The Kent Downs Line runs from Ashford to Otford with an average journey taking approximately 54 minutes. Trains run from Ashford onto the Kent coast and from Otford onto London. Good connections are provided at Ashford to and from High Speed services to Ebbsfleet, Stratford International and St Pancras International. Services from Ashford have historically run into Europe however, these services are currently on hold. Approximately half way through its journey the line travels through Maidstone East, the County Town of Kent.
Kent Community Rail Partnership (Kent CRP) adopted the line in July 2020 and is working with local communities to improve the passenger experience with increased station seating, planters and art work. You’ll soon find a Kent CRP notice board at each station detailing various activities and events being held at the stations and along the line – be sure to check them regularly or check out our website events page http://kentcrp.org/events.
You are spoilt for choice when deciding on which places to visit along the Kent Downs Line, whether it be Ashford Designer Outlet, Leeds Castle, Maidstone Museum, Kemsing Down nature reserve or the medieval village of Lenham.
Most stations along the line provide superb walking and cycling routes which offer breath-taking views of the North Downs. Visit the historic churches that pepper the villages on route or why not take a Kent Downs cycle ride or walk along the Pilgrim’s Way? Ancient parkland is one of the most recognisable features of the Kent Downs.
To see some recommended walks or cycle routes, click on the Kent Downs Station you want to cycle or walk from.
If you enjoy walking The Stour Valley Walk meanders through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from the source of the River Stour in Lenham to Canterbury. Follow the green ’Stour Valley’ walking signs that feature the Stour walk’s heron symbol.
Vineyards – the Kent Downs is fast becoming well-known for producing quality wines with a number of vineyards opening in recent years. It is the combination of lime-rich chalky soils (the same soils found in the Champagne region) and the climate that make the Kent Downs landscape particularly conducive to wine production.