An idyllic stroll in the tranquil village setting of Teston on the River Medway, Kent
PUBLISHED: 01:16 19 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:42 20 February 2013
Enjoy an idyllic stroll in the tranquil village setting of Teston on the River Medway...
Nestled in the Medway Valley, Teston provides a base for this three-mile (4.7km) walk of riverside, woodland and grassland settings. Pronounced Teeson, it is alleged that the village name change was due to the mistake of a sign-writer employed by South Eastern Railway, who misspelled the name of the station (writing Teston instead of Teeson).
This spelling was then adopted while the old pronunciation was kept. Neither the sign nor the railway station exists any more. Starting out from Teston Bridge Country Park, take time to enjoy the open grassland and mix of riverside vegetation. Kingfishers can often be spotted along this stretch, as can common tern.
If you are there in the evening watch out for barn owls hunting in the long grass and the daubenton, pipistrelle and noctule bats.
Continuing on you will cross a small bridge over the River Medway. A listed structure, the bridge is made of Kentish ragstone and built during the 15th century. The large pointed centre arch was rebuilt in 1793 to allow larger vessels to pass underneath.
While walking look out for Barham Court, which gets its name from the Bearham family who once lived there. Their Norman name was Fitz Urse which means son of a bear. Randal Fitz Urse was one of the four knights who murdered Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170.
In 1932 a fire destroyed much of Barham Court, but it was restored by Sir Herbert Baker, who also took the opportunity to make alterations and it is now a successful business centre.
Much of the local countryside area is maintained and enhanced by the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, a non-profit making organisation. If you wish to lengthen your walk, an extension that
includes West Farleigh is a great
add-on to this route.