Today’s statistics: 14.2 miles, ascent 1532′, descent 1297′.

Breakfast was another extremely tasty meal before we bid farewell to our very hospitable hosts, Allison and Paul. After climbing up to and over a railway bridge, we were once again in wide-open farmland that was abundant with poppies.

Leaving Cuxton

Alongside the path was a “bee hotel”. As on previous days, we saw several beekeepers out tending to their bees as we walked by.

Bee Hotel

As we gained elevation, we were presented with lovely views of Rochester and the River Medway.

Overlooking Rochester and the River Medway

Eventually, the trail wound its way down to the River Medway. To cross the 3/4 mile long Medway Bridge we had to join in the throng and roar of car and foot traffic.

Medway Bridge

As we climbed back up to the secluded downs, we could look back at what now appeared to be – at a distance – a more serene scene.

Medway Valley

In this area of the NDW a number of Neolithic burial sites have been discovered. The first that we noticed was Kits Coty House (3500 to 2800 BC), an arrangement of huge stones (the largest is estimated to weigh 10 tons) that were placed at one end of a long barrow (a mound of about 200′ with a ditch on either side). The ditch has long since been back filled, but these mighty stones remain.

Kits Coty House

Only a short distance further was a second burial stone, The White Horse Stone.

The White Horse Stone

Walking through Westfield Wood, we saw many huge and, I suspect, quite old trees.

Westfield Wood

Sheep graced most of the fields that we passed by. Occasionally, we saw sheep that were a little braver than the others, letting their curiosity get the best of them.

Curious sheep

The woodland trails, always beckoning and alluring, were interspersed with walks through open fields.

Once more we had to make a short, side trip to reach our lodgings for the night. Our destination, Thurnham, was about 1 mile off the NDW. Our home for the night, The Black Horse Inn was a very attractive pub, filled with ambiance. Our rooms were quite nice and the food was creative and delicious.

The Black Horse Inn, Thurnham

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