A varied walk through open countryside that takes you over an elusive stream and up to a hidden church.
Distance 3.5 miles (5.7km)
Minimum time 1hr 45min
Ascent/gradient 115ft (35m)
Level of difficulty Easy
Paths Well-marked field tracks and footpaths, 9 stiles
Landscape Fertile fields and lush green valley
Suggested map aqua3 OS Explorer 138 Dover, Folkestone & Hythe
Start/finish TR 177438
Dog friendliness Dogs on lead through grazed areas
Parking By Elham church
Public toilets None on route
1 From the church walk down Duck Street, then head uphill to a footpath on the right. Cross the stile and continue uphill, then nip over another stile at the top of the field. Walk straight ahead and cross two more stiles to the road.
2 Cross here and follow the footpath ahead, through a gate, then along the field edge - if it's just been ploughed you'll see plenty of flints exposed. The path goes downhill, and into the next field past a pylon.
3 Go past a small wood, through a gate and follow the guide posts over the next field. Cross another stile into an army training area, then walk around a wood. Go straight over to a yellow marker by a stile, on to a road and up to the crossroads (you can make a detour through the trees to Acrise church).
4 Otherwise turn left and continue until you pass an old oast house. Turn left just after this, then take the right-hand path to the Old Rectory, signed 'Private Road'. Go over a stile immediately in front of the house, then cross a meadow. After a gate your route leads diagonally over a field. After another gate, turn left and walk along a field edge. After another gate the path goes steeply downhill. The path now descends steeply to the valley bottom, then rises again, just as steeply, to join a concrete track up to the farm. Where the track bears left, you go right and through a gate and up to the farm buildings. Go through a rather rusty gate and turn left when you reach the road.
5 At the house turn right and go along the road under a line of pylons. Just after a copse the lane bears left. Go ahead down a footpath and then downhill along the edge of a field. Walk across another field following the clearly marked path and at the bottom left-hand corner go over a stile with a rather a long drop.
6 Head along the edge of the field, keeping the fence on your right. Follow the fence and at the corner follow it downhill and over another stile. After another field go left along the field edge. You'll come to a gate which takes you over a stone bridge. Walk diagonally across the field in the direction of the church. One more gate brings you up to a lane and back to the church.
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