Pub Medley at the River Medway
|OS Map||Explorer Maps 136 & 148|
|Toughness||2 out of 10|
|Features||The walk follows the river Medway in the morning until Teston Bridge, a Grade I listed old stone bridge across the river first mentioned in 1526, before looping back across mainly farm land. Nettlestead Church, built in the 15th century, has unusually large nave windows with exquisite stained glass. The Teston Bridge Country Park is a lovely spot along the Medway for fishing and relaxing which allegedly boasts the highest density of fish along the entire river. Tea Pot Island does not only serve great cakes and tea but also has the largest collection of tea pots in the country. Yalding, originally called Twyford, is a charming village where the rivers Teise and Beult join the Medway. It is, unfortunately, marred by heavy traffic. When walking along Windmill Path you can see almshouses dated 30th Jan 1863. Twyford Bridge between Yalding village and the station is a fine example of a medieval bridge.|
|Options||The walk can be shortened by 2.8km by starting from Wateringbury, one stop beyond Yalding when coming from Tonbridge. Leave the station towards Bow Bridge, but turn immediately left towards Bow Bridge Marina before crossing the bridge. Pick up the instructions at point 7.
The walk can be extended by 8km to Beltring along a particularly pretty stretch of the river Medway optionally including a visit to The Man of Kent at East Peckham, a lovely pub along a stream full of chubs. Beltring station is in the middle of nowhere. There are no amenities nearby. So it is best to time your arrival with a departing train. It takes about 45mins to walk from The Man of Kent to Beltring station. However, at the time of writing this extension follows in part an unmaintained footpath which has been taken over by an amusement park and requires to cross a busy 4 lane A road. This might be difficult in the dark. Alternatives are still under investigation.
|Travel||Take the train nearest to 9:30 to Yalding.|
|Lunch||The Tickled Trout in West Farleigh.|
|Tea||Tea Pot Island at the lock between Yalding village and the station. Closes on weekends at 17:00 in the summer and 16:00 in the winter. Other options are:|
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
- Leave the station via the car park and turn left along the road.
- In 160m turn left off the road along the marina. From here on until Teston Bridge you just follow the river as closely as possible.
- In 80m take the right fork along the marina.
- In 1.8km you have the option to visit Nettlestead Church by turning left uphill across the railway lines. This is a 200m there and back again detour.
- In 530m you come out at another marina with a caravan park on your left. Follow the initially gravel then tarmac lane in between the two.
- In 200m in front of a house painted white follow the "Way Out" sign towards the left.
- In 60m cross a road and continue on the track opposite, past Bow Bridge Marina.
- In 250m take the right fork along the river.
- In 800m follow the footpath sign to the left of the "Private Land" sign.
- In 300m go through a broken kissing gate and continue along the river.
- In 300m go through a double gate. You are now entering Teston Bridge Country Park.
- In 60m pick the right fork, i.e. stay as close to the river as possible.
- In 270m go through a double gate and continue along the river.
- When reaching Teston Lock walk over the bridge onto the platform next to the lock. Then continue following the river.
- In 200m, in front of Teston Bridge, turn left towards the road and then right along the road across the river. The ignored path following the Medway underneath the bridge will reach Maidstone in about 5km.
- On the other side of the bridge turn left off the road onto a footpath.
- In 100m in front of a metal kissing gate turn right and cross the road onto a lane.
- In 230m where the lane turns right go straight through a metal kissing gate.
- In 300m go through a metal kissing gate.
- In 220m turn left towards The Tickled Trout the recommended lunch spot.
- Coming out of the pub turn right along the road and walk past the road junction.
- In 160m where the road turns left, turn right onto a lane.
- In 200m go through a metal field gate and follow the line of trees on your left. At the corner of the line of trees keep going straight in the same direction towards a gate in the hedge at the opposite side of the field.
- Once through the hedge walk slightly left towards a gate near the hut on the opposite side of the field.
- In 200m, at a road junction, join the lane going straight ahead.
- In 100m turn left off the lane onto a public footpath along the left edge of a field which is currently used for a raspberry farm.
- In 300m, where the track turns right, go straight through a line of trees and then across a field towards right hand edge of the green sheds on the opposite side.
- At the sheds go through a fence gap turn left along a tarmac drive.
- In 100m turn right along the road.
- In 120m turn left into Shingle Barn Lane.
- In 120m turn right onto a byway opposite a gated entrance.
- In 1.1km turn right onto a lane.
- In 150m turn left onto a public footpath with a fence on your right. Keep the fence on your right hand side and follow it where it turns right.
- In 440m you reach the first houses of Yalding and a residential street.
- In 20m turn left off the road and walk along the left hand side of a house and follow this path as it zig-zags through houses.
- In 100m turn right along the road.
- In 40m turn left onto Windmill Path. On your left are 19th century almshouses.
- In 160m you reach the war memorial in Yalding with the Walnut Tree on you right and the Village Tearooms on your left. Turn left along the main road.
- In 200m turn left up the driveway towards the church.
- In front of the church turn right and at its west side turn right again down towards the road.
- At the road turn left across the bridge over the river Beult.
- On the other side of the bridge turn right with the George on your left.
- In 200m follow the public footpath sign across The Lee, a floodplain of the river Medway.
- In 400m walk under the road through the underpass and continue in the same direction.
