Stour Valley walk
58 miles (93km).
Follow the route of the River Stour from its source at Lenham,
in the heart of the Garden of England, to the historic city of
Canterbury and down to the Straits of Dover near Pegwell Bay.
Maps and guides:
About the walk:
The Stour Valley Walk is a 58 mile (93km)
route through the Low Weald and North Downs, giving you access to
some the most attractive parts of East Kent.
Rolling grassland, woods, marshes, peat bog, orchards and
picturesque villages make this a memorable journey which can be
completed over a long weekend or in shorter sections.
Circular routes can also be created taking advantage of the many
public rights of way.
The symbol of the Stour Valley Walk is the heron - just one of the
many birds to be seen along the banks of the river which teem with
Historic mills and buildings
The route falls into three clear sections as the river matures.
Its source lies in springs in Lenham and the waters meander through
fertile farms and parks towards Ashford.
Look out for evidence of the numerous mills which have taken
advantage of the river's water power to support local
Take time to explore historic buildings in the centre of Ashford
- one of the fastest growing towns in Kent with rail links to
Europe via the Channel Tunnel.
grow in profusion alongside the river as the waters, now boosted by
the East Stour, head towards Canterbury through the delightful
villages of Wye, Godmersham, Chilham and Chartham.
These are ideal spots for a short break and an opportunity to
sample local produce and ales in one of the many historic inns.
The city heights of Canterbury
Mills, manor houses and farms gradually fade away as the first
views of Canterbury Cathedral
appear on the horizon. The river divides to surround the city. The
northerly arm passes through Kingsmead Meadows while the southern
arm runs past the Norman castle, through ancient friaries and
monasteries and the former homes of Flemish weavers.
The two arms of the river converge leaving the city behind and
continue on the final stage of their journey to the sea, passing
through the village of Sturry and Fordwich - the medieval port of
Towards the coast
river mingles with the waters of former gravel pits to run through
the reedbeds of Stodmarsh
National Nature Reserve and the open farmland on the reclaimed
marshes surrounding Grove Ferry. Grove Ferry Picnic Site is the perfect
place to stop for a rest.
Here the Stour is tidal and has collected the waters of the
River Wantsum and the Little Stour as it heads near the great Roman
ruins of Richborough
Castle, conserved by English Heritage, and on to the delightful
centre of Sandwich.
Enjoy a trip along the river or just spend a few minutes
admiring the many boats that moor here along the popular quay
before striding out across along the coastal fringe to where the
river joins the Straits of Dover at Shellness Point at the southern
end of Pegwell Bay.
Weather near start point
This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office
Valley Walk Rail and Bus information (PDF, 31KB)
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.