A circular Walk from Barham along The Barham Downs to Bishospbourne, Kingston and Barham
Duration: 2 hours 15 mins + coffee break at The Tadpole tea-rooms
Meeting Point: The Duke of Cumberland, The Street, Barham, CT4 6NY
Seven easy stiles to negotiate. Walk follows Public Rights of Way with small section of road only.
Enjoy a walk following footpaths and bridlepaths crossing parkland, pasture and arable land and The North Downs Way with views over the surrounding countryside.
Leaving the village of Barham and St John’s church we make our way across the fields to Out Elmstead Lane where we head up to the pedestrian bridge over the A2. From here we join The North Downs Way crossing the Barham Downs where the first horse-race was recorded in 1708.
Passing near Higham Park, where Mozart and his sister Maria stayed before embarking on their European tour in 1763, and the home of Count Louis Zbrowski famed for designing and building Chitty Chitty Bang Bang during the 1920’s, we cross back over the A2 and into the parkland overlooking Grade 1 listed Bourne Park built in 1701.
We take the footpath diagonally across the park towards the village of Bishopsbourne to enjoy a welcome cup of tea at The Tadpole tearooms. Making our way into the village we pass The Oswalds home to Joseph Conrad until his death in 1924 and St Mary’s church where sixteenth century theologian Richard Hooker stoutly defended the Church of England against catholicsm and puritanism.
Turning into The Street we pass the home of Jocelyn Brooke (1908-1966), another notable resident, who not only wrote a number of books here including The Goose Cathedral amongst others, but was a founding member of Kent Trust for Nature Conservation.
Leaving the village we make our way through Charlton Park and onto Kingston where we pass St Giles church before making our way back to Barham.