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Jay Walking

North Downs Way

The North Downs Way is a 153 mile or 246 kilometre route from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent. This distance is for the whole of the route as the trail is odd in having two alternative legs to Dover the route splitting at a place called Boughton Lees. The southern leg takes you past Folkestone and the total distance from Farnham is 131 miles or 211 kilometres. The northern route takes you to Dover via Canterbury and the total distance from Farnham is 125 miles or 201 kilometres. Which ever route you take you are going to be able to see great views of over the landscape of Surrey and Kent

The actual route is well served by trains and other connections which make it easy to do as a series of day walks from London or elsewhere. As the name suggests it is mainly a walk along the chalk downs though with a few descents and ascents along the way, none of them very hard. As the route is in south eastern england it is quite near many major roads and motorways but this does not distract too much from the enjoyment of the walk. As well as passing through chalk downs and grasslands the route also passes through many old villages and there are plenty of places to eat and drink on the route or a short way off it.

The route is generally well sign posted but not enough to rely on, so a map and compass is required, or at the very least some form of digital mapping. I used the North Downs AZ for walkers map but also had the route plotted on the OS maps app for checking position on the map. There are a number of guidebooks, I got a copy of the official one from the library, and found it to be a useful and interesting read.

I had previously done the whole of the North Downs Way many years ago, and most of it a few years after that with a friend. I was keen to walk it again as I had good memories of it, the main difference this time was that I was doing in winter, whereas before I had done it at the height of summer. I was planning to do the southern leg to Dover and then continue on to Canterbury and then back to Boughton Lees where the route splits. This was the opposite direction to what I had done previously.

Sections walked

Useful links

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The content of external links cannot be quaranteed but was correct at the time of writing