Top 100 Walks
There are so many wonderful walks in Kent and Sussex and three of these - The White Cliffs of Dover, Rye and Camber Sands and Ramsgate to Margate - were in the top 100 routes as voted by more than 8,000 walking enthusiasts in a survey carried out by Ordnance Survey.
This is one of our team Kate’s report on walking along the top of the White Cliffs of Dover which is an easy walk for all the family. For the more serious walker, the whole walk is 15.8km/9.8miles and takes in the castle too:
We parked at the White Cliffs Visitor Centre in Dover, where we fuelled up with a drink and a bite to eat. We then set off on the paths along the top of the cliffs; there was a constant view of all the ferries going in and out of the harbour so lots to see. After walking a mile and a half, we came across the Fan Bay deep shelter, a set of tunnels used by soldiers during the Second World War which has recently been opened to the public. We had to wear hard hats with a torch attached and were prepared to go down plenty of steps. Tours are quite frequent so we didn’t have to wait long until there were enough people to join the tour. Part of the tour took us outside on to the side of the cliffs to look at a sound mirror that was used in the First World War. We then continued our walk to the South Foreland Lighthouse and as we were in need of refreshments again, we visited the lovely Mrs Knott’s Tearooms where loose leaf tea was served in china teapots along with a tea strainer and delightful china cups. The homemade cakes were delicious! The rooms are all set in 1950’s style, with an old vintage record player playing songs from the era. If you are old enough it may jog some memories. We then went on the tour to the top of the lighthouse with a very informative guide. We went right to the top where we had great views across the sea and St Margaret’s Bay. There are ice creams for sale and a little kiosk where you can borrow a kite or play with old fashioned games like skittles and quoits. Then it was the walk back to the car and after seeing all the war time memorabilia, we were honoured with a spitfire flying overhead, which just completed the day.
The other walks voted as favourites were:- The Ramsgate to Margate Walk (12.8km/8miles): A fairly easy walk that links three historical coastal towns along the Viking Coastal Trail. You can enjoy clifftop views and walking on the beach as well as discovering links to Charles Dickens and J.M.W. Turner. The third was The Rye and Camber Sands Walk (17.4km/10.8 miles) which takes you around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on the Sussex Coast. Fantastic scenery comes in the shape of a wide range of habitats and wildlife and the huge expanse of the sweeping sands and dunes at Camber.
Kent and Sussex have so many different types of routes and trails for walkers to choose from, either in the countryside or exploring the amazing coastline. The Saxon Shore Way covers 160 miles of incredible coastline starting in Gravesend in the Thames estuary and leading round the north and south Kent coastline, ending at Hastings in East Sussex. The route can be broken down into the smaller walks described above and offers fabulous diversity from marshland to sandstone and white cliffs, sandy to pebble beaches. It passes through two areas of outstanding natural beauty and along the way you will discover an ancient Roman fort, wonderful bird life, Martello towers and castles and atmospheric churches, all set against the backdrop of the ever-changing seascape and countryside.