  19. Warehorne to Ham Street Station (2 km)
  20. From the church or pub, head east on the lane, joining the Saxon Shore Way. Where the lane turns right, veer left to go down a driveway alongside a house and into a field. Head north-east along field edges to reach a line of trees in front of the A2070. Turn left and go down a path to the B2067. Turn right onto this road and follow it into a crossroads at the centre of the village, with the Dukes Head opposite. For the station, turn left and head north on the road, going up a slope just before the railway bridge onto one of the platforms.

    With the church on your right, head E on the lane, joining the Saxon Shore Way. Where the lane turns right in front of a house, veer left to continue down a driveway on its left.

    [•] Go down to the end of the driveway and over a stile into a large field. Go along its left-hand edge, with a slight left turn halfway along. Continue NE along several more field edges, negotiating stiles and gates and later going up a gentle slope. After going over a stile at the top of the rise, head slightly left away from the field edge and continue across this and the next field to reach a line of trees in front of the A2070. Cross another stile and follow the gravel and grass path to the left, then down some steps to the B2067.

    Turn right onto this road and follow it for 500m, going under the main road and then the railway to reach a crossroads in the centre of Hamstreet11. The station is along the road to the left, just past another railway bridge 250m away; for refreshment the Dukes Head pub is opposite, or there is a convenience store a short distance down the road to the right.

    For Ham Street station, head N on the road towards the railway bridge. Just before going under it, the shortest route is to follow the tarmac path on the right-hand side of the road up a slope and directly onto Platform 2. For trains to Ashford, continue to the far end of the platform and cross the tracks to Platform 1.

Walk Notes

  1. The Greensand Way follows the course of a sandstone ridge just to the south of the North Downs. The village of Hamstreet is at one end of this long-distance path, which runs for 175 km to Haslemere in Surrey.
  2. The Saxon Shore Way marks a line of coastal fortifications built by the Romans in the 3rdC as a defence against the Saxon invaders. It runs for over 250 km, from Hastings in East Sussex round to Gravesend on the north Kent coast.
  3. The ‘rascally brothers’ James and William Ransley were members of a ruthless smuggling gang. They were hanged for their deeds in 1800 and (according to a graveboard in the churchyard) buried here in Ruckinge. Other members of this notorious family were transported to Tasmania, but subsequently pardoned.
  4. St Mary Magdalene, Ruckinge retains some of its original Norman features (such as two doorways), although much of it had to be rebuilt after a fire in the 14thC.
  5. There used to be an Ordnance Survey plaque on a bench in this field, marking one end of the Romney Marsh baseline measured in 1787, a key feature of the first triangulation of the country.
  6. The kinks in the otherwise long straight sections of the Royal Military Canal were designed to allow the defenders a clear line of fire on any attempted crossing.
  7. The oldest parts of St Matthew, Warehorne date from around 1200, but most of the building (such as the brick tower and gabled porch) is much later. A tunnel built by smugglers linked the church with the Woolpack Inn.
  8. St Mary, Kenardington is on the site of a small Saxon fort. The square tower dates from 1170; the unusual round tower on its north side contains the staircase to its belfry. The medieval church was much larger, but the nave, chancel and north aisle all collapsed after a fire caused by lightning in 1559; the ruins were patched up to provide a smaller church based on the south aisle, hence its irregular appearance.
  9. Horne's Place Chapel was built in 1366 as a domestic chapel attached to the owner's manor house. It is privately owned but can be visited by prior arrangement.
  10. Ss Peter and Paul, Appledore suffered from French raids in 1380 and later neglect, but was sympathetically restored in 1925.
  11. The area around Hamstreet (the village and station are spelt differently) was one of the first to be mapped by the Ordnance Survey, and to mark its bicentenary the village was featured on a set of postage stamps in 1991.

» Last updated: August 22, 2015

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