Syndale Valley Walk
Enjoy a walk through a landscape of woodland, open grassland, fields and parkland in the mid kent Downs. This walk can be joined at any of the villages on the route – Eastling, Stalisfield, Otterden, Doddington or Newnham. You can download all the walk details from http://www.faversham.org which gives details of the route and what you should look out for. Each village has a pub offering refreshments and there are places of interest en route. The whole walk is 11 miles long, but there is also a short cut of 6 ½ miles. If you don’t want to walk this far, then why not just do a linear walk from one of the villages.
This is an area rich in history:
Eastling – An ancient yew tree stands at the front of St Mary’s Church and has a massive split trunk. It is believed to be more than 2000 years old. Just outside Eastling is Belmont House. The house, open to the public, contains one of the finest clock collections in Britain. The garden and parkland are also open to the public http://www.belmont-house.org for opening times.
Stalisfield Green – this village is a popular location for walkers and cyclists as it is perched on top of the Downs. On a clear day you may be able to see as far as Whitstable. The Plough Pub, originally a farmhouse, is said to have been built in the time of Henry VIII.
Otterden – this village can trace its history back to the Norman Conquest when it was known as Ottringdene. Significant local buildings include Otterden Place, Halls Place and Bunce Court which was used as a refuge for Jewish children from Germany during World War II.
Doddington – Doddington Place – lovely landscaped gardens set in the grounds of an imposing Victorian Mansion. For information about the garden opening times look at http://www.doddingtonplacegardens.co.uk . Look at the tower of the church – this short weather boarded tower replaced an earlier one which was struck down by lightening in 1642. At the time this was all the villagers could afford as replacement.
Newnham – a pretty village, in the heart of the Syndale Valley whose history goes back to the 13 th century. Its historic claim to fame is that the inventor of the refreshing summery drink, Pimms, used to live there. Above the village, on the summit of the hill behind the George Pub, are the remains of a motte and bailey – where ancient Britons once camped.
Open all year
Local pubs provide refreshments
For further information have a look at the Faversham Tourism Office website at www.faversham.org/visit_faversham/maps/Information_Centre.aspx