Cliffs at Dover

The Saxon Shore Way


Try this beautiful walk that takes you back in time!

The Saxon Shore Way starts at Gravesend, Kent and traces the coast as it was in Roman times as far as Hastings, East Sussex, 163 miles (262 km) in total.

The line of the Roman fortification that the route traces includes ancient forts, modern towns, nature reserves and some beautiful coastline, four Roman forts built in the fourth century lie along the route, at Reculver, Richborough, Dover and Lympne.

If you have an interest in wildlife you'll find the North East Kent coast a great place to walk. At Seasalter there is an internationally significant area for geese, ducks and waders. The route offers the long distance walker an unparalleled variety of scenery from the wide expanses of marshland bordering the Thames and Medway estuaries to the White cliffs of Dover, as well as panoramic views over Romney Marsh from the escarpment that marks the ancient coastline between Folkestone and Rye.

The Saxon Shore Way was originally opened in 1980, but has since been re-established, and in parts re-routed and extended. It follows the coastline of the South East as it was about 1500 years ago, long before the North Kent Marshes or the Romney Marsh came into existence, when the cliff lines to north and south extended further into the sea and when the Wantsum Channel provided a through road for boats between the Isle of Thanet and mainland England. The Way takes its name, The Saxon Shore, from a line of defences built along the coastline as it was in the 3rd century AD, towards the end of the Roman period. In this time of crisis Saxon invaders came from the southern regions of modern Denmark and in reply the Romans built a line of defensive forts along the coast to fend off the newcomers.

The Route:
Gravesend, Town Pier where it shares a start with the Wealdway - Higham and Cliffe Fort - Cliffe - Hoo Peninsula - Strood - Rochester, where it meets the Medway Valley Walk - Gillingham - Lower Rainham and the Riverside Country Park - Upchurch - along the side of The Swale - Faversham - Graveney Marshes - Seasalter - Whitstable - Herne Bay - Reculver and the Regulbium Roman Fort where it turns inland, separating from the Thanet Coastal Path - Marshside where it meets the Wantsum Walk - Upstreet - Plucks Gutter meeting the River Stour and joins the Stour Valley Walk - to the Roman Fort at Richborough and Sandwich, meeting the White Cliffs Country Trail – Deal - the most picturesque part of the walk is arguably the cliff top stretch between Deal and Dover with a mid way break in St Margaret's at Cliffe. As the walk follows the old coast line it heads inland to Lympne, Aldington (still part of the Saxon Shore Parish) and Kenardington via Hamstreet woods nature reserve before heading for Rye. The Saxon Shore Way links with the 1066 Country Walk at Rye, East Sussex. The walk leaves Rye, following the Royal Military Canal as far as Winchelsea and then on to Hastings.

Disclaimer: The information on this leisure activity was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above leisure activity should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015