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|Grove Ferry and Kent’s Orchards|
|Author: Claire, Published: 29 Aug 2012||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 6 mile circular walk from the Grove Ferry picnic site, near Upstreet in Kent. The route follows a short section of the River Great Stour and then strikes out across arable fields to reach the pretty village of West Stourmouth, before completing a circuit of the local orchards passing through the village of East Stourmouth and back to the picnic area. Several miles of the walk are through Kent’s orchards and, with a mix of apples, pears, plums and raspberries, it is a great demonstration of why Kent is known as the Garden of England. |
The walk is almost entirely flat and follows field and orchard paths, all of which will be muddy after wet weather and can be a little overgrown. There is just one low stile (with adjacent dog gate) which you will cross twice plus a few kissing gates. There are public toilets available at the car park at the start. Approximate time 2.5 to 3 hours.
The walk starts from the Grove Ferry Picnic Site and its adjacent pay and display car park. The car park is accessed from Grove Ferry Road which is off the A28 near Upstreet. Approximate post code CT3 4BP.
|Start to Road Gate|
Start point: 51.3231 lat, 1.2078 long
Leave the car park (just outside the picnic area) and pass under the vehicle barrier into the picnic area. Swing right by the toilet block and then turn immediately left between the two information boards to join the tarmac path. Follow the path to reach the river ahead and then swing right to follow the grass path running on top of the embankment with the river on the left.
|Road Gate to Little Stour Bridge|
Start point: 51.3198 lat, 1.2148 long
Continue ahead for a few paces and then turn left down the wide track marked with a public footpath sign. Follow this grass track passing a tall white boarded property on the left. Continue as the path bends first right then left between fields.
|Little Stour Bridge to Dean Farm|
Start point: 51.3194 lat, 1.2259 long
On the far side of the bridge continue straight ahead on the field edge path with the drainage ditch running to the left. Pass through the gate and continue ahead on the fenced path with a tall birch hedge to the right and an orchard beyond it. Pass over the low stile and continue a short distance further to reach a T-junction with the village road.
|Dean Farm to Park Road|
Start point: 51.3157 lat, 1.2341 long
Turn right here, marked with a footpath sign, and follow the path passing to the left of the concrete barn. After passing the barn, continue straight ahead on the narrow dirt track between crop fields. At the far side of the crop field, pass through the gap in the beech hedge and continue straight ahead through the centre of the large apple orchard.
|Park Road to East Stourmouth|
Start point: 51.307 lat, 1.2383 long
Turn left along the lane and then keep straight ahead onto Lower Santon Lane. Follow the lane as it swings to the left and then pass through the entrance gate into Santon Farm Cottages. Keep right onto the concrete track. Follow the concrete track as it passes between orchards of plum and apple trees.
|East Stourmouth to All Saints Church|
Start point: 51.3159 lat, 1.2487 long
Stourmouth seems oddly named now the mouth of the River Stour is several miles downstream at Pegwell Bay. However when the village was named this was indeed where the river met the sea. In Roman times Stourmouth was probably under water but the waters gradually drained and the land eventually became suitable for cultivation.
|All Saints Church to End|
Start point: 51.3202 lat, 1.2363 long
Pass to the left of All Saints’ Church. The church dates from late Saxon times and was substantially rebuilt during the latter half of the 12th century.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Walked this on 6th October 2013. This is a very good description of the walk. the only difficulty was with the concrete bridge mentioned at the "Road Gate to Little Stour Bridge section. The concrete bridge is taped off and is unlikely to be used again soon . To get over the river you have to walk about 1/4 mile further along the river to a pumpin station cross over there then walk back to the other side of the concrete bridge. No hardship really.
|By Paul6756 on 13 Oct 2013|
Arrived to find a substantial part of the footpath temporarily closed for repairs until Spring 2015. Worth checking before you set out.
|By Rosie on 25 Jan 2015|
The concrete bridge mentioned, has now been replaced by a wooden bridge and is fully open now. Sept '16
|By Tuscaneer on 22 Sep 2016|
Enjoyed this walk, easy to follow, got a little lost in the orchards and spent 10 mins going round in circles not helped by the landowner seeming to direct you his own way through but ended up in the right place so all was good!
|By bilbobaggins on 20 Feb 2017|
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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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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