Friday, September 21, 2018

Medway Valley Walk - 16 miles between Tonbridge and Maidstone

Long-term readers may know that whilst I am poor at organised sports, I am very fond of being active and being outdoors. In a day-to-day and week-to-week sense, this translates to family walks in the Kent countryside and runs both in London, as part of my commute, and in Kent, on the weekend. (No prizes for guessing which gives the nicer scenery.)

In a bigger pictures sense, I harbour dreams of doing a long-distance walk, the type where you either camp out overnight or find accommodation along your route.

Medway Valley Walk, a few miles out from Tonbridge

I have never done a truly long distance walk and my only experience of walking, camping out, and walking some more was as a 14-year-old working towards the Duke of Edinburgh award. I have done a variety of long single day walks but even those have been fairly rare since we had Mini Bite two years ago.

Last week I managed to rekindle my walking enthusiasm by covering half of the Medway Valley Walk. This is a 28.5 mile route from Tonbridge to Rochester in Kent. Maidstone is roughly half way and I did the 16 mile stretch (25.5km) from Tonbridge to Maidstone.

Locks over the Medway River

Having run half a dozen half marathons and one full marathon, 16 miles on foot is not completely alien to me. However, it was the longest walk I have done and the last few miles felt looong. At the same time, it was the most wonderful way to spend a day - particularly one when I would usually be off work (I took a day of annual leave). I did the walk solo but the time went by quickly as my thoughts meandered and my mind relaxed.

I am definitely motivated to plan more walks of this type and I hope I may inspire others to do the same. Here are some photo highlights to whet your interest.

Are you an outdoor walker? Have you done any long distance walks (inspire me!)?


  1. I haven't done many walks but I would like to do more too - I love the sound of lands end to john o'groats or camino de santiago but struggle to even organise myself to go out for a small walk. Your photos looks wonderful.

    1. Thanks Johanna. Organising even small walks is hard with small children! A solo day was definitely needed for this.

  2. We haven't been anywhere in a few months as every w/e when we are off for work, its piddling down with rain. As for walks - we do lots of walking and can walk for miles, but not necessarily in green places, its not something I do that much - wish I did as we are surrounded by some pretty places. The 7th photo - is that horse coming towards you because it thinks you have a sugar lump or perhaps even an apple :)

    1. I suspect the horse was hoping for either but sadly I had nothing for it! I hope your weather allows for more weekend outdoor time soon.

  3. Believe it or not, I come from Medway, and I've never done this walk! I was never a fan of my home region, but when I look at it through your eyes, I can see it in a new light. Do you reckon you'll do the other half of the walk one day?

  4. Wow, that is a long walk. Looks beautiful though.


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