The North Downs Way

Charing to Wye

Charing to Wye
The North Downs Way > Charing to Wye


This walk begins in the attractive village of Charing. The path climbs out of Charing, giving good views over the surrounding fields and back towards the village before passing along the edge of woodland. It then comes into open countryside, past Eastwell Park and lake to the small village of Boughton Lees, where the path divides. Continuing on the path towards Folkestone and Dover, this walk ends in the small town of Wye.

Getting to the Start

Charing is on the A20 and A252. From London and Maidstone, exit the M20 at junction 8, and join the A20 towards Ashford. Continue on the A20 through Harrietsham and Lenham until the edge of Charing, where you get to the junction with the A252 at the edge of Charing. Continue to the right on the A20, then at the traffic lights, turn right into Station Road - there is a free car park at the station. From Ashford, join the A20 into Charing.

If you're travelling by public transport, Charing has a station, which is on the London - Maidstone, Ashford - Canterbury line, and is served by hourly trains from London Victoria, Maidstone and Ashford, operated by South Eastern Trains.

The Walk

From the station, cross the A20 into the High Street.

Charing Charing
Charing Charing Church

Continue up the High Street, with the church down a street to the right, then at the top of the High Street, continue up into the road called The Hill - an appropriate name! At the top of the hill you get to the A252, which you need to cross. Directly opposite is a narrow lane, which brings you back onto the North Downs Way. Turn right where you soon come back to the A252 again, which you need to cross, into Pilgrims Way. As you head back down the road, you'll see the windmill behind you, at the top of the hill, as you pass Lone Barn Farm.

Charing Charing
The Windmill in Charing The North Downs Way at Lone Barn Farm

The path continues along this tarmac lane for a little longer, passing Pett Farm on the right.

Pett Farm View back towards Charing
Pett Farm View back to Charing

Continue on the lane and you soon get to Burnt House Farm and the edge of a quarry working.

Near Burnt House Farm Near Burnt House Farm
Near Burnt House Farm Burnt House Farm

The path then enters the edge of a wood and proceeds along the right-hand edge of the woods, with views over the fields to the right for much of the time.
In the woods In the woods
In the woods In the woods

As you emerge from the woods, continue on the path straight on which becomes a road again. To the right you can see the village of Westwell and straight ahead are the buildings of Dunn Street.

Near Dunn Street Westwell
View over the downs near Dunn Street View towards Westwell

You pass by the houses of Dunn Street and pass Dunn Street farm where there is a campsite. Continue on the path straight on where there are good views to the right over fields to Westwell and to the downs beyond Wye straight ahead.

View towards Westwell The North Downs towards Wye
View towards Westwell The North Downs towards Wye

Soon you come onto the edge of Eastwell Park, where the path goes across the fields. This part of the walk is very pleasant with a well-made path through the field and good views both ways.

Entering Eastwell Park Eastwell Park
Entering Eastwell Park The path through Eastwell Park

As you cross the park you go past a small row of trees into another field. Continue straight on for a while, but soon you get to a white sign warning Private Grounds Keep Out. These are the grounds of the Eastwell Manor Hotel. Here you need to turn right, passing through the woods, into another field.

The walk continues to another field, with a large house in one corner of the field (which I think is part of the Hotel).

Eastwell Park The house in Eastwell Park
The downs from Eastwell Park The house in Eastwell Park

Soon you pass the complete tower of St Mary's Church on your right, which is next to Eastwell Lake. The tower remains, but the rest of the church collapsed in 1951, has since been declared redundant and is now unsafe.

St Mary's Church Eastwell Lake
St Mary's Church Eastwell Lake

The path becomes tarmac again after the church but when the road turns to the left, the path continues straight on, initially along the right-hand side of the field, before crossing the field and joining the lane to the Hotel further along the field. You have excellent views of the Downs beyond Wye in the distance.

Near Eastwell Lake The downs beyond Wye, near Eastwell
Near Eastwell Lake The downs beyond Wye, near Eastwell

You cross the small lane and continue over the field until you join the road. At the road, take the right hand of the two roads, bringing you into the centre of Boughton Lees. This is an attractive village which centres around the village green. There is a pub at one end of the green.

Boughton Lees Boughton Lees
Boughton Lees Boughton Lees

When you get to the corner of the village green, continue straight on into Malthouse Lane. As you continue along the street you come to the point where the North Downs Way splits. One part goes to Folkestone and Dover, the other to Canterbury. I imagined there might be more to the dividing point than a tatty signpost though! Continue straight on, continuing on the path towards Dover. After a while, the lane goes off to the left and there is path into the field (marked Sunridge on the map). When you get to the end of the field, turn left, then shortly afterwards turn right and continue along the next field. You emerge onto the A28 at the end of the field, opposite Perry Court Farm. Cross the busy road and to the left of the farm follow the path through the edge of the Orchard through the farm grounds. At the end of the Orchard you turn right, then left shortly afterwards, passing through the fields, which were littered with bits of black bin bags when I walked this part of the path. Ahead you can see the small town of Wye approaching, and the Wye Crown marked into the fields above the town.

Wye and Wye Crowns The downs beyond Wye
Wye and Wye Crown The Downs beyond Wye

At the end of the path on the field you emerge onto the road. Cross the road and turn left. When you get to the junction turn right and you arrive at Wye station, the end of this walk. Just beyond the station is a bridge over the river Great Stour, where there is a small weir, which takes you into the town.

The Tickled Trout, Wye Wye
The Tickled Trout, Wye Wye

Getting Back

Wye has a station (the ticket office of which also appears to have a small museum in), which is on the Canterbury West to Ashford and London line. It has hourly trains to Ashford and London Victoria, operated by South Eastern Trains, which stop at Charing. It is generally a through service, but sometimes you have to change at Ashford International. On the day I walked the service on this line was replaced by a bus into Ashford for the train onto Charing. Train also run hourly from Wye to Canterbury and on to Ramsgate.


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