Walk 73: Elham Valley
10.4 miles (5 Hours) circular or two five mile walks using the bus
Map: Explorer 138 (Start at grid reference TR177438)
fairly steep hills and some mud even in dry weather and be prepared for
10 mile walk can easily be broken into two halves by taking bus 17 back
to the start (or take a bus to the start point and walk back). Bus times
are posted on bus stops in Elham and go about every hour weekdays.
in Elham as close as you can to the church at Elham Square.
Alternatively park at Breach Down lay-by and start the walk from there.
Elham to Breach Down 5 miles (allow 2¼
Leave Elham Square on St Mary’s Rd and turn R (North) to pass The Rose
and Crown. After the last house on the L, on the corner of Park Lane (!)
go through the kissing gate and diagonally across the field to the far
corner. Go up the road opposite (NE) signed towards Elham Cricket Club.
After 50 yards take a stile on the L and in the field walk up the steep
hill. As you pause to catch your breath at the top, turn to admire
magnificent views of Elham.
In the field corner cross a stile into a lane and turn L. Follow this
lane for 0.6mls; past Park Gate, going R at the road fork, through an
avenue of trees and as the road bends R go straight ahead (N) through a
gate and across a field. The path enters Madam’s Wood at a stile.
Follow the track keeping the fence on your R before going L down steps
and onto a lane. Turn R.
At the T-junction go L and after 25 yards over a stile on the R. Take
the path diagonally R uphill. Skirt the wood, then go through it and
over stiles into a field. Aim straight on towards the brow of the hill
and ahead to another stile. Turn R, parallel to a hedge, then past a
garden and house and onto a road. Turn L, pass Charcoal Farm and follow
the road (NE) for 350yds to a T-junction. To your L is the start of a
delightful path passing ahead through two lines of trees into Covert
After 1/3 mile where footpaths cross turn R and walk ahead (E) through
the wood. After 300yds ignore the bridleway on R and as you begin to
turn L turn R on a narrower path to continue in your former direction
(E). When a broader track crosses your path turn R (S) onto it (avoid
descending a narrow sunken path). At a lane turn R (S) along the Elham
Valley Way. After ¼ml turn L (find EVW sign) onto a track past
Red Oak Cottage. The track turns L; after a house, continue straight
ahead (NE) leaving the EVW on a footpath over a field to a stile to
cross a corner of a wood.
Continue in the same direction (NE) across a field, through a gate,
downhill then half R to a footbridge. Then go ½ L (NE) to the top
corner of the field and cross the road to Breach Down Lay-by.
Breach Downs to Elham 5 miles. (allow 2¼
From the S end of the lay-by go through the field gate and take the
bridleway ½ L diagonally up the field and through the wood heading S
for 1¼ ml; where the main path curves L, yours turns R, downhill, where
a stone marker shows the footpath. Steps lead to the valley floor.
Go up the other side, first between 2 fences, then keep a fence to your
L and go up through trees where you can sit on the second stile to get
your breath back. Go half L over the hill brow to a stile, across the
corner of a field, stiles on both sides of a track, another field, steps
down and continue in this direction (W) across more fields, through a
small wood and down to a minor road.
Turn L uphill and pass lovely Ivy Cottage. After 1/3 mile on this road,
take a footpath to the R, uphill through a gate and ahead to perhaps the
best views of the Elham valley. The path goes L along the valley rim -
see Elham Church some distance ahead. After a gateway the paths descend;
take the higher way keeping almost parallel to a fence on the L. Follow
the fence sharp L and soon go over it at a stile. Cross a field (E) to
reach the road at Oxroad Farm.
Turn R and follow the lane roughly SW for ½ mile ignoring lanes to L
and R. Pass Little Oxroad Farm on R and a line of larch trees on
the L. 50 yds after them take a footpath through a gate on the L. Cross
the field, half R after a stile and then over 2 roads and 4 stiles in
Follow the fence and see more valley views then go ½ R to a stile in
the field corner. As you head downhill, fence and path turn sharp R to
head towards a line of poplar trees. When you reach them turn L, then in
50 yds go R over a stream and ½ L aiming for the church. A lane leads
to the village square.
This walk was
originally published on a calendar produced by White Cliffs Group.
Thanks to Andrew Boultbee for originally devising this route, for
the bottom photograph and for the idea. Thanks to Diana Backwell
for checking the route.