Walk in the steps of Caesar

The walk climbs a small hill reputed to have been used as an encampment by Julius Caesar and which overlooks former WWI defences with a commemorative beacon erected by Newington History Group. It gives lovely views over ancient settlements and to the Medway estuary. The descent takes you through orchards - fruit-growing has been a major part of the local economy for centuries.

Technical sheet
No. 13741768
A Newington (Kent)-1 walk posted on 22/08/21 by Newington Walks. Update : 25/08/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 0h55[?]
Distance Distance : 1.77mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 75ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 72ft
Highest point Highest point : 213ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 138ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Newington (Kent)-1
Starting point Starting point : N 51.349704° / E 0.664836°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) The walk begins in Bull Lane, opposite the little play area. Turn onto footpath ZR63 that runs alongside No 77, the bungalow with ornamental stone swans in the front garden. Follow the path over the stile, walk diagonally left across the field and through the gate into the next field. Keeping the hedge on your left, walk to and through the next gate. Turn right and walk along the ridge, enjoying the 180 degree views.

(1) Continue along the ridge, cross the road and through the gate by the Old Tractor Shed. Follow footpath ZR68 around the outside of the grassed area, keeping the hedge on your right. At the second corner, go through the hedge and take the marked path between the apple orchard posts. At the metal container, follow the path through the gap. When you reach the track, turn right and continue until just before the telegraph pole.

(2) Look out for the footpath marker on your left, which is where you turn right along footpath ZR62 through the apple tree cordon. Continue following the marked path. This sometimes changes direction slightly through the orchards - lookout for the yellow signs. As you leave the orchard, turn right along Pear Tree Walk. There is a dog bin for you to dispose of any waste. At the T-junction, turn left along Bull Lane to your starting point.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 138ft - Bull Lane play area
1 : mi 0.47 - alt. 210ft - Standard Hill
2 : mi 1.01 - alt. 154ft - Orchards and denehole
D/A : mi 1.77 - alt. 141ft - Bull Lane play area

Useful Information

The Bull Inn on the corner of Bull Lane is an 18th century pub where you can get food and drink and, if you are a customer, park and use the toilet facilities. There are no other toilet facilities or water points on the route.
Some of the footpaths are narrow. In the summer you will face brambles and nettles, in the winter, parts may be very muddy or even water-logged.
Wormdale Road is a country road with poor sight-lines. Please take great care when crossing.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The first part of the walk follows a flint wall on your left. This marks the estate of the 14th century Newington Manor. Originally a private home, in recent years it has been an exceptional hotel and restaurant and is now a residential home. During the second world war, it housed prisoners of war.

The hill that you climb is Standard Hill, so-called because it's reputed to have been used by Julius Caesar as a camp during his failed invasions of 54 & 55BC. It's now marked by a communications mast. Newington was an important small industrial town during the Roman occupation.

Stop for a moment about half way along the ridge. Looking behind gives you views across the Medway estuary and towards Witch Hazel nursery in Callaways Lane, which holds the national collection of witch hazel (Hamamelis). Looking across the valley, you'll see a beacon. It stands on a former first world war gun emplacement. From 1914-1918 this whole area formed a vital inland defence line with weapons, trenches, pill boxes and observation posts to defend London in case of invasion.

Walking through the orchards is particularly lovely in spring, when the blossom is out and in autumn when the apples and pears shine brightly in the sun. Fruit-growing has been a major part of Newington's economy for centuries. There is even a cherry called the Newington Black. If you've ever wondered why somewhere as small as Newington has a railway station, it's because local businessmen, lead by the village doctor at the time, raised enough money to ensure the building of a station so that they could transport their fruit and other products to far-afield markets quickly and easily.

At one point on footpath ZR62 you cross an open grassed area before passing through a hedge. Although you can't see it, on your right here is a denehole or medieval chalk pit consisting of several chambers.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.