Chilham River and Lake Circular Walk
This circular walk takes you around the Kent village of Chilham, visiting the River Great Stour, Chilham Lake and Denge Wood. It's a very picturesque place with pretty cottages and a noteworthy old manor house.
The route starts in the delightful village centre near to Chilham Castle. The site includes a fine manor house which dates from the early 17th century and a Norman Keep. It is the oldest building in the village, dating from 1174 and is still inhabited - making it perhaps one of the oldest dwellings in the UK.
From here you head east through the village toward Bagham before picking up paths along the Great Stour River. These lead you to the pretty Chilham lake which includes a beautiful 5-storey watermill and is a popular spot for fishing. At the eastern end of the lake you can pick up the Stour Valley Walk and follow it back towards the village. On the way you will skirt the edge of Denge Wood which is a nice place to extend your walk. The woods include a number of different type of orchid and are an important habitat for nesting and migratory birds including the nightingale, chiffchaff, and spotted flycatcher. After passing the woods the route returns to the village where you can enjoy refreshments at one of the two large pubs. This includes the Woolpack and the White Horse, the latter of which dates from the 16th century.
The village is located within the North Downs and Kent Downs so there is great scope for continuing your walking. You could pick up the North Downs Way in the village and follow it toward Old Wives Lees, Denstead Wood, Chartham Hatch and Canterbury. Heading south west would take you to the expansive King's Wood.
Just to the east of the village, near Chartham, there are some nice footpaths and lots of wildlife in the Larkeyvalley Nature Reserve.