Run Kent: Vigo Village Route
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
An 8 mile off-road loop that features woodland trails, country lanes and a small section of the North Downs Way.
This loop starts and finishes on Commority Road, Gravesend. There are residential roads nearby for parking and there is a direct bus from Gravesend station but it's quite a long journey (40 minutes).
Details for this route can be found here and you can download the GPX file to follow the route directly from your watch.
This route has a nice mix of woodland trails, footpaths across fields and sections of country lanes. The route is not technical and there aren't any particularly steep sections. Trail shoes are preferable, especially during the winter months, as the route is mainly off-road.
The route starts by walking along Commority Road which, at the end, turns into a trail. The trail heads left and downhill for just under half a mile.
Eventually, at the bottom, the trail reaches a junction with the North Downs Way. Take a left and follow the North Downs Way route. The path is flat with woodland up on your left side and open fields on your right.
The second mile continues in the same way along the flat path ahead. The path will then open out to a 'crossroads'. Follow the footpath sign pointing left. This will lead you uphill along the edge of a field.
Keep to the right side of the hedge. At the top of the field there is a small opening to a path that then runs along the upper boundary of the field.
The trail runs along the upper border of the field and then it cuts inwards and starts heading uphill. There are steps cut into the trail where it becomes steeper.
At the top of the hill there is a road (White Horse Road) which you cross straight over. Follow the road ahead, called Holly Hill, for about half a mile until you see a footpath sign pointing right. Take this path.
The footpath will cross over a driveway and then enter into an open field. Continue walking straight ahead over the brow of the hill. Then follow the footpath across the field veering to the left before reaching a gate. Pass through the gate and into the woodland, following the trail that heads slightly downhill and to the left.
This path will weave through the woodland and eventually lead out onto a lane called Chapel Lane. This is a wide, tree covered lane that heads downhill with a large field to the left hand side and steep woodland to the right hand side.
At the bottom of Chapel Lane make a sharp left and follow the trail along the edge of the field you've just had views of as you walked down the lane.
Before you reach the top of the field there will be a footpath sign on the right that leads you along a trail to join back up with the North Downs Way. Take the North Downs Way heading left. The route will now start to head back towards the starting point.
Mile 6 follows the North Downs Way trail which is well marked. The trail will head downhill to meet a road, Wrangling Lane. Turn right onto the lane and follow the road for a short while, before taking the first left. This road will start to head uphill.
You will see a gate on your left with a sign 'Tranquil Woodland'. Pass through the gate and head into the woodland.
Miles 7 & 8
The trail will head through the woodland and come out onto Leywood Road. Head left along Leywood Road and then into the field ahead. The footpath through the field cuts to the left and runs behind the hedge line of the field you originally entered.
This footpath isn't that well-marked, but look ahead and you will see some buildings. The path passes between these buildings so if you head towards them then you are on the right track. Also there are yellow trail markers (albeit not obvious) if you look hard enough!
Once the path passes through the buildings you will come onto a road. Turn right and stay on the road for a short time until you see a footpath sign on the left. Follow this footpath until it comes to a junction with many other trails. Take the right trail which will run alongside Vigo rugby ground. The trail will end up on Commority road, which is where the route began!
This is a really lovely route to either run or walk. The course has a total elevation of 1067ft over 8 miles. The trails are easy to follow and there's no overly challenging sections. Just as a warning, as the course is mainly off-road, there are no opportunities to stop for supplies or lunch!
Always run safely - let somebody know where you are and choose a safe time of day to run. For more route inspiration follow me on Strava and on instagram. Happy running!