Hollingbourne Circular via Thurnham
, SWC Walk 221
13 miles (21 km) including Leeds Castle loop or 10.4 miles (16.75) km without loop
Theres another short (10.3 ml) option that misses out the lunch pub but does the Leeds loop.
Up the North Downs and along the North Downs Way. Through open downland and woods, undulating across sunken lanes and hollows. Past a ruined medieval castle then down to lunch in Thurnham. The return route through fields below the downs is easier, assuming the ground is firm. At Eyhorne Street, the tea stop, you have a choice.
The Main walk
(M) continues on a loop that takes you through the grounds of Leeds Castle on a public footpath. Although the castle itself is spectacular, this section also has stretches the author describes as "dreary".
The Curtailed walk
(b) cuts out Leeds Castle and makes a bee-line for Hollingbourne Station. Trains
Get the 9:36 from Victoria to Canterbury West, arriving Hollingbourne at 10:49
Return trains to Victoria at xx:07. Get a return to Hollingbourne. Lunch
The suggested stop is the Black Horse
in Thurnham 01622 737185. Tea
There are two pubs in Eyhorne Street
The upmarket Windmill
The more traditional Sugar Loaves
These would also be your lunch choices if you were to do the short walk (a) omitting Thurnham. Leeds Castle
Describes itself as " the loveliest castle in the world". Very old, built by someone called Norman. Keep to the public footpath through the grounds.
A proper visit to Leeds Castle will knock you back £24 but the ticket is valid for a year..... and where else can you visit a dog collar museum?
Print the whole document to keep your options open
Click the option you prefer if you've decided on one route.
Main Walk (M) all the way round including the castle.
Short walk (a) misses Thurnham, has lunch at the tea stop, then goes on to the castle.
Curtailed Walk (b) goes all the way round except the the castle bit.