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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, 28 October 2017

Saturday Walk - The Fruit Bowl of England, Brickfields, Creeks & Marshland - Teynham to Faversham [New Walk]

Length:  from 13.6 km/8.4 mi to 29.2 km/18.1 mi, main walk is 24.7 km (15.4 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  90/84m (main walk)
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ½ hours (main walk)
Toughness:  3 out of 10 (main walk)
Take the 09.07 Dover Priory train from London Victoria (Bromley South 09.23), arrives Teynham 10.17
[Or take the 10.07 if walking the very short versions (or indeed take the earlier train and have lunch in Oare)].
Returns from Faversham are on xx.03 and xx.38 to Victoria and xx.26  and xx.59 to St. Pancras (High Speed surcharge needed). Buy a Faversham return.

This is a flat walk leading initially through ‘The Larder of London’, or the ‘Fruit Bowl of England’, the area around Teynham, not only the home of English cherries, but also with plentiful orchards of apples, pears, plums, strawberries and raspberries, as well as foraging opportunities for cherry plums, elderberries and blackberries. The area also used to be a large exporter of timber, grain and oysters. The local brick earth and chalk make the area fertile for fruit, but also were the foundation for the many brickfields in Teynham, Conyer and Faversham, remnants of which are passed en route. The bricks were an important source in London’s Victorian building boom, and were transported to London by the famous sailing barges, ruined remnants of which can be seen on the walk’s Conyer Creek option. 
From Conyer you follow the Saxon Shore Way along The River Swale, a tidal channel between mainland Kent and the Isle of Sheppey, and then along some creeks, with mudflats, salt marshes and fishing boats on the one side and the stark but beautiful landscape of drainage ditches and dykes, fertile meadows and windswept grazing marshes on the other, an unspoilt and tranquil haven for walkers, livestock and wildlife alike. Oare Marshes NR, passed late in the afternoon, is an internationally important birdlife sanctuary.
You finish in Faversham’s bustling streets past the stunning Market Place and its many cafés and eateries. 

Plentiful options enable walk lengths from as short as 13.6 km/8.4 mi to as long as 29.2 km/18.1 mi. See the route map here
Lunch: The Plough Inn  in Lewson Street (6.1 km/3.8 mi, food 12.00-15.00), The Ship at Conyer in Conyer (10.3 km/6.4 mi, food to 14.30), The Three Mariners at Oare in Oare (11-12 km into the walk if taking one of the early morning shortcuts, food to 14.30), The Castle Inn in Oare (11-12 km into the walk if taking one of the early morning shortcuts).
Tea: Numerous options close to and in Faversham, see pdf page 2.
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml file click here. T=swc.299


Anonymous said...

I will do this using the 09.07 train but do not expect to do the full 15.4 miles
I expect to do about 10 miles and looking at the map
it seems to be that if you leave the station and walk straight north to Conyer on the red route and then stick to the green route after that it will be around 10 ish miles.
The draw back is that this leaves The Three Mariners at Oare for lunch ( all the others are too soon ) This is something like 7 or so miles into the walk

Others are welcome to join me if they wish

DAC said...

Intend going.

ramblinros said...

A new coastal route - thank you - great instructions. I went north from Teynham on shortcut II, stayed close to Conyer Creek to see the old Thames barges, continued on the Main walk along the shore to Oare, and then the dull but direct pavement walk to Faversham. Disappointing lack of birds as tide so very low, but repeated small flocks of twenty or so chaffinches flying, presumably from Scandinavia, into the westerly which I had enjoyed behind me. The Caravan on the raft ???? A local birdwatcher told me it was an elderly couple's compromise when one wanted a caravan and one wanted a boat ! Unfortunately the police have recently visited it after an apparent break-in and today net curtains were sadly blowing out from the window.

ramblinros said...

I didn't see any other walkers - but I did catch the 8.07 to ensure a solitary walk.

Thomas G said...

29 walkers off the train, 7 of which peeled away immediately onto the shortest of short options (and had a rather long lunch experience, apparently), 7 others walked the long version, the remainder presumably did the normal/main walk. 1 other on the 08.07 train, so n=30. Plus a dog, part of a family, one member of which unfortunately 'did his ankle in', so they eventually took a bus from Oare to cut out the last kilometres. The weather was as forecast: w=dry-and-sunny-with-quite-a-breeze (from behind).
Despite the fact that the walk came probably a month or two too late to see the orchards at their best/full of fruits, it seemed to please all comers, the first half being dominated by said orchards plus a handful of arable fields and plenty of pastures and paddocks, the remainder by creeks and marshes, long views and plenty of birds. 13 lunched at The Ship Inn at Conyer to general approval (it's a nicely run pub). Also 13, although not exactly the same 13, later found themselves in the Shipwrights at Hollowshore, an amazingly atmospheric pub right on the creek, and 7 visited The Corner Tap near the end for a last few bevvies before boarding the train.
Due to all those breaks during the walk, the tailenders/long walkers only approached Faversham at sunset, which was quite dramatic today, what with lots of clouds turning orangey. This, after a sizeable murmuration had criss-crossed our path, made it a perfect end to a very nice day out.
Judging by the preceding comments, all of the many options, apart from the Luddenham route, were walked today by one or other person, which is quite satisfying for the walk author.
This should be an especially good walk during tree blossom and all through the summer.