Kent walk: Explore the Elham Valley Way

PUBLISHED: 10:47 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:12 20 June 2019

Bourn Park, Bridge - Elham Valley Way (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)

Bourn Park, Bridge - Elham Valley Way (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)

Archant

Walking through the delightful valley of Elham is an absolute treat. Enter an oasis of peace and quiet with a whole array of shops and pubs in Elham at the end

Location: Elham (CT4 6TL)

Distance: 3.7 miles (5.95 km) Circular

Time: Allow 2 hours

Explorer Map: 138

Terrain: Some steep slopes

Parking: Limited car parking is available in the square at Elham. Other on-road spaces may be available around Elham village.

Refreshments and facilities: Shops and pubs in Elham

Public transport: for information about local bus and train services in Kent, from your home address, take a look at www.kentconnected.org

Barham - Earlham Valley Way (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)Barham - Earlham Valley Way (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)

Walking through the delightful valley of Elham is an absolute treat with the sun peering through the trees and insects buzzing around. You'll enter an oasis of peace and quiet and be greeted at the end of your walk with a whole array of shops and pubs in Elham to round your day off nicely.

Elham is a hidden Kentish treasure which is a delight to explore. The village square is brimming with pubs and restaurants which are full of character, and a local shop offers the perfect opportunity to stock up on supplies. A farmers market operates twice a year in June and December and in the nearby hamlet of Breach is the Elham Valley vineyard, so there is plenty to keep you entertained following your walk.

Your walk begins in Elham Square, a historical delight of quaint buildings and famous connections - Mark Ealham, former Kent and England cricketer used to live in the square and Audrey Hepburn spent some of her childhood here. Just minutes from the square you'll be heading out into tranquil open countryside, the Elham Valley is a very popular route used by walkers all year round, so you'll be joining great company!

Patrixbourne - Earlham Valley Way (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)Patrixbourne - Earlham Valley Way (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)

Walking down Duck Street, you'll pass the 13th century St Mary the Virgin Church which runs Sunday worship and other events. Be sure to check out the spire that dominates the Elham landscape, it is a wonderful sight as you head out of the village, picking up the signs for the Elham Valley Way.

Heading out across open farmland, you will get a glimpse of the diverse use of land in this area - from arable crops to vineyards, pastures and precious chalk grasslands, home to some of Kent's rarest wildlife and plant life. The going in the winter will be easy due to the absence of crops while the ground rests ready for the coming year's growth. Look around you at the expanse and different colourings of these fields, the interesting patchwork shape of each pasture represents the unique character of this landscape.

Soon you'll come to a steep bank. Once you reach the top you are in for a treat; the view across the valley here is amazing. The landscape you see along the Elham Valley has been formed over many millions of years. The chalk hills were once soft sediments deposited at the bottom of the sea around 100 million years ago.

Barham - Earlham Valley Way walk (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)Barham - Earlham Valley Way walk (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)

Your walk continues across more fields and through patches of trees on the landscape, before heading along a quiet track then returning to more walking pastures a little further along. You will pass Henbury Manor which has now been converted to housing; however the area has a rich history, originally a house built on farmland in 1913 for a family named Treharne. Over the years the house changed hands, becoming little occupied before being destroyed by fire.

As you retrace your steps back where you began, your eyes will be met with more wonderful views of Elham. The well-marked paths on this walk will pave the way ahead clearly enabling you to make the most of the views of this glorious landscape.

If you like the peace of the countryside, without having to venture too far from somewhere to have a bite to eat and drink, then this is a walk for you - yes you can have your cake and eat it here in Elham!

Bridge - Earlham Valley Way walk (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)Bridge - Earlham Valley Way walk (photo: ExploreKent, Flickr)

What's next?

If you've enjoyed connecting with the landscape on this walk, you can check out more options where you can connect, protect or enhance the local environment by taking part in the Kent Year of Green Action, visit www.explorekent.org

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