The North Downs Way
By Kev Reynolds
Guidebook to walking the North Downs Way National Trail, a 130 mile (208km) trail between Farnham and Dover, with an optional visit to Canterbury. Following the ancient Pilgrim's Way for much of the way, through pleasant countryside, this is one of the easier National Trails and the walk is described over 11 stages. With 1:25K OS map booklet.
SeasonsThe North Downs Way can be walked at any time of the year, but is seen at its best between April and October
CentresBeginning in Farnham, the North Downs Way passes close-to or through Guildford, Otford, Wrotham, Detling, Charing, Wye, Chilham, Canterbury, Patrixbourne and ends in Dover
DifficultyDespite some reasonably short steep ascents and descents, the North Downs Way is one of the more gentle of National Trails and is suitable for first-time long distance walkers.
Must SeePassing through the Surrey and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Downs Way crosses Box Hill, visits Neolithic sites like the Coldrum Stones and Kits Coty House; passes below the remains of Thurnham Castle, visits Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, and across Shakespeare Cliff, one of the White Cliffs of Dover.
A guidebook to walking the North Downs Way National Trail, a 130 mile (208km) walk between the high downland of Farnham and the historic city of Dover on the Kent coast, with an optional visit to Canterbury. The route is described in 11 stages, and is fully illustrated with colour photographs and OS map extracts. The North Downs Way is 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. Several historic sites including Neolithic burial chambers, Roman roads and Norman churches are passed and much of the route follows The Pilgrims' Way. The area also boasts many literary connections with some of the most celebrated voices in English literature. A separate pocket-sized map booklet is included and shows the full route on 1:25,000 scale OS maps.
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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A lifelong passion for the countryside in general, and mountains in particular, drives Kev's desire to share his sense of wonder and delight in the natural world through his writing, photography and lecturing.
Claiming to be The Man with the World's Best Job, he has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Cicerone since the 1970s, producing over 50 books, including guides to five major trekking regions of Nepal, and to numerous routes in the European Alps and Pyrenees, as well as walking guides for Kent, Sussex and the Cotswolds.
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