If you're searching for the perfect walking holiday you should definitely think about staying in the village of Lenham in Mid Kent, as there are two great walking routes that pass through the town - the Pilgrims Way and the North Downs Way. Both of these walks are suitable for all levels of experience and abilities, so even if you're just getting into long distance walking you'll have a great time.
After your walk around the Kentish countryside you can go to one of the great restaurants in Lenham for a bite to eat, or you could enjoy a pint of your favourite beer at one of the pubs in Lenham, many of which have beer gardens that you can relax in during good weather. You don't need to break the bank to dine out in Lenham either thanks to the good number of low priced restaurants in the village.
Walking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Lenham and it's easy to see why when you go on one of the walks in the area, such as The North Downs Way. This walking route is a long distance national trail that stretches from Farnham, in Surrey, all the way to Dover. The pathway runs just a few miles from Lenham and takes you through the Kent Downs and the Surrey Hills, both of which are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you want to walk the entire trail it'll take you around 12 days, but if you're only in Lenham for a few days you can just use the Way to go on some short walks.
The stretch of the North Downs Way that passes through Lenham is the Detling - Broughton Lees walk, which is around 18 miles long. You'll pass quite a few of the heritage sites in Lenham during your walk, as well as ones in nearby areas such as the ruins of Thurnham Castle in Thurnham, just 8 miles from Lenham.
The Pilgrims Way was created in the Victorian era and is said to be the track that pilgrims going to pay homage to Thomas Becket's shrine in Canterbury would have used. Historically, the walkway runs from Winchester, in Hampshire, to Canterbury, although much of it has been replaced with road networks making it virtually un-walkable. Thankfully, you can use other walks that run close by as an alternative - you can use St. Swithuns Way between Winchester and Farnham and the North Downs Way from Farnham to Canterbury.
St. Swithuns Way is 34 miles long and was created in an attempt to preserve parts of the Pilgrims Way by using public footpaths and rights of way. The walk begins at Winchester Cathedral and takes you through some of the area's beautiful countryside. The route is way marked and once you reach the end of the walk you can either continue onto the North Downs Way or the South Downs Way.
There are more than enough places to eat in Lenham to keep you going all holiday long, so you should never be stuck for somewhere to dine out. For such a small village there are a good range of cuisines on offer as well, and even the fussiest of eaters should be able to find something they enjoy at the various restaurants, pubs and cafes in Lenham.
One of the best Chinese restaurants in Lenham is the Chopstick & Bowl Restaurant on High Street, where you'll find an eclectic menu full of the most popular Chinese dishes. This restaurant also has a takeaway menu available, so if you don't feel like eating out you can order your food over the phone and pick it up when it's ready.
If you're after pubs that serve food in Lenham your best bet would be The Dog and Bear on The Square. This pub is owned by the historic ale and beer brewery Shepherd Neame, which is based in Faversham. All of the food served at this pub is homemade and is cooked on the premises using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
The M20 runs right by Lenham, which is connected by the A20, so if you're travelling by car you won't have any trouble finding the village. There are a number of big towns close by as well, such as Maidstone (10 miles), Faversham (10 miles) and Canterbury (18 miles).
An alternative to travelling by road is train travel, and Lenham Rail Station is located close to the village centre. There are regular departures to nearby towns and cities, with dozens of direct trains to London leaving every day.
Lenham Square image contributed by Penny Mayes. Town Centre image contributed by Penny Mayes. Timber House in town centre image contributed by D Gore. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.