Kent Ramblers

Walk 90

Walk 90: Hucking and North Downs Way

Distance: 8.6 miles (4 hours)

OS Map: Explorer 148 (Start at grid reference TQ848581)

Click to view larger map

Note: We have had a report that part of this walk, particularly path KH645, is quite heavy going in winter, so this may be a walk best kept for the summer months.  We will be discussing with KCC what might be done to improve the path surface.

Park in Woodland Trust car park on Hucking Estate.  The location is can be reached from junction 8 of M20 by taking A20 towards Lenham, first left through Eyhorne Street and Hollingbourne, follow signs to Hucking then Hook and Hatchet into Church Road when the car park is soon on your left.

Cross Church Road, go over stile and make for kissing gate through fence on right.  Through gate, cross rough meadow to lane.

Take path opposite.   Follow right hand edge of field to gate.  Through gate, immediately go through another gate on left and follow right hand edge of field downhill and through another gate to bottom of dry valley.  Turn left along valley bottom through wood, keeping left at fork, to lane.

Take path into wood opposite and almost immediately take a path on right and climb steadily through wood to a field.  Bear left and go uphill along boundary between orchard on left and field on right.  At far side go right along hedge until you reach a stile.  Over stile, bear left to far corner of field and over stile into lane.

Turn right until there is a path through a gap in a hedge just before a locked gate.  Take path uphill with hedge on right and cross orchards.  On meeting track at far side, turn left along it.  Take path on right and head diagonally across field to point were line of pylons crosses hedge.  Search for stile in hedge and on the other side bear right across paddock to another stile into lane.

Turn right along lane then, immediately opposite driveway to Swanton Court, go over not very visible stile in hedge.  Cross field diagonally and cross railway to stile.  Cross another stile.  Cross field diagonally and cross railway again, keeping to left of station.  Descend bank to wooden gate then cross wild area to another wooden gate.  Cross next field diagonally, climbing to stile at highest corner of field.

Turn right down lane and just before the valley bottom take track on left through trees.  On reaching asphalt track bear left across it and through gate.  Follow track across fields, turning left at corner and after a while re-entering woods through gate on right.  Follow track for further half mile to lane.

Turn left then take track through barrier on right.  After a few metres take footpath on right through hedge then diagonally across field for half a mile into wood.  Follow track downhill through wood, soon offering fine views of North Downs on right.  On emerging from wood head downhill diagonally across field to hedge.  Continue through hedge, down steps and diagonally across field to lane.

Turn right and continue into Hollingbourne.  Turn right uphill at the crossroads and take a path up the bank on the left just before the “National Speed Limit” sign.  Follow right hand edge of field to gate then bear left steeply uphill to North Downs Way post.  Turn left and follow NDW until you re-enter the Woodland Trust’s Hucking Estate.  Turn right, leaving NDW which goes left, along broad track passing an old chalk pit inside a fenced area.  When track bears right, take path on left then almost immediately go over stile on right.  Follow track, bearing left after 300m, to junction.  Turn right and at sign take path through gate on right back to car park.

Hucking Estate

Bought by the Woodland Trust in 1997, the farmland is being returned to woodland and chalk grassland to encourage restoration of classic downland habitat.

Peacock butterfly at Hucking

Common blue butterfly at Hucking

Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway

A train set to envy.  More details here: http://www.bwlr.co.uk.

Hollingsbourne

Attractive old houses and a pub, The Dirty Habit, the name perhaps reflecting the state of dress of travellers on the adjacent Pilgrims Way.


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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