Hiking The North Downs Way
The 11th most popular hiking trail in UK.
Sunday 24 July 2016 03:13 GMT
In southeastern England south of London, the 153 mile North Downs Way runs east-west along the Kent Downs and Surrey Hills between Dover in Kent and Farnham in Surrey. Theres also lots of woodland singletrack in the steep sided hills of the North Downs.
The North Downs Way National Trail is a hiking route that follows ancient trackways along the chalk ridges and wooded downland of Surrey and Kent through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, grazing the southern edge of greater London and ending at the celebrated White Cliffs, with an optional loop via Canterbury. It was opened as a National Trail in 1978. For much of its length the Way parallels the old route known as the Pilgrims Way between Winchester and Canterbury. Much of the traditional route of the Pilgrims Way is now part of the modern road network and walkers wishing to follow it are advised to use the North Downs Way as an alternative. At Farnham the St Swithun s Way (54.5km/34 miles) continues through the Itchen Valley to Winchester. From here the Pilgrims Trail follows another old pilgrims route to Portsmouth via the Forest of Bere (45km/28 miles): this is the British section of a route between Winchester and Mont St Michel, Normandy, a total of 248km/155 miles including the sea crossing. The 24km/15-mile Thames Down Link connects the Thames Path and London LOOP at Kingston via the attractive river Hogsmill and Epsom Common with the North Downs Way at the famous beauty spot of Box Hill. This route interconnects on the edge of greater London with the Chessington Countryside Walk, a circular 8km/5-mile route through downs and woodland at Epsom Common and Horton Country Park. The 193km section between Guildford and Dover is part of European path E2.
The North Downs Way runs parallel to South Downs Way, which is about 35 miles south. There is a link to it called Downs Link.
Overall, North Downs Way is the 11th most popular hiking trail of all 16 hikes in UK.