Upnor is a beautiful, small village with ample walking routes within the village and beyond.
Here are some of our favourite Upnor walks, their distances and difficulty, along with walking route maps and extra details to make the most of your time out in Upnor.
1. Saxon Shore Way Walk – A small section of a big classic
At a glance
- Distance: 8.3 km
- Time: About 1 hour and 50 minutes
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Recommend parking at free car park in Upper Upnor (ME2 4XE)
Start your walk just outside the doors to Upnor Castle (well worth a visit) and walk the length of the High Street in Upper Upnor. Turning right at Upchat Road, follow this all the way to Upnor Road and continue through the village.
You’ll pass The Pier (the final pub in Upnor) and the once thriving Aretheusa Venture Centre (now closed). Eventually you’ll join onto Upnor Beach and walk pass the clubhouse and launch points for the Upnor Sailing Club.
When on the beach, keep an eye out for Upnor jellyfish! While they aren’t typically dangerous, it’s helpful to avoid stepping on them when they wash up on the beach.
Continue on the beach and eventually you’ll follow the footpath through Hoo Ness Boat Yard, then the signs for the Saxon Shore Way.
This area is full of history but could be easy to miss! Once you arrive at the last of the warehouses, you’ll find a graveyard for Thames barges. If you look to the right across the water, you’ll see the ruins of Hoo Fort.
When you find that the path begins to split, head inland and you’ll reach the southern edge of Hoo St. Werburgh. Joining up the Saxon Shore Way again, you’ll walk through open fields before a steep descent through woodland. Eventually, you’ll return to Upnor Road in Lower Upnor. You can then retrace your steps back to Upper Upnor and finally finishing at Upnor Castle.
Special thanks to Countryfile for their inspiration on this walk!
2. Upnor Loop – A short stroll
At a glance
- Distance: 2.6 km
- Time: About 30 minutes
- Difficulty: Easy
- Recommend parking at the free car park at the end of Lower Upnor
The Upnor Loop is great when you want to get out of the house but don’t want an extensive walk. This loop is ideal for those who live in Upnor as well, as it can be started from your home and looped back in the end.
If your visiting Upnor, it’s best to park at the free car par at the bottom of Lower Upnor, near the Upnor Sailing Club.
When leaving the car park in Lower Upnor, turn right and join up on Upnor Road. You’ll pass Upnor’s post box on your left, just across the street from The Pier. Follow this all the way through Lower Upnor, past both pubs.
As the road begins to curve, there is a secret pathway on your left with stairs. Following this shaded path gets you into Upper Upnor without having to walk on the road.
When this pathway ends cross the road back onto Upnor Road. You’ll walk past the free car park in Upper Upnor on your left. Keep right while you follow Upnor Road back into the village.
You’ll pass Upnor Church on your left and then retrace your steps back through Lower Upnor to the car park at the end of the village.
3. The Kings Arms Circuit – Great views
At a glance
- Distance: 4 km
- Time: About 50 minutes
- Difficulty: Moderate, steep ascent and descent but great views
- Recommend parking at the free car park in Upper Upnor, right beside your starting point
Starting from the Kings Arms pub in Upper Upnor, walk away from the pub on Upchat Road. You’ll soon see a dirt footpath on your right that you’ll take through a wooded area.
Staying on this path will take you down some steps onto Upnor Road in Lower Upnor. Continue walking down Upnor Road until you reach a stone pillar. Turning left will take you past the Arethusa Venture Centre and when that turns to the left, take the tarmac footpath ahead which goes uphill.
You’ll then take the right hand path at the three-way fork and follow the path until you reach the road.
Next, go through the gateway on your lefthand side and into a parking area. Follow the top of the field and at the end you’ll want to turn right. You’ll find a gap in the hedge to get through and then walk past the play area.
When you get to the main road, walk for about 200 yards before turning left for 100 yards onto a smaller road.
At the end of the road, go through the wooden gate on the right and follow the path as it goes down the hill.
At the T-junction with another path, turn left and follow this path for 400 yards parallel to the road. When it reaches the road turn left for 100 yards. Walking right, up the step at the footpath sign just past Normandie House on the right, follow the path back up to Upper Upnor.
You’ll end up back at the Kings Arms and perhaps grab a pint to celebrate such a great walk!
4. Frindsbury Extra Walk – A local circular
At a glance
- Distance: 6.8 km
- Time: About 2.5 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Recommend parking depends on where you wish to start this loop
This walk is circular and can be started and finished at any point, depending on where you live or park. For something different, try starting this walk in Frindsbury on Cooling Road at the junction with Hilltop Road.
Walk down Cooling Road to the junction with Hollywood Lane where you’ll turn left and immediately right onto Lower Rochester Road. Continue over the by-pass flyover and take footpath No. 118 on the right. When the footpath widens follow the paved path to Higham Road.
Cross the road and continue straight ahead to another road and turn right. After you come across the pond, turn left onto the military road. After about 50 yards cross the wooden footbridge on the right and go over the stile.
Follow the left hand side of the field until you reach another stile. Go over the stile and turn right then follow the edge of the field to Four Elms Hill. Carefully cross Four Elms Hill, turn left and shortly take the footpath on the right.
Follow the footpath across the field exiting onto Upchat Road which you’ll cross and follow the footpath through woods, running parallel with the road. On reaching the road, turn left.
Go up the steps and follow path into Upper Upnor passing Upper Castle House gates. Continue straight on then turn left at The Kings Arms and the beginning of the High St. Go down the cobbled street and at the bottom admire the views of the River Medway.
Turn right and take the path along the river edge, it then bears right and follows a high fence. Eventually, cross Anthony’s Way at the crossing and follow the footpath. At the next road turn left and take the footpath next to the Tithe Barn entrance. At the end turn right and follow the fence around two sides of the quarry.
When the quarry fence bears left by a way marker go straight ahead onto Frindsbury Hill. Cross the road and take the footpath opposite, cross another road and continue straight ahead into Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow the road back to Cooling Road to complete the loop.
Special thanks to Robert Taylor for this wonderful walk suggestion!
Upnor walks near Upnor Castle
Upnor is a small village, so nearly all Upnor walks are technically also walks near Upnor Castle.
Still not sure which walk to try? The best thing is head out to Upnor and start walking!
Still looking for more in Upnor?
Have you done some Upnor walks but want more? If you’re looking for something else to do in Upnor (or near Upnor) make sure to check out our article: What to do in Upnor (as told by locals)! We’ve compiled our favourite things to do in our village, plus some activities nearby that we would recommend.