1927 Tour 008

In Canterbury High Street, and to the right and left of it, the modern sojourner will find many things that earlier pilgrims saw – something of mediaevalsim, evidences of romance and history, bright colour, and if the day be calm and sunny, clear reflections in the little River Stour.  Outside the great West Gate the road keeps to the line that has been taken, at one time or another, by an endless throng of historical figures; crowded with the memories of personages and events of all ages, this Dover Road is rich above all others in associations.  After Harbledown, “under the Blee in Canterbury way,” and past Boughton Hill, a turning on the left, at Ospringe, leads through the gardens of Kent until it drops down a steep hill into the old, old village street of Hollingbourne.  Opposite the King’s Head inn a signpost directs to Thurnham – and adventure.  Here to the north-west and south-east runs the earliest of trackways, the Pilgrim’s Way, devised by men who lived before the days of recorded time to connect the Channel coast with that first centre of communications, Salisbury Plain.  Of all material things made by mankind, roads are the most permanent, and from Hollingbourne may be traced for miles a chalk track whose origin is already lost in the mists of antiquity when the first pilgrims to Canterbury used it.  This, too, is a most beautiful Way.  Sometimes it winds as a mere green and white track, sunken and enclosed, and almost screened from the sky by bushes; in places it follows the curves of open slopes; and now and again it appears as a modernised road.  Above the Way there are always hills capped with woods, and old thorns, and bright patches of exposed chalk; bloew, red roofs and tapering oast houses are partially hidden by orchards and high trees.

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