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Pits and Pilgrims- Aylesford

Medway Valley Rail Trails

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.1 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  A circular walk through the beautiful landscape of the Kent Downs.
This walk takes you through the picturesque village of Aylesford, ... more »

Tips:  Distance: 7.1 miles/11.5km
Time: 4 hours approximately
Terrain: parts of the walk are quite challenging due to uphill walking and... more »

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Points of Interest

1. River Medway and Carmelite Priory

Admire the stunning priory: the Friars. Keep you eyes peeled for kingfishers that can sometimes be seen along the river.

2. Stone doorway

The doorway on the right at the top of the hill is medieval and was moved from the church during restoration in Victorian times. It was used by the priest to go from the church to take services at the Alms Houses (attendance used to be compulsory).

3. Aylesford Sand Pit

Folkestone sand has been dug from here for at least 100 years, and the pit now extends westwards for more than a kilometre, down well below the water table. Cormorants, great crested grebes and a variety of ducks, geese and gulls use the resulting lake.

4. Village of Eccles

You have the opportunity to explore the village of Eccles from here by turning left along Bull Lane. Why not visit 'Dream Towers': the sculpture installed in the recreation ground in 2011 as part of the Aylesford Community Trail Project.

5. Lower Culand Pit

When you get to a short section of wooden fencing on your right, peer over the hedge to look into Lower Culand pit below; a former chalk quarry from the cement industry that the area is well known for. Continuing straight ahead you will see the sheer chalk cliff face of Greater Culand Pit in front of you. Both pits are now of great importance to... More

6. The North Downs Way

The North Downs Way is one of currently 19 National Trails in the UK and runs for 153 miles from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent. It passes through the Medway Valley, hugging the sides and top of the beautiful Kent Downs.

Kit's Coty is one of a group of Neolothic monuments known as the Medway Magaliths. It is is a burial chamber built nearly 6000 years ago that once stood at the end of a long barrow, measuring 84 metres in length.

8. Farm

In 1879 the farm was developed as a 'model farm' with a rectangular yard surrounded by barns. These are now converted into houses. You will see the unusual structure of the main barn with cast iron pillars above the stone walls to allow ventilation to the hay and straw stored there.

Follow the public path on your left across a stream and then into Cobtree Manor golf course. Follow the public footpath in a straight line across the fairway, heading for a gap in the woodland. Watch out for flying golf balls!

As you enter the woodland and go up the short, steep path you are now in Cobtree Manor Park. Admire the veteran trees and the beautiful woodland setting of this section of the walk, part of the park's woodland trail. Cobtree Manor Park is the site of the former Maidstone Zoo.