Goodnestone walk

Explore Kent
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Explore Kent
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The mill was one of the last open trestle post mills to be built in England. It was erected in 1868 on a site which has been used for a windmill for at least 500 years.

Fierce winds raging across the fields almost completely destroyed the mill in 2003, but it has now been reconstructed. Chillenden Mill is open to the public on selected days and there are dramatic landscapes to be enjoyed across to Knowlton Court in the east, and Ramsgate in the west.

With less than 60 houses, and a newly renovated Norman church, Chillenden is one of the smallest parishes in Kent.

The walk route also passes alongside the village of Staple, known for its vineyard established in 1974, and Crixhall Court, a Tudor mansion.

Goodnestone Park Gardens will repay many visits. It was originally built at the beginning of the 18th century. The builder’s great-grandson, Sir Brook Bridges’ daughter Elizabeth married Edward Austen – brother of the famous author Jane Austen.

Jane was a regular visitor and began writing Pride and Prejudice immediately after staying on the Goodnestone estate in 1796.

The restored gardens and park are open to the public and many events are held there throughout the year.

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Step by step guide

  • The walk begins opposite the church in the centre of Goodnestone. From the church head north-east down the main street for around 50 metres until you reach a fingerpost on your right hand side. Turn right here and follow the part surfaced track down a slight slope.
  • At the bottom of the slope turn right at the waymarker signs. Follow the path uphill across a grassy field to the field corner where there is a stile to cross on the edge of some woodland.
  • Cross the stile and follow the waymarkers on a path through the wood. When you reach a track running left to right, continue straight on through the wood until you reach a stile at the edge of the wood followed by a road.
  • After crossing the road, follow the sign on path across an arable field for around 450 metres, aiming for the large tree. Cross over stile and follow waymarker arrows on path across fields to another stile at the field edge. Cross stile and continue down a short slope to the road.
  • Cross road and go up a small flight of steps. Following the signpost, head across a short section of field, along the boundary and eventually between fences to the road.
  • On reaching the road, turn left. At a junction, continue straight on and uphill towards Chillenden Windmill.
  • Turn right and follow the stone track to the windmill. Go through a small gap to the right of a locked gate. You are now at the site of Chillenden Windmill. Keeping to the right, go through another small gap and follow waymarker arrows across a field to the road.
  • Cross the lane and follow the signpost across a field up a slight slope where your will eventually meet another road. Cross over road and follow signpost along field edge, to left of telegraph pole and through a gap between some trees. Follow path across field until you reach a cutting.
  • Once you reach the cutting, proceed down the bank. When at the bottom of the cutting, turn right and continue for around 15 metres to a post with waymarker arrows on. Bear left up a short bank and follow the waymarker arrows and grassy path across a field for around 300 metres where your reach a short slope. At the top continue to follow the path for another 400 metres until you reach some waymarker arrows at the field corner.
  • Turn left and follow track with a hedge on your right until you reach the road. Cross the road and climb verge, follow waymarking across field and turn left at waymarker at field edge. Continue along field edge and cross boundary, keeping to the right of the hedge until you reach a stile. Cross stile and follow waymarking along field edge to another stile.
  • On reaching a stile, turn left and follow the path. At waymarker, bear right and follow path across a field. Proceed through gap in the hedge, and cross the bridleway.
  • Continue straight on and follow waymarking across fields up a gentle slope until you get to another gap on a field corner. Go through the gap and follow waymarkers along the field edge and down a fairly steep hill. At the bottom of the hill, head through a gap and follow the enclosed path down the side of private gardens to the fingerpost at the road. Continue ahead to return to the church where you started.