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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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Monday, 24 July 2017

Last Day of Whitstable Oyster Festival

SWC Walk 12 - Faversham to Whitstable

Length: 15.7 km (9.8 miles)
Toughness: 1 out of 10

Either: London St Pancras: 10-27 hrs   HS1 service
Arrive Faversham:  11-30 hrs

Or: London Victoria: 10-07 hrs   Dover Priory service
Arrive Faversham: 11-23 hrs    (please wait on station for arrival of St Pancras train)

Return: Whitstable to St Pancras: 50 mins past the hour    HS1 service..journey time 1hr 20 mins
             Whitstable to Victoria:  50 mins past the hour, changing at Faversham, and 15-24, 16-19,                   17-23, 17-39, 18-23, 19-23, 20-28 and 21-28 hrs. Journey time 1 hr 23 mins.

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Whitstable. To take advantage of South Eastern's Summer Offer of £ 10 return (by purchasing your ticket before 6 pm on Sunday) you may have to specify a return train time. Suggest you check at your nearest station.

Bank Holidays excepted, we do not usually post group walks on a Monday, but a fellow walk poster has suggested we take advantage of the staging of Whitstable's Oyster Festival - today being its last day.  So today we are coupling our flat, coastal walk from Faversham to Whitstable with the Oyster Festival - for a bit of fun at walk-end.

At the start of the walk it is worth taking in the historical sites in Faversham. Indeed, if oyster festivals are not your thing then there is a nice Faversham Circular Walk of 7.5 miles which explores the old town and then takes you out onto the marshes and back again. Pick up details of the walk from the Visitor Centre.

For those on the posted walk, having left Faversham you soon find yourselves on the Saxon Shore Way (SSW path) for a relaxing coastal walk. There is no lunch stop today, so either do the full walk in one go, or stop in Seasalter on the coast at the Sportsman's pub for a drink (lunch not served on Mondays) before continuing into Whitstable.

The Oyster Festival has moved this year from Whitstable's harbour eastwards towards Tankerton. Once there you can participate in the events and feed, or find somewhere nice on the coast for an afternoon swim. Or both.  After the excitement make your way back through Whitstable to its station for your journey back to London.
T=swc.12
Walk directions here: L=swc.12

9 comments:

Walker said...

High tide is roughly 2.30pm. Whitstable has sufficient depth for swimming for at least three hours after high tide: after that the sea retreats over the mud.

Marion said...

Intend going ton this walk today as away for the weekend at Chagstock the boutique music festival on Dartmoor

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Marcus for a magical walk.

Marcus said...

Four of us alighted from the train from Victoria. We waited for the St Pancras train to arrive, but when it did, no-one else joined us, so that made n=4 for the day's adventure.
With overcast skies, as forecasted, and rain threatening at any moment, we set out through historic Faversham (worth a day visit in its own right) to arrive at the Saxon Shore Way for our coastal walk. Big rain bearing skies, big inland fields in full crop, flat marshes, rough seas whipped up by the high wind, the walk was atmospheric and invigorating, if a bit chilly. No motor car noise all morning, and few others out on the marshes, at times it felt as though we were in the middle of nowhere.
As per last Wednesday in the Cotswolds, Lady Luck was with us again as the rain held off as we arrived in Seasalter, for a drink at the Sportsman pub. Full marks to the pub's management for allowing us to eat our sandwiches in their covered conservatory, out of the wind, which by now was stronger. Given my own previous experiences of the Sportsman were not good, this was much appreciated - so thank you.
Onwards after lunch in the wind, and still dry, with some nice stretches along the shingle beach with the tide now fully in, and so into Whitstable Harbour, which was quite busy, despite the inclement weather. An oyster-shell castle building contest was underway, part of the Festival, but we resisted the urge to join in (as late starters). Similarly, as none of us was partial to eating oysters, we passed on the offer from the various stalls. The lobster and chips offer for £ 30 was more tempting, but a bit expensive for this pensioner. So instead we made for the railway station along the "Winkle and something Way", a cycle path between Canterbury and Whitstable, to catch the 17-23 hrs train back to Victoria. Trains today were all on time and not overcrowded.
Comment on the South-Eastern ticket promotion: no-one knows about it, how it works, when it works (no-one being the ticket offices at both Victoria and Whitstable). I managed to persuade the ticket office in Victoria to give me a £ 10 return using the promotion: my three companions had no such luck. The South-Eastern website is not helpful, either. So best ignore this so-called phantom offer.
But for a day out, we had a lovely time, and a thank you from me to my three lady companions for putting up with me and my warped sense of humour.

Andrew said...

you have to buy the promo by 6pm the day before, at at southeastern station, or from their website

Marcus said...

Thanks Andrew. I purchased my ticket from Victoria, which serves both Southern and South-Eastern, before 6 pm on Sunday before the walk. The ticket office was not aware of the promotion, and at first insisted I specify a particular return train - which I could not do. The website also asked me to specify a return service, and Whitstable ticket office thought the promotion was a Trainline initiative.

Anonymous said...

This is the link for the Southeastern offer. It does work.

You'll see the relevant destinations which you see when you scroll down the page. Buy up to 6pm the day before you travel and the price will come up as £10 return.

https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/destinations-and-offers/hidden-gems/summer-hidden-gems

Marion said...

Sorry I couldn't join you in the end after a wet and windy 4 days in a tent in Devon I was in no mood for the days weather forecast.

Marcus said...

No problem, Marion. The seas were too rough and (probably) cold for swimming. As the four of us on the walk were taken with Faversham, I will be posting a Faversham Circular walk on Tuesday 22 August, making use of the £ 10 rail fare - as explained below.