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This Week's Walks - Archive

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This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sunday First Walk - Swimming walk and folk festival in Kent

Unlisted Walk: Deal to Sandwich

Length: 11km (6.8 miles) Toughness: 1/10

09:09 Ramsgate train from St Pancras International (Stratford International 09:16), changing at Ramsgate (arr 10:27, dep 10:32) arriving at Deal at 10:49.

Return trains from Sandwich to St Pancras International, changing at Ramsgate, are at xx:48 (journey time 1 hour 33 minutes)

A shortish and easy walk along the Kent coast finishing in the historic mediaeval town of Sandwich where the Sandwich Folk and Ale Festival is taking place. There are plenty of swimming opportunities in the morning, and two options for extending the walk for those not interested in the festival.

There are no walk directions as such, because the route is very straightforward. Just turn left out of Deal station approach on to the A258 and continue to the seafront where you turn left and head north along the coast for 5km to pass through the Sandwich Bay Estate. In a further 1.5km take the third footpath to the left, following the Saxon Shore Way, cross the Royal St George’s Golf Course, passing close to the clubhouse, and then cross a stream and continue into the centre of Sandwich. Sandwich station is to the south of the town, reached by following New Street.

To extend the walk by about 5 miles, instead of turning left across the golf course, continue along the coast path or the beach all the way to the nature reserve at Shell Ness at the estuary of the River Stour. Here there is a fine view of Ramsgate across the estuary and Pegwell Bay. Return the same way and turn right on the Saxon Shore Way to reach Sandwich. A seal colony can sometimes be seen near the estuary. This section has a fine sandy beach backed by sand dunes, popular with naturists, and is a good spot for a swim. The tide here recedes a long way, but high tide today is at 3:10pm.

Another possible extension is to continue on the Saxon Shore Way through Sandwich to visit Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre (English Heritage), about 2 miles north of Sandwich. A tree-lined footpath, The Butts, runs alongside a stream through Sandwich and out to Strand Street, where you turn left and then right along Richborough Road. [From the centre of Sandwich you can join The Butts by going for 400 metres along Moat Sole behind the Guildhall.]In 800 metres, where the lane turns left, go straight ahead on an unmade stony road to pass under the elevated A256, and onward between river and railway. In 1.2 km, where the track finishes, continue on a narrow grassy path and then turn left over a stile to cross the railway. On the other side turn left on a woodland path that brings you eventually to the entrance of the Roman fort and amphitheatre. After your visit, continue along the path and through a car park to join a lane that takes you back to Sandwich.

The early start will get you to Sandwich in time for lunch, unless you choose to follow the coast to Shell Ness, in which case it would be best to take a picnic.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

and a chance to see some lizard orchids...

Andrew said...

The England Coast Path officially opens along this stretch in a few days time.

Anonymous said...

Any one going on this?

Gavin

Ian T said...

n=3 for this walk w=cloudy-windy-almost-raining-at-times-occasional-sun. Wouldn’t recommend this as a standalone walk. It has long samey stretches but it is interesting for the plants - silver ragwort, purple orchids, lizard orchids (past their best), horned poppy, sea holly, sea buckthorn, mesembyranthemum, oh, lots of stuff. The minimal instructions kind of worked OK but the footpath across the golf course is the second left not the third (unless my counting has got really bad) and it would have been useful to know when to leave the footpath on approaching Sandwich. Fear of overshooting caused two of us to hit the road early. Got to Sandwich about 1:30. Im afraid this festival doesn’t grab me like, say, Leigh and it seemed a little muted this year. Not sure why, maybe the weather, maybe the lack of drinking companions.