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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

Ham Street to Appledore walk

19-Mar-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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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: 14¼ km (8.8 miles). Three hours 10 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 hours.

Long Walk, with extended afternoon: 20½ km (12.8 miles). Four hours 40 minutes walking time.

Circular Walk, via Kenardington: 12¾ km (7.9 miles). Two hours 50 minutes walking time.

Long Circular Walk, via Appledore: 19¼ km (12.0 miles). Four hours 20 minutes walking time.

OS Map

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

Toughness

2 out of 10 (3 for the longer walks).

Features

From the station a path takes you across a field and straight into Ham Street Woods, a National Nature Reserve noted for its wood anemones and bluebells in spring. The walk loops through this extensive woodland and then heads south for the first of several canalside stretches.

The Royal Military Canal was hastily constructed in the early 19thC to protect England from a threatened Napoleonic invasion, but the invasion never came and the project was soon being condemned as an extravagant military folly. 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. 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.

After a lunch stop in Warehorne the walk follows the Saxon Shore Way (SSW) through farm fields to the isolated Kenardington church, some way from its village. In the next section you go through the extensive Gusbourne Vineyard to an ancient mound whose ‘pew with a view’ gives you a panoramic view across Romney Marsh, before dropping down to an attractive village with a broad street of elegant medieval houses.

Appledore was an important port until great storms in the 13thC changed the course of the River Rother and left it stranded inland, 10 km from the modern coastline. Its station is more than 2 km away but you can choose between an excellent tearoom and a fine pub for refreshment before the final stretch across flat farmland.

Walk Options

The suggested circuit through Ham Street Woods at the start of the walk can be tricky to follow and for a simpler alternative you could take one of its three designated nature trails. No written instructions are provided but the routes are all clearly waymarked.

At Kenardington church you could switch to an alternative afternoon route, replacing the section through the vineyard with another stretch alongside the tree-lined canal. The Long Walk incorporates both of these afternoon routes by looping back through woods and farmland, along the way passing the unusual 14thC Horne's Place Chapel.

Several Circular Walk options back to Ham Street station are also described. The main one loops back from Kenardington church, but a longer one (going all the way out to Appledore village) and a very short one (turning back at Warehorne) are also possible.

Additional Notes

This walk was redesigned in 2018, cutting out a long and relatively featureless morning section via Ruckinge. This left a very short morning leg and so the walk was modified again in 2021 to make it more balanced. This redesign also allowed for some circular walk options in the form of a Figure-of-8 centered on Warehorne.

Transport

Ham Street and Appledore are adjacent stations between Ashford International and Rye on the “Marshlink Line”, which has an hourly off-peak service. From London, it is much quicker to travel via Ashford on the High Speed Train from St Pancras, taking about 1 hour. You can also travel on the regular services from Charing Cross or Victoria to Ashford, but the total journey time is at least an hour longer.

The only bus route in the area is Stagecoach 11, which runs every 1–1½ hours (Mon–Sat) between Ashford and Lydd via Hamstreet, with just one or two of these services also going through Appledore.

If driving, a small car park at Ham Street station is shown as “free for rail users”. There are also free car parks in both Hamstreet and Appledore villages.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 10:40 from St Pancras to Ham Street, changing at Ashford International. If you want to do more of the longer Circular Walk before lunch, take the train nearest to 09:40.

If travelling on a slower train from Charing Cross or Victoria, leave at least half an hour earlier than these times.

Train Times
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Timetables
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Lunch

The suggested lunch stop for most of the walk variations is the Woolpack Inn (01233-732900) in Warehorne (after 6½ km), which reopened in May 2015 after being closed for 1½ years. This attractive pub is open all day and serves good home-cooked food made from local ingredients.

If you make the suggested earlier start on the longer Circular Walk you might prefer to carry on to Appledore (after 12 km), where the Black Lion (01233-758206) serves equally good food.

