Backup Only

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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Saturday Second Walk - the White Cliffs of Dover

Book 2, walk 30 - Dover to Deal t=2.30
Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.40 train from Charing Cross to Dover, arriving 11.31


10.08 Southeastern High Speed train from St Pancras International to Ashford, arriving 10.46, to connect with the above train at 11.00 (and so also arrive at Dover at 11.31)

High speed types could also get the 10.37 from St Pancras direct to Dover, arriving 11.41, which would give you an extra half hour in bed. Note that there is a Meet-Up group of walkers travelling on this train, however. It is a led walk, so we ought to easily show them a clean pair of heels, but I thought the ten minute head start offered by the train choice above might the useful. The Meet-Ups are asked to bring a packed lunch and so hopefully will not clutter up the lunch pub.

Buy a day return to Deal: there is a big advantage to taking the high speed train when coming back from this walk: see note at the end of this post.

For walk directions click here or bring book two.

This walk along England's ramparts is a joy at any time of the year, but especially now when its wildflowers are at their best. In particular, the "boring bit" (a term others use, but not me!!) along Walmer and Deal beaches is enlivened by a spectacular display (see photo, taken this year), and the section before that (St Margaret's Bay onwards) usually has plenty of pretty sainfoin (a pink pea flower).

Lunch is usually taken at the Coastguard Inn overlooking the sea in St Margaret's Bay, but there are all sorts of tea room alternatives - one in the South Foreland Lighthouse that you can access without paying the admission fee, one in the museum opposite the park as you come into St Margaret's Bay, a tea kiosk on St Margaret's Beach and the Blue Birds Tea Room just beyond St M (though the latter is often full).

For tea I particularly like the cafe at the end of Deal Pier, which has a wonderful view of the sea and the town - much nicer than you expect when you see it from the shore. But there are other favourites discovered by walkers on previous outings, including the Pop Up Cafe at 16 High Street.

The little walking tour of Deal contained in the directions is often skipped by walkers, but only takes 15  minutes and is very scenic.

Trains back from Deal now go direct to St Pancras with no need to change, leaving at 31 past till at least 21.31 and taking just 1 hr 23 minutes. But you have to pay the high speed supplement to do this (about £3 with a Network Card and you must have a ticket from London Terminals not a zone boundary.) 

If you want to return by normal train to Charing Cross you now have to change at Ashford (arriving at 15 past and leaving at 35 past) giving a total journey time of 2hrs 22 minutes.


Anonymous said...

Intend catching the 10:08, but joining at Stratford

Walker said...

Saturday 13 June: Book 2 walk 30 Dover to Deal: n=19 on this walk, w=cloud-clearing-to-sun. Interestingly, 17 of the party came on the high speed train, with only 2 coming from Charing Cross. One took the direct high speed train arriving 10 minutes later and reported it was, as advertised, crowded with the Meet Up group, but we did not have any other sighting of them during the day.

The morning was disappointingly cold, grey and windy, but by the time we got to St Margaret's Bay the sun was breaking through and it turned into a lovely afternoon, a bit breezy but also warm. The poor morning weather meant the Coastguard pub at St M's was gratifyingly empty and we had a lovely lunch by the sea: but someone tell them it is clunky to order drinks at the bar, wait for a waitress to take a table order and then have to go back to the bar to pay.

There were nice cliff top flowers in the afternoon and those on Walmer Beach were still good, though fading a bit. I don't know where the faster walkers went but eight of us had tea at the very scenic pier-end cafe in Deal. I also had two swims in the sea, the second one at sunset, and found the water much warmer than eight days ago…..but no one else was tempted.