- In 80m turn right and walk over the pedestrian bridge over the river Teise. You reach Teapot Island, the recommended tea stop. Entry to the collection of more than 3000 teapots cost £2.50 but you can admire teapots of all sizes and shapes for sale in the gift shop for free. At Teapot Island you need to decide if you want to go back to Yalding Station or extend the walk to either Beltring or Paddock Wood. Below three section provide walk instructions for all three options.
- Coming out of Teapot Island walk towards the Medway, turn right and then left to cross the lock towards the main road. There walk across the elevated bridge towards The Boathouse pub on your left.
- On the other side of the canal turn right in front of the pub. In 30m you reach a lane with a bridge over the canal on your right. If you are in a hurry to catch a train walk across the bridge and turn left along the road towards the station which you reach in 600m. Otherwise turn left along the lane to follow a more scenic path towards the station.
- In 170m climb over a style on your right and walk along the fence of the house.
- At the end of the fence, turn left towards a stile. Cross the stile and turn half right along an avenue through the ancient orchard of Yalding Fen.
- In 350m cross a stile and turn right to walk around a pond along its right edge. On the other side of the pond leave it by turning right.
- In 80m at a 4-way junction go straight.
- In 100m you pass a pond on your right and then climb over a stile to cross the railway lines.
- On the other side of the railway lines turn right along them.
- In 360m after having walked along a field edge take the right fork into bushes and in further 60m at the road turn right towards the station.
Return to Yalding Station
Extension to Beltring or Paddock WoodWarning: At the time of writing the extension to Beltring follows in part an unmaintained footpath which has been taken over by an amusement park and requires to cross a busy 4 lane A road. This might be difficult in the dark. The extension to Paddock Wood is longer but safer.
- Coming out the Teapot Island turn left along the river.
- In 600m fork right through bushes to continue along the river.
- In 700m turn left with the Navigation sign and walk past the foot bridge. Do not cross it.
- In 1.1km cross a road.
- In 700m pass a lock.
- In 100m turn right across a wooden bridge over a stream.
- In 450m enter woods on the right and go over a wooden bridge.
- In 25m you can turn left directly towards Beltring station picking up the instructions at point 16. If walking towards The Man of Kent or on to Paddock Wood, ignore the left turning footpath and cross a raised foot bridge. Continue with the next point.
- In 180m turn right over a bridge across the River Medway
- In 200m at the end of the wooden fence turn left across a wooden bridge and follow the River Bourne on your right,
- In 500m cross a concrete bridge and turn left. You reach The Man of Kent in 150m.
To Finish at Beltring Station
- Coming out of The Man of Kent you retrace your steps back to the river Medway. In detail: turn left across the bridge and then right onto a path.
- In 150m turn right across the concrete bridge and follow the stream on your left.
- In 500m turn left across a wooden bridge and then turn right along the wooden fence.
- In 200m cross the Medway and turn left.
- In 150m turn right away from the river. Coming out into a field walk towards the line of trees at the far side of the field, direction 130°
- In 200m cross a bridge and walk across the field, direction 70°
- In 250m turn half left following the footpath sign.
- In 100m enter the woods used for mountain biking and follow the path always keeping towards the right. At the far right corner of the woods, very close to the stream, leave the woods by carefully walking through an overgrown gap at that very corner. You need to brush away and squeeze through tree branches and it does not look at all like any foot path. However, once outside the wood you will find a foot path marker pointing in the direction you just came from.
- Follow the stream on your right hand side. Be careful: This area has been incorporated into the amusement park you can see on your right. There are unexpected holes and pipes in the ground.
- In 150m turn right across the stream.
- In 60m cross the A228 with care (!) and turn right on the opposite side.
- In 70m turn left into Beltring Road towards the station which you reach in 400m.
To Finish at Paddock Wood Station
- Coming out of The Man of Kent you turn right along the road’s pavement.
- In 240m – just after the last house on the left – turn left along a tarmac drive.
- In 210m ignore a footpath joining from the right and in 40m walk through a gap to the right of a (usually) padlocked wooden car gate to continue in the same direction along a car wide gravel track.
- In 300m cross the Medway on a car wide concrete bridge and on the other side at a four-way junction turn hard left along the river, soon with a wood on the right.
- At the far end of the wood in 430m, with a grassy meadow away on the right, turn right away from the river towards a four-way signpost by the meadow and continue through the meadow along a clear grassy track, towards a lone tree in the distance and some grey containers to its right (110°).
- In 230m at a three-way signpost ignore a right forking footpath and in 140m bear left with the (now gravel) track into trees, by the grey containers on the right.
- In 100m cross a stream on a bridge (Alder Stream) and ignore a right running footpath.
- In 40m exit from the wood and in 120m turn right at a four-way signpost, just before crossing another stream (Tudeley Brook).
- In 450m go over a make-shift stile to leave the meadow and continue along another left-hand field boundary.
- In 150m cross the A228 Whetsted Road and continue a little to the left along a signposted footpath to the left of Tudeley Brook.
- In 200m by a line of trees on the left, turn left in a large arable field, to the right of the tree line.
- Follow the field boundary around to the right in 150m, to the left in 40m and to the right again in another 220m.
- In 100m in the far field corner, turn left over a car wide bridge to cross a ditch and turn right along the adjacent field’s right-hand boundary.
- In 200m cross the main road into Paddock Wood carefully and turn right along the opposite pavement.
- In 450m, just before the road rises to cross the railway lines, fork left into an industrial estate and follow a tarmac lane to the station in 250m. London bound trains depart from the far platform across the bridge.