North Downs Walks
North Downs Way Ambassador Programme
As part of our 2021/22 Action Plan, Kent Community Rail Partnership worked collaboratively with the team at Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to discover a way for Kent CRP to connect with their Experience project.
The Experience project aims to bring more sustainable tourism to the Kent Downs AONB and extend the typical tourist season earlier into Spring and late into Autumn. This was combined with a desire to promote sustainable ways of reaching the Kent Downs AONB and introducing tourists to some of the less frequented parts of the Kent Downs.
Therese Hammond and Gary Outram were selected to become North Downs Way Ambassadors as the stations along much of the Kent Downs Line and the northern end of the Medway Valley Line provide excellent access to the trail. Ambassadors share their love of the North Downs Way, interesting facts and local knowledge about the trail.
The Ambassador training was in depth, covering map reading, way finding, risk assessment, managing a walking group and the practical elements of leading a walk in the countryside. It also sought to expand our knowledge of the trail, it provides space to connect with nature, tranquil spots for contemplation, its varied wildlife and rare plants, and beautiful views. The trail has a rich natural history, many associations with pilgrimage and the surrounding villages offer B&Bs, pubs, cafes, speciality stores, farmers markets, historic churches and much more.
For our 2022/23 Action Plan we will be hosting led walks in the Kent Downs AONB and beyond, encouraging use of the railway to bring tourists sustainably to the Kent Downs, showcasing the trail and the hospitality available in the communities we serve.
Walks must be booked in advance through our partners at the Heart of Kent Walking Festival, we would very much like you to join us.
Maidstone Walking Festival Launch - Charing to Lenham
On Saturday 26th March, Kent CRP organised a 10 Km walk between Charing Station and Lenham Station. The walk was organised in partnership with Visit Maidstone as a launch event for the Heart of Kent Walking Festival. We were joined by 37 walkers on a beautiful sunny day, some who were members of the public and others from local organisations such as, Visit Maidstone, Kent Downs AONB, Medway Countryside Partnership and Explore Kent.
Halling to Cuxton Walk
On Thursday 4th August, Cuxton was the destination. Everyone arrived by train at Halling Station and following a safety briefing we began the 4 mile ramble to Cuxton Station. The route took us past the Water Sports Lake at Halling and up the hill into the woods before joining the North Downs Way. The beautiful scenery leads you past Cuxton Church and the beautiful war memorial garden before heading to Cuxton station. The weather was lovely sunshine and inevitably a brief visit to the White Hart pub was the order of the day for refreshments before catching the train home.
Charing to Harrietsham Walk
On Wednesday 17th August
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