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More about Victory Wood

Enjoy a taste of history at Victory Wood which was planted in 2005 to mark the 200th anniversary of Britain’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Various features relating to the battle have been created, such as sculptures and groves representing each ship in the British fleet. There are open habitats too, along with two areas of ancient woodland, all surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which includes some of the most scenic and diverse examples of natural woodland in south-east England.

Victory Wood is the flagship site for the Trafalgar Woods Project of 2005 which marked the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 in which the British defeated their French and Spanish adversaries. The Trafalgar Woods Project established 27 new woods; one for each of the ships which made up the British fleet at the battle.

A number of interpretative structures have been created on site, including a statue of Nelson, Victory Footprint and the Trafalgar battle plan represented by trees, all themed to the importance of trees and woodland and how different tree species were traditionally used.

The new woodland, covering approximately 80 acres, now links the ancient Blean Wood and Ellenden Wood once again, the connection having been broken when the ancient woodland between the two was cut down in a piecemeal way and converted to agriculture in the early to mid-20th century.

Areas of wild flowers were also sown in the open areas of the site, and these will, over the years, spread out into the general grassland habitat surrounding them, to become a beautiful natural display in late spring and early summer each year.

Another highlight of a visit to Victory wood are the breath-taking views across the Kent coastline and the nearby Blean Woods from the long ridge at the southern end of the site.

The extensive path network, including a multi-user path from the car park, also provides access to the rest of the Blean complex beyond – 11 square miles of predominantly ancient woodland arching over the north of Canterbury.

A visit to Victory Wood will always be interesting, informative  and enjoyable, with lots of beautiful countryside and magnificent views.

Setting

Victory Wood is a 140-hectare (350-acre) site on the western edge of one of the largest areas of continuous ancient woodland in South East England. Known as the Blean complex, it arches over the north of Canterbury and covers an area of 28.5km square (11 square miles).

The site is centred between the villages of Dargate and Yorkletts, some 7.8km (three miles) north of Canterbury, and lies in the North Kent Plain Natural Area to the north of the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and south of the Thames Estuary.

OS Explorer 150, Landranger 179, TR093619.

Nearest amenities

Public conveniences
Local toilet and baby changing facilities can be found at the service area on the A299, at the exit signposted Yorkletts, Dargate, Waterham, around 0.4km (quarter of a mile) by road from our car park off Dargate Road.

Disabled access facilities can also be found here, which are open daily.

Refreshments
Food and drink outlets are located at the local service area, just off the A299, as well as in Canterbury, 4.8km (three miles) to the south of Victory Wood. There are also a number of pubs and restaurants in the nearby villages of Dargate and Yorkletts. For details, visit TripAdvisor or Visit Canterbury websites.

Accommodation and tourist information
The nearest tourist information office is in Canterbury, canterbury.co.uk/tourist-information/ which also has information on accommodation. Or visit TripAdvisor.

Getting there

By bus
The nearest bus stop is Barn Close at Yorkletts. There are connections from here to Whitstable town centre (Saddleton Road) and to Dargate village beside the Dove Inn.

By train
The nearest train station is in Whitstable on the London–Faversham - Margate line. Whitstable Station is 4.8km (three miles) from the car park along local public roads.

For further information on public transport, visit the traveline website or telephone 0871 200 2233.

By car
Victory Wood is located south of the A299 in Kent, close to Canterbury and Whitstable.

From the A299, take the exit signposted ‘Yorkletts, Dargate, Waterham’ beside the service stations (on either side of the road), into Highstreet. Follow Highstreet Road for approximately 300 metres until there is a sharp bend. At the bend, turn right, following the sign for Victory Wood (and Lamberhurst Farm), and our car park entrance is immediately after on the left-hand side under a height restriction barrier.

On foot
There is currently no public footpath leading into Victory Wood. However, there are links from public footpaths via existing roads to Victory Wood. The nearest one comes north out of the Blean National Nature Reserve (at Church Wood) onto Denstroude Lane. Follow the road north-east towards Blean village for around 0.8km (half a mile) until you reach a sharp right-angled bend in the road. At this point, turn left onto a stone track (also a bridleway entrance into Ellenden Wood), and the entrance into Victory Wood will be ahead of you.

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.