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Exploring the East Kent Coastline

Do you prefer the seaside or the countryside when you book a holiday? 

Why not pick both! We are so lucky to have the best of both worlds here in Canterbury. Only a 15 minute drive to the spectacular coast and an equal distance to the stunning North Downs countryside.

During lockdown, when we couldn’t welcome leisure guests to stay, we were privileged to host Kevin who was in-between homes. Although all the wonderful shops, attractions, cafes, restaurants and bars were all closed, Kevin used the time to explore the area by foot including the coastline known as the Saxon Shore Way.

This is his story……..

From Canterbury to the Coast: a Property by Polygon experience

Staying with Property by Polygon in the spring of 2021, with the Canterbury sights closed, I made my own entertainment. Initially I sought out spaces for running or walking close to home.

One option is Blean Woods, which is up the hill to the north of Canterbury. Another route takes you west from West Gate along the River Stour as far as Chartham about 5 miles away.

After a while, missing the sea, I ventured further afield. I discovered Herne Bay and also visited Sandwich and Deal (see the map below).

River Stour
kevin picture 2
Map of East Kent
Reculver Towers

In fact, during my time at Polygon I must have walked most of the Thanet coastline and a little bit more. It’s all not much more than 30 minutes in the car, with a surprising variety of beaches, bays and cliffs. On the beaches, it is possible to collect interesting stones and fossils.

I was able to catch the spring sunrise and remarkable skies such as this shot looking out from above Ramsgate harbour.

Reculver Towers
Sunrise in Ramsgate

I walked for miles along the coastline, starting at Herne Bay, which is a lovely, typical English seaside town with a small pier and attractions. I parked up on the cliff to the east of the town and strolled west along the promenade. When I turned, I realized that in the distance to the east I could see the towers at Reculver. It turned out to be a very easy walk to Reculver where there is a small café, public toilets etc.

I later discovered that you can also see Reculver from Margate, so these towers became a familiar landmark to me.

The next port of call along the coast, heading east is Margate, which is once again a thriving town housing the Turner Contemporary museum, which of course was closed. Margate is an excellent place to get fish and chips or an ice cream depending on the season. I bought a fresh prawn sandwich from the stall at the east end of the beach and sat looking out over the beach. As the tide was out, I wandered out to the Anthony Gormley statue in the sea behind the museum.

Coastline North of Broadstairs
Anthony Gormley Statue (Margate)

Then I headed further east and walked along the cliffs, before descending to the beach and walked as far as Botany Bay. This is a great bit of coastline, initially heading east and then turning south towards Broadstairs.

If you are down below, you have to watch the tides, but there is always the option of walking along the cliffs, which gives you a great view out to sea.

Sunrise over Dumpton Gap
Viking Beach Broadstairs

Finally, from Broadstairs I walked along the beach to Dumpton Gap and then along the cliffs to Ramsgate.

Thank you Kevin for your inspirational guide to walking the East Kent Coast. Canterbury is such a great base to explore these stunning places.

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