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Walk The North Downs Way with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of The North Downs Way
Available as eBook
18 Mar 2011
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
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The North Downs Way

by Kev Reynolds
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to walking the North Downs Way National Trail. The 130 miles route follows the ancient Pilgrim's Way for much of the way through the high chalky country south of London from Farnham to Dover, with an optional route via Canterbury. The North Downs Way is a peaceful trail described over 11 stages, often through wooded countryside.

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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
Weight: 170g

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The North Downs Way is a celebrated 130-mile national trail that stretches from the high downland of Farnham to the historic city of Dover on the Kent coast.

Exploring every aspect of the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Downs Way National Trail offers walkers a very different experience from that on the South Downs Way. The North Downs Way is much more gentle with fewer climbs, and where these are made, the gradients are generally much less demanding.

Divided into 11 sections that cover the national trail, as well as a further three routes for its northern spur via Canterbury, it's a fantastic companion to a peaceful, green and beautiful landscape.

Several historic sites including Neolithic burial chambers, Roman roads and Norman churches are passed and much of the route follows The Pilgrims Way, allowing the guide to unravel some of the region's rich history. The area also boasts many literary connections with some of the most celebrated voices in English literature.

  • Seasons
    Could be tackled in any season, springtime gives a wealth of wild flowers, early summer gives long days and warmer weather, and autumn has the delight of golden leaves in the woodlands
  • Centres
    The North Downs Way passes through or near: Guildford, Westerham, Otford, Rochester, Wye, Chilham, Canterbury and Dover
  • Difficulty
    One of the easier National Trails, with a modest number of steep (but short) ascents and descents and long sections with no noticeable height gain or loss; mostly well-maintained and signed
  • Must See
    Numerous great viewpoints including St Martha's Hill, Box Hill, Colley Hill, Holly Hill, Blue Bell Hill, the Wye Downs and Shakespeare Cliff (a Heritage Coast); historic sites like Kits Coty House and Canterbury Cathedral, and beautiful villages like Upper Bush and Chilham
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The North Downs Way
Walking west to east
Where to stay
Waymarking and accessibility
When to go
Getting there – and back
Using this guide
Along the way
The North Downs Way
Stage 1 Farnham to Guildford
Stage 2 Guildford to the Mole Valley (A24)
Stage 3 Mole Valley to Merstham
Stage 4 Merstham to Westerham Hill
Stage 5 Westerham Hill to Wrotham
Stage 6 Wrotham to the Medway
Stage 7 The Medway to Detling
Stage 8 Detling to Harrietsham
Stage 9 Harrietsham to Boughton Lees
Direct Route to Dover via Wye
Stage 10 Boughton Lees to Etchinghill
Stage 11 Etchinghill to Dover
The Canterbury Loop
Stage 10a Boughton Lees to Canterbury
Stage 11a Canterbury to Shepherdswell
Stage 12a Shepherdswell to Dover
Appendix A Useful contacts
Appendix B Recommended reading
Appendix C Route summary table
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