This riverside pedestrian/cycle/disabled access path between Chartham and Canterbury is known as the Great Stour Way and forms part of National Cycle Route 18.
We chose this walk because it is an easy walk from Canterbury to Chartham, and we just needed to get out and stretch our legs, without too much exertion. And we hadn’t done it before.
It was a cool day (with loads of cloud and mist/fog, with the odd moments of sunny intervals.
There seems to be a bit of confusion as to the total distance: 3 miles OR 3.5 miles one way.
We ended up doing 8 miles (return walk) in total, due to a detour to the garden centre (plus return) and extra walk to bus depot Canterbury.
It took us a mere 4hrs, including lunch break at Chartham, a meander round the village, a chat to owner at village shop, and the “1001” stops to take a photo (hahaha) plus the detour to the garden centre for a hot cuppa tea, which we didn’t end up getting because the queue was so long and slow, we decided to stick to our water, and just had a good look around instead. Oh, and yes we did buy a packet of crisps (potato chips).. which the girl behind the cash register thought was really funny…. us coming into a garden centre to buy crisps ONLY… whatever!
Start of walk: Westgate Gardens – adjacent to Westgate Tower and the River Stour runs through. It has been a public open space since the Middle Ages, making it one of England’s oldest parks. Part of the gardens is an official ancient monument site because it covers the remains of the old Roman wall and London road gate.
This walk follows the Stour River all the way to Chartham, very peaceful and easy walk for all ages.
We caught up to the punters enjoying the scenery and cruising at a faster pace than walking.
The start of the Hambrook marshes other side of the bridge, the fields were once a 40 foot deep quarry – gravel and sand were excavated and used to build the road that now by-passes Canterbury. The quarry was then filled with chalky stone from further south of Canterbury.
We walked up the slope to the old disused railway for a better view.
Pipes across the river.
Bridge over the railway line.
Houses backing onto the River Stour.