Tea

On the Main Walks 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 4pm weekdays in winter, 5pm otherwise; closed Mon and the Tue following a Bank Holiday). Allow at least half an hour to reach the station, 2¼ km away.

The Circular Walks go back through Warehorne so you have another chance to visit the Woolpack Inn, 2 km before Ham Street station. In Hamstreet itself the only refreshment place likely to be open is the Dukes Head (01233-732210), a traditional village pub with a beer garden. There is a small coffee shop just down the road opposite a convenience store, but if it sticks to its published opening hours you are unlikely to be in time for The Cosy Kettle (01233-733030; open Wed–Sun to 2pm).

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Sep-21 Sean

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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 ( Main | Circ. )

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

  1. Main Walk (14¼ km)
  1. Main Walk, with alternative afternoon (15 km)
  2. Long Walk, with extended afternoon (20½ km)
  3. Circular Walk, via Kenardington (12¾ km)
  4. Long Circular Walk, via Appledore (19¼ km)
  5. Short Circular Walk, via Warehorne (8½ km)

Walk Directions

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

  1. Ham Street Station to (and around) Ham Street Woods (up to 3 km)
    • Ham Street Woods Take the Greensand Way east from the station and go through a small parking area into Ham Street Woods. The suggested route is an anti-clockwise circuit through these woods, mostly on woodland paths away from the main rides.
      • For a shorter alternative you could follow one of three waymarked nature trails, or even skip this part of the walk entirely.

    1. Arriving from Ashford, do not take the exit from the front of the platform but go back under the new footbridge to the end of the platform opposite the small station building. Veer right down a tarmac footpath through a new housing development, briefly joining the Greensand Way? (GW). At the end go through a new metal gate and continue along the right-hand edge of a field.
    2. In the next corner go through two more gates into a small parking area at the end of Bourne Lane. Turn left through it to enter Ham Street Woods.

      The rest of this section describes an anti-clockwise circuit around these woods (mostly avoiding the potentially muddy main rides), returning to this car park.

