Kent Ramblers

Walk 56

Walk 56: Sholden and Fowlmead Country Park

Distance:     7.5 Miles (3.5 Hours)

OS Map:     Explorer 150 (Start at grid reference TR356525)

Click for larger map

Park in Sholden village or use the Deal-Canterbury “Diamond” bus, hourly, 2-hourly Sunday.  Check Fowlmead Country Park opening times before setting out.

From the bus stop immediately off the main A258 road walk downhill to the village hall (VH).  [On Sundays the bus does not go round the village so you will have to get off on the main road and walk down Sholden New Road or The Street to the village hall.]  Cross diagonally R and take the bridle path, Marsh Lane.  Pass greenhouses on the L and FP on the R and eventually the path bends L, with dykes on both sides.  At the next junction, turn L towards the Nature Park South Wall.  Cross by a gate and bridge and turn R up a slope.  At the top, turn R (signposted Lydden Wood), and make for the wood across a cycle track.  At the next signpost, follow Badgers Mount.  At the next junction, the path bears R along a gravel path, then L. At the next junction again follow Badgers Mount sign across 2 cycle tracks.  Now follow the sign to the Visitor Centre, downhill.

With your back to the Visitor Centre turn slightly L then along the pavement up to the main Park entrance.  (You can shorten the walk here by turning L and following the concrete track back to Sholden New Road.) Turn R along the main road to The Coach and Horses pub.  Cross here and walk between the pub and the car park until you see a gate on your R and one straight ahead. The path goes to the R of this gate, between hedges to a bridge on your R over a stream. Cross and go half-R between electricity poles over 2 more bridges. Now go L, over a duck board, to a kissing gate in the corner, Dorothy’s millennium gate and turn L along a narrow FP to the road.

Turn L and pass The Crown and after the pub garden take a path on your R. Take this path diagonally L to a road.  Cross and turn L for a few paces before turning sharp R between bushes, up to a concrete road.  After a few paces, opposite gates of a small factory, take the narrow FP between fences on your L and between some greenhouses.  At the next stile, the FP goes diagonally R towards the former colliery railway, over a stile, then a plank bridge, and up steps to the new road.

Cross this road and follow a fence around to the L, with the fence and reed beds on your L, until the path turns R through trees and shortly meets an open field by a telegraph pole. Cross a stile and walk diagonally L across the field to another stile which you don’t cross.  Turn your back to the stile, walk away from it up the track towards trees in the distance and some power lines.  Halfway up this field take a track to the L, and keep L of the hedge to a stile at the bottom which you cross.  The path goes straight on but it may be swampy here and it’s better to arc around to the R.  Cross a stream and walk roughly in the middle of the next field, keeping the hedge on your R.  Later see a pipe on your L going over the stream.  Continue straight on towards the field boundary where there is a crossing over the stream on your L.  In the next field, walk diagonally R to a stile in the corner.  Climb some steps and turn R, (ignore a bridge and path in the hedge on the R). Turn L at the next path and continue uphill to the main road.

Sholden New Road is opposite; if you cross the main road, take great care!

Should you need a drink or food, take the path on the   R between the cricket field and houses, and at the next road, turn L to The Sportsman pub.

This walk was originally published on a calendar produced by White Cliffs Group.  Thanks to Gordon Sencicle for originally devising this route, Rob Riddle for the photograph, Diana Blackwell for checking the directions and Andrew Boultbee for the idea.

Fowlmead Country Park

Created on the site of spoil from the former Betteshanger Colliery, there is a Visitor Centre with exhibits showing the history of the Kent coalfields and fossils from the coal.  There are toilets, snacks and drinks.


Our book of Ten Favourite Walks in the Kent Countryside has routes for ten more walks like this one.

Ramblers' volunteers in Kent work tirelessly to ensure that our paths are as well protected and maintained as possible.  Of course we also organise led walks but most of our members are independent walkers who simply want to support our footpath work.  Please join us and become a supporter too.  You need us and we really need you.


If you find that the directions and map for this walk are incorrect in any way, please report the problem to info@kentramblers.org.uk.


Map based on Ordnance Survey mapping released into the public domain under the OpenData agreement.

 

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