Shepherdswell, Coldred and Eythorne

Description: An easy walk, with fairly flat terrain on the outskirts of Dover. The paths are generally well marked. The East Kent heritage railway runs from Shepherdswell and Eythorne. On another day this may be worth investigating.

A lengthy part of the return leg is the Miner's Way, a long distance circular path, which starts/finishes in Sholden, near Deal. This 27 mile path passes former colliery towns in the area. Click here for more info.

O/S ref: TR256479
Length: 7½ miles
Approximate time: 2½-3 hours
Parking: By the village hall in Shepherdswell. If that's full, then there should be some space along Church Hill.

Refreshments: Bell Inn, Shepherdswell. Pubs also in Coldred and Eythorne.

The walk

Turn right out of the car park into Coxhill Road, then right into Church Hill. Follow the road to the top, then at a triangular green, follow a road right in the direction of Coldred and Dover. Shortly after passing St Andrew’s church on the left, turn right up some steps, crossing a field at the top. At the far left corner, go through a gap to walk through a narrow belt of trees, continuing after, still in a southerly direction.

This field is sometimes used for arable farming (going by the satellite image), or livestock. On one occasion I’ve been here, there was an area penned off for livestock, which follows the route of the footpath. Follow the path to a gate, cross a road then turn left to walk diagonally across a field, soon going through another gate. Keep on to the boundary, then go through two more gates in quick succession. Walk through a wooded area, then through another gate. Walk across the next field, making for the corner in some fencing initially, then keep along the path to another gate. In the far corner, go through a kissing gate. Follow a road in the same direction, turning right where it meets Church Road, to walk into Coldred.

Walk in the direction of Lydden and Dover, marked on a traffic signpost. Just after a bus stop with a shelter on the left, turn left at a public footpath signpost (1). Walk through two kissing gates, then another about 50 metres later. Keep to the left side of a field, with a wire fence to the left initially. Keep ahead where the fence ends, making for a way-marker at the far boundary, guiding you through a gap. Walk down some steps to a short stretch which has been filled with hardcore, to make the trough here more manageable – walk up a slope the other side. Walk through a short enclosed section, soon to go through a gate. Keep left after, being sure not to miss a turning to the left (2), weaving through a wooded area… to… guess what?… yes; another gate!

Turn half-right to walk towards a couple of trees which are close together. Go through a kissing gate, then turn right onto a road after. Pass to the right of St Pancras church, keeping along the road to a junction. Walk across the small green triangle of the junction, to a footpath the other side, with an attendant post-box and litter bin! Here we follow the North Downs Way for a while. Walk through a small plantation, go through a gate, keeping half-right afterwards. Go through another gate, following a way-marker to walk through another area with trees. Descend to another gate, go through it, following the path after, across a field with a rather curious construction to the right.

Go through a gap which has a wooded area to its right – continue in the same direction to a gate.  Keep on in the same (ENE) direction after the gate, with the very opulent Waldershare House now in the background. Aim for a gate (currently in the middle of nowhere, without any fencing abutting it)! Walk to the side of said gate, cross a track, now aiming to the left of the house. At the far corner, turn half-right (3) to walk along a mettled area, soon turning left at a junction with a way-marker. Follow the path for  short distance, turning half-left just after a gate on the right. Follow this path, which strikes off in a NNW direction, soon going through a gap.

You may have to duck under a tree, just before coming to a road – cross it, then coutinue in the same direction. Go through a gate, descending the field after, in the direction of a wooded area. Enter this plantation, then take the path which weaves between trees. Keep ahead at a way-marker, eventually coming to a twitten leading into Eythorne. On entering the village, turn left at a road. The other side of a roundabout, look out for a footpath signpost, bearing two fingers. Take the right of these options, soon passing to the right of a rickety shed.

Walk along this enclosed path, coming to a kissing gate. Go through it to follow the path to another kissing gate, turning half-right after, to yet another kissing gate. Go through it, then down some steps, then through another gate the far side of a track. Turn half-right to walk towards a brightly coloured marker the far side. Through another kissing gate, left for a few paces, then right up some steps. Cross a railway track, which is part of the East Kent Light Railway heritage line. Walk along an enclosed path the other side of the line, then down some steps to a kissing gate. After the gate, follow a path to the right of a wire fence. On losing the fence, bear slightly right, coming to another kissing gate. Through it, turn right onto a road for a few paces before turning left into Church Hill.

Keep on the main road as it turns right (becoming Adelaide Road), following a traffic sign for Nonnington and Elvington. Walk to the far boundary of Elvington, then where the road bends right, turn left along a byway (4), following the left of two fingers on a footpath signpost. After about 200 metres, cross a road to continue on the byway the other side. The next 1100 metres or so follow the byway, eventually crossing a lane, to continue a short distance after.

Turn right onto Eythorne Road to follow it for some 300 metres, looking out for a footpath to the left, just after crossing the East Kent Railway again (5). Go through a kissing gate, then shortly afterwards another, to keep in a southerly direction. Go through a metal gate, to the right of a larger one (you’ll see what I mean). Shortly, go through another metal gate, this time to the left of a larger one! Make for the nearest pole, bearing local-level mains, going through a gate into an enclosed path soon after. The path opens up for a while on the left, before becoming enclosed again. Go through a kissing gate.

If your car is parked in Church Hill, you can continue ahead, then turn right into the road (where the green is). Otherwise, turn right directly after the kissing gate onto a path. Go through a “cycle-calming” chicane, to walk to the left of a recreation ground. Dive left through a gap into a parking area, walking to the left of the Shepherdswell scout hut. Turn left onto the road at the end, cross a mainline railway, keeping ahead at the junction, soon to come to the village hall on the left.

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