Deal to Dover walk – England Coast Path – day 2

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The second day of my coast walk!  After a few months absence due to a dodgy knee, I was buzzing with excitement on the train toward Deal.

I’m making a point of touching a specific “jump on” and “jump off” object at the beginning and end of each day – partly because it’s fun and partly to ensure the video of the walk has good continuity.

At Deal it was the placing my hand on the bronze sculpture “Embracing the Sea” at the entrance to Deal pier –

This is at the end of day 1 (Ramsgate to Deal) –

Jump off point - Deal Pier - coastal walk -bronze statue Embracing the Sea by sculptor John Buck

and this is 8:15 am on Day 2 – Wednesday 14th November 2018 –

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After a decent breakfast at the Waterfront Hotel opposite the pier –

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Gopro turned on, sea to the left, and away!

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Zipping on the concrete pavement out of Deal, I jumped over the sea wall and crunched along the shingle to look at the fishing boats.

 

Here’s the Deal to Dover video from today!  3 hours of walking compressed into 12 zippy minutes –

 

The Deal fishing fleet of boats sleep at the top of the beach, pulled up by old diesel motors that themselves live in rough mini-sheds. I enjoyed walking over the oiled runners, lengths of wood or plastic, lying parallel to the sea, over which the boats slide up and down the shingle.

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The weather was perfect, crisp November morning, very low tide with a soft low sunrise sun.

I liked the wooden “Golden Spray” of the Walmer beached boat fleet –

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Along with the joys of examining fishing gear, especially lobsters pots!  Spot my AZ map –

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I popped up from the shoreline to look at Walmer Castle, which is directly on the England Coast Path, before diving back to crunching my way to Kingsdown.

Kingsdown marks the start of the White Cliffs of Dover. A collection of beach huts, the beach pub Zetland Arms, followed by a intimate sandy beach.

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As it was low tide, I walked around the headland, jump balancing on seaweed slippery rocks, to enjoy the first view of the mighty white cliffs.

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Returned back around the headland, the England Coast Path takes the excited walker up a steep section of cut steps to the top of the cliffs, past the Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club.

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A sweeping cliff top path, alongside the cliff edge, takes the elevated walker at a good pace, until seeing St. Margaret’s Bay in the distance. Spot my Gopro –

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Houses and trees appear as the path sweeps down toward the bay, down a super cut set of steep steps in the cliff face that propel one straight into the Bay.

Ping!  My mobile proudly announced, care of EE, that it welcomed me to France, only 18 miles swim away!  At the time is was amusing, little did I realise the chaos it would cause the next day, as my mobile had automatically adjusted itself an hour ahead and stayed at French time. Grrrrrrr.

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The England Coast Path then ascends past the bay Coastguard pub, slowly ascending back to cliff top height.

A pleasant amble leads to the South Foreland Lighthouse, with the reassuring sight of ferries steaming for the Port of Dover that must be “around the corner”.

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Venturing off the path to cliff edges the scale of the White Cliffs of Dover is impressive. Chalk collapses do occur, which added to the natural thrill.

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As did this gully, a one-way inadvisable slide to sea level, leading to either death or a charitable post-rescue RNLI contribution.

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Superb chalk meanders lead toward the people-populated White Cliffs visitor centre, then dip toward a lovely steep path, heading straight for the Port of Dover, with a wonderful view of Dover Castle top right –

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At the bottom of this descending path – THE NOISE!  After a few hours of natureful isolation and delight in being a solo coast walker, the coast path was swallowed below and above by thundering lorries and the concrete of the Port of Dover.

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A few paces later I’d had enough and with the perfect “jump off” point just ahead, in the form of a traditional red phone box, I called it a day and enjoyed a beer at the White Horse Pub.

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Times for today – Deal to Dover on the England Coast Path –

Left Deal Pier at 8:15 am

Arrived at Port of Dover at 11:45 am

So …. I walked 3 hours without a break.

Having walked 9.5 miles that’s 3.2 miles an hour (or at 15.3 km that’s 5.1 km an hour).

 

MY TOTAL ENGLAND COAST PATH STATISTICS : 14th November 2018

Total days walking ONLY on the England Coast Path – 2

Total distance walked ONLY on the England Coast Path – 26.9 miles / 43.3 km

Hours walking ONLY on the England Coast Path – 9 hours 50 minutes

Hours spent away from home on Coast Path England adventures – 18 hours 30 min

Blisters – 3

Beers enjoyed during England Coast Path walking – 3

Flying insects accidentally ingested – 1

Money spent on trains/hotels/petrol/parking – £25.25

GoPro 4k photos taken – 70,776

GoPro time lapse video footage – 33 minutes

Maps purchased – 4

Ramsgate to Sandwich to Deal – walking England Coast Path – day 1

George and Dragon - Sandwich - Beer break during Coast Path England walk from Ramsgate to Deal

The first day of my coast walk!  Buzzy anticipatory excitement boarding early morning train to Ramsgate with shiny new ultralight rucksack, mint map and tinfoil wrapped packed lunch made by my girlfriend.

