The Greensand Way

The Greensand way is a route that goes from Haslemere (Surrey) all the way to Ham Street, just outside Ashford. In total it is 108 miles long. It is named after the sandstone rocks that form along the North Downs.

The Greensand Way lies no more than a mile or two from where I live and I often find myself walking along it when going from one place to another. However, I decided that I wanted to walk the route just for the sake of walking it. Doing all 108 miles might be a bit ambitious, so I chose a modest 4 ½ miles stretch from Hunton hill to Boughton Monchelsea.

                My start point was Hunton hill (using OS Explorer 148 you can find it at TQ730507). Rising up from the lane were a set of signposted steps…

                This section of the Greensand Way runs long the edge of orchards. It offers great views to south, looking out across the Weald.

                After a short while the path comes to a junction, with a yellow way-marker showing the Greensand Way goes straight on. But it’s not immediately obvious which way is straight on!

                However, a quick look at the map shows that one needs to follow the right hand path.

                Since I was doing the walk in late summer/early autumn (the last day of September to be precise) meant that some wild foods were on the way out whilst others were just coming into season. There were blackberries for those who like things sweet, and damsons for those who prefer things sour…

                As well as some rose hips…

                And plenty of haws…

                I also saw many butterflies, especially red admirals and cabbage whites. Most of them fluttered off before I could get my camera out, but one obliging comma butterfly gave me the chance to get a snap…

                The route carried on along the edge of the fields. I saw one or two other walkers – some taking the dog for a walk but others also purposefully out to walk the Greensand Way.

                The route takes you across a couple of roads, but one of them has a bridge over the road…

                The route then comes out at the village of Linton where it continues behind the back of the church.

                At this point the Greensand way leads you through parkland belonging to Linton Place. This means you have the chance to see some fantastic trees, some really good specimens.

               

              The next point of interest is Boughton Monchelsea church, which is thought to have the oldest surviving lytch gate in the UK.

                The field above Boughton Monchelsea Place would be my lunchtime stop point. I have used this particular spot many times and had it in mind when I set out. I had some ham and mustard rolls, a few Quality Street choccies and an apple I’d scrumped earlier!

                Since I was only carrying a shoulder bag I wanted to travel small and light, so my brew kit consisted of a Crusader mug with lid, a meths stove made from a Vaseline pot, and an East German hexi-stove (the East German ones are better because they are made of brass and don’t rust. The NATO ones corrode after just one or two burns.

                I was now near the end of my route. I carried along the Greensand Way, through the parkland of Boughton Monchelsea Place.

                Passing through a gate I now turned off the Greensand Way and made for the pub – the Cock at Boughton, where I had a pint (a Shep’s special – ‘Oast Dodger’) and pack of nuts.

                From here it was a mile and half walk home – but it was through suburbia and is not worth recording.

                I covered six miles in total. The Greensand Way is one of three walks in Kent I have been meaning to do (the Pilgrim’s Way and North Downs Way being the others). Weaving its way through the south east there is a good chance you may live near a section of it if you are also in the south east. It is a relatively new walk, having been plotted and laid down in the early 1980’s. But what it may lack in history it more than makes up for with the views and peace it brings.

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