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 — The Great Outdoors

North Downs Way: Farnham to Dover

by: John Curtin

UPDATES

 

Updated information

Thank you to George Moberly, Jeremy Servian, Keith Wartnaby, Shirley Alexander, Colin Tompson for the following updates. The information has not yet been checked by Trailblazer but it will be before a new edition is produced.

 

The updates relate to the 1st edition

p43 – Natural England contact details
Natural England (tel 0845 600 3078, web www.naturalengland.org.uk), Northminster House, Peterborough, PE1 1UA.

 

General comments
Timings  I found your times in some cases WAY faster than mine, I am not in great shape, but I was in good enough shape to complete the 131 miles in 7 days, but especially towards the end of the days I found some of my segment times were almost double what you had.

If you are staying in a pub and it's important to you to have a quiet room remember to request a higher room or something quiet.

On pack items, I recommend a boot brush to deal with mud buildup.

When visiting churches try twisting the handles to open the doors in case you think they might be locked.

 

p70, Map 2  Farnham to Guildford

There was no sign: at Farnham Golf Club the left turn into Blighton Lane is essential.  At the end of Blighton Lane where you turn off right over a little footbridge the sunken path there was completely impassable being over welly height deep in water for 100 yards or so - also iced over.  The only way to pass was to climb over the golf club fence and walk on their land until the path turned up the hill and then drop back down onto it.

 

p71, Map 3

The sunken path near the Hampton estates was extremely boggy ( In early March) so I went on the high ground to the left and through the plantation woods.

 

p75, Map 5  The sign is missing just after the pilgrim crosses near Watts Gallery, you emerge on the road and turn left (sign is pretty well hidden in conifers), but the next sign that points you up the sandy track past the Watts Gallery complex has been broken off.  I think a vehicle had backed into it.

 

p86 – Shere  Shere Museum is closed pending relocation to Gomshall Lane and the Prince of Wales is no longer - it is now the William Bray, an upmarket restaurant style pub, refurbished and food led with a sixty seater restaurant. Glass of wine £6.95.

The suggestion to train to Redhill for night 2 was great. I pigged out at Toby Carvery at stayed at the Innkeeper's lodge. Good call.

I got badly lost twice despite the overall good signage.


Map 25
In the middle of map 25, I ended up going south too early and had a bad walk on the verge of a busy road to end the day. There is something up with the signs just past 'North Lodge'.

 

Map 28 Cotman's Ash
I went past, and there is ANOTHER cottage just up on the same side "Little Cotman's Ash", which ALSO has a stile directly across. I lost a couple hours and finally had to have someone at a golf course at the bottom of that hill bail me out. The NDW sign is well hidden (and on a concrete block, very atypical) just past Summeryards. Your map is correct but I had a perfect storm of bad luck with the duplicate name. I recommend walkers check the map carefully.

 

Map 39 Rochester and Hollingbourne
At the top of the map there is a reference to a standing stone stile (SSS), which was fine and then to crossing under pylons. The map suggests that the pylons are located significantly less than 1/4 mile from the SSS. The reality is the pylons are perhaps 3/4 mile away. This coupled with a misleading sign on the route, perhaps 200 yards from the SSS which appears to direct the walker into the woods led me to getting somewhat lost. The sign is ambiguous.(Jeremy Servian)

 

Map 40 Detling to Hollingbourne
Another shortcut I took which would be good to have is Detling to Hollingbourne via the road starting at map 40.

 

Maps 40 and 41 do not reflect current reality. Fortunately the signage was helpful. There were a significant number of ascents and descents from Thurnham Castle onwards, including several significant sets of steps, which the guide does not capture. The walk was considerably more challenging than I had anticipated.(Jeremy Servian)

 

The Dirty Habit, Hollingbourne is open ( April 2010).

 

Map 55 right alongside highway, there was no NDW sign at the turn.

 

Cathedral Arms, Canterbury was THE place to stay! I had magnificent lit views of the cathedral, and it was as close to a medieval pilgrim experience possible.

 

Map 63 Waldershire Park
I got a little lost due to poor signage just before the main manor house and saw ANOTHER yellow house to the north and lost a half hour before getting on track again there.

 

Cuxton   The Pink Bungalow B&B, Cuxton, no longer operates as a B&B. An alternative is Sovereign B&B, which is a converted Rhine steamer, moored in the Medway Marina. It's on the south side of the M2 bridge over the river Medway where the suggested day's route ends. It's owned by Bob & Sue and it is quirky staying on a boat. The contact details are Tel: 01634400474, www.thesovereignbb.co.uk

 

11 January 2012

p74:  Admission to the Watts Gallery is no longer free, cost of entrance is £6.50.  The excellent tea shop and the bookshop which are all on the same site as the gallery obviously have no admissions fee.


p78:  The Tourist Information Centre has moved to Guildford House in North St, almost directly north, as the crow flies, from its old location in Tunsgate.

North Downs Way: Farnham to Dover