Countless preparatory evenings absorbed in “kit” and browsing route maps … so leaving Ramsgate train station and getting very lost indeed was a bad start. Redeemed by a proper greasy spoon cafe fried breakfast.

Fried breakfast in Ramsgate - Coast Path England -

START – sandy beach before Royal Victoria Pavilion.

Start - Ramsgate Beach before Royal Victoria Pavilion - England Coast Path

Leaving at 8:40 am – I sailed past the bobbing boats, marched up Military Road and coastal walking dreams became reality.

Felt a fool carrying the Go-Pro in one raised hand, it attracted curious attention, but at two 4k high resolution photos taken every second, or 1200 photos every ten minutes, it creates a time-lapse video of – hopefully – the entire trip around the English coast.

Here’s the Ramsgate to Sandwich to Deal video from today!  6 hours and 50 minutes of walking compressed into 21 zippy minutes –

From the Royal Harbour at Ramsgate, the walk glides along the Westcliff Promenade before darting right above the Pegwell Tunnel for a few minutes road pavement walking.

One quickly dives into nature at the Coastguard Cottages and is rewarded with views over Pegwell Bay and the Sandwich Flats – enjoy the view into the coastal distance as that’s where this path heads today!

GoPro time lapse hiking walking

A lovely ziggle-zaggle through bushes leads to the green around the replica Viking Ship Hugin. Below in the bay, not that long ago, Hovercraft flew in and out.

Pegwell Bay - England Coast Path walk

Carrying on, at the petrol station, leap from the road pavement into the haven that’s the Pegwell Bay and Sandwich Nature Reserve –

Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve - Coast Path England Walk

Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve - Coast Path England Walk

Delightful walking in a special coastal environment … then one reaches the Line of Pillars at Stonelees – concrete bollards to slow invasion in past war.

Pillars at Stonelees, Pegwell Bay- England Coast Path

And then it gets very ugly and very boring … road pavement along the A256 where the land has been given to waste disposal operations that appear to breed skips and dumper trucks. Following the road, it turns left into the Discovery Park Biomass park, then even more pavement, before reaching the magical Kentish Cinque Ports gem that is Sandwich.

Skipping over the bridge, with boats moored below and historic buildings everywhere, it was exactly 11am and I needed a beer … there’s a decent beer garden at the George and Dragon pub –

George and Dragon - Sandwich - Beer break during Coast Path England walk from Ramsgate to Deal

and leaving the pub, scoffed super home made rolls, she’s a great girlfriend.

Packed lunch in Sandwich during coast path walk

At this point, one has a choice. As a serious committed England Coast Path walker, I decided to follow the official route – a lengthy return north following the River Stour, to ensure one hugs the coast, adding a decent chunk to the walk.

If one decides to cheat and cut directly from Sandwich to the coast, they must follow the White Cliffs Country Trail / Saxon Shore Way (clearly marked on the official A-Z map) and then live with their guilt.

I went the official England Coast Path way.

I rather enjoyed the proper trail heading back north, it vaguely follows the River Stour, exposing the huge Pfizer industrial plant.

One walks for a lot of the way upon built up earth banks, designed as flood protection –

Raised flood protection earth banks on England Coast Path walk

These raised banks offer a special path meandering through meadows and muddy river banks that are often hugged by assortments of interesting boats.

River Stour at Sandwich, boats

If walking, keep an eye out for the path rather sneakily heading left into bushland, I almost missed it from the raised banks – it looks like this –

England Coast Path route onto Prince's Golf Club

A narrow path, with naughty stinging nettles and a fallen tree blocking the path, leads to posh Prince’s Golf Course, where the path hugs the boundary offering a stark contrast between wild countryside and manicured greens, and more amusingly, between sweaty outdoor clothed walkers and smart golf attired folk-what-hit-balls-for-pleasure.

Then, delight of delights, one sees the sea again!  Along with a stunning view across the bay to the starting point of today’s walk – Ramsgate.

