Wrotham to Cuxton
This walk sees the North Downs Way cross the M20 and turn to the north, towards the Medway Towns. The path climbs back onto the chalk downs, offering excellent views along much of the length of this walk before heading towards the River Medway to Cuxton.
Getting to the Start
Wrotham is between the M20 and M26 motorways. Exit the M20 at junction 2 (from London) and continue straight on onto the A20. At the first roundabout turn right (again on the A20), then turn right (into Bull Lane) at the next roundabout and continue into the High Street then turn right into the car park. From the M26 exit at junction 2A onto the A20 towards Wrotham, then straight on into Bull Lane, then as above.
By public transport, Borough Green and Wrotham station which has trains every 30 minutes (Mon - Sat) and hourly on Sunday from London Victoria and Maidstone East, operated by South Eastern Trains. From this station you can either walk to Wrotham (despite the name, the station is actually in Borough Green), or catch a bus (Arriva service 306/308). To walk, from the station turn left (Western Road), the left again into Wrotham Road. At the end of the town look for the path to the right, which you follow then take the path on the left to cross the M26 via a bridge. Once over the bridge, follow the path and turn left onto the Wrotham by-pass. Cross the road and continue straight on into the road then turn left at the end (Bull Lane) into Wrotham.
If you're starting from the High Street in Wrotham walk to the end and turn left into Pilgrims Way. If continuing from Pilgrims Way continue straight on. As the road turns away from (or to the left if coming from the High Street), continue straight on on a track to emerge on the Wrotham Bypass. Turn left to cross over the M20 motorway and then at the roundabout cross into the road that runs parallel to the other side of the motorway, Pilgrims Way again. Continue on this road, where the path occasionally leaves the road to run parallel, first on the right hand side, then on the left hand side. Soon you come to another road turning off to the right (Nepicar Lane) where you continue straight-on, passing the buildings of Hognore Farm to the left. Now the path is beginning to climb gently towards the woods, so enjoy the fine views over the fields to the right.
|The North Downs near Wrotham||The North Downs near Wrotham|
|The North Downs near Wrotham|
As you get towards the trees the path splits, with a road going to the right, straight on and to the left. Here, take the left road to climb up through the woods (Hognore Lane). Soon this path comes out on the main road (the A227), continue on the road to the roundabout, where there is a pub. At the roundabout turn to the right (Pilgrims Way). Soon after taking this road, look out for the path to turn slightly to the left away from the road, now entering Trosley Country Park. As you pass through the park you get views through breaks in the trees once more.
|View near Trosley Country Park||View near Trosley Country Park|
Soon the path begins to turn to the left then joins another track where you turn to the right, descending through the woods from the top of the downs. At the bottom by the houses turn left. Here you have a field to your right and despite being lower still have good views. You can see the hills of the downs to the left ahead, as they becomes something of a plateau ahead.
|View near Whitehorse Wood||View near Whitehorse Wood|
Continue straight on with the farm visible to the right until the path starts to turn slightly to the right and descend very slightly. Where a path goes off to the right towards Park Farm, continue more or less straight on, but turning slightly to the left. At a junction of paths ahead, turn left climbing up to the bottom of the downs where the path turns first right then left, climbing sharply up on to the top of the downs once more, where you'll enjoy excellent views.
|View near Holly Hill Lodge|
At the top you come to a road, next to Holly Hill Lodge. Here go straight on into Holly Hill, following the road. Here you have excellent views to the east, though the industry of the Medway towns is now also becoming visible.
|View near Holly Hill Lodge||View near Holly Hill Lodge|
Soon you pass a car park on the left, by Holly Hill then the road passes Holly Hill House. Beyond the house the path splits into two tracks, take the one to the right. Although now a path, this part of the route is still a byway and can be used by all traffic.
|The path through the woods|
As you reach a clearing to the right, the path then turns to the right, leaving the track and passing through a meadow towards the pylons. As you are under the cables continue into the next field, ignoring the track to the left. For the next mile or so you are passing mostly through woods but also coming into the open to pass through fields from time to time. The River Medway is now only a short distance away to the right and you may see (and hear) the large chalk workings to the right. Continue on the main path, passing under a second set of pylons. At the third set of pylons, at a junction of paths, follow the sign to the left, where the path comes into a large field that drops down towards the centre, then climbs back up the other side into the trees of North Wood.
|The North Downs Way near Halling|
Passing through the trees you emerge into a second field where the path heads downhill towards a clump of trees towards the hamlet of Upper Bush.
|The North Downs Way near Upper Bush|
At the bottom of the field you have now come into the hamlet of Upper Bush, with the village sign and several beautiful buildings.
Pass through the village and join Upper Bush Road out of Upper Bush which you follow until it comes to a junction with Warren Road. Turning right into Warren Road and walking down the road brings you into the small town of Cuxton, the end of this walk.
Continue down Warren Road as it becomes Bush Road and then to the buildings and houses on the outskirts of Cuxton. Continue down this street, past the many suburban streets until you come to the main road (the A228). Here you'll find bus routes and by crossing the road into Station Road you'll come to the towns station. Cuxton station is on the Medway Valley Line. The station is unstaffed and probably hasn't changed for years - the signal box next to the station is still manned and the level crossing is still operated manually. South Eastern Trains run a train every 30 minutes Monday - Saturday and hourly on Sundays to Strood to the north (for connections to Gillingham and Chatham, Dartford, The North Kent Lines and London) and to Maidstone to the south. One train per hour (and all trains on Sunday), continue on to Paddock Wood for connections to Sevenoaks, Orpington, London, Tonbridge and Ashford.
To get back to Wrotham you need to change trains (and stations) in Maidstone. Catch a train to Maidstone and get off at Maidstone West (not Maidstone Barracks). Exit the station on to Station Approach and at the end of the road turn right to cross the river Medway. Once over the bridge turn left into Bishops Way and follow the busy road beside the river as it comes Fairmeadow. When you come to St. Faith's Street, turn right then turn left into Station Road where you come to Maidstone East station. Here there are trains every 30 minutes (hourly on Sundays) back to Borough Green and Wrotham station, also operated by South Eastern Trains. Follow the instructions under Getting to the Start for details of how to get from the station to Wrotham.
The following web sites provide information on the area.
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