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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

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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Saturday, 4 July 2015

Saturday Second Walk: A little downland walk and then a nice swim

SWC Walk 51 - Sandling to Folkestone T=3.51
Length: 11.1km (6.7 miles) - for longer options see below
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.40 train from Charing Cross (9.43 Waterloo East), arriving Sandling 11.11


10.08 Southeastern High Speed train from St Pancras International to Ashford, arriving 10.46, changing there for the above train, departing 11.00

Buy a day return to Folkestone.

For walk directions click here.

"PLEASE PLEASE can we have some swimming / seaside walks ? Deal, Folkestone, Sandling…", sayeth the Requests section. Step forth little Sandling to Folkestone, plucky terrier of a SWC walk, which so rarely gets an outing.

This was designed as a sea swimming walk, though does just as well as a gentle walk to the sea, because to begin with you have 7.3km (4.4 miles) of varied countryside - a little lost corner of England with a walk along an old railway line, some shady bits, a castle and a downland ridge with fine views, plus a couple of bracing climbs before unexpectedly you descend to the sea at Sandgate

Will you rush straight for a swim or have lunch first? Either is possible, since the Earl of Clarendon pub, tucked up a side alley like a Greek Island taverna, was serving its very good value food all afternoon when I last passed in February. If not, Sandgate town centre is dripping with alternatives - see the walk directions.

For swims Sandgate offers a pleasant, pebbly beach (bring flip flops or beach shoes).  High tide is at 1pm, falling to a low at 8.50pm. Sea temperatures will be about 16 degrees.

After Sandgate there is just a couple of tranquil miles on the seafront to Folkestone, where there are slightly less pebbly beaches below the Leas, or if you go off the walk route to Folkestone harbour and just beyond, a pleasant sandy beach that despite its post-industrial surroundings achieves top water quality scores. For more swimming info for this walk click here.

For a LONGER WALK try dovetailing this walk with SWC walk 13, Folkestone Circular. Those who count it a shame to finish the day without doing at least 14 miles might like to note that the two walks have never been done tail to tail, as far as I am aware. Lesser mortals might like to do an out and back exploration beyond Folkestone to the Warren using the walk 13 route.

Trains back are at 14 past for the Charing Cross-ites, taking 1hr 38. St Pancras types can also take this train and change at Ashford (taking 1hr 07 mins), but the direct St Pancras service is on the hour, so 17.00, 18.00 etc, taking 54 minutes.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Walker! remember this walk from couple of years ago..yes a walk through cooling greenery and then seeing an enticing blue sea on coming out at Sandling just exciting! can't wait to dive in ..

Anonymous said...

coming out at Sandgate..

Anonymous said...

How do I join this walk?

Walker said...

You get on one or other of the specified trains, and look for the group on the platform on arrival at Sandling (it is a very quiet station, so other walkers will be obvious).

You need to bring a copy of the walk directions (click not he link in the walk post).

For more information on how our walks work see

Anonymous said...

really annoyed that as the requester of this walk am now not able to go due to illness. Hope people enjoy swimming in the cooling sea, it's going to be hot weather !

Anonymous said...

Thank you for Walker.

Anonymous said...

N=20 I think Most of them came on the High Speed Train route
An excellent walk through shady woods and over hills giving lovely views and the wind made the heat most of the time very acceptable. Stinging nettles were no fun, all walkers should carry strimmers and use them
Someone phoned the Earl of Clarendon pub to warn then of our impending arrival but the barman said – I will do my best but I am on my own.
Something like 6 were well fed at the Earl and the other 10 or so of us went to the Ship which is a great pub with a raised deck and good food and very friendly service. The wind now was a bit annoying with one lass putting on her waterproof and putting the hood up and the rest of us shivering
Down to the beach for a swim but the waves were too rough so a few paddled then ice cream on the prom in Folkestone and apparently one very brave lad went for a swim.
The funicular railway is fun going both up and down
Good walk and though it was only 11 K it seemed a lot longer – a few steep ups and downs probably meant that we did a lot more.

sylvia said...

We fragmented into several groups, and one early group of about 3 swam in the sea outside the Mermaid Cafe where it was a bit calmer. 4 of us walked on to the sandy beach just beyond Folkestone Harbour and enjoyed a lovely dip in calm though freezing water. We'd had lunch at the Ship Inn at Sandgate on the upper outside deck, a great place on this sunny day, and I think it's a good idea to make it the recommended pub stop rather than the Earl of Clarendon which is a bit too small to cope with serving food to more than two people.Sylvia C.

MG said...

For the record, as Walker says in his post that he hasn't known Sandling to Folkestone & the Folkestone Circular being done together I did this yesterday & it worked very well. Continuing on the promenade from Sandgate, instead of leaving it at Mermaids Beach just continue ahead to eventually reach Folkestone Harbour & go under the railway bridge, picking up the Folkestone Circular directions at para 13. An exhilarating day out!

J said...

Definitely concur with Sylvia re. the Ship Inn as a preferred lunch stop if you have more than a brace of walkers. [The Earl of Clarendon, though the food and beer (we hear) very respectable, is tiny and was staffed by the lone landlord - who when he is pulling pints is not preparing food and vice versa.] The Ship Inn has a restaurant at the back and a more informal dining area on the deck, the food was delicious and reasonably priced, plus a selection of pilsener and ales (Greene King).