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Hucking Estate Landscape Trail

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Hucking Estate Landscape Trail
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 31 Oct 2015 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 UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Kent, Maidstone
Walk Type: Woodland
Hucking Estate Landscape Trail
Length: 3 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 2.5 mile circular walk around Hucking Estate near Maidstone in Kent. Hucking Estate sits within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a beautiful mix of woodland and grassland. In spring and summer there is an abundance of wild flowers to enjoy, whilst autumn visitors will be greeted with an amazing show of autumn colours and all year round there are stunning views across the Weald of Kent.

The woodland paths are all wide and well maintained but can be very muddy and slippery in the wetter months, so good boots are a must and wellingtons are recommended in the winter. There are a few gentle slopes throughout. You will need to negotiate a few kissing gates and staggered barriers, but there are no stiles. The grassland fields are used for grazing sheep so take care with dogs in these sections. There are several picnic benches within the woodland, but no other facilities. Allow 1.5 hours.

The walk starts and finishes from the free Woodland Trust car park for Hucking Estate. From Jn 7 of the M20, take the A249 towards Sittingbourne. After 4.4 miles, turn right (following the brown tourism signs for Hucking Estate). Follow this narrow road for 2 miles, turn left onto Church Road and follow the road through Hucking village. Continue beyond the village for another half mile, heading south east, and you will find the Woodland Trust car park on the right. The post code ME17 1QT will take you to Hucking village.

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Walk Sections

Start to Habitat Log
Start to Habitat Log

Start point: 51.2922 lat, 0.6488 long
End point: 51.2863 lat, 0.6412 long

Go through the kissing gate at the back of the car park and follow the track ahead passing between the information board on your left and the giant banqueting picnic table on your right. This walking route follows the Landscape Trail through Hucking Estate, which is waymarked with green arrows. Pass through the gap in the hedge and you will come to a junction. Take the path at 1 o’clock, passing a dog waste bin and waymarker post immediately on your left.

The path leads you through the first section of young woodland. The Woodland Trust bought this site in 1997 and since then has planted more than 180,000 native trees. Further along, pass through the large staggered barrier and, a few metres later, turn left at the waymarker post.

Follow the grass track up the slope to reach the next staggered barrier. Pass through this and turn immediately right for just a short distance to reach a crossroads. Turn left and at the next crossroads you will find the habitat log, along with an information board, on the right. This old trunk has been drilled with holes to make a home for insects and has also been carved to depict just some of the invertebrates and fungi that the log will support as it continues to decay.

Habitat Log to The Shepherd
Habitat Log to The Shepherd

Start point: 51.2863 lat, 0.6412 long
End point: 51.2813 lat, 0.6372 long

Keep straight ahead at this crossroads and, some way further along, another wide grass track merges in from the left. Follow the green arrow which directs you to swing right and follow the path through a lovely section of coppiced trees to reach a T-junction. Turn left and follow this track all the way to its end where it emerges from the trees to reach a kissing gate ahead.

NOTE: You are likely to come across sheep grazing from this point. Pass through the kissing gate to enter the chalk hillside pasture and turn immediately right, staying close to the right-hand fence. Where the fence steps back to the right, keep ahead to reach the waymarker post in the centre of the field. Bear slightly right onto the path which leads you to the next information board alongside a bench and the sculpture of the shepherd. The views from this point are stunning, on a clear day stretching far across the Weald of Kent.

The Shepherd to Smokes Wood
The Shepherd to Smokes Wood

Start point: 51.2813 lat, 0.6372 long
End point: 51.2895 lat, 0.6407 long

Standing with your back to the shepherd sculpture and the view, walk at about 10 o’clock heading uphill into the centre of the gorse bushes within the pasture. Here you will pick up a waymarker post marking a fork. Take the right-hand branch and stay on the obvious grass track which leads you to a kissing gate alongside a double field gate.

Go through the kissing gate and walk directly ahead, passing a waymarker post and fenced young tree on your right and heading for the single large oak tree within the field. As you draw level with this oak tree, bear right (at between 1 and 2 o’clock) to reach the next waymarker post. To your right at this point you will see the next wooden sculpture, depicting a family of wild boar.

Continue along the centre of this long narrow pasture, ignoring the first side gates. About half way along, you will come to the next waymarker post and a kissing gate on the right. Turn right through the gate and then turn immediately left to follow the track with woodland on your right and the fence running on the left. Just before you reach the next gate ahead, turn right to leave the area of grazing pastures and join a track leading you back into Smokes Wood.

Smokes Wood to End
Smokes Wood to End

Start point: 51.2895 lat, 0.6407 long
End point: 51.2923 lat, 0.6489 long

Follow the track uphill to reach a crossroads. Turn left and follow this path downhill and swinging left. At the bottom, the track swings right and leads you uphill once again before levelling off and leading you through a more mature section of woodland.

At the edge of the woodland, pass through the staggered barrier ahead. Walk straight ahead for a few paces and pass through a second barrier. Follow the grass track through the rough grassland and, if you glance over your left shoulder, you will be able to see St Margaret’s Church in Hucking village.

At the end of the track you will come to the junction that you passed through at the start of the walk. Bear left through the gap in the hedge and follow the track up to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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3 images to "Hucking Estate Landscape Trail"

5205_0Richard1446316326 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The start of the walk.
5205_1Richard1446316326 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The large banqueting picnic table at the start of the walk.
5205_2Richard1446316326 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The habitat log.

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