Medway Valley walk
28 miles (42.5km).
Ancient castles, historic villages and some of Kent's finest
wildlife sites are to be discovered along the Medway Valley Walk,
which runs from Tonbridge to Rochester.
Maps and guides:
About the walk:
out for glimpses of kingfishers darting over the water, enjoy the
displays of blossom that crown the orchards in spring and the
bitter-sweet smell of hops in late summer.
Listen for the song of the nightingale as you pass through one
of the county's most important breeding sites for this much-loved
There are 5 circular walks of varying lengths to be enjoyed,
encompassing all of the beauty and serenity that the Medway Valley
linear walk offers.
These include Teston, East Peckham, West Farleigh, Hadlow and
Yalding. Download the Medway Valley circular walks.
The linear route follows just over 28 miles (45.2km) along the
banks of the River Medway - a river which has shaped the lives of
local people for centuries, providing power and water to fuel local
industries and a key transport route through the county.
All walkers are bound to welcome the diversity of landscapes to
be enjoyed along the river. These range from the bustling market
towns of Tonbridge and Rochester through to picturesque villages,
the fertile countryside supporting orchards and hop gardens and an
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
navigational locks and many bridges are perfect for a few minutes
rest to enjoy the changing flows and character of the river, and
its tributaries, as the Medway cuts its way through the Kent
landscape. Fast flowing streams join the Medway gathering force
from the slopes of the Weald and the Downs, to meet the sea beyond
Longer breaks watching the waterfowl and fish that thrive in the
waters of the Medway Valley can be enjoyed at riverside public
houses and restaurants.
The sarsen stones marking significant sites for our Neolithic
ancestors reveal the early importance attributed to this valley,
while the famous Rochester
Castle is built on or near the site of a Roman river crossing
remains of Roman villas have been found in the valley villages,
while the remarkable gatehouse of Tonbridge
Castle is the most recent of many fortifications to have been
built at this strategic defensive position.
Iron production, paper making, brewing, brick works and cement
works have all left their mark along the river - particularly below
Maidstone, the tidal limit of the river. These all reflect the wide
range of natural resources available within the valley, supporting
local communities for generations.
Industry is still important, but recent years have seen a huge
growth in leisure use of the river. Anglers and boat enthusiasts
take advantage of the peaceful atmosphere, beautiful scenery and
outstanding views to be enjoyed just a few minutes walk from the
busy town centres along the Medway.
You can enjoy 29 kilometres of this majestic
river starting from Tonbridge and finishing at Allington Lock, its
tidal point just north of Maidstone. Graded easy, it can be canoed
in a couple of days, or longer for a more relaxed trip. There are a
number of campsites and launch points along the route.
Download more information (PDF, 1MB)
Visit the Medway Valley Canoe
Weather near start point
This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget
Valley Walk Rail and Bus information (PDF, 28KB)
Explore Kent Challenge
Attempt the Explore Kent
Challenge by walking this route and receive
a prestigious Explore Kent certificate!
If you need to report a problem on this route
please call 0845 345 0210 or use the online
reporting tool. You can then choose to receive regular updates
about the progress of your report.