      • For a shorter alternative you could follow one of three nature trails, described on an information panel at the entrance and waymarked in both directions with red, blue and yellow arrows (of 2½ • 1½ • 1 km respectively).
    3. Ham Street Woods For the suggested route keep right inside the wood to start along a broad ride heading E, initially following the waymarked trails in the anti-clockwise direction. The ride soon goes up a potentially muddy slope which you could skirt on side paths. After 250m you come to a path crossing with an “Oaks or Hornbeams?” information panel.
    4. Leave the waymarked routes (which all turn left) and go straight ahead on a narrow woodland path, which initially bends left and then curves round to the right to cross a stream. As you approach the edge of the wood fork left at a Y-junction, soon merging with a path heading NNE near the boundary and crossing back over the stream.
    5. In 200m there is a jumble of paths ahead where the wood opens out to the right. Keep ahead (slightly to the right) for about 100m to meet a broad ride with – if you have come out at the right place – a yellow footpath waymarker on a tree trunk opposite. Take the path indicated into the trees, initially heading N.
    6. In 200m the path bends right to follow the course of a valley down to the left. In 150m it merges with another path from the right and swings back to the left to head N again. In a further 250m you cross a stream and meet the main ride through the wood (the GW) near a wooden fieldgate at the Nature Reserve boundary.
    7. Ignore this exit off to the right and turn half-left onto a path on the other side of the main ride, initially heading NW. This gradually curves left to head W and passes a small pond on the right after 250m. Continue in this direction for a further 150m to come to a T-junction with another broad ride.
    8. Turn left and go along this ride for 150m, briefly joining the red route (in the clockwise direction) and soon passing a pond on the right. In 150m turn half-right off the main ride at a marker post with red and blue arrows to switch to the blue route, this time in the anti-clockwise direction. Follow this path gently downhill through the wood for 350m, heading SW.
    9. As you approach the western edge of the wood keep left to merge with the red route (which has made a loop out to the northernmost part of the wood). Follow this main path as it heads SSW for 400m, staying near the edge of the wood. The yellow route and GW merge from the left shortly before you complete the woodland circuit, with the parking area ahead on your right.
  2. Ham Street Woods to Warehorne (3½ km)
    • Go out along Bourne Lane and turn right onto the B2067, then turn left at the crossroads in the centre of Hamstreet. In 150m take a parallel footpath along the edge of a playing field and then a meadow before returning to the road. At Ham Street Bridge cross the canal and turn right to go along the Royal Military Canal Path (RMCP) for the next 1¼ km, switching to the right-hand bank after crossing the A2070. At the next bridge turn right onto Arrowhead Lane, cross the railway and take a footpath past Warehorne church to the Woolpack Inn.
    1. Go back out through the parking area and along Bourne Lane, briefly joining the Saxon Shore Way? (SSW). At the end of the lane turn right onto the B2067 and follow it to a crossroads in the centre of Hamstreet?. Turn left at this junction (leaving the SSW, which takes a direct route to Warehorne). The Dukes Head pub is on your left and you soon pass The Cosy Kettle coffee shop, opposite a convenience store.
    2. As the road curves left there is a small car park on the right-hand side. As indicated by a footpath signpost, make your way onto the adjacent playing field and walk along its left-hand edge, parallel to the road. In a line of trees go through a metal kissing gate and continue in the same direction along the left-hand edge of a meadow. In the next corner go through another kissing gate to return to the road.
    3. This footpath avoided 400m of road walking but there is now no alternative. However, there is a wide grassy strip along its left-hand side and only local traffic. At the end of this stretch you pass Hamstreet Garden Centre (which has a Coffee Shop) and come to Ham Street Bridge over the Royal Military Canal.
    4. Go across the bridge and turn right onto the Royal Military Canal Path? (RMCP). You now simply follow this canalside path for 1¼ km, switching to the right-hand bank as indicated after carefully crossing the busy A2070. At the next bridge go over a stile and turn right onto a minor road (Arrowhead Lane), leaving the RMCP.
    5. In 300m the lane goes over the Marshlink Line on a level crossing. Where the lane bends right a little further on, veer left across the driveway to Shepherd's Cottage to find a narrow path in its hedge continuing in the same direction. Go through a metal kissing gate and keep ahead across a field towards Warehorne church.
    6. Go up a grassy bank and pass to the left of St Matthew's church?. Take the paved path going down a short slope and out of the churchyard through its main gate. Turn left onto the lane (rejoining the SSW) to come to the suggested lunch stop on the other side, the Woolpack Inn.
    7. If you are doing the Short Circular Walk, go to §M.

  3. Warehorne to Kenardington Church (1¾ km)
    • Follow the Saxon Shore Way (SSW), heading west along the lane and then across two fields. Turn half-left to head south-west for 1 km, crossing Horsemarsh Sewer and climbing gently to Kenardington church.
    1. Turn right out of the pub to continue along the lane for 150m, heading W. Shortly before it curves right turn left into a farm lane, then almost immediately go through a kissing gate on the right with a signpost for the SSW. Go straight across the field and through a kissing gate in the hedge on the far side. Continue in the same direction across a much larger field, still heading W.
    2. On the far side go through a kissing gate concealed in the tree boundary and turn half-left into the top corner of 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 a water channel (Horsemarsh Sewer) and two flanking ditches, which run through the centre of this low valley.
    3. 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 church? (some way from its village), which is worth visiting.
    4. If you are doing the Main Walk's alternative route or the (mid-length) Circular Walk, go to §I.