Prince's Golf Course - Coast Path England - view to Ramsgate

I crashed on the beach, gulped water and enjoyed the last of my packed lunch. My feet and calf muscles had been WhatsApping my brain for the past hour continuously complaining and making rude references to my age (40) and lack of physical preparation (zero) for today.

180′ panorama –

Sandwich Flats - panorama photo - Coast Path England walk -

Before me … a vast amount of shingle before the very very distant cluster of posh but isolated coastal houses at the Sandwich Bay Estate, then more shingle and another golf course (Royal St. George’s) before my finishing line – the Deal Pier.

Shingle beach walk from Sandwich to Deal - England Coast Path

After utter isolation – not meeting a person for longer than one would have imagined – suddenly ultra smart golfers, poo-bag bearing dog walkers and approaching houses marked the nearing end of today’s Ramsgate to Sandwich to Deal walk.

The rubbish changed as well … during the desolate beach hike rubbish was battered salt stripped plastic bottles, hunks of industrial naval rubber, bleached softened driftwood and a large metal industrial lobster pot alongside the sea edge. Approaching Deal, freshly discarded drinks cans, neatly tied doggy poo bags and skimming fresh tissues screamed the approach of concrete dwellers.

Deal was a welcome sight – a significant blister on sole of left foot together with incredibly unfit physical state had rather chipped away at my sense of humour the past few hours!

Approaching Deal Pier a strong magnetic force, impossible to resist, dragged my body away from the coast path, over the road and into a pub … I love Guinness.

Guinness just before end of 7 hour walk from Ramsgate to Deal

Then a dizzy short final skip-limp-push to Deal Pier – the “jump off” point is placing my hand on the bronze sculpture “Embracing the Sea” at 4:30pm … so the “jump on” for my next section of coastal walk will commence at this precise point.

Jump off point - Deal Pier - coastal walk -bronze statue Embracing the Sea by sculptor John Buck

Times for today – Ramsgate to Sandwich to Deal on the England Coast Path –

Left Ramsgate Royal Victoria Pavilion at 8:40am

Arrived at Sandwich at 11:00am

From 11:05 to 11:40am in the pub enjoying a beer.

Walked again from 11:40am to 3:55pm

From 3:55pm to 4:20pm in the pub enjoying a Guinness.

Walked from 4:20 to 4:30pm from that pub to Deal Pier.

So …. I actually walked 6 hours 50 and spent 1 hour in pubs.

Having walked 17.4 miles that’s 2.5 miles an hour (or at 28km that’s 4.1km an hour).

 

MY ENGLAND COAST PATH STATISTICS : 5th May 2018

Days walking ONLY on the England Coast Path – 1

Distance walked ONLY on the England Coast Path – 17.4 miles / 28 km

Hours walking ONLY on the England Coast Path – 6 hours 50 minutes

Hours spent away from home on Coast Path adventures – 11 hours 30 min

Blisters – 3

Beers enjoyed during England Coast Path walking – 2

Flying insects accidentally ingested – 1

Money spent on trains/hotels/petrol/parking – £15.80

GoPro 4k photos taken – 49,176

GoPro time lapse video footage – 21 minutes

Maps purchased – 3

 

Click here for link to official England Coast Path website

Click here for direct link to AZ maps site for Ramsgate to Folkestone map

 

If you’ve read this far, thank you!

I hope to walk on and add more social media.

Right now, I have this website, my YouTube page (see video above) and an Instagram account (name = coastpathengland)

Regards, Jozef

First map! Folkestone to Ramsgate coast walk

Elevation Chart - England Coast Path - Ramsgate to Folkestone

Purchased my first “England Coast Walk” map from A-Z Maps – the Folkestone to Ramsgate section!  So excited – it’s becoming a reality.

At 36.5 miles (59km) I plan to walk it in two days, from Ramsgate to Folkestone, overnighting around Deal.

Based on Ordnance Survey at 1:25,000 (2.5 inches to a mile) the map is double sided in a portrait compact format –

A-Z Map Folkestone to Ramsgate - England Coast Path Ramsgate to Dover section - England Coast Path map

Great elevation information, should help with timings of the route.

Elevation Chart - England Coast Path - Ramsgate to Folkestone

and the bright yellow path should help my useless navigation skills!

Bright yellow marks the path!

Became absorbed and lost in the map, planning route, tracing a finger over the land, delighting in local names of Stonar Cut and Black Sand Point.

36.5 miles, two days … hopefully start once weather improves and days get longer?

Link – AZ map website – Folkestone to Ramsgate England Coast Path

MY ENGLAND COAST PATH STATISTICS : 31st January 2018

Miles walked – 0

Hours walked – 0

Maps purchased – 1