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Denstroude Nr Whitstable and Canterbury Kent
Blean Woods are Hamish's favourite place; a large area of ancient woodland designated a Site of Special Interest managed by the RSPB, Woodland Trust, English Nature and others. They are North West of Canterbury bounded by the old A2 to Faversham and the A290 to Whitstable.
This route enters the wood from Denstroude Lane opposite Denstroude Farm. Denstroude Lane joins the old A2 (Canterbury to Faversham) at Dunkirk and the A290 (Canterbury to Whitstable). Other access points include Monkey Common at Blean, off the old A2 at Dunkirk and the RSPB car park off Rough Common Road at Rough Common.
Park on the grass verge opposite Denstroude Farm (grid reference TR 0965 6105). Enter North Bishopsden Wood via a bridle path opposite the farm. At the edge of the wood pass by a wooden barrier and an RSPB sign welcoming you to Blean Woods Nature Reserve (the sign suggests dogs should be kept on a lead but we have never found a need to do so). Just beyond the barrier turn right at cross tracks.
Follow the track as it passes through the edge of the wood with a field a short distance on your right and the bulk of the wood on your left. Along the way you may notice a streambed on your right between the track and the field. This is more obvious in some places than others, especially in the dry season when there might not be any water in it at all. After 0.3 miles total walking distance a footpath crosses the track. A post marks this with yellow footpath arrow markers on the right of the track. The post also has a black arrow marker on the far side. Turn left onto the footpath towards the wood (grid reference TR 0194 6072).
Follow the footpath as it climbs gently uphill into the wood. Follow it after it levels out to wind its way through mainly oak woodland. Pass by a wooden barrier with yellow footpath arrow markers to reach a broad track. For a short walk of a little over half a mile turn left ? the track will take you back to Denstroude Farm. For the full walk turn right onto the track (grid reference TR 0934 6060 - total distance walked 0.4 miles).
Follow the track ignoring a track on the right after 30 or 40 metres. Continue ahead as the track soon climbs uphill. The track bends a little to the left as it starts to level out. At the top of the incline there is a substantial pine tree on the right of the track. After another 100 metres or so there are a pair of pines on the left of the track. After about another 20 metres a path joins from the left. This is marked by an RSPB marker post (this indicates that dogs are not welcome but we have often walked this permissive path). On the reverse side of this post is a black arrow.
Turn left onto the path (grid reference TR 0991 6027 - total distance walked 0.8 miles). Follow the path downhill through the wood. This area of wood, another of Hamish's favourites, is made up of mainly mature beeches and oaks. As you reach the bottom of the hill a field appears on your right hand side through a narrow tree screen. Continue ahead as the tree screen widens again before the path descends a little more. Another field soon appears on your right as you continue ahead down the path. At the bottom of the hill pass by some posts before regaining the track you started on.
Turn right on the track to pass the wooden barrier before arriving back at Denstroude Lane and Farm.
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