A dog friendly walk from DogPeople

A dog-friendly walk from DogPeople
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Boughton under Blean circular via Winterbourne, Forester's Lodge, Clay Pits Wood, Crockham Wood and Hernhill. 7 moderate

The Street Boughton Under Blean Faversham Kent ME13 9AX

This walk starts at The Queen's Head on The Street. Patrons are welcome to park on this dog friendly pub's car park but this can be busy at weekends. Alternative on street parking is available nearby with care. From The Queen's Head turn left along The Street (towards Faversham). Keep to the left hand pavement until, just opposite The White Horse, TURN LEFT on a footpath marked by a green and white finger post just beyond a half timbered house. Follow the path downhill, then across a footbridge over the A2 road. Keep to the tarmac path past a row of houses to reach a metalled lane.

TURN LEFT on the lane and follow it a considerable distance, don't bear left after a hundred yards or so into a no through road. Keep ahead on the lane past a tree line, two footpath markers and a communications mast on your right hand side (RHS). Almost as soon as a house comes into view ahead at the end of the lane note a footpath marker pointing left and another to the right. TURN RIGHT and follow the path uphill through trees. Make sure you have your dog under CLOSE CONTROL as you reach a house on your left hand side (LHS) as there is a busy lane ahead.

TURN RIGHT when you reach the metalled lane, TAKE CARE and keep to the RHS of the lane, using the grass verge when possible, this lane is narrow but well used by traffic. Pass Raspberry Vale and a thatched cottage on your RHS, then a footpath and green salt bin on the LHS of the road, then CROSS THE ROAD and TURN LEFT into a smaller metalled lane. Follow the lane uphill until you reach a T-junction with Dunkirk Road South GO AHEAD to join a footpath via a metal kissing gate.

Please KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEAD up the orchard after the gate as there were a number of friendly pigs loose when we walked. Keep to the left of a row of conifer trees more-or-less ahead from the gate. At the top of the orchard bear right keeping the fence on your LHS. TURN LEFT to go through a metal kissing gate, then ahead through the wood. The path is indistinct so follow yellow tape markers attached to trees. The path emerges from the wood to run along a field with a fence on your LHS, keep ahead, uphill, with the fence always on your LHS (views over to the left are over the Swale, Shellness and the Isle of Sheppey, and the Seasalter marshes on a good day you should see the Thames Estuary and Essex). Go ahead through a metal kissing gate then TURN LEFT along a wide track (this area is often muddy).

Follow the track to a six bar metal gate and kissing gate, the views widen to your left through the tree line. Go through the kissing gate and TURN SHARP RIGHT, as indicated by an arrow marker, to reach a field via a ribbon of trees (do not continue ahead on the track). CROSS THE FIELD, aiming just right of farm buildings opposite (the path is normally well defined). Keep to the right of a post and rail fence when you reach it, then ahead on a metalled lane just beyond the buildings.

At the end of the lane TURN LEFT on the main road and cross a bridge back over the A2. Keep to the LHS and use the grass verge and pavement when you can. Bend left with the road towards Dunkirk. CROSS THE ROAD just after the junction with Courtenay Road (on the RHS) and keep ahead. Pass the old school on your RHS, the disused church on your LHS and then, immediately after Courtenay House, TURN RIGHT onto a bridleway marked with a green and white finger post.

Go ahead through a wooden five bar gate, then keep ahead on a wide track (don't turn right towards a garage or left through another gate). Follow the track through the woods with the modern communication mast a short way off on your RHS. Keep ahead where the track is better made - past a mobile 'phone mast on your RHS. The WW2 radar station remains are soon on your RHS. Go ahead over a low metal gate to reach a metalled lane, then AHEAD onto a metalled track (marked by a green and white bridleway finger post). It is well worth a short stop here on a clear day as the views cover a wide area.

FORK LEFT towards a house and woods (not right towards a farm). Keep ahead over a low metal gate by the house and follow a clear (but muddy) track through the woods. Bend left with the main track as it starts to descend, then follow it down through the wood. Part way down the hill the track runs along a field on the RHS with more good views. Follow the track through a right hand bend to reach a metalled lane.

TURN LEFT down the lane (Crockham Road) just to the right is an 'Armada' fire beacon. TURN SHARP RIGHT at a junction towards a left hand bend and houses. Follow the lane to Hernhill. As you reach the village green TURN DIAGONALLY LEFT across the green, with the Church on your left, to find a footpath marked with a concrete marker post in the opposite corner across the lane. CROSS THE LANE AND JOIN THE FOOTPATH via a gate in the edge of a garden. Follow the path across the garden, then down through an orchard (along a line of telegraph poles) to reach the drive to houses via another gate.

At the junction with a metalled lane TURN LEFT onto the lane, THEN RIGHT onto a footpath marked by a green and white finger post up a metalled drive to the rear entrance of Mount Ephraim House. Follow the drive uphill to reach the car park and ticket office for Mount Ephraim Gardens (if you have time to visit, the gardens are dog friendly, see directory entry and Dogpeople Says via logo). Continue ahead to reach a metalled lane (Staplestreet Road) via Mount Ephraim's front entrance.

TURN LEFT, then almost immediately RIGHT on a footpath marked by a green and white finger post. Follow the path, downhill at first, ignoring side paths and taking care not to fork left after the stream. Keep ahead as the path reaches a track by houses to reach The Street in Boughton village. TURN RIGHT through the village and follow the pavement back to The Queens Head.

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