  4. Kenardington Church to The Mound (2¼ km)
    • Continue along the SSW, crossing Church Lane and then a vast farm field. Cross a byway and continue through the extensive Gusbourne Vineyard to a path junction in front of a prominent mound.
    1. With the church door behind you, turn half-right and leave the churchyard through a kissing gate under a large tree. Ignore the path ahead across the field and turn right. Follow the field edge around two corners and through a kissing gate onto a minor road (Church Lane). Turn left onto this lane, then in 40m turn right at a SSW footpath signpost into a large and somewhat neglected farm field.

      At the time of writing the right of way across this huge field was not clearly marked. In any case you might have to detour around some farm slurry and other obstructions.

    2. Start by heading directly away from the lane. After skirting around some slurry it is best to make for the left-hand field edge, where some low waymarker posts might help you find a faint path heading WSW, initially alongside the field boundary. If you continue in a straight line you should eventually come to a more prominent waymarker post at a projecting corner of the field, about 500m from the lane.
    3. Keep ahead along the left-hand field edge, now heading SW with a low wooden fence behind a line of trees on your left. In the next corner go through a metal kissing gate and continue along the left-hand edge of a small field. On the far side go down a flight of steps, across a sunken byway and up the steps opposite into Gusbourne Vineyard? (with an information panel about its operation).

      The remainder of this section continues to follow the SSW on a broad and well-waymarked public footpath through this extensive vineyard.

    4. In the first field the path goes gently downhill between rows of vines for 350m. On the far side cross a lane (Snargate Road) and continue in much the same direction down through a second field of vines. In 300m you cross a stream and the path now climbs through a third field (without vines, as it faces north-east). At the top go through a gap in the hedge to carry on through another part of the vineyard.
    5. In a further 350m you cross a farm track and bear right as indicated, with a line of trees on your right. At the end of these trees there is a signposted footpath junction, with a prominent mound ahead on the left.
    6. If you are doing the Long Walk (with extended afternoon), go to §G.

  5. The Mound to Appledore (village) (1½ km)
    • Continue along the SSW, going over the mound and heading south-west across fields towards Appledore. Cut across a playing field and turn left onto the B2080 to go through the village.
    1. At the path junction bear left to stay on the SSW, going right over the top of the mound past a wooden bench inscribed “Take a pew - enjoy the view”. After a suitable pause to admire the sweeping view across Romney Marsh, keep ahead on a broad grassy strip descending between the vineyard and a farm field.
    2. 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 turn half-left to go diagonally up across the next field. On the far side bear left and go along the field edge to a tarmac lane.
    3. At the lane, turn right through a metal gate and make your way to the opposite corner of a playing field, where you pass a toilet block. Turn left onto the B2080 to go through the village of Appledore on its long main street.
    4. In 300m you pass the Village Stores on the left, then in a further 100m Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room on the right. If you want more substantial fare the Black Lion pub is 100m beyond the tearoom, on the left.
    5. If you are doing the Main Walk, go to §K.

  6. Appledore to Higham Barn (3½ km)
    • Go down the main street past the church, leaving the SSW. At the road bridge over the canal turn left onto the left-hand bank, rejoining the RMCP. Go alongside the canal to the next bridge, by Higham Barn. Go straight across the lane to continue on the RMCP.
      • There is an alternative public footpath between the two bridges on the right-hand bank.
    1. From either of the refreshment places head S on the B2080, passing Ss Peter and Paul church? on the left just after the pub. Keep ahead at the road junction by the church (where the SSW turns right) to go down a slope to a bridge across the Royal Military Canal.
    2. For the Long Circular Walk back to Ham Street, the suggested route is to turn left through a gate onto a broad grassy strip on this side of the canal, rejoining the RMCP.
      • You could in fact walk along the other bank: there are rights of way on both sides all the way to the lane at Higham Barn (but no intermediate crossing point). The path on the right-hand bank has a better view of the waterway and Romney Marsh, but the first 400m is alongside the B2080.
    3. For most of the way on the suggested route you can either walk along the grassy strip or a raised path on the tree-lined bank, with sweeping views across Romney Marsh from time to time. After leaving the village you pass the lower slopes of the vineyard and later some large farm fields on the left.
    4. Eventually you come to a low bridge across the canal, with a barn conversion on the left. Go straight across the lane to stay on the RMCP.
      • If you took the alternative path from Appledore you will need to switch to the left-hand bank here.
    5. Continue the directions at §L.

