Section 2 (Return)
Hawkinge to West Hougham
|OS Explorer 138 Dover/Folkestone
|4.5 miles(2.5 hours)
|From the White Horse Inn on the Folkestone end of the village. There is a car park further along near the village shops.
|An interesting walk through a woodland site of historic interest, much tranquil undulating countryside and the pleasant village of Alkham halfway. There are no services at West Hougham. There are stiles.
With the White Horse Inn on your left, walk up the main road, soon passing shops on the left. Look for a safe place to cross the main road and keep on for some way in the same direction out of the village. Eventually reach a new roundabout.
Ignore a footpath into a steeply rising field on the right. Keep on past the roundabout and over a service road going off right. The road now begins to rise. Turn right, off the road, onto a bridleway going into Army Training Grounds. Follow the broad and sometimes muddy bridleway for nearly a mile (it is part of a nature trail called the Reidon Walk).
At a junction of bridleways, leave the Reidon Walk which goes off right, and keep straight on. At a second junction of paths, take the footpath which goes diagonally right, across a large open field towards a distant house on the skyline. Cross a stile at the far side and descend steeply through woods.
At the valley bottom is an open field. Climb the hill ahead to the top lefthand corner. At the top of the rise, cross a stile into a field and keep ahead, bearing to the right of distant farm buildings. Cross a country road, and head on towards the righthand side of Great Everden Farm buildings.
(This path is due to be slightly diverted. On nearing the farm it should follow the fence line until turning left to emerge onto the road (It is very close to the current route)). Currently, cross a stile into horse paddocks and walk down by the righthand side fence, across several stiles. Finally enter a field. Bear left across the field to a fingerpost at a road junction.
The path comes out just short of the road junction. Turn right for a few paces to the junction then left on the road turning left. Keep up this road until it turns sharply right. Here go straight ahead, across a field, to a road and a gap in a hedge. Through the gap, cross the left corner of a field, to a stile leading into a row of trees. Cross a bridleway in the trees and enter a large field. Cross this field bearing diagonally right.
In the centre of the field meet another path. Turn right on it to a gap in a hedge. Cross a smaller field to a stile in a hedge ahead. With the transmitter mast on the skyline to your right, bear left across the corner of a field to another hedge gap. Walk down to Alkham village on a long gentle slope crossing several stiles. Descend through the churchyard to the main road by the ‘Marquis of Granby’ public house.
Turn right on the road and cross to a fingerposted asphalt path going in front of a house (no.5). Cross a footbridge and emerge into a close in a small housing estate. Turn right for a short distance and, where a road goes off on the right, look left for an enclosed path by a lamppost.
This soon enters a field and climbs steeply uphill across several stiles to enter a wood at the top over another stile. In a short distance cross a road and turn right. Look for a path on your left climbing a wooded bank to a stile into a field.
Bear fairly sharply right and keep along by the hedgeline to climb to a stile in a wire fence. Cross and continue in the same direction with a transmitter mast away in the distance. Cross a farm road and keep forward across a field.
In mid-field, pass under powerlines to a gap in a hedge. Go through the gap and head on across the field to a stile onto a road. Turn right and follow the road along and downhill, past a byway and on past a bungalow high up on the left bank. Immediately past the bungalow, turn left up the vehicle access at the side and on up the garden to a stile at the top. This crosses into rough ground. Keep straight ahead bearing right of the transmitter mast towards a clump of the taller trees with a pylon behind.
The path passes through the trees and over a stile beyond into a field. Cross the field to the right of the rusty pylon and keep on to the far righthand corner. Leave the field with care, down a bank, onto a road by the entrance to Copt Hill Farm. Turn left down the public road towards the transmitter mast again.
At a T-junction take the path straight ahead, uphill, with a hedge on your right. Towards the top of the field, bear away from the hedge leftwards, across the corner of the field to a narrow enclosed way between bungalows. Emerge onto a quiet residential road. Go over to a further enclosed path. Soon emerge onto the main village road opposite the site of the former Chequers Inn, now houses. Turn right to walk back to the village hall and the start of the section.