North Downs Way 8 : Detling to Lenham
Stroll in the footsteps of the pilgrims from Detling to Lenham. Pass the ancient Thurnham Castle remains and journey through the protected Hucking Estate. Finish your walk by attempting to find the source of the River Stour in Lenham
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Start your walk from the picturesque village of Detling with the North Downs rising up behind you.
As you join The Pilgrims Way and walk out of the village look to your left for a Tudor gateway. This beautiful door and brick arch date back to the time of Henry VIII and it is likely that this door would have led to a resting house for weary pilgrims who were walking to Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury.
After climbing the steep hill onto the chalk ridge of the North Downs you will soon reach White Horse Wood Country Park and Thurnham Castle. They are situated off the footpath to the North East. Take some time to explore the ancient flint ruins of the castle which were created by Robert of Thurnham in the 12th century.
The walk from here to Hollingbourne undulates through ancient woodland with wonderful panoramic views surprising you around each corner. Pass through the
Hucking Estate which is an area protected by The Woodland Trust. It would be a great place for a picnic stop or a short detour to the bluebell woods in the spring.
Finish your walk close to Lenham which is known for being the source of the River Stour and a charming village for a celebratory cup of tea!