St Margarets Bay walk – guarding the gateway
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This circular St Margaret’s Bay walk meanders along quiet roads where the going is very easy but is dotted with reminders of Britain’s more recent conflicts.
With panoramic views across the channel and out to France on a clear day, this walk takes in a dramatic section of the England Coastal Path. With views from the cliff tops of the South Foreland and The Leas above the Bay, these are a reminder of the strategic and economic importance of this busy seaway.
The Pines Calyx is the first stop on your cliff-top Margaret’s Bay walk after following the Saxon Shore Way signs along Beach Road. The calyx surround a central statue of Winston Churchill, a bronze reminder of darker days on the Kent coast.
The whitewashed South Foreland Lighthouse sits along your trail. The Victorian lighthouse is conserved by the National Trust today and its concrete cross-channel gun positions are still visible in the undergrowth.
Along the Leas you’ll find the former coastguard station, which has a lot of war history, originally it was used as a radar station. Enjoy channel views before heading back to the stretch of shingle beach at St Margaret’s Bay.
Be sure to notice the whitewashed house at the end of the beach where Ian Fleming, writer of the James Bond novels, once lived and is said to have written ‘Moonraker’. You’ll also find the Coastguard pub here, it is claimed to be the nearest pub to France! It was once named the Green Man and has a history dating back more than 300 years.