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Aylesford is known as the Kentish Stonehenge thanks to its prehistoric monuments. It’s a village on the River Medway in Kent, England.
Another Day Out
A tiny Kentish town, Aylesford is renowned locally for its picturesque aesthetic and historical ties. Following on from my last blog post about The Friars – Aylesford Priory, I thought I’d write a little more about Aylesford and share some more of my pictures.
An Ancient Surprise
I stumbled across an article that mentioned Kit’s Coty House and decided I was going to find it. After digging around for more information, I discovered there were other ancient ruins in the vicinity. Making a loose plan for a hiking day, I donned my walking boots and thermals, and packed a picnic. Lone adventurer mode engaged!
I didn’t do enough research as I failed to realise there is a lay-by near Kit’s Coty that would’ve reduced the amount of walking on the road required. There is still quite a stretch of pathless road required to reach the Countless Stones no matter where you park and it isn’t signposted – a small gap in the bushes appears between the farmers fields and there it is. They are both relatively small examples of megalithic burial chambers, but it is fascinating to find yourself in the presence of something of such age within an arm’s reach. Built nearly 6000 years ago, it’s incredible to believe that anything remains.
Kit’s Coty is at the top of a steep, wooded walkway, opening up to an expanse of green. I had the place to myself and revelled in the serenity. Sitting on the grass with my flask of tea and another slice of cake, I spent a fair while just listening to the birds, gazing at the white cliffs in the distance. I noticed graffiti on the stones, can you decipher all of it? Some of the writing appears to be over 100 years old.
Things To Do
If hiking or cycling are up your street, Kent offers a great variety of options. Have a look at alltrails, it offers a great selection of trails in the area so you can pick the best route for your ability. Many a stile with a view, don’t miss out!
There is a free car park located at Bailey Bridge which means the town itself is just a short walk. Views of the bridge are almost instantaneous from here. Many a postcard-perfect picture has been taken at this spot. Grade I listed, the medieval Aylesford Bridge is constructed of Kentish ragstone and boasts multiple arches. A fine example of ancient handiwork.
St Peter and St Paul’s church is a little further past the bridge but yet another ancient building with nearly 1000 years’ worth of history.
Be sure to check out The Little Gem (), a slightly wonky pub dating back to the 1100’s, and affectionately referred to as the ‘smallest pub in Kent’. It offers Goacher’s Ale amongst other local brews.
If you want to get a feel for a quaint old Kentish village, Aylesford is a great start. There are oast houses, buildings with Tudor architecture, and rolling fields aplenty. If you don’t fancy a pub, pack a picnic but either way, stop off if you’re able to.