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Hops and Locks-Beltring

Medway Valley Rail Trails

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  A 4 mile/ 6.5km walk from Beltring train station to Yalding train station through countryside, orchards and wetland.

Tips:  Distance: 4 miles/ 6.5 km
Time: 2 hours approximately
Terrain: Some walking on main roads is required as well as an unprotected rail... more »

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Points of Interest

Beltring station was originally opened in 1909, then named Beltring and Banbridge Halt. It was used to transport hops from the nearby Hop Farm to the breweries in London.

2. Wildlife Site

Nature has reclaimed this site from industry and plants like teasel, greater mullein and cranesbills abound. In summer this field is full of insect life and many small birds can be heard calling from the bramble, hawthorn and rose thickets. The path will lead you through a birch wood where there are also some shallow ponds which are good breeding ... More

3. Stoneham lock

The lock to your left was once part of the river navigation that enabled boats with goods such as timber, cotton and hops to travel along the Medway. The river was busy back then with horse-drawn barges and coal burning canal boats. This system of locks fell into decline after the opening of Beltring station in 1909 when the railway took over... More

4. Medway Valley Walk

Keep an eye out for kingfishers and dragonflies. There are also lovely views of the Downs across the fields. Some of the paths along the river bank are narrow and steep.

5. World War II Pill Box

Another part of the River Medway's history can be seen on the opposite bank just before the weir. In the gardens of an old oasthouse, a World War II pill box stands as testament to the fear of invasion.

6. Twyford Bridge

This bridge has been standing where the Tesie and the Medway merge since at least 1325, although it did partially collapse in 1939.

7. Teapot Museum

A museum with over 6700 teapots on display.

8. Yalding Fen Nature Reserve

This old orchard and its system of connected ponds and waterways is an important habitat for many of the UK's reptiles, amphibians and birds. The old fruit trees provide homes for wild honey bees.