Kent and Sussex Shoreline Walk

Walk 13 – Dungeness Lifeboat to Littlestone-on-Sea

Walk along the beach below Dungeness Power Station, Kent and you will notice that mean high water (high tide) and mean low water (low tide), only differs by a few metres. No sandy beach or crustacean infested rocks, just shingle.

Round the corner however, passing the tall shipping beacons on your left, the route becomes a wide expanse of finely ground shingle; sand, and lots of it.

Swathe of gold

From Dungeness Lifeboat to Dymchurch Redoubt, Kent, this swathe of gold stretches before you, but Littlestone-on-Sea is my destination for this walk.

In the distance figures are hunched over, elbows flaying, some pulling little carts. A new religious cult for film stars perhaps? Closer still, arms pump strange cylindrical devices sucking up rolls of sand. They're pumping for lug worms. The back-breaking days of digging have gone, technology has taken over once more but it's still hard work. I have a lug pump but must profess, I'm useless at it.

This stretch of shoreline is bordered by post war bungalows of Lydd-on-Sea. Developed after WWII and named after its historic cousin, Lydd, this quiet village is itself bordered by the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

Brisk walkers

Level with Greatstone, sand dunes sparsely decorated with grass and weeds, give a welcome change of colour. At low ebb, the water's edge can be up to half-a-mile distant from the shingle, leaving small craft beached in the muddy shallows.

Greatstone-on-Sea Lifeboat Station looks small on the horizon and I drift pass. It's a warm, sunny, blue sky, late day in May and I make for a lone figure following the incoming tide. Brisk walkers pass me as I saunter back to the road at Littlestone. I finish with a coffee at the junctions of Blenheim and Coast Roads, simply to make it easy to park for the next leg.

Following the road back to 'Dungie', the bungalows and houses of Littlestone, Greatstone and Lydd (all on-sea), produce some lovely art deco examples.

To round the day off nicely, the Green Goddess steams past me over the Dungeness Road crossing.

On this walk…

  • If open, visit the Dungeness Lifeboat Station; they do a marvellous job
  • Sand dunes with interesting flora
  • On the return, between Taylor Road and Williamson Road is a plot of empty shingle. Walk across this and you will find Fort Lade, a Napoleonic defence. It surrounds private dwellings but you can walk around it
  • Mulberry Harbour off the coast at Littlestone-on-Sea
  • Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway – great for photo opportunities
  • OS Explorer map 125 Romney Marsh, Rye & Winchelsea