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Linking Coast to Downs Route 4
Borden to Bredgar
Borden is a beautiful historic village full of heritage buildings and charm. From here, enjoy views to the north, across Sittingbourne to The Swale. The route takes you into open arable farmland which stretched south toward the rising hills of the Kent Downs National Landscape. Long ago, the landscape would have been covered in woodland, which was gradually cut away as farming took hold. Look out for new hedgerows planted by farmers to encourage wildlife back to the farmland. Native species such as dogwood, hazel and hawthorn offer food and shelter for wild birds, small mammals and important pollinators.
This thriving heritage village lies inside the protected landscape of the AONB. You can find a charming village centre and duckpond with a welcoming farm shop and classic tea room. Like much of the Kent landscape, the countryside around Bredgar has changed significantly over the last 100 years. Much of the land that was once grazed by cows and sheep is now arable land for crops. From here you can continue on the longer Linking Coast to Downs Route 3 which takes you further in to the Downs.
Bredgar to Tunstall
This section takes you through modern orchards full of small trees. In years gone by, this area was full of orchards of larger apple, pear and cherry trees. The long lines of poplar trees surrounding were planted to protect orchard trees and fruit. Look out for oast houses once used for drying hops.
Tunstall to Borden
Another village packed with history, the name Tunstall is said to be derived from ‘Dunstall’, meaning small hill or dune. Being uphill from the coast, this area has good, free-draining farmland. At the northern end of the village, the route takes you out through a tunnel of trees to some old orchards, often with sheep grazing beneath the trees. You might notice that the cherry trees are spreading into the hedgerows, from the pips of the past! Crossing arable fields, you reach Borden.
Linking Coast to Downs
The Linking Coast to Downs series of walks and rides has been developed to promote access between the atmospheric coast of Swale and the rolling hills of the Kent Downs National Landscape.