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Dog friendly articles and ideas
If travelling by car, park in the spaces in front of the church (St Peter and St Paul) off The High Street in Charing (grid reference TQ 9540 4940). The High Street, then The Hill, joins the A20 to the A252 through the oldest part of the village. If travelling by train alight at Charing - the church is a few minutes walk (turn left on the road from the station, cross the A20 to enter the village via The High Street - the church is down a lane on the right hand side)
Enter the churchyard and pass the church on its right side via a made up footpath. Continue on the path as it leaves the churchyard and passes between rear gardens before reaching a playing field. Turn slightly left on reaching the field then right onto a concrete slab path (i.e. more or less in the same direction as the path from the church). Follow the path to pass a residential block on you left hand side - keeping the playing field on your right. At the end of the block turn slightly right to reach a dog waste bin, cross the adjacent bridge and pass through a wooden gate into a field.
Continue ahead keeping a hedge on your left (a bowling green is behind the hedge). At the end of the hedge cross the field going more or less straight ahead to reach a stile in a fence line. Turn left along the fence line to reach a metalled road after a short distance. Turn right along the road going around a right, then left bend. Pass in front of Pett Place, Pett Farm and a group of cottages. As the road bears hard right turn left onto a byway just before a road junction. Follow the byway slightly uphill to reach a metalled lane.
Turn right on the lane (Pilgrim's Way) and pass Burnt House Farmhouse (about 1 mile has been completed at this point). Follow the lane around a left then right hand bend. Pass the entrance to a quarry then continue ahead on the track when the metalling ceases. Follow the track - the old pilgrim's route along the North Downs Way (NDW) for nearly 1.5 miles. After about 1 mile pass 'Arthur's' Seat' on your left.
Most of this section has trees on the left and fields on the right. Continue ahead on the NDW for about another 0.2 mile where a chestnut palling fence joins on the right hand side (with a considerable drop beyond it). Keep ahead passing the end of the fence and joining another metalled track. The fence ends at a gate to a property named Wychling Over with a sign informing visitors that 'our dog is not a vegetarian'! Continue ahead on the track - still the NDW. Ignore another metalled track on the right to reach a junction with a country lane. Turn left (more or less straight ahead) along the lane - still on the NDW. After a short distance pass a property named Hurstway. After another 30 to 40 metres turn left onto a metalled lane marked with a 'no through road' sign. You are now leaving the NDW - signposted ahead. Follow the lane gently uphill and pass Blackberry Mead Farm. Continue ahead as the lane descends slightly then passes two brick arches in the wood on the left. Follow the lane with woods on the left and fields on the right. As the lane climbs the hillside good views can be seen on the right and over your right shoulder. On the day Hamish walked visibility wasn't good but the White Crown on Wye Down above Wye was easily seen. On a better day one can almost certainly enjoy long distance views over the low ground South of the Downs - possibly as far as the Sea.
Near the top of the hill the metalling stops near field gates. You have covered about 3? miles to this point. Continue ahead on the unmade track. Ignore a footpath on the left almost as soon as you start along the unmade track. Continue ahead keeping the wood on your left and a fence (with fields beyond) on your right. Continue ahead as the gliding field appears on your left. Keep ahead where the track becomes metalled again beside the main Kent Gliding Club buildings. Follow the track as it develops into a country lane. Pass farm buildings on the right. About 40 to 50 metres beyond the entrance to the farm building turn left onto a byway (grid reference TQ 9792 4983).
Follow the byway keeping a fence on the left hand side (beyond the fence is a field ? then the gliding field) and woods on the right. At the end of the fence follow the byway as it descends and turns slightly right. Follow a red arrow marker on the last fence post (A451 inked on the arrow when Hamish was there). This must be a fairly ancient route as the byway is sunken as it descends the Down. Follow the byway until it reaches the concreted section of Pilgrims Way (NDW) with quarry buildings on the left and Burnt House Farmhouse on the right. Turn right and pass Burnt House Farmhouse.
You can either retrace your route back to the church exactly by turning left onto the byway a short distance after the farmhouse (then right on the lane to pass Pett Place etc) or, as Hamish did, continue ahead on the metalled lane (Pilgrims Lane). Turn left at the first fork in the lane. At a T-junction turn right then, after 50 metres or so turn left along field edge. Turn right across field by stile towards the church tower in the middle distance. Follow the path back along the hedge, through gate and over bridge to regain the concrete slab path by the residential block. At the end of this path turn along the path between the garden fences and follow it back to the churchyard.
Copyright Dogpeople Limited 2002.