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Lynsted and Kent’s Orchards

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Lynsted and Kent’s Orchards
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 11 Jun 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Kent, Swale
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Lynsted and Kent’s Orchards
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 4 mile circular trail from the small village of Lynsted in Kent. Exploring this part of Kent will help you to understand why it is known as ‘The Garden of England’ as you pass through orchards of cherries, plums, apples and pears along with fields of strawberries. The Plough Inn is ideally placed half way round the walk - a great place to take a break with a pint or delicious lunch.

The walk is a relatively flat and is a mixture of road walking on quiet country lanes and field walking through the orchards and pastures. Some of the fields will be holding sheep so take care with dogs. There are a number of gates and three stiles all with wire mesh surrounds with just a medium-size gap underneath for dogs (our standard poodle just squeezed through). Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

The walk starts from the Church of St Peter and St Paul on The Street in the village of Lynsted. Roadside parking is available on The Street and the nearby sideroads, but please park considerately to the residents. Approximate post code ME9 0RJ.

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Walk Sections

Church to Concrete Track
Church to Concrete Track

Start point: 51.3135 lat, 0.7864 long
End point: 51.3205 lat, 0.7903 long

The walk starts from the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Lynsted. The church is a 14th century broach spired church and is Grade I listed. The whole village is a conservation area with a total of 24 listed buildings.

With your back to the church turn left and walk along the pavement passing The Black Lion pub. Continue ahead as the pavement ends taking care for oncoming traffic. At the junction with the village sign, turn left signed for Woodstreet.

As the lane bends hard left, fork right onto the signed narrow footpath. On the left you will pass the first orchard of plums. Continue ahead along the fenced narrow gravel footpath passing by further orchards of cherries and apples. The path emerges through a squeeze gap to a T-junction with a concrete track.

Concrete Track to Kissing Gate
Concrete Track to Kissing Gate

Start point: 51.3205 lat, 0.7903 long
End point: 51.322 lat, 0.7982 long

Turn right onto the concrete track and follow this with a pear orchard over to the left.

Continue ahead as the path passes between properties to reach the T-junction with Lynsted Lane. Turn left and after just 50 yards fork right onto the footpath through a gap in the hedge. Follow the narrow path climbing slowly for a few paces until it emerges out to a corner of a field.

Follow the path diagonally across the field, heading for a house on the far corner. At the far side of the field, go along the footpath to the left of the house. You will emerge to a narrow tarmac lane with a kissing gate opposite.

Kissing Gate to Nouds Road
Kissing Gate to Nouds Road

Start point: 51.322 lat, 0.7982 long
End point: 51.319 lat, 0.808 long

Cross over the lane and go through the kissing gate to enter the pasture which is lined with tall poplar trees. Take care with dogs as this pasture is likely to be holding sheep. Cross diagonally to the right to reach a corner of a property boundary on the right, and then continue in the same diagonally right direction (passing close to the telegraph pole) to reach the far right corner of the field.

Pass through the kissing gate and go along the short stretch of fenced footpath to reach the narrow tarmac lane. Turn right here along the lane. As the lane bends hard right, keep left past wooden bollards onto a footpath with high arching hedgerows.

Follow the path heading gradually downhill. As you reach the corner of a crop field keep left to follow the field edge path. Continue ahead through another section of path lined with tall hedgerows, climbing gradually uphill. Follow the path to the right and then at the end of the fence on the left, keep left onto a wider grass track. Continue ahead onto the stone track with a tall beech hedge on the left and more orchards on the right.

Kent is one of the warmest counties of Britain. On 10 August 2003 the highest recorded UK temperature was achieved in nearby Brogdale of 38.5°C or 101.3 °F.
This warm climate along with the rich and well draining soil makes the area ideal for orchards.

Follow the track to reach the T-junction with Nouds Road.

Nouds Road to Plough Inn
Nouds Road to Plough Inn

Start point: 51.319 lat, 0.808 long
End point: 51.318 lat, 0.8154 long

Turn left along Nouds Road, passing a beautiful tall line of old horse chestnut trees on the right. As the trees end, turn right onto a footpath running alongside a crop field to the left. Follow the dog leg, right then left, to continue ahead with the fenced field now to the left. At the end of this section continue ahead with a strawberry field and polytunnels to the right and fenced horse paddocks to the left.

Pass through the gap alongside a gate at the end, and then follow the short section of stone track to reach the road ahead. Turn right onto the road and follow the road as it swings right to reach the Plough Inn on the right. The pub building dates back to 1260 and was once a blacksmiths.

Plough Inn to Bungalow
Plough Inn to Bungalow

Start point: 51.318 lat, 0.8154 long
End point: 51.3083 lat, 0.8036 long

Immediately after the pub on the right, turn right onto the concrete farm track marked as a public footpath. The track passes between more orchards.

Traditional orchards are a key part of the beauty of the Kent Downs scenic chalk downland. Lynsted, as part of the Faversham Fruit Belt, has been a centre of cherry production for centuries. Indeed the first commercial cherry plantations were laid out in nearby Teynham in the time of Henry VIII. This is believed to be the origin of the idea of Kent as the ‘Garden of England’. Traditionally, trees were grown in orchards of about two to five acres. The trees were large, often reaching more than 60ft/18m in height, meaning the pickers had to use tall ladders to reach the fruit. Today’s modern orchards use dwarf varieties to make picking easier and more efficient.

Follow the track until it emerges out onto a tarmac lane. Turn right and follow the lane taking care of any passing traffic. Continue for half a mile. Immediately before a bungalow on the right, look out for a black kissing gate on the right marking the entrance to a signed footpath.

Bungalow to End
Bungalow to End

Start point: 51.3083 lat, 0.8036 long
End point: 51.3129 lat, 0.7883 long

Turn right through the black kissing gate to follow the grass path running close to the left hand field boundary. Continue ahead with the fence on the left and to the left you’ll see a large raised strawberry growing facility under polytunnels to the left. Pass through a metal gate to continue ahead into a sheep pasture. Continue with the fence close to your left and then pass through another gate to reach the next field.

At the end of the field, cross a tarmac lane via a pair of stiles. At the bottom of this field cross over another stile to reach an area of sloping grass pasture. Head diagonally left across the pasture. Follow this path as it passes through a small belt of trees. At the end, pass through a wooden gate to reach the main road with the church opposite.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Lynsted and Kent’s Orchards"

Having completed many iFootpath walks, we had high hopes for the beautiful Kent countryside. The directions were very good, but apart from that this wasn't a pleasurable walk! A lot of the footpaths were overgrown to the point of no visible way through and we were battling waist-high stinging nettles on both sides of very narrow paths. When the paths opened out into fields, these were really long grass, dotted with sheep poo (unable to see and therefore avoid the inevitable!) and very uneven ground with rabbit holes so you really have to concentrate on where you are stepping. My husband even took a tumble at one point - a first after many hundreds of miles walking! If you are attempting this during the summer months consider taking a strimmer!

By nancywalking on 2016-06-10 20:56:22

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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