Walk 10 – Rye Estuary to Jury's Gap Firing Range, Sussex
It's not hard to see why Camber Sands and Broomhill Sands, just east of Camber, Sussex are so popular with locals and visitors.
Stretching in a wide arc from the Rye estuary wall and enclosed by protected SSSI sand dunes, Camber Sands is popular with bathers, sun seekers and horse riders.
Broomhill Sands, narrower and coarser, is the ideal playground for kite boarders and buggies, with the sea awash with windsurfers.
Parking in Broomhill Sands car park, I wander west passing the individual cottages lining the beach. Cafés are next (with public toilets in car park behind) then the dunes, flowing green with Marram grass. These are the only sand dunes to be found in East Sussex.
At the harbour estuary I join the tide line and follow it eastwards with shimmering Dungeness in the distance. As I walk, I to imagine the gun emplacements and fortifications installed during WWII.
To my right a former fishing boat sits decaying in the shallows. During the 1800's, The Blues, a gang of smugglers identified by their blue smocks, worked along Camber Sands. I often wonder who smugglers were and was it worth the risk of incarceration or hanging?
Before long the security cameras of the firing range hut zoom in on me and I come to a halt. Red flags are flying so let the firing commence! Walking back over the pebbled groynes you come to realise just what a special place this is.
Camber Sands – facts
- SSSI – Site of Special Scientific Interest (the dunes)
- Without the dunes, Camber would be overrun with sand
- Site of Nature Conservation Importance (the beach)
- The film Carry On Follow That Camel was partly filmed here (1967)
- The Longest Day and Dunkirk were also partly filmed here
- Bucks Fizz (remember them?) had an album cover shot here
- Camber Sands has been mentioned in many songs – Nick Heyward, Fatboy Slim, Squeeze to name a few
- Weaver fish have poisonous spikes and bury themselves at low tide. If you are injured, medical treatment will be required
- Camber Castle is NOT at Camber – it's west of Rye Harbour
- OS Explorer map 125 Romney Marsh, Rye & Winchelsea