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, 8 September 2018

Saturday Walk - The Fruit Bowl of England: Teynham to Faversham

Dorchester (South) Circular
Length: 24.1 km (15.0 mi) [shorter or longer walk possible, see pdf or webpage]
Ascent/Descent: 565m; Net Walking Time: 5 ¾ hours
Toughness:  7/10                        
Dorchester (South) to Portesham
Length: 25.5 km (15.9 mi) [shorter walk possible, see pdf or webpage]
Ascent/Descent: 823/827m; Net Walking Time: 6 ½ hours
Toughness:  10/10

Due to the adverse impact of the strike timetable on the journey (lengthening both journeys by at least 30 minutes) this walk has been postponed to 29 September
SWC 299 – Teynham to Faversham

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 09.10 Dover Priory train from London Victoria (Bromley South 09.27), arrives Teynham 10.20.
Or take the 10.10 if walking the very short versions (or indeed take the earlier train and have lunch in Oare).
Returns from Faversham are on xx.02, xx.22 and xx.37 to Victoria and xx.30 and xx.58 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 caf├ęs 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 files click here. T=swc.299


Thomas G said...

And yes: I am aware that this is a strike day. As of Friday, the National Rail website will/should be showing which trains will run, and if this walk is not possible, I will replace it with one that is. So if you are thinking of staying overnight in the area and combine this walk with Sunday's Stargazer posting, book accomodation with free cancellation...

Thomas G said...

As for a replacement walk, if the strike does affect this posting: it is actually not easy to find a walk that's not dependent on SWT, not affected by track works (South Downs), different to what's already been posted for this weekend and beyond, minimum 20 km and right for the season. But this one is: SWC 299 Teynham to Faversham, The Fruit Bowl of England...

Thomas G said...

11 on the platform, one of which immediately 'turned left' to walk one of the shortcuts. The rest split 5 each into walking the morning extension or the main walk. The orchards were about a third harvested, so still loaded with apples, pears & plums, while the hedges and trees on public land offered plenty of delicious fruit themselves: there was even a hedge made from plum trees, or so it seemed!
The three arable field crossings were good to walk, the weather w=dry-and-warmish and Heritage Open Day meant that a couple of the usually locked churches (Lynsted and Lewson Street) were open, with St. Peter & St. Paul, Lynsted having a remarkable collection of monuments to the local Laird's family.
Lunch was taken at The Ship Inn, Conyer, where the two groups met again, plus one late starter (having managed to miss both the 9.10 and the 10.10!).
On to the seawall along The Swale, past disused brickworks, jetties and ruined Thames barges. Low tide meant plenty of wading birds, there was a breeze in the reed beds and we had far views. We were met/overtaken by a 13th walker, who has also missed the 10.10 but taken the 10.40 to Sittingbourne and started from there, so n=13 in total.
A drink at The Corner Tap, Whitstable Brewery's tap room, followed for about 7 of the group.