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Blean Woods Via Monkey Court Common Near Chapel Lane Blean Common Canterbury CT2 9HA
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Blean Woods was one Hamish's favourite places. He walked here often – but Tia walked this route. The woods are a large area of ancient woodland designated a Site of Special Interest. They are North West of Canterbury bounded by the old A2 to Faversham and the A290 to Whitstable.
This route enters the wood via Monkey Court Common at Blean on the A 290. Other access points include the Church Wood car park at Rough Common, off the old A2 at Dunkirk and opposite Denstroude Farm on Denstroude Lane.
If traveling by car park in Chapel Lane on the East side of the A290 at Blean Common (on the right hand side from Canterbury to Whitstable, grid reference TR 12133 61063 – post code CT2 9HA). If traveling by bus from either Canterbury or Whitstable alight at the Chapel Lane stops.
Turn left onto the A290 from Chapel Lane (towards Canterbury). After about 50 metres turn right (across the road) onto a concrete track marked as a footpath by a wooded finger post. The area is marked as Monkey Court Common on the gate to the track (but the general area is shown as Crawford's Rough on the OS map). Follow the track away from the road past a dog waste bin near the gate. The concrete section of track ends by the entrance to a reservoir on the right. Continue ahead on the track passing a dragon's tooth (pyramid shape concrete obstacle) then ahead past a wooden gate and stile (no fence to trouble your dogs), then past another dragon's tooth. Follow the main path ahead for a considerable distance until you reach a multi-junction with a post showing a black arrow marker and two yellow footpath markers.
TURN LEFT then IMMEDIATELY RIGHT on to a clear track continuing broadly in the same direction (i.e. this is a dog-leg crossroads). Follow the clear track for a considerable distance – the 'rod fall' is in the trees on your right. Look for a marker post on your right hand side. On the opposite side to your direction of travel the post is marked with a black arrow. TURN RIGHT (as indicated by the arrow) and cross over the 'rod fall' (if you miss this turn you'll reach a T-junction at which point you'll know you've gone too far!). Pass another black arrow marker and a bench dedicated to Bill Holmes (1922 – 2006). Opposite the bench is an old pollarded Oak tree.
Follow the clear track away from the bench. It soon starts to descend along the edge of the wood with a field on your left hand side. Keep to the track to the bottom of the hill then follow it round a hard right hand bend (do not go ahead over a stile in the left hand corner). Stick to the main track through the bottom of the woods. Pass one black arrow marker then, at another marker post showing a yellow arrow footpath marker and the black arrow pointing right, KEEP AHEAD on the main track (a field is now a short distance away on your left). The path soon begins to climb a little and as a five bar wooden gate comes into view TURN RIGHT more uphill on a clear track (if you continued ahead through the gate you'd reach a mobile home park).
At a T-junction TURN RIGHT and follow the path with a fence on your left hand side (i.e. away from another five bar wooden gate). TURN LEFT at the first path on that side (not far beyond the end of the fence). Follow this to a T-junction with the track you used to enter the woods – going around a five bar gate and stile to do so. TURN LEFT and follow the track back past the reservoir and to the main road. TURN LEFT to reach Chapel Lane then RIGHT to get back to your car if you parked there.