Elham Walk – Peace and Tranquillity
Nestled deep in the Kentish countryside, Elham is just like a Garden of Delights and truly lives up to the Kent ‘Garden of England’ image. This is a wonderful walk taking in the true sights of spring – complete with views of fields all set out in a pretty crosspatch fashion which span out all around you – and the panoramic views do not stop there. Take in the sights of church spires, quaint villages and green pastures all teeming with wildlife. Spring is all about new beginnings and this walk will allow you to take in the first signs of everything synonymous with the season.
TAKING IN THE FINE SIGHTS OF ELHAM
If you’ve been holed up inside over winter and only just feel like venturing out, the Elham Walk is a great starting point. Elham is a village that is steeped in history. Like many villages it once had a thriving village centre with trades such as brick making, iron smelting, rope making and brewing in full swing. Elham can be traced back to the time of the Saxons and was granted a market in the 13th century when it was known for quality of its leather and hides. The market continued until the 19th century along with a horse fair.
As you walk through the fresh green pastures of Elham, it is hard to imagine such a bustling village economy but less hard to imagine is why notable celebrities such as the British statesman and prime minister Sir Anthony Eden and the actress Katie Johnson, as well as the Kent and England cricketers Leslie Ames and Mark Elham have been residents here.
This circular walk is suitable for most levels of walking skill although there are stiles situated throughout this walk. The walking route is well marked so finding your way around won’t be difficult.
Start at Elham Square, which houses the Kings Arms pub – a highly recommended pre- or post-walk stop off for a well-cooked Sunday lunch and a range of real ales – the very beautiful Elham church and a host of pretty residential listed properties.
From here, walk down Duck Street past the church until you reach a signposted footpath on the left. Walk down the steps into the field and continue ahead, keeping to the path running along the field edge. Cross over the stile in the hedge just after the path bends around to the right.
Cross the stile into lane and turn right, follow the road for a few metres, taking the path between houses on the left. Take time to admire the landscape around you – each day is unique and timelessly beautiful from season to season.
Go through the gate and continue ahead through the field. Cross over the stile at the fence and follow the path through the gap. Continuing ahead, follow arrows away from the field edge towards a gate.
Cross over the stile and continue uphill keeping to the left boundary edge until you reach a post with an arrow marked. Turn right and climb up a steep hill/bank. On reaching the top of the bank you can admire fantastic views of the valley. This is a perfect opportunity to photograph some of the nicest panoramic views in Kent and is a viewing focal point of your walk.
Aim for the left hand corner of the field and go over the stile, then cross the field to the road. Turn right and walk along the road until you reach a signposted footpath on the left. Cross the stile and head across the field to another stile in corner. Cross and continue through another field until you reach a stile at the road.
Turning left, walk a few metres down the road taking the signposted footpath on the right across a field.
Go through the gate into the field keeping to the left boundary and passing a pond on the right. Bear left into the driveway and turn right heading towards a gate at the road.
Go through the gate and turn right to walk down the road. Go through another gate on the right to follow the path across the field under power lines until you reach a stile at the boundary with a road.
Cross the stiles and road to pick up another path on the other side. Follow path to cross over another stile at a road.
Cross over the stile into a field and follow boundary on the right (maybe slightly overgrown in summer). When you reach the corner of the fence line on the right, keep following the path ahead, across field to the stile. There are good views of Elham from here.
Cross over stile to follow downhill, keeping to the fence line on the right. Follow waymarked path to join up with the one you started on and retrace your steps back to Elham Square where you started.
Spend a little longer exploring this pretty village taking in its history and architectural delights.
Location: Elham (CT4 6TL)
Distance: 3.7 miles (5.95 km)
Time: Allow 2 hours
OS Explorer Map: 138
Terrain: Some steep slopes
Parking: Limited parking is available at the Square in Elham, other road spaces may be available around Elham Village.
Refreshments & Facilities: There are numerous independent shops and pubs in Elham
For more information on Bluebell walks, spring events and outdoor ideas please visit Explore Kent for inspiration on enjoying the great Kentish outdoors or follow Explore Kent on social media @explorekent on Twitter & Facebook.