  7. The Mound to Park Wood (1¼ km)
    • Leave the SSW, taking a footpath around a lake and past Horne's Place. Go across Kenardington Road and – unless a more direct permissive path to Park Wood has been created – continue on a footpath heading west. At Oakhouse Farm turn right to come to the corner of Park Wood.
    1. For the Long Walk keep ahead at the path junction to go alongside a wire fence and then a hedge, leaving the SSW (although you might like to detour onto the mound for the view across Romney Marsh). Follow the grassy path round to the right and downhill, with a fine view across a lake after 200m.
    2. Keep right to go alongside the lake, eventually passing the medieval Horne's Place Chapel? (with an English Heritage information panel) on the right, next to the picturesque manor house. Follow the driveway out to Kenardington Road.
      • The simplest and most direct continuation would be through a (usually locked) double fieldgate opposite, where a farm track leads directly to a corner of Park Wood. This is not a right of way but if it is apparent that Gusbourne Vineyard are allowing access you could save 250m by taking this track and rejoining the route at [?].
    3. To stay on the right of way, turn left briefly onto the road and almost immediately veer right onto a signposted footpath. Go through a metal fieldgate onto a grassy track between hedges, rather boggy at first.
    4. At the far end cross a ditch on a plank bridge and turn right onto the driveway of a property. Keep to the right of its entrance gate, following a grassy path past the side of the house. Go over a stile and continue on a fenced path around the edge of a field to its top right-hand corner.
    5. Go over a stile onto a gloomy path through an abandoned orchard, heading NE. This little-used woodland path soon emerges through a gap in the trees into the vineyard. Turn left onto a farm track (the one from the fieldgate on Kenardington Road), which from this point on is a right of way.
    6. Follow this track along the edge of the vineyard, heading NNE. In 50m the private woodland on your left ends and the track now goes alongside the open-access Park Wood.
      • You could nip through a gap in the trees and take an alternative path near the right-hand edge of this wood, parallel to the right of way in the vineyard.
  8. Park Wood to Higham Barn (3 km)
    • Go along the edge of the vineyard beside Park Wood (or a path inside the open-access wood). Continue on the public footpath heading north-east through Heron Wood. On the far side turn right onto a lane to reach Sly Corner. Go straight across Kenardington Road onto a footpath across a vast farm field, crossing over your outward route. Turn left onto Snargate Road and go past Higham Farm to the canal.
    1. Carry on alongside (or just inside) Park Wood, leaving the farm track where it swings right at the end of the vines. In the field corner veer left into the trees, crossing a ditch on a plank bridge. Go through a small metal gate and turn right as indicated, joining the alternative woodland path.
    2. In 100m turn right at a path T-junction, staying on the public footpath. This leads to a stretch of boardwalk across a muddy area, the start of a fairly long trek through Heron Wood. You will be following this meandering public footpath for nearly 1 km, heading roughly NE and with occasional yellow waymarkers to guide you.
    3. Halfway along you pass the remnants of a black metal gate (presumably marking an old boundary). Later you cross a broad track, slightly to the right. As you approach the edge of the wood you turn left onto a potentially muddy track leading out to a narrow lane.
    4. Turn right and follow the lane past a small farm to a T-junction with Kenardington Road at Sly Corner. Cross the road carefully and go over an awkward stile in the hedge opposite into a large field. Go straight ahead across this field, heading ESE.
    5. In 250m you pass the right-hand end of a few trees (another old field boundary) and continue in the same direction. In 200m you pass to the right of a couple of poles and shortly afterwards cross over your outward route. Head towards a wooden gate in the tree boundary ahead.
    6. Go through the gate and turn right to go along the edge of a field. In the corner go through a gap and turn left onto a quiet lane (Snargate Road). In 500m keep right where Church Lane joins from the left. In a further 250m you pass a footpath on the left (the direct route from Kenardington church).
    7. You pass Higham Farm and then the converted Higham Barn on the right. Shortly before the road comes to a low bridge over the Royal Military Canal the RMCP is signposted in both directions: right towards Appledore; left back to Warehorne and Hamstreet.
    8. Continue the directions at §J.

