England Coast Path – Kent
From seaside castles to the wild north Kent marshes, the England Coast Path is a delight to walk, whether it's the full length or a smaller section of it.
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This path, which will eventually stretch around the entire Kent coast, currently exists in three sections. The first section runs from the sand dunes of Camber to the white cliffs of Ramsgate, while the second section goes from the bustling harbour at Whitstable to the Kingsferry Bridge near Iwade. The third stretch goes from the quaint village of Grain to Woolwich where it links up with the Thames Path, creating a continuous, waymarked route from the source of the Thames to the sea.
Camber to Ramsgate (66 miles)
Set out from the wonderful East Sussex coastline and head into Kent where you’ll discover the unusual shingle landscape of Dungeness, home to rare birds, insects and plants. Visit the Old Lighthouse and take a ride along the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway.
Making your way further along the coast, discover the Martello towers of Dymchurch and the pretty market town of Hythe packed full of independent boutiques, tea rooms and hidden cobbled walkways.
Discover wartime heritage in Dover where you will find many delicious restaurants along the seafront. Dover Castle sits magnificently on the white cliffs, and a little further along you can discover the South Foreland Lighthouse and St Margaret’s at Cliffe with it’s Pines Calyx garden and beautiful bay.
Take in the heritage and natural beauty of Deal and Sandwich and view the immense birdlife of the Sandwich Flats, don’t forget to take your binoculars with you as this is a great opportunity to view some of the best birdlife in Kent on the mudflats.
The endpoint is Ramsgate a grand seaside town with a fantastic beach, and a Royal Harbour packed full of small niche businesses. With a whole host of places to eat and stay you won’t be stuck for choice – it’s a perfect end to your walk.
Whitstable to Iwade (29 miles)
The walk begins at Whitstable Harbour, a lively working harbour which is famous for its oysters and the Harbour Market which takes place several times a week and features hand-crafted goods and fine art. Walking west along the coast, you’ll pass many cafes and tearooms along Whitstable Beach.
The Sportsman at Seasalter offers a fine dining experience with their five-course tasting menu. From here you follow the sea wall around Graveney Marshes and along Faversham Creek into the town. You’ll pass Shepherd Neame Brewery – the oldest brewery in Britain which has been brewing for over 300 years. Why not take a tour?
Leaving Faversham you’ll walk out to Oare Marshes, a Kent Wildlife Trust nature reserve where you can spot an extraordinary number of migrating birds. The nearby Shipwright’s Arms is another fantastic stopping point for walkers to put their feet up and enjoy a pint and a meal.
In Sittingbourne the Coast Path passes Little Murston Nature Reserve and Milton Creek Country Park. You’ll then head out along Kemsley Marshes and come inland around the port at Rudham, before returning to the seawall towards the Kingsferry Bridge where the trail ends.
Grain to Woolwich (47 miles)
Beginning in the village of Grain, the easternmost point of the Hoo Peninsula, this is a walk for nature lovers. From the village you will walk west across open countryside to Yantlett Creek and AllHallows Marshes. The wetlands here in the estuary are a haven for many migrating birds.
Past many hidden sandy beaches and wild marshes, you will come to Cliffe Pools RSPB Nature Reserve with its many breeds of birds and old ruined fortress. If you need a break and refreshment, the village of Cliffe is just a short walk away from here.
Wander through Higham Marshes and along the sea wall to Gravesend, where you can relax at the promenade, explore WW2 history at the Fort Gardens or visit the statue that marks Pocahontas’ burial site.
The coast path is a hidden wilderness amongst industrial buildings along the Thames as you follow it past the QEII Bridge and Dartford and onto Woolwich. You can keep following the path all the way into London and beyond to the source of the Thames.