North Downs Way National Trail

Type:Waymarked Trail

Castle Hill, Detling, Nr Thurham, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3JE

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Looking out over the Village of Thurnham towards the Weald

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About

The North Downs stretch from Farnham in Surrey across Kent and finish on top of the White Cliffs of Dover. To cover the whole length of this long distance path you would need to walk 153 miles and many people do. This mileage does include a loop which takes in Canterbury at the eastern end. The trail runs along the chalk ridge of the North Downs and, whilst this is one of the most populated corners of the world, the vast majority runs through peaceful countryside.

The path was opened in 1978 and most of it is within easy reach of London. The good transport links to many of the sections make it the perfect location for day walks and you can take in the distance a bit at a time in easy stages.

Around the Maidstone area it is possible to arrive by train and catch the train home or alternatively catch the train back to where you left your car. Cuxton is a good place to start and then Maidstone East, Bearsted and Hollingbourne are all stations where you can get back. A little further on is Lenham and Charing, both of which work well.

A number of circular routes taking in parts of the North Downs Way are immensely popular walks. Frequently walkers find themselves surrounded by wild flowers, birds and spectacular views over the Weald and out to the Thames Estuary. The habitat of these chalk soils is unusual and therefore the flora and fauna is frequently rare making this a special place. Beautiful and rare orchids can be found and skylarks nest on the ground and fly with high pitched voices.

To find your way and discover this special place you can obtain an Ordnance Survey Explorer map from 188 and 189, which covers the area around Maidstone.  We have given the postcode for White Horse Wood Country Park as this is the closest view point on the North Downs for Maidstone.  (You will need to walk south from the car park for about 150 metres to find it.)

Supporting the North Downs Way National Trail is project called "Ales of the Trail" .  These are all local ales who are making a contribution to the National Trail with every ale you buy.  Quite apart from simply enjoying the traditional refreshment of ale, you will also be helping to maintain this route for the future. Click through the link to find out more about this project and get your passport for the ales!



TripAdvisor

Map & Directions

Road Directions

From the A229 Maidstone to Sittingbourne and from Maidstone East Station to all of the stations along the foot of the Downs

Number of Results:

  1. Thurnham Castle

    Thurnham Castle and the site on which it stands appears to have been used for…

    0 miles away
  2. White Horse Wood Country Park

    The White Horse Country Park is set within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural…

    0.08 miles away
  3. Thurnham Accessible Heritage Trail

    Thurnham Castle, 6km north of Maidstone, stands on a spur of the chalk ridge of the North…

    0.18 miles away
  1. Kent Event Centre

    Home of the annual Kent County Show, the Kent Event Centre hosts over 40 public shows…

    0.28 miles away
  2. Augustine Camino Pilgrimage Trail

    The Augustine Camino Pilgrimage Trail follows a route through the beautiful North Downs…

    0.34 miles away
  3. Horse Riding - Coldblow Riding School

    Located on top of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Coldblow offers…

    0.91 miles away
  4. This Art of Mine

    This Art Of Mine is a contemporary and friendly art studio in the heart of the Kentish…

    0.98 miles away
  5. Bearsted Golf Course

    18-hole parkland golf course with view of the North Downs. Professional coaching…

    1.41 miles away
  6. Bearsted Farmers Market

    4th Sunday of every month.

    1.77 miles away
  7. Hucking Estate

    This beautiful ancient woodland sits on top of the North Downs and has one of the most…

    2.51 miles away
  8. Mote Park Outdoor Adventure

    Welcome to Maidstone’s brand new Mote Park Adventure! Whether you’re looking to burn off…

    2.92 miles away
  9. Mote Park

    Mote Park is an award-winning park with 450 acres of mature parkland and a 30 acre lake,…

    2.95 miles away
  10. Mote Park Watersports Centre

    Located in the centre of Mote Park offering a variety of watersports including sailing,…

    3.04 miles away
  11. Maidstone Leisure Centre

    Maidstone Leisure Centre

    Maidstone Leisure Centre is a fantastic community leisure…

    3.1 miles away
  12. Stoneacre

    15th century half timbered Yeoman's house featuring a great hall and crownpost,…

    3.1 miles away
  13. Leeds Castle

    Visitors never forget their first breath-taking vision of Leeds Castle in Kent, rising…

    3.11 miles away
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