  9. Kenardington Church to Higham Barn (¾ km)
    • From the churchyard take the footpath heading south-southeast across two large fields.
    1. Go straight ahead across a large farm field, leaving the SSW; if the path is not marked out, stay roughly parallel to the hedge 100m away on your right.
    2. On the far side go past a broken stile and keep ahead alongside a short piece of hedge in another large field. Bear slightly right down across this field, gradually approaching a lane on the right. On the far side cross a plank bridge in the hedge and turn left onto this lane (Snargate Road).
    3. If you are doing the Circular Walk, turn left onto the RMCP and go to §L.

  10. Higham Barn to Appledore (village) (3½ km)
    • On this side of the canal turn right onto the RMCP and follow it for around 3 km. On the outskirts of Appledore turn right onto a footpath going past Rawnie's Farm and along Old Way to the B2080, with the choice of a tearoom or the Black Lion pub for refreshment.
    1. On this side of the canal turn right onto the RMCP, towards Appledore. On most of this long stretch you can either walk along a broad grassy strip or a raised path on the tree-lined bank to its left, with sweeping views across Romney Marsh from time to time. On your right there are large farm fields and later the lower slopes of Gusbourne Vineyard?.
    2. In around 2½ km (where the canal turns left) ignore a stile next to a metal fieldgate on the right. In a further 500m, after passing some farm buildings and before the canal swings round to the right, turn right onto a wooden footbridge across the ditch, leaving the RMCP. Follow the fenced path round to the right (briefly doubling back) and then to the left.
    3. At the end keep ahead on a lane (Old Way), which in 200m comes out onto Appledore's attractive main street, the B2080. The village's two possible refreshment places are each 50m away, in opposite directions: Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room to the right, the Black Lion pub (and the route to the station) to the left.
  11. Appledore (village) to Appledore Station (2¼ km)
    • Follow the B2080 out of the village, across the bridge over the canal and round to the left. Before the road makes a sharp right-hand turn, turn right onto a footpath which goes across large farm fields for over 1 km, then rejoins the road. Turn right onto the B2080 to reach Appledore station.
    1. Follow the main road across the canal and round to the left, continuing alongside it. At first you have to walk along the roadway, but before long a footpath signpost indicates a grassy path on its right-hand side. About 50m before the road makes a sharp right-hand turn, turn right at another footpath signpost to go across the first of several large farm fields.
    2. If the right of way has been marked out the route for the next 1 km will be obvious. If not, stay roughly parallel to the B2080 (behind the hedge 50m off to your left); aim first for a stile in the wire fence ahead and then a series of wooden footbridges which take you across drainage ditches at the remaining field boundaries. After the third of these bridges the path bears left and gradually approaches the road.
    3. Go across a plank bridge in the hedge and turn right onto the road, taking great care as there is only a narrow grass verge. Appledore station is just over 500m away. Trains to Ashford leave from Platform 1 on this side of the level crossing; for 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.
  12. Higham Barn to Warehorne (1¾ km)
    • Go along the left-hand bank of the canal for around 1 km. At a right-hand bend leave the RMCP and take a footpath heading north-east across a large field into Warehorne.
    1. Go along the broad grassy strip (or the raised bank on the right), with farm fields and meadows beyond the ditch on the left and Romney Marsh across the canal on the right. After curving left and right there is a 750m-long straight stretch heading directly towards Warehorne church, with Kenardington church also visible off to the left. As the canal bends right a railway bridge comes into view, 250m ahead.
    2. Leave the canal at this bend, crossing the ditch on the left on an awkward footbridge. On the other side turn right onto a farm track and go through a potentially muddy area churned up by cattle into the bottom corner of a large field.
      • If the ground is impossibly muddy (or you want to avoid the cattle) you could continue alongside the canal for a further 500m and then turn left onto Arrowhead Lane, repeating part of your outward route to Warehorne. If you are not (re)visiting its pub you could stay on the lane at Shepherd's Cottage and resume the directions near the start of §M, where the SSW leaves the village.
    3. For the direct route bear left uphill to head NE towards Warehorne church. At the top of the field go through a metal fieldgate and continue across a smaller field to a stile in the hedge ahead, which takes you into the churchyard.
    4. Follow a grassy path down to another stile and go out through the main gate onto the lane in front of the Woolpack Inn. Unless you want to (re)visit the pub turn right onto the lane, joining the SSW for the final leg to Hamstreet.
  13. Warehorne to Ham Street Station (2 km)
    • Follow the SSW, heading east along the lane and then via a driveway into a field. Head north-east across fields and turn left in front of the A2070 onto a path leading to the B2067. Turn right and go along this road to a crossroads in the centre of Hamstreet. The Dukes Head pub is opposite; for the station turn left at the crossroads and go up a slope just before the railway bridge onto one of the platforms.
    1. Follow the lane through the village, heading E and passing the church on your right. Where the lane turns sharply right, bear left across the grass verge to continue along the concrete driveway to the left of a house, staying on the SSW. At the end of the drive go over a stile into a field and keep ahead along its left-hand edge, with a slight left turn halfway along.
    2. Continue to head 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, bear 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. Go over another stile onto the fenced path to the left, leading to the B2067.
    3. Go down some steps and turn right onto this road, taking care as there is no pavement until you pass under the railway bridge after 250m. In a further 300m you reach the crossroads in the centre of Hamstreet, which you approached from the opposite direction on the outward route. If you want some refreshment before heading to the station (250m away along the road to the left) the Dukes Head pub is opposite.
      • There is also a convenience store down the road to the right, but The Cosy Kettle coffee shop opposite the store is unlikely to be open.
    4. For the 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 of Ham Street station. For trains to Ashford, go to the far end of the platform and cross the footbridge 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 runs for over 250 km, from Gravesend on the north Kent coast round to Hastings in East Sussex. It marks a line of fortifications built by the Romans in the 3rdC as a defence against Saxon invaders, on what was the coastline in those times.
    3. Hamstreet (the station is spelt differently) featured on a set of postage stamps to mark the bicentenary of the Ordnance Survey in 1991. A baseline for the triangulation was measured in the nearby village of Ruckinge and the surrounding area was one of the first in the country to be accurately mapped.
    4. The Royal Military Canal Path runs for 43 km around the northern fringes of Romney Marsh, for the most part as a canalside path. The kinks in the otherwise long straight sections of the canal were designed to allow the defenders a clear line of fire on any attempted crossing.
    5. St Matthew, Warehorne dates 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.
    6. St Mary, Kenardington was built on the site of a small Saxon fort in 1170. Only the square tower survives from that period since 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. The unusual round tower on its north side contains the staircase to its belfry.
    7. Gusbourne Vineyard has been producing award-winning English sparkling wines since 2010, from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.
    8. Ss Peter and Paul, Appledore dates from the early 13thC. It suffered from French raids in 1380 and later neglect, but was sympathetically restored in 1925.
    9. Horne's Place Chapel was built in 1366 as a domestic chapel attached to a manor house. It is privately owned but can be visited by prior arrangement (01304-211067).

» Last updated: September 3, 2021

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