abbey walks

Stage 32 - Westwell to Canterbury




24.1 km / 14.9 miles

Explorer map

  137 Ashford



5.5 - 6 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

Total ascent   318m
Total descent   413m

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The route leaves the Pilgrim Way at Boughton Lees and continues on the North Downs Way, a short section of road and the Stour Valley Walk. This stage is undulating but not too strenuous, it passes through Boughton Lees where cricket has been played on the Lees for over 200 years. Pass the medieval castle at Chilham, ancient woods, hop fields and the River Stour to Canterbury.






Walk Description :


1 - From Westwell head back up the Pilgrim way to the t-junction with Dunn Street Farm. Turn right and follow the path to Boughton Lees. At the road turn left heading towards the green along Lees Road keeping the green on your left. At the end turn right and left to resume on the Pilgrim Way. Shortly after passing Brewhouse Lane turn left signed North Downs Way via Canterbury, this will pass through Broughton Aluph. Cross Church Lane and White Hill road to pass Soakham Farm before heading up and into Kings Wood. This section can be boggy in places due to horse riders and mountain bikers. At the end of Kings wood come to a t junction (a byway) turn right to leave the woods to arrive at Mountain Street Lane. Turn left to the village of Chilham.


stage 32 photo2 - Pass through the square and head towards the church and then left before the White Horse Pub. Continue down Church Hill and up Long Hill where the North Downs Way goes to Old Wives Lees. Turn right on Lower Lees Road which becomes Shalmsford Road to leave the NDW. Turn left on the main road (A28 - Canterbury Road) and then right Shalmsford Street. Just before crossing over the railway line turn left eventually alongside the track. At the end of the field turn right to cross over the line and then left along Parish Road.


3 - Keep right onto Church Lane and then right Station Road. Don’t cross over the River Stour but take the path left signed Stour Valley Walk to Canterbury. Pass the playground and pass under the A2050 continuing along the Stour to reach Westgate Grove and the junction of St Dunstans Road. Cross into the pedestrian St Peter’s Street which becomes the High Street. Turn Left down Mercury Lane (with the view of the Cathedral visible ahead) to reach the old Butter Market and the Cathedral gateway ahead.



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Walking can be a dangerous sport.  Walkers should always be suitably equipped, including carrying and knowing how to use a map and compass.