#walkoftheweek Reculver walk

Explore Kent
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Explore Kent
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  • Toilets

There are many local legends about the ruins of St Mary’s Church. It was built on the site of a Saxon minster and acquired its towers in the 12th century. Originally the two towers, known as the Twin Sisters, had spires on top but these were removed in the early 20th century.

One tale tells of the love between two sisters, who were shipwrecked as they made their way to Broadstairs on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady. Unfortunately, one of the sisters, Isabella, died as a result of the accident. Her sister, Frances, is said to have restored Reculver church and added the two spires of the tower in her memory.

When the nearby Roman fort was built, the sea was at least 2km away. It formed part of the fortifications defending the coast from invasion from Europe. It was also used as a lighthouse and watchtower serving the entrances to the Thames and the Medway.

An interpretation centre in the country park outlines the geological and archaeological history of this interesting area. It also highlights the wildlife to be seen on the marshes and rare cliff top wildflower meadows throughout the year.

Thousands of migrating birds gather here on their way to the Arctic. Brent Geese and wading birds can be seen in winter and sand martin nest in the cliffs in summer.

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Step by step guide

  • From car park, turn right past pub (King Ethelbert Inn). A short distance along the road, turn left to follow Saxon Shore Way signs.
  • On reaching a gate at the end of the track, go through gap and turn right to follow path along field edge. On reaching the end of the ditch on right, continue ahead across field.
  • Cross footbridge and continue ahead.
  • On approaching the railway line, go through gap and turn right on surfaced path to follow under bridge. Follow the track to the road.
  • On reaching the road, turn right to walk along road. (There are good views of Reculver towers on the right). Take care walking along the road.
  • Cross over railway bridge and head downhill. Look for footpath sign on the left, just before buildings.
  • Turn left and walk down wooded path. On approaching house, take path to the right running down beside the river.
  • At path junction near railway track, turn right to cross bridge into field. Follow path across field.
  • Cross ditch and follow path straight on, heading towards church ahead.
  • Go through gap and head to road. Turn left and walk along road past church and school. Follow road around to right. Take care walking along the road.
  • Reaching the end of Reculver Lane, take the footpath on the right and follow path across field, crossing a ditch as you head towards houses.
  • Cross stile and turn right. Follow road past car park.
  • On reaching the end of the surfaced path, continue ahead through gap past barrier and follow path through Reculver Country Park.
  • Follow through park back to the car park where you started.