Walk 19 – Folkestone Harbour to Samphire Hoe, Kent
Late August 2012 and finally, some warm blue sky. The pretty working harbour of Folkestone is my starting point for part 19 of my Kent & Sussex shoreline walks Folkestone Harbour to Samphire Hoe, Kent.
Parking above the beach on Wear Bay Road, I dropped down onto the arched walkway, slipping back into town for a quick photo or two.
The small harbour is an atmospheric place. Individual shops, fresh fish stalls, pubs and views of rainbow boats are a joy in the sunshine. Try the Cray tails, they're delicious.
Soon, the moon's gravity has done its work, exposing a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach bordered by the arches. Such a contrast to the shingle on many previous walks.
I don't linger though. Locals and visitors are taking in a good dose of vitamin D so I'm careful where I point my lens. Now heading east, the smooth fine grains abruptly disappear, revealing a carpet of seaweed covered boulders. Slippery!
Passing an intriguing ruined bunker thingy, the way ahead is revealed. Green splattered, dramatic white chalk cliffs, line the way. This is my kind of coastline.
Rounding a corner reveals a myriad of 'tank trap' sea defences strewn carelessly along the shore. Nondescript masonry has been thrown in for good measure.
Rumour has it that a buried Roman villa sited on the hill above, sometimes deposits artefacts on the beach after heavy rainfall. I found nothing of interest though.
Further on, dilapidated wooden groynes have been replaced by the mother of sea walls. Resembling part of an Aztec city and stretching for nearly two miles, I wonder how many tonnes of concrete it took to construct.
The going is slippery on the wet, seaweed matted hard stuff. It's tricky walking on the beach as the racing tide streams home.
Clambering over this lost world, small pockets of sandy shore expose themselves, before the sea wall comes to an abrupt end in front of chalk and car wreck strewn beach.
I love walking under cliffs and this stretch is no exception. Great for exploring recent slips and falls, you never know what you might find.
All too soon the edifice that is Samphire Hoe, looms on the horizon. Without the Channel Tunnel, this nature reserve wouldn't exist and is on my 'to do' list.
Returning along the sea wall, the Warren, a dense wood, infests the cliffs on the right. Crossing the Folkestone to Dover line, the sweaty path rises steeply to a God sent café atop the cliff.
Affording fantastic views over Folkestone, this cliff top path gently undulates west, passing the Battle of Britain Memorial, before dropping back to town. A superb walk with amazing views, history, beach combing and war time remembrance.
On this walk…
- Quaint harbour
- Lovely sandy beach
- Ruined structures
- Remnants of Roman villa
- Huge sea defence
- Chalk cliffs
- Woodland walk
- Cliff top walk and views
- Battle of Britain Memorial
- OS Explorer map 138 Dover, Folkestone & Hythe