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|The George and Dragon Stour Valley and Canterbury Trail|
|Author: Pub Walker, Published: 04 Sep 2013||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 6 mile (can be shorted to 3 miles) circular pub walk from the George and Dragon in Fordwich, Kent. The George and Dragon is a beautiful 15th century pub which was the film set for the ‘Hand of Glory’ pub in the 1944 film, A Canterbury Tale. The walking route explores the adjacent Stour Valley with the chance to enjoy the pretty River Stour and extensive views from the woodland and open range paths. The full route also includes an additional stretch into the city of Canterbury where you’ll have chance to see the famous cathedral and the city’s other historical sites (if this optional arm to Canterbury is excluded the walk is reduced to just 3 miles). |
There are several gradients throughout the walk and, whilst the first half of the route follows a solid cycle path, the second half follows grass and dirt paths, parts of which can be quite muddy in the winter and after periods of rain. There are five stiles on route, four of which are on the optional stretch to Canterbury and all of which have open fencing which should allow medium-large dogs to pass through. You will also need to cross two cattle grids (again with gaps alongside suitable for dogs). Allow 2.5 to 3 hours for the full walk (plus extra time to explore Canterbury and its attractions) or 1.5 hours for the shorter walk.
Fordwich is located a few miles east of Canterbury and is accessed from the A28. The walk starts and finishes at the George and Dragon which is on King Street. The pub has its own large car park directly opposite. Approximate post code CT2 0DB.
|Start to Woodland Section|
Start point: 51.2953 lat, 1.1248 long
Leave the main car park (opposite the pub) and turn left and left again to join the stone path which runs immediately to the left of the River Stour. On the right you’ll see an ornate metal signpost which signifies this as part of National Cycle Route 1 which runs all the way from Dover to Shetland (but don’t worry, we’re not walking that far today!).
|Woodland Section to Lake Fork|
Start point: 51.295 lat, 1.1176 long
Keep on the stone path as it winds through the pretty mixed woodland. Once the path emerges from the dense woodland, it continues on a long fairly straight stretch with woodland still to the left and the fenced Sturry Community Park to the right. Continue for some distance on the path which now forms part of the Stour Valley Walk, a 51 mile, long distance path which follows the Stour from its source at Lenham out to its estuary at Pegwell Bay.
|Lake Fork to St Martin's Church|
Start point: 51.2869 lat, 1.1035 long
Keep straight ahead at the first minor crossroads and further along the path swings left (with another path joining in from the right). Continue up to the brow of a small hill and then keep straight ahead on the most obvious path across the centre of the open heath (a military training facility and firing range). After just a short distance you’ll reach a T-junction with a major stone track.
|St Martin's Church to Canterbury Cathedral|
Start point: 51.278 lat, 1.093 long
As you reach the lych gate on the left, follow the road as it swings right, downhill, to reach a T-junction with the main road. Turn right along the pavement and, on the right, you’ll pass the Old Sessions House, part of Canterbury Christchurch university. Further along on the right you’ll pass the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, which you can visit should you wish (the site is run by English Heritage, entrance fees apply, dogs on leads are welcome).
|Canterbury Cathedral to Training Ground Junction|
Start point: 51.2792 lat, 1.0811 long
When you’re ready to continue, you need to retrace your steps back to the T-junction with the stone track, within the military training ground. To do this:
|Training Ground Junction to Range Fork|
Start point: 51.2825 lat, 1.1025 long
Follow the stone track as it passes between the two fenced sections of the military assault course. When you reach the next junction keep straight ahead over the cattle grid. (Note: there is a gap in the fence to the right for dogs to avoid the cattle grid, but humans will have to pick their way over.)
|Range Fork to End|
Start point: 51.287 lat, 1.1146 long
About 80 yards in, ignore the stile leading through the gorse on the right, just keep ahead on the main path. Follow the path downhill and pass alongside a metal vehicle gate to join the narrow path through the wooded valley.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.
Enjoyed the walk but managed to get lost on the last page of instructions and so ended up on the path we started on in step 1 rather than coming back across the golf course!
|By bilbobaggins on 18 Mar 2016|
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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|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 02 Oct 2013
This is a lovely pub as you can see and we had a fab meal.
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 02 Oct 2013
We did not go into the Cathedral - lots of people were going in. We did enjoy walking round the small streets and we had coffee and cake to fuel the return walk.
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 02 Oct 2013
The Abbey is managed by English Heritage and is on the walk route.
|Image by: lyndas |
Uploaded: 01 Nov 2015
My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!