Distance: 10.4 miles (5
Hours) circular or two five mile walks using the bus
OS Map: Explorer 138
(Start at grid reference TR177438)
Click map to magnify and click
again to magnify further
Expect fairly steep hills and some mud even in dry
weather and be prepared for numerous stiles
This 10 mile walk can easily be broken into two
halves by taking bus 17 back to the start (or take a bus
to the start point and walk back). Bus times are posted
on bus stops in Elham and go about every hour weekdays.
Park in Elham as close as you can to the church at
Alternatively park at Breach Down lay-by and start
the walk from there.
Refreshments: Pubs and restaurants in Elham
Elham to Breach Down 5 miles (allow 2¼ hours)
1 Leave Elham Square on St Mary’s Rd and turn R
(North) to pass The Rose and Crown. After the last house
on the L, on the corner of Park Lane (!) go through the
kissing gate and diagonally across the field to the far
corner. Go up the road opposite (NE) signed towards
Elham Cricket Club. After 50 yards take a stile on the L
and in the field walk up the steep hill. As you pause to
catch your breath at the top, turn to admire magnificent
views of Elham.
2 In the field corner cross a stile into a lane and
turn L. Follow this lane for 0.6mls; past Park Gate,
going R at the road fork, through an avenue of trees and
as the road bends R go straight ahead (N) through a gate
and across a field. The path enters Madam’s Wood at a
stile. Follow the track keeping the fence on your R
before going L down steps and onto a lane. Turn R.
3 At the T-junction go L and after 25 yards over a
stile on the R. Take the path diagonally R uphill. Skirt
the wood, then go through it and over stiles into a
field. Aim straight on towards the brow of the hill and
ahead to another stile. Turn R, parallel to a hedge,
then past a garden and house and onto a road. Turn L,
pass Charcoal Farm and follow the road (NE) for 350yds
to a T-junction. To your L is the start of a delightful
path passing ahead through two lines of trees into
4 After 1/3 mile where footpaths cross turn R and
walk ahead (E) through the wood. After 300yds ignore the
bridleway on R and as you begin to turn L turn R on a
narrower path to continue in your former direction (E).
When a broader track crosses your path turn R (S) onto
it (avoid descending a narrow sunken path). At a lane
turn R (S) along the Elham Valley Way. After ¼ml
turn L (find EVW sign) onto a track past Red Oak
Cottage. The track turns L; after a house, continue
straight ahead (NE) leaving the EVW on a footpath over a
field to a stile to cross a corner of a wood.
5 Continue in the same direction (NE) across a field,
through a gate, downhill then half R to a footbridge.
Then go ½ L (NE) to the top corner of the field and
cross the road to Breach Down Lay-by 6.
Breach Downs to Elham 5 miles. (allow 2¼ hours)
6 From the S end of the lay-by go through the field
gate and take the bridleway ½ L diagonally up the field
and through the wood heading S for 1¼ ml; where the main
path curves L, yours turns R, downhill, where a stone
marker shows the footpath. Steps lead to the valley
7 Go up the other side, first between 2 fences, then
keep a fence to your L and go up through trees where you
can sit on the second stile to get your breath back. Go
half L over the hill brow to a stile, across the corner
of a field, stiles on both sides of a track, another
field, steps down and continue in this direction (W)
across more fields, through a small wood and down to a
8 Turn L uphill and pass lovely Ivy Cottage. After
1/3 mile on this road, take a footpath to the R, uphill
through a gate and ahead to perhaps the best views of
the Elham valley. The path goes L along the valley rim -
see Elham Church some distance ahead. After a gateway
the paths descend; take the higher way keeping almost
parallel to a fence on the L. Follow the fence sharp L
and soon go over it at a stile. Cross a field (E) to
reach the road at Oxroad Farm.
9 Turn R and follow the lane roughly SW for ½ mile
ignoring lanes to L and R. Pass Little Oxroad Farm
on R and a line of larch trees on the L. 50 yds after
them take a footpath through a gate on the L. Cross the
field, half R after a stile and then over 2 roads and 4
stiles in short succession.
10 Follow the fence and see more valley views then go
½ R to a stile in the field corner. As you head
downhill, fence and path turn sharp R to head towards a
line of poplar trees. When you reach them turn L, then
in 50 yds go R over a stream and ½ L aiming for the
church. A lane leads to the village square.
This walk was originally published on a calendar
produced by White Cliffs Group. Thanks to Andrew
Boultbee for originally devising this route, for the
bottom photograph and for the idea. Thanks to
Diana Backwell for checking the route.