The Saxon Shore & The White Cliffs Of Dover
The Saxon Shore Way is named after the line of historic fortifications that defended the Kent coast at the end of the Roman era from Saxon invaders and provides some of the finest coastal walking in England. An unrivalled diversity of scenery includes the White Cliffs of Dover and panoramic views over Romney Marsh from the escarpment that marks the ancient coastline between Folkestone and Rye. The route is rich in historical sites and literary associations. Here the Romans invaded Britain and later, St. Augustine landed to bring the Gospel to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Later when the Kingdom had fallen to the Normans, they erected great fortresses such as Dover Castle to defend their conquests. It follows the coastline of the South East as it was about 1500 years ago, long before the North Kent Marshes or the Romney Marsh came into existence, when the cliff lines to north and south extended further into the sea and when the Wantsum Channel provided a thoroughfare for boats between the Isle of Thanet and mainland England.
Day 1 : Arrive and overnight in Sandwich - Sandwich is a historic town on the River Stour. It was one of the Cinque Ports and still has many original medieval buildings such as public houses, gates in the old town walls, churches, almshouses and the White Mill. While once a major port, it is now two miles from the sea, its historic centre preserved. Evocatively sited amid the East Kent marshes, nearby Richborough Fort is perhaps the most symbolically important of all Roman sites in Britain, witnessing both the beginning and almost the end of Roman rule here.
Day 2 : The Stour flows into the English Channel below Sandwich and you follow the coast south and westward through Deal and Walmer, passing the place where the Romans first landed when they made their conquest of Britain. The path ascends onto the White Cliffs of Dover and then you spend the second night in the village of St. Margarets near South Foreland. 11 miles.
Day 3 : The trail continues across the White Cliffs passing through Dover and along the top of the North Downs above Folkestone. Overnight near Folkestone. 12 miles.
Day 4 : The Saxon Shore descends from the North Downs and crosses the neighbouring Greensand ridge to reach the vast flat expanse of Romney Marsh. The fourth night is spent on the Marsh, near the seaside town Dymchurch, much associated with smuggling. 11 miles.
Day 5 : The trail follows the former coastline on the northern edge of the marsh, ascending and descending the line of low cliffs and passing some remote villages. The fifth night is spent near the village of Appledore. 11 miles.
Day 6 : Beyond Appledore the path crosses the former sea bed to reach the Isle of Oxney. On the far side of this former island it descends the cliffs and follows the Royal Military Canal into the ancient town of Rye, where you spend the sixth night. 11 miles.
Day 7 : Continue your walk through Winchelsea and across the Fire Hills to the end of the Saxon Shore in Hastings (11 miles). Overnight Hastings.
Day 8 : Departure.
Price £620.00 per person based on two people sharing. Single room supplement £180.00
Additional Supplement for 1 person walking alone (transfer costs) £160
The White Cliffs of Dover, unspoilt medieval Cinque port towns of Sandwich and Rye.
If you have done this walk before we would like to hear of your personal highlights. Please get in touch!
Difficulty Of The Walk
Mainly easy but moderate over the White cliffs and Greensand where there are some steep ascents and descents.
This self-guided walking holiday can be operated for 2 or more people.
A mix of B and B, pubs and small hotels. Usually private bathrooms are obtained but this is not guaranteed. Up grades may be possible in the towns and we will be happy to obtain individual quotes when required. Examples of updates as follows: SANDWICH - The Bell http://www.bellhotelsandwich.co.uk JUST OUTSIDE SANDWICH - Molland Manor House http://www.mollandhouse.co.uk near ST. MARGARET'S BAY - White Cliffs Hotel http://www.thewhitecliffs.com FOLKESTONE - Stay2a http://www.stay2a.com RYE - Mermaid Inn http://www.mermaindinn.com Hope Anchor http://www.thehopeanchor.co.uk The George in Rye http://www.thegeorgeinrye.com HASTINGS - Hastings House http://www.hastingshouse.co.uk Black Rock House (no website)
What To Take
Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, first-aid kit
When To Go
Mid-April to mid-September. Accommodation will be difficult to obtain on UK national holidays unless booked well in advance (and may require an alteration to the programme).
AIR London airports have good connections by rail or bus. London Gatwick is the closest of the London airports
Arrival in Sandwich is possible by rail.
If arriving via boat from Europe The nearest port is Dover, from where trains connect to Sandwich (approx. 45 minutes).
Departure from Hastings is possible via rail from Hastings railway station.
7 nights B and B, luggage transportation, guidebook and maps, transfers where mentioned in the programme, emergency telephone number.
Lunches, dinners, drinks, insurance, anything not mentioned in programme. Departure dates: any day April-October subject to accommodation availability.
We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for whatever reason.