Saturday June 5th 2010
term for both of us so time for walking again. We headed off on the North Camp-Redhill-Tonbridge route this time and arrived in Folkestone on time at 10 to 10. A few minutes walk brought us to the bus station when the 101 bus was loading up and almost ready to go and by 10.30 we were in Dymchurch again. Jen needed to buy a sun-hat and we went in search of postcards before climbing up onto the sea wall by a Martello Tower to begin the walk.
Today’s walk began with a beautiful sandy beach below the sea-wall, excited children with buckets and spades and all the shops and stalls required to equip a day on the beach. There was a bouncy castle, ice cream men and even donkeys preparing to give rides.
We walked along the high wall for a while then dropped down to the beach and walked along the firm sand. The work on the sea wall became evident again here as new wide steps have been constructed to climb up onto the wall beyond. After a while we were somewhat alarmed to notice that at the top of these steps a fence had appeared barring our way off the beach.
Reluctant to walk backwards, we spotted a gap and, with the help of a passer-by, discovered that the fence across the gap was just movable, so we squeezed through it.
Setting off along the new sea defences we soon lost sight of sea and road as the defences have been built with walls each side. There must be a need to keep out some ferocious storms and high tides here and for us, it meant a fairly miserable section of walking along a concrete trough.
At the end of the wall was another Martello tower and the beginning of Hythe ranges. We knew that there was good path across them but the red flag was flying, meaning that we had to walk behind on a pavement bedside our old friend the A259. It was a fairly miserable walk, with busy traffic and the sound of gunfire very close by. The temperature was in the high 20s with no shade and the only thing to do was tackle it as fast as possible. This we did and were pleased to find a little interest with some houses lining the road further along. Eventually we reached the outskirts of Hythe and found the road to lead us back to the sea.
This was the third section of the walk and we were back on a proper prom with a shingle beach, ice cream stalls and lots of people again. We stopped almost immediately for lunch, which along with the sea breeze, was very welcome.
After lunch we simply followed the prom past large houses, most of which are presumably holiday lets now, past car parks and more beach cafes. We were on one of the national cycle-ways and there were many, many cyclists but plenty of room for everyone. We found a landmark at The Imperial Hotel and soon after that I had to stop to plaster up a blister. After the Imperial Hotel came a golf course and then the main road reappeared immediately behind the prom and the beach.
I was flagging by now, so we decided to stop here as the bus stop for the bus into Folkestone was right by the beach.
We caught the bus back to the bus station then had a cup of coffee and used the loos in Costa – much nicer than sea-front ones. We wandered through the shops and down to the cliff top in the hope of having a ride down in the cliff railway. It was not working however and we decided against climbing down the steps to the shore.
Finally we found our way back to Asda in the town centre to buy some food before heading back to the station and beginning the slow journey home. None of the trains home connected and it took four hours altogether, with long waits at Tonbridge and Redhill but a great wall by the sea in the sunshine.
Running Total 222.5