Here is a section of the Saxon Shore Way which goes inland, away from the coast, with views from the escarpment over the Romney Marshes.
START OF WALK: We drove to Rye and parked at the railway station, parking for whole day costs £2.70. Caught the train to Appledore (train times hourly) .
WEATHER: 3C max -1C min, Frost, Sunshine – Wind 6mph ENE
Walked from Appledore Station along road, then via a signposted footpath across muddy, ploughed fields into Appledore village (about two (2) miles).
Crossed the bridge over the Royal Military Canal into Appledore village. Still patches of frost in places and frozen water on the canal.
WHERE TO GET THE WALK DETAILS:
I checked online with GPS Cycle and Walking Routes – Saxon Shore Way for directions, took note of, and checked google maps for tricky bits, and printed the map, for reference on the walk. The most strenuous parts of the walk were the muddy, ploughed fields.
Next to Appledore’s parish church of St Peter and St Paul, is the Black Lion Pub where we decided to have a hot cuppa tea and toilet stop. We needed cash for the tea, because the pub would only take a card payment from £10. So we walked up the road to the Post Office/Shop where there was an ATM (£1.65 charge) inside the store. Came back to the pub and sat outside in the lovely sunshine enjoying our hot refreshments.
Appledore was once a port on the estuary of the River Rother. Famously, the greater part of the Danish army (280 ships – 5000 men) wintered at Appledore in 892-893, before moving into Wessex and suffering defeat at the hands of the Saxons led by King Alfred’s son Edward the Elder at Farnham in Surrey. The defeated Danes fell back to Benfleet in Essex where they were again defeated in battle. The importance of Appledore as a port diminished suddenly in the 13th-century when great storms caused the river Rother to change its course; the village street now leads down to the Royal Military Canal. A French raid in 1380 resulted in the burning of the church: it was later rebuilt. The village was permitted to hold a market in the main street by Edward II. In 1804, when there was threat of invasion by Napoleon the Royal Military Canal was built: Appledore stands on its northern bank. The Rhee Wall, a 13th-century waterway, was built to carry silt away from the eastern part of the Romney Marsh; it runs from Appledore to New Romney. Extract from Wikipedia
Leave Appledore along Court Lodge Road which is directly opposite the Black Lion Pub, and then past the Court Lodge house/farm is the signpost for the Saxon Shore Way. We hopped the stile and ventured cross country, enjoying the views which stretched out in front of us.
Views of the next stage of the walk from Mill Mound.
Muddy field edge walking, slowed down the pace.
Mill Mound behind us, photo below.
Walking along the Reading Sewer, tired of all that mud sticking to our shoes. So much so, when the map directed us to cross this last field diagonally we opted to continue around the edge, to avoid getting even muddier boots.
The back view of the Ferry Inn.
Here we cross the little bridge over the sewer and then follow the Reading Sewer on the other side.
Thankfully we have left the muddy fields for now, and an easy walk along this track alongside the sewer.
Leaving the Reading Sewer behind we head towards Luckhurst.
Over this bridge and follow the concrete path/road towards the huge barns of Luckhurst Farm.
The concrete path/road leads into the barns, which did not coincide with the map. We continued into the barn hoping to find someone to point us in the right direction, having lost the Saxon Shore path at this stage. We spoke with the shepherd’s wife who was quite helpful, and we managed to get back on track. The barns were full of sheep and the shepherd was preparing for the lambing season. What a great experience, so lucky to see the inside.
Inside the barn – happy sheep.
Cross the road from Luckhurst Farm and follow the laneway past a grand house “Stone Farm” with a couple of ponds.
Short walk through wooded area, and then diagonal walk across a field, and then another.
Heading up to Stone-in-Oxney. Crossed the stile and took a rest at the bus stop just immediately to the right.
Sadly the “Epicureans Bistro at the Crown” in Stone in Oxney, was closed, permanently I believe.
By now we had walked just over 4 miles from Appledore Station, and we were starting to get concerned about loosing daylight before the end of the walk, especially with the highest point still to climb and more muddy field walking to traverse before we join up with the Royal Military Canal.
Anyone for fresh eggs – great price too!
A gradual climb up along Church Hill, past the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, we popped into the church for a quick look, the doors were open, and they request that walkers take their muddy boots off before entering the premises. Unfortunately we only saw the sign after we had come out, whoops – obviously many walkers drop in and leave their mark.
There are a few beautiful old dwellings, possibly grade listed along this road, totally charming place, took our minds off the steep hill we were climbing.
Up the hill and leaving Stone in Oxney behind, we head across the road and over the stile, to cross more fields and descend the highest peak of our walk.
Views from atop Stone Cliff down to the electricity pylons where we will be joining the Royal Military Canal. Smoggy, misty skies and the sun gradually going down. Need to get moving and speed up before sunset, still a few miles to go.
Walking down the Stone Cliff and through the sheep paddocks.
The descent is gradual and easy, and no mud in sight, just watch out for the sheep droppings.
Enjoying the sunshine.
Stone Cliff behind us, photo below. Another muddy field, at least here there be more grass around the edge of the field, not as much mud sticking to boots as before.
Leaving the muddy fields behind, cross the Kent Ditch and then cross the road to walk alongside the Royal Military Canal, finally.
By now the possibility of loosing daylight was the only thing on my mind, whereas for my husband it was his aching lower back, and it was slowing him down. Keep calm and soldier on!
We leave the canal behind and join the Rother River walking on the east side of the river and head towards Rye with the setting sun shining in our eyes.
Romney Marsh Wind farm in the distance.
Finally we have a distant view of Rye township and luckily the sun has not yet set.
Somewhere along here we met the lock keeper, we got chatting and he told us not to rush, WE BE BETTER SLOWING OUR PACE, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to cross under the rail bridge. WTF! As the tide was on it’s way out he estimated we would be able to cross if we slowed down a bit, otherwise we be knee deep in water.
Here the river winds left and then right, so Rye is not getting any closer.
Misty, smoggy skies and a distant view of Rye.
Here is the rail bridge crossing, as the lock keeper had mentioned the path and only path is under the bridge. So happy it was low tide by the time we got there.
Rail bridge into Rye.
Not far now can see the road bridge over the Rother River into Rye.
Cross the road bridge and head into town towards the railwat station where we parked.
Sundown over Rye town.
Sunset shining straight down Rye’s Cinque Ports Street, turn right down Station Approach, you have reached your destination. Hooray!
Removed our shoes before getting in car, they were covered in packed on mud and other animal droppings. Drive home after sunset, in country peak hour via Ashford, took about one (1) hour 15 mins.
This was our first cross country walk for 2017, if it had been walked in spring or autumn we would have had more daylight hours to spare, and possibly less muddy fields. On the whole it was a great walk, not too difficult to follow the map route, and a fabulous achievement for the both of us, since our last big walk